Union of Isis and Osiris

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Aegis of Isis (Copper alloy ca. 900 – 600 B.C., Egypt)

  • On April 28, 2015 the Isis and Osiris asteroids conjunct at 6° Leo
  • Previously on March 2, 2013, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 11° Aquarius
  • In June 2011, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 12° Leo
  • In April 2009, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 13° Aquarius
  • In August 2007, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 21° Leo
  • In August 2005, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 23° Capricorn
  • In October 2003, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 0° Virgo
  • In October 2001, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 14° Capricorn
  • In December 1999, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 7° Virgo
  • In December 1997, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 18° Capricorn
  • In May 1996, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 16° Leo
  • In January 1994, Isis and Osiris were conjunct at 22° Capricorn
  • The next conjunction of the Osiris and Isis asteroids will be on January 27, 2017 at 8° Aquarius

On April 28, 2015 we experienced a union of the asteroids named Isis (#42) and Osiris (#1923).  Since their last conjunction at the beginning of March 2013, I have been working with a theory that each time the Isis and Osiris asteroids join we experience a resurrection of their archetypal themes in our lives.  In particular, I have been theorizing that their conjunction could connect on an archetypal level with the moment of myth in which Isis melds the dismembered body of Osiris back together, fashioning him a new phallus she thereby inserts inside herself in an act of sexual magic that leads to the birth of Horus.  Along these lines, there could theoretically be an impact of re-animating the Osiris archetype in our collective at the time of their conjunction.

Following their previous conjunction in March 2013, I wrote articles about the Osiris and Isis asteroids you can read here:  (1) Osiris: Alchemic Archetype, and (2)  Isis: Archetype of Love and Devotion.  My aim in this article is to return to these archetypes and explore how this new phase between the Isis and Osiris asteroids fits within our current astrological transits and chaotic current events.

Isis and Osiris in temple of Isis

Isis with her wings around Osiris, from Temple of Isis, Philae, Egypt

Some say Osiris and Isis fell in love in the womb of Nut, the Egyptian Night Sky Goddess, twin lovers who were born from the mating of Sky (Nut) and Earth (Geb).  Nut and Geb also gave birth to two other siblings, Set and Nephtys, and these four siblings grew up within epic drama.   Osiris was a fertile Nile River god who ruled as pharaoh with Isis (whose name meant “throne”) as his mate, a goddess of magic and nature.  There are different versions of their story, but common to the plots is the characterization of Set as being jealous of Osiris and hungry for his seat of power.  In some versions Set’s anger is intensified when his wife Nephtys seduces Osiris by disguising herself as Isis, giving birth to the jackal-headed Anubis from their mating.

The pivotal turn of the plot comes when Set tricks Osiris into climbing into a coffin which he then seals and sends down the Nile River in order to claim the rulership of Osiris for himself.  After Isis searches for and finds the coffin holding Osiris in a journey that contains parallels to the myth of Demeter searching for her daughter Persephone, Set steals it and cuts the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces.  Isis responds by transforming herself into a winged kite and flying to retrieve all of the missing fragments of her lover’s body except for his phallus.  While there are different versions describing how Isis restores her husband’s sex organ, including one in which Thoth retrieves it for her from a fish, in all versions Isis manages to completely reassemble and reanimate Osiris long enough to make love to him and become impregnated with their offspring Horus. Ultimately, Osiris descends to the underworld and resurrects himself as the ruler and healer of souls of the dead.

There are themes of Taurus and Scorpio in the story of Osiris and Isis, as the Venusian love of Isis (Taurus) brings her lover Osiris back from death (Scorpio), transforming his fertile earth rulership (Taurus) into the realm of Soul and Spirit (Scorpio).  Fittingly, this new conjunction between Isis and Osiris fell within the lunar cycle of a waxing Moon ripening toward a Full Moon in Scorpio in the coming days ahead.  In the polarity between the fixed, potent signs of Taurus and Scorpio we feel the full spectrum of what it means to be Soul incarnated in the flesh of our human bodies and mind.  In the week leading up to the recent conjunction between Osiris and Isis and in the week since, current events such as the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the riotous protests in Baltimore have been collective points of focus that have been both gut wrenching and heart opening.  In moments of collective trauma, especially now with the widespread access to images and information through social media, the hearts of humanity can become united to a greater extent.  This is true even in polarizing events such as the riots in Baltimore that provoke intense arguments between divergent perspectives.  The story of Isis and Osiris holds the intensity of their love that can weave together the most disparate of parts, and heal the dismembered and fractured parts of our being.  In the astrological wake of the seventh square between Pluto and Uranus, and the Libra Lunar Eclipse on April 4 that re-activated it, we have all had core emotions and issues stirred up to work through with love.

