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Your Questions About Isis And Osiris

Miniature sculptures of Isis, Osiris and Horus on a pendant.

Lizzie asks…

How does the myth of Isis/Osiris compare to the myth of Ishtar/Tammuz?

What is the myth of Isis/Osiris, than compare it to the myth of Ishtar/ Tammuz?

Animal Deities answers:

Osiris was an earthly ruler, who was popular with his subjects. His brother, Set, was jealous of this popularity and plotted against Osiris. Set’s plans to be rid of his brother started when he secretly obtained his brothers measurements and had a magnificent casket made to fit. This casket was in the form of a human shaped box. Set then organised a large feast to which Osiris and a number of others (usually given as 72) were invited.

At the height of the festivities Set produced the casket and announced that it would be given to whoever it fitted. All the guests tried the casket for size, but none fitted until finally Osiris stepped into the casket. Set immediately slammed the lid closed and sealed the casket shut (with molten lead). The sealed coffin was then thrown into the Nile. Isis was devastated at the loss of her husband and searched for the casket throughout Egypt and then overseas. She eventually eventually found it where it had come to rest in the roots of a massive tree.

Isis then returned the coffin to Egypt for a proper burial. For safe keeping she concealed it in the marshes beside the Nile. Unfortunately for Isis Set found the casket while out hunting and was so enraged he chopped the body of Osiris into pieces, and scattered the parts throughout the land of Egypt. Poor Isis had to then set out again looking for the parts of her husband. Eventually she found all the parts except one and reassembled Osiris and wrapped him in bandages.

In some accounts Isis breathed life back into Osirisbody and it was then that Horus was conceived. This was a more magical event that it seems, considering the one part of Osiris Isis couldn’t find. The young Horus then went out to battle his uncle Set and to avenge his fathers death. After a series of fights detailed in ‘The contendings of Horus and Set’ neither god was able to secure an overall victory. Ultimately Osiris was declared king of the underworld,Horus king of the living, and Set ruler of the deserts as the god of chaos and evil.
Http://www.akhet.co.uk/isisosir.htm

Ishtar is Queen of Heaven, and Tammuz is the Golden God, the Vegetation King. Tammuz dies and descends into the underworld. All Nature mourns his death, and without Tammuz, everything withers, the land dries up. Ishtar, too, is grief-stricken. She vows to rescue Tammuz from the Queen of the underworld, whatever the danger. To descend, she must surrender her adornments (and power), which she does for Tammuz’ sake. She rescues Her Beloved, and reclaims Her adornments as They rise to the upper world. But there is a price for Their release. Each year He must return to the Underworld, and Ishtar must repeat her sacrifice.
Http://paganinstitute.org/T/ishtar.html

Note: Both Isis and Ishta loved their husband dearly, when Osiris and Tammuz died, each wife had to find ways to “resurrect” their husbands, eventually both succeded in bringing back their husband back to life, however, each became a King of the Underworld.

Joseph asks…

In the egyption myth, “Isis, Osiris and Horus” who would be considered the “Hero”, Osiris or Horus?

I think that both Osiris and Horus are both heroes, but only one truly fits the defination of a hero. Not sure which one.

Animal Deities answers:

There is no Hero. There is Isis. The heroine who brought everything back together . .. Literally

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