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Isis giving milk, Musée du Louvre, photo by Rama via Wikipedia

Isis was the central goddess of ancient Egypt, wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.

Her cult spread throughout the ancient Greek and Roman world, where she was linked with many mystery cults that were popular at the time.

In sculpture she’s often seen suckling the infant Horus. From this, Isis is regularly (and arguably wrongly) equated with the Virgin Mary and Kwan Yin by writers like Joseph Campbell and others who believe it’s valid to lump together different mythic beings on the basis of a few similarities in artistic representation. (In this case what’s similar is a woman suckling an infant, which is hardly unique considering many women have done this through the ages after having a baby).

Some feminist and New Age writers also subsume the different figures of Isis, Mary and Kwan Yin into a general idea of The Goddess.

In the Star Trek mythos, Isis is the name of a telepathic black cat and female partner of a time traveler, Gary Seven, who travels to 20th century Earth to prevent nuclear war.¹

¹ For more on this, see

Related Posts » Death and Resurrection, Dismemberment, Goddess vs. goddess, Great Mother, Juvenal, Osiris, Theosophy


  1. Isis is equated with Mary by many, as depictions of Mary with the child Jesus was certainly designed after those of Isis suckling Horus, (see Wallis Budge “The Gods of the Egyptians”, v.2, among others) were adapted to Christian intent. As well a great many early and medieval churches as far west as Britain and north as Finland were reconstructed temples originally dedicated to Isis and containing one or more statues of her with or without the child Jesus. Thus, the so-called “Black Madonna” is often a converted icon of Isis, who is a Black goddess, and some of these remain in European and middle eastern churches even today (see the descriptions in the various Pyramid Texts and the Book of Coming Forth By Day, as well as a great many commentaries by archaeologists and religious writers. It is also worth noting that the Greek and Roman mysteries were based upon the much older Mysteries of Isis.


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