Isis by Yaroslav

Isis (2013) by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

Isis is a synthesizer of love and wisdom from our experiences, and by transit and aspect in our natal chart the Isis asteroid (#42) signifies unity, loyalty, devotion, sustaining, reassembling, resurrection, soul retrieval, healing of fragmentation, and finding wholeness of Self in relation with the Other.  Unlike her son Horus who wanted to avenge his father’s death at the hands of Set, Isis did not attempt to destroy Set but rather through love transcended their conflict, reuniting with her lover Osiris and propelling him into a deeper realm of power as the judge of the dead in the underworld.

There are many authors who have interpreted the story of Isis and Osiris through a depth psychology perspective, and in the alchemical work of Carl Jung the goddess Isis has been linked with the Prima Materia of alchemy.  As the Prima Materia is a primal, formless Source of all matter containing All, in a similar way through time Isis became a goddess who unified many goddesses from diverse cultures into herself.  At one point, she was depicted as the wife of the pharaoh with the hieroglyph for a throne on her head, but eventually became merged with the goddess Hathor as she also became a mother depicted with the cow horns and solar disk of Hathor on her head. As the figure of Osiris gained prominence, her mythic story also shifted to incorporate him, and their story became an important mystery ritual for ages. Moreover, following the traumatic invasion of Alexander the Great through the region, a figure whose conquests linked ancient teachings from Greece through Egypt, Babylonia, and India, Isis continued to synthesize and merge with other cultures, becoming associated with Aphrodite, Demeter, and many other goddesses and known as the Queen of Heaven.

The daughter of Night (Nut) and Earth (Geb), Isis has been commonly connected to the sign of Virgo in astrology.  The Virgo rulership of Mercury is interesting to ponder in association with Isis, as Mercury can move between the upper world and underworld and weave a web of connections between seemingly disparate points of focus.  Virgo also has an archetypal link with Isis through it’s polarity with Pisces, as Isis is a mythic figure who embodies the ability to integrate the detailed practical magic of Virgo with the expansive love and compassion of Pisces that flows in search of ultimate understanding.  We can also find themes of Virgo and Pisces in the form of the winged kite that Isis transforms into when searching for her dismembered beloved:

Kites have symbolic association with the underworld and psychic regeneration similar to Isis, as red kites often feed on dead animals in addition to the smaller mammals that they hunt.  In this way they provide a service to humans and their environment by helping to dispose of the dead that could otherwise rot, and they do so with a graceful flight that is an apt image for the times we can flow within the polarity between Virgo and Pisces.  Transformed into a winged kite in search of the fragmented pieces of Osiris, Isis draws upon the detailed discernment of Virgo to not only find all of him but to also magically reanimate him through a Piscean act of love.  For these reasons Isis has also been linked to both the Virgin Mary as well as Mary Magdalene and their love for Jesus, another story with strong Virgo-Pisces themes.

With the recent conjunction of Isis with Osiris occurring in Leo, we receive guidance that courage and loyalty will be of vital importance in our journey ahead, loyalty to the pursuit of our own creative actualization in the face of societal limitations and oppressive conditions.  Isis does not call for us to be perfect, but rather to embrace our flawed humanity and live from as authentic a place as possible, full of love for the life we are living and the beloved we hold dear to our hearts.

