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Winged Isis

 




Prayers & Hymns to Isis / Auset:


Lucius' Prayer of Thanks:

Most holy and everlasting, blessed Lady, Redeemer and perpetual comfort of human kind, who by Your bounty and grace nourish all the world, cherish our lives, and bestow the consoling smiles of a Mother with great affection upon our trials and tribulations. As a loving Mother You take no rest. There is no day or night, not so much as a moment, that is not filled by Your mercy succoring all men and women. On land as well as at sea, You are She who chases away all storms and dangers from our lives by Your right hand. Likewise You restrain the fatal dispositions, appease the great tempests of fortune and keep back the course of the stars. The Gods supernal do honour You. The Gods of the earth hold You in reverence. You rotate the globe. You give light to the Sun. You govern the world in time and space. You tread down the powers of Hades. By You the seasons return, the Planets rejoice, the Elements serve. At Your command the winds do blow, the clouds do gather, the seeds prosper, and the fruits prevail. The birds of the air, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fish of the sea, do tremble at Your majesty. O but my spirit is not able to give You sufficient praise, nor have I the means to offer You acceptable sacrifice. My voice has no power to utter what I think of You. Not if I had a thousand mouths and so many tongues, not in an eternal flow of unwearied declaration could I affirm it. Howbeit, poor as I am, I shall do as a good religious person, and according to my means, I shall always keep a remembrance of Your countenance deep within my breast, and there in the secret depths of my souls shall I keep divinity forever guarded.

Lucius Apuleius, The Golden Ass 11.25.



Prayer to Isis

O Isis, who dwells in Paraetonium and the genial fields of Canopus, in Memphis and palm-rich Pharos, and where the broad Nile swiftly disgorges into the salty sea through seven mouths, may Osiris always love your pious rites, may the serpent ever glide slowly nearby to bless Your altar gifts, and the horned Apis ever walk beside You in procession. Come hither, by a mere expression of Your eyes summon, and in one motion save us both, for You will grant life to my lady, and she to me. Often has she seated herself to worship You on the appointed days and had the eunuch priests purify her with Nile waters dripping from boughs of laurel.

Ovid Amores 2.13.7-18



Aretalogy of Isis ~ found at Cyme

I am Isis, the mistress of every land, and I was taught by Hermes, and with Hermes I devised letter, both the sacred and the demotic, that all might not be written with the same letters:

I gave and ordained laws for all men and women, which no one is able to change. I am the eldest daughter of Kronos. I am the wife and sister of King Osiris. I am She who findeth fruit for men and women I am the Mother of King Horus. I am She that riseth in the Dog Star. I am she that is called goddess by women. For me was the city of Bubastis built. I divided the earth from the heavens. I showed the paths of the stars. I ordered the course of the sun and moon. I devised business in the sea. I made strong the right. I brought together man and woman. I appointed women to bring their infants to birth in the tenth lunar month. I ordained that parents should be loved by children. I laid punishment upon those disposed without natural affection towards their parents. I made with my brother Osiris an end to the eating of human flesh. I revealed mysteries unto men. I taught men and women to honor the images of the gods. I consecrated the precincts of the gods. I broke down the governments of tyrants. I made an end to murders. I compelled women to be loved by men. I made the right to be stronger than gold and silver. I ordained that the true should be thought good. I devised marriage contracts. I assigned to Greeks and to barbarians their languages. I made the beautiful and the shameful to be distinguished by nature. I ordained that nothing should be more feared than an oath. I have delivered the plotter of evil against other men into the hands of the one he plotted against. I established penalties for those who practice injustice. I decree mercy to suppliants. I protect and honor righteous guards. With me the right prevails.

I am the Queen of rivers and winds and sea. No one is held in honor without my knowing it. I am Queen of War. I am Queen of the Thunderbolt. I stir up the sea and I calm it once again. I am in the rays of the sun. Whatever I please, this too shall come to an end. With me everything is reasonable. I set free those in bonds. I am the Queen of seamanship. I make the navigable unnavigable when it pleases me. I create walls for cities. I am called the Lawgiver. I brought up islands out of the depths into the light. I am Lord of Rainstorms. I overcome Fate. Fate hearkens to me. Hail, O Egypt, that nourished me!

translated by Fredrick C. Grant



Hymn to Isis

'O wealth-giver, Queen of the gods, Hermouthis, Lady,
Omnipotent Agathe Tyche, greatly renowned Isis,
Dea, highest Discoverer of all life,
Manifold miracles were Your care that You might bring livelihood to mankind and morality to all;
(and) You taught customs that justice might in some measure prevail;
You gave skills that menís life might be comfortable,
and You discovered the blossoms that produce edible vegetation.
Because of You heaven and the whole earth have their being;
And the gusts of the winds and the sun with its sweet light.
By Your power the channels of Nile are filled, every one,
At the harvest season and its most turbulent water is poured
On the whole land that produce may be unfailing.
All mortals who live on the boundless earth
Thracians, Greeks and Barbarians,
Express Your fair Name, a Name greatly honored among all, (but)
Each (speaks) in his own language, in his own land.
The Syrians call You, Astarte, Artemis, Nanaia,
The Lycian tribes call You: Leto, the Lady,
The Thracians also name You as Mother of the gods,
And the Greeks (call You) Hera of the great throne, Aphrodite,
Hestia the goodly, Rhea and Demeter.
But the Egyptians call You Thiouis (because they know) that You,
being One, are all Other goddesses invoked by the races of men.
Mighty One, I shall not cease to sing of Your great Power,
Deathless Savior, many-named , mightiest Isis,
Saving from war, cities and all their citizens:
Men, their wives, possessions, and children.
As many as are bound fast in prison, in the power of death,
As many as are in pain through long, anguished, sleepless nights,
All who are wanderers in a foreign land,
And as many as sail on the Great Sea in winter
When men may be destroyed and their ships wrecked and sunk.
All (these) are saved if they pray that You be present to help.
Hear my prayers, O One Whose Name has great Power;
Prove Yourself merciful to me and free me from all distress!

Isidorus, 1st century BCE


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