In Ancient Egyptian mythology the world began with the Mighty Ra, the King of the Gods and Sun God. His wife Nut was in love with another God named, Geb. In knowing this betrayal, Ra forbid Nut from having any children during the year. Nut was very saddened and wanted children, so she called on her friend Thoth, also known as wisdom. to help her.
Thoth engaged the moon Goddess, Silene, in a wager during the time he knew that Ra’s curse had to be fulfilled. His wife, Silene’s light (the moon) rivaled the light of Ra (the sun). Thoth was rewarded with one-seventh of Silene’s light. This is why the moon now wanes each month. Thoth took this light and added five days to the calendar, bringing the year from 360 days to 365. This gave Nut 5 days on which she could have children, while at the same time obeying Ra’s commandment.
The kingdom of Heaven is within you; and whosoever shall know himself shall find it.
Nut gave birth to Osiris first. Secondly, Horus was born, Seth on the third, Isis the fourth, and Nephthys on the fifth day. At the time of Osiris’s birth, a loud voice was heard all over the world, saying, “The lord of all the earth is born.”
Osiris grew to become a mighty King that his people worshiped the ground he walked on, but while he was away he left his wife and sister, Isis, in charge. Osiris’s brother, Seth, had grown jealous and bitter of Osiris’s rule and wanted to take his kingdom away from him. He knew he couldn’t rule while Isis was in charge, so he conspired with the Queen of Ethiopia and seventy-two other conspirators, there are no notes of who the other seventy-two conspirators were.
In Egyptian mythology, Seth’s plot to overrule his brother was a gruesome one filled with betrayal. He contained the King’s measurements and had a beautifully decorated box created just for his brother and threw a festival that he invited Osiris to attend. Only Osiris and Seth’s seventy-two conspirators were invited. Osiris attended, having no evil in his heart, he never suspected his brother to want to kill him
The offering from Seth was that anyone that the box fit was theirs to keep. One at a time, they tried to fit into the beautifully crafted box, until it was Osiris’s turn. He laid in the box suspecting nothing when the lid was slammed down atop of him, the conspirators nailed it closed and Seth poured molten lead in the seam. They threw the great chest into the Nile River.
The Death of Osiris
Isis mourned once hearing of her husband’s death, she searched everywhere to find her husband’s body, believing the dead did not rest until they had a proper funeral. She searched and searched and never found his body. She questioned some children who played by the Nile River if they saw a chest floating in the River, they recalled Seth and his conspirators tossing the chest into the water
It had floated down to the sea and landed in Byblos, it had become lodged in a tamarisk bush and like magic it had become a magnificent tree, but Osiris’s box was encased inside of the giant trunk of the tree. The King of Byblos decided he would have the tree cut down and used as a pillar for his palace.
Isis’s Visit to Byblos
Isis visited Byblos and upon the Queen’s request had become a nurse to their young prince. Every night, Isis would gather logs and build a fire, she would thrust the child into the flames, then she would change into a swallow and flutter about mourning for her dead husband. The Queen couldn’t believe the stories, so she hid and witnessed her child being thrust into the fire
She screamed in horror and tried to save the child, when Isis turned on the Queen she had shown her identity. She explained that she was tempering the child to become a God, but the Queen had now made him lose his immortality. She ended up explaining why she had come to Byblos and requested to have the pillar that encased her husband. The Queen granted her wishes and she returned with the pillar to Egypt
Although, the pillar was cut open and left in Byblos, Isis took the chest inside that contained her husband and returned home. It is said that Isis and her sister, Nephyths, would turn into Kites and circled her dead husband screeching in “mournful tones.”
Isis was forced to leave to Buto and retrieve her first born, Horus, when Seth returned to Egypt to hunt. He stumbled across the giant box and was filled with rage that Osiris was found and returned that he ripped Osiris into fourteen pieces and spread him throughout Egypt.
Isis’s Quest for Osiris Continues
Isis was once again filled with grief and set out in search of the remains of her husband. It is said that every piece of his remains that she found, she would bury and build a shrine around it. Therefore, Osiris has so many tombs in Egypt.
In other legends, it is said that Isis used the “Ritual of Life” spell she was taught by Thoth to resurrect her dead husband, making him the symbol of “Immortality.” While also giving her time to become pregnant before he died again.
During Isis’ grieving and retrieval of her husband’s remains, her son has grown into an adult and her husband has been resurrected as King in the Underworld, described as having green-skin with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive Atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail.
At death, a person faced with judgment by a tribunal of forty-two divine judges. If they led a life in conformance with the precepts of the Goddess Ma’at, who represented truth, the person was welcomed into The Kingdom of Osiris. If found guilty, the person was thrown to a devourer, known as The Soul-eating Demon Ammit and did not share in eternal life.
The person who is taken by the devourer is subject first to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. There is another version were Anubis the God of the Dead, takes part in the judgment with the weighing of the scales. A person’s heart is weighed against the feather from Ma’at. If their heart is lighter they are offered paradise, but if the heart is heavier they are given the same fate as those who fail the forty-two judges.
Furthermore, legends say that one day, Osiris appears to his son, Horus, in the Land of the Living and asks him to avenge his death. Horus tracks down Seth and a war is created between the two. It is said that in the New Kingdom, Amun became the Imperial God of Egypt and that more Gods were melted into his powerful domain, including the Mighty Ra himself. Amun even tried to overrule Osiris as the God of the Underworld but due to traditional beliefs he failed. It is said that someday Osiris will return to rule the world.
May Your Stories Be Written in the Stars,
-The Cursed Author