Osiris_E3751_mp3h8829-b

Osiris (circa 664 – 332 BCE) photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

The Osiris archetype involves themes of becoming, fertility, regeneration, individuation, destruction, death, and rebirth.  Aspects by transit or in the natal chart with the Osiris asteroid (#1923) can also connect to places we have been wounded by societal conditioning and where we need to explore and transform ourselves.  Approaching the archetype of Osiris brings us into our vast collective unconscious, as he has served as a nature god of fertility, a ruler of kingdoms, and the lord of the underworld who judges and heals the soul of the dead.  As Neptune is an astrological signifier of our collective unconscious, it is fascinating to note that the recent conjunctions of the Isis and Osiris asteroids have fallen conjunct either side of the nodes of Neptune.  The South Node of Neptune is around 11° of Aquarius, and the Osiris-Isis conjunction was at or near this degree in March 2013, April 2009, and will be again in January 2017.  The North Node of Neptune is around 11° Leo, and the Osiris-Isis conjunction was near this degree in June 2011 and the current conjunction this past week was about five degrees away.  In addition, with the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio being in trine to transiting Neptune in Pisces, there is a significant Neptunian potential within the recently past and freshly begun cycles between the Isis and Osiris asteroids.

A clue to what this could mean exactly is found in the book Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation, in which Dr. Thom Cavalli interpreted the Osiris story through an alchemical Jungian lens and connected Osiris to the Prima Materia just as other authors have connected Isis:

Osiris is a model of submission. He allows all the terrors that befall him to occur, just as the prima materia endures the tortures of the laboratory. Such deliberate sacrifice is meant to serve as a model for personal individuation. It justifies all the pain we daily suffer in order to transcend this world and leave it wiser and more enlightened. Submission and trust in this process allow love to enter the vessel. We are then embraced by the Mother and taken into her arms. Her only aim is that we bring something new and unique into the world. (p. 205)

Osiris has strong association with Scorpio and Taurus through gaining mastery of unconscious forces (Scorpio) that can be utilized as an inner resource (Taurus).  As Dr. Cavalli wrote, “Osiris, then, is the archetypal energy activating the unconscious so that it is not only a repository of memory, but also an incredible resource in everyday life” (p.41).  With the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio being in square to Jupiter in Leo, and the new cycle between Isis and Osiris also beginning in Leo in range of a wide square to the Scorpio Full Moon, we can viscerally feel the difficulty of our path at this time and how we can feel dismembered at times by experiences of trauma and oppressive aspects of society that can condition us if we do not consciously resist them.

Yet there is Light to lead us courageously forward on our path within our conscious ego and unconscious, if only we keep faith to find and receive it.  This golden navigating ability is found within our own darkness and shadow.  As Dr. Cavalli wrote in Embodying Osiris, “From time immemorial there have been taboos to keep one from discovering this divine inner light, for unless we are ready to receive it we will either misuse this sacred light or destroy ourselves” (p. 101).  This brings up the archetype of Scorpio the Full Moon will be illuminating in a few days, and how we can find our true authenticity through the testing of taboos and boundaries of our surrounding culture no matter the temporary shaming by others it may bring.  When our passionate Leo desires help us breakthrough the rigidity of Taurus to change and merging, we can develop our inner Scorpio capacity of how to use and merge resources with other for the greater collective benefit.  Through the Pisces surrender of transiting Neptune and the Capricorn responsibility of transiting Pluto, we can flow with the changes occurring around us while standing firm within our sense of essential nature.  We can then liberate ourselves from the aspects of societal condition that go against our authenticity, not out of action that breaks cultural taboos for the sake of rebellion only, but rather for the sake of making clear choices that align with our personal truth.

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Horus in relief block from building of Amenemhat I (ca. 1981 – 1952 B.C.) in Egypt

When we additionally bring in the figure of Horus who was born from the love between Isis and Osiris, we integrate another elemental theme:  justice.  Among other significations, justice will be an essential theme of Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius, and the complex ripples of effect that are created from choices to seek vengeance out of a sense of personal or collective justice.  As Sherman Alexie wrote in his novel Flight, “Is revenge a circle inside of a circle inside of a circle?” The more we look into the conflicts surrounding us in our collective, the more we can see perpetuating cycles of wrongs being attempted to be made right.  Horus is the child of Isis and Osiris and the restorer of justice for Osiris, focused on avenging his father through removing Set from power. In Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation, Dr. Thom Cavalli portrayed Horus as a liberator of humankind’s individuality in the face of collective conditioning, “representing the incorporation of inner values and with it, an individuation process that perfects the uncivilized shadow that dwells within each of us” (p. 185). As Osiris ultimately judged the souls of the dead in balance with the feather of Ma’at, Dr. Cavalli wrote that this desired quality of ma’a-kheru that can be translated as “true of voice” can also be applied to individuals such as Horus who come to terms with “their own heart rather than merely giving blind obedience to the state” (p. 185).

Fascinatingly, the Horus asteroid (#1924) has been transiting conjunct Venus in Gemini this week during the initiation of a new phase between the Isis and Osiris asteroids.  As transiting Venus is the ruler of the transiting North Node of the Moon in Libra, and Pluto retrograde in Capricorn is still within range of a square to the lunar nodes, there is an evolutionary potential for each of us to gain a greater sense of our true heart and voice within the societal dynamics surrounding us.  In this way whatever has been frustrating as an obstacle or limitation, or even as an oppressive source of suffering, can be seen in another way as a force demanding that we speak and embody our truth.

References

Cavalli, Thom. (2010). Embodying Osiris: the Secrets of Alchemical Transformation. Quest Books.

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Isis: Archetype of Love and Devotion

Isis by Euphoria

Isis in Astrology

Asteroid #42

  • Isis associations:  unity, love, loyalty, devotion, sustaining, synthesizing, reassembling, resurrection, alchemy, soul retrieval, healing of fragmentation, finding wholeness of Self through union with other, kundalini, sex magic,  mother of inner divinity, wholeness, and mourning protector of the dead.

  • The house and sign placement of the Isis asteroid in our birth chart, along with its aspects to other celestial bodies, shows us an area of life where we can synthesize love and wisdom from our experiences in life, open our hearts and radiate love in the world, and become devoted to a personal cause or passion.  It also can  be an area of our life where we have soul wounds or fragmented parts of our psyche in need of resurrection and healing:  her placement shows a point of focus where we can synthesize and reassemble ourselves to become more whole, as well as help retrieve and heal the fragmentation of others.

  • Isis has an archetypal affinity with Virgo in astrology, and integrates Pisces through the polarity.

  • The Isis asteroid was discovered on May 23, 1856 in Oxford, United Kingdom.

  • There was a grand Air trine in the chart with Chiron in Aquarius at 6 degrees, the Sun at 3 degrees Gemini, and Mars at 4 degrees Libra.

  • Neptune was in Pisces at 21 degrees in sextile to Venus conjunct Uranus in Taurus (Venus at 18 degrees and Uranus at 22 degrees).  According to one estimated time of discovery I saw, Pisces Neptune would also be in sextile to the Moon in Capricorn, which in turn would be trine to Venus-Uranus in Taurus.

  • Jupiter was in Aries opposite to Mars in Libra at 4 degrees.

  • Mercury was in balsamic conjunction to Saturn in Gemini, at 26 and 30 degrees.

  • Pluto was in Taurus at 5 degrees in square to Chiron in Aquarius.

  • The Moon was in Capricorn and depending upon the estimated time of discovery, may have been square its own nodal axis with the North Node at 24 degrees Aries and the South Node at 24 degrees Libra.

Isis in astrology is the synthesizer and the server of love and devotion.  She is the connection between everything in our world, no matter how disparate on the surface:  Isis is Love, the quality of our consciousness that proves we are all connected, just like the stars above us, the minerals of our Earth below us, and our neurons and other cells inside us.  It is through love that we can feel the emotions of loved ones in lands at great distance away from us, through love that we can sense communication from loved ones who are no longer in a body and are now in the astral realm or heaven, however you want to describe it.  There is an Isis asteroid you can find in your chart through searching for asteroid #42,  and it currently is going through a significant transit of being conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces.

Isis weaves the web of love through times of trauma and dismemberment of our parts, our physical body parts and our etheric soul fragments, in order to bring about an eventual healing and retrieval of our full Self.  In the United States, we are in the midst of a tragedy of dismembered limbs through a bomb explosion in Boston that has opened our hearts on a collective level at this time.  We can feel the presence of Isis through this tragedy if our heart opens with compassion for the victims and loved ones of the victims, as well as the rest of humanity around our planet for whom the terrors of sudden explosions is a more regular occurrence.  It is this heart opening we can experience in times of collective trauma that can shatter the crystallized emotional patterns that may have been repressing our expression of love in the world around us- if only for a temporary moment.  It is up to us to sustain this heart opening and continue to radiate love around us, and Isis is an archetypal figures who embodies the resurrection of our love and devotion.  The Isis asteroid being conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces during this past week of incredibly traumatic events here in the United States reflects the intensity of the times and the need for healing.

Isis is the embodiment of loyalty and faith.  Isis is magic.  In ancient myth, Isis gained power over Ra through learning his secret name, and this mythic detail reflects the ancient use of Isis in magical rituals and the use of hidden names in magic spells.  Similarly, Alan Oken and others have written about Isis having two forms: a veiled, and an unveiled.  In the veiled, she is more attached to the illusion of emotion and desire in the astral realm, while in the unveiled she has knowledge of the hidden truth.  This means in her “veiled” form, she reflects the potential to become overly influenced by our emotional reactions to events, causing our perception of life to be guided more by past emotional imprints and wounds- such as a difficult childhood leading us to automatically mistrust.  As a result we really are not perceiving events and people accurately, and the truth indeed remains “hidden.”   It is through awareness of how we have been conditioned and imprinted by external influences on our Personality, and through heart opening connect more with our Soul at our center, that we can access the more positive qualities that Isis represents.

Isis is the daughter of Geb (Earth God) and Nut (Night Goddess) so is truly the daughter of Night and darkness.  Madame Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled called her a “symbol of nature” (p.7), and Thom Cavalli in Embodying Osiris described her mercy toward Set, the murderer of her beloved Osiris, as a reflection of “her role as Mother Nature [in which] she allows all things, whether they stimulate growth or bring decay, to exist” (p.250). Isis, like the other great Goddesses and Great Mothers of myth, is compelling in part because of how whole she is in depiction: she is not all idealized perfect transcendent goodness, but instead is equal part shadow.  Indeed, it is because of her shadow that she is able to achieve true transcendence that integrates the higher and lower parts of Self, transcending through inclusion and integration.  Marie Louis von Franz is one of many explorers of the psyche who have written about the numinous quality of Isis:

She always does what has to be done.  She does the negative thing in order to dissolve consciousness, then the positive thing in order to bring forth the process of individuation.  As the destructive and at the same time redeeming Great Mother she is everywhere.  She is the feminine principle which furthers the inner transformation.

–Marie Louise von Franz (p. 204), The Golden Ass of Apuleius:  The Liberation of the Feminine in Man

Isis was the oldest of four siblings of Nut and Geb, siblings who cultivated great intrigue amongst themselves.  The four siblings not only married one another, but became involved in distorted love triangles:  Isis married her brother Osiris, her sister Nephthys married her brother Set, and in some versions her sister Nephthys seduces Osiris through disguising herself as Isis and becomes impregnated with his offspring Annubis, prompting her brother Set to trap Osiris into a coffin and send him down the Nile River.  After Isis manages to find Osiris, an angry Set then murders Osiris, and dismembers his body into 14 pieces.  Isis then transforms herself into a bird, specifically a kite, and searches for the missing 14 dismembered pieces of the body of Osiris, retrieving all of them save one.  Unable to find his phallus, in one version of the myth it is found by Thoth inside a fish in the Nile River.

After gathering the dismembered pieces of Osiris together, Isis resurrects Osiris through magic, and in the reanimation, makes love to him and becomes impregnated with the divine Horus.  Thom Cavalli in Embodying Osiris interprets the inability of Isis to find the penis of Osiris through the Jungian perspective that “her search for her husband and gathering up of his body represents her need to incorporate her own masculine self, the animus, in order to achieve union and wholeness”  (p.141).  Since Thoth is connected to the Mercury archetype, Cavalli also notes that his acting as an intermediary for Isis “is very alchemical since mercury, friend to all metals, acts as a catalyst in joining ‘unsociable’ substances” (p. 141).  This use of Thoth, a Mercury figure, in the myth by Isis goes along with her association with the sign of Virgo, ruled by Mercury in mundane astrology.

In her search for Osiris, Isis undergoes some trials which mirror the myth of Ceres/Demeter in her search for Persephone, such as being taken into a palace disguised as an old woman in order to take care of a royal infant.  Just as Demeter, taken in by the King and Queen of Eleusis, attempts to make their son immortal by holding him in a fire, Isis also attempts to make the son of her royal hosts immortal by placing him in a fire.  When the Queen interferes with the magical process of Isis, Isis just like Demeter becomes infuriated with her host Queen for preventing the transformation of the child into a divine being.  This parallel to Demeter is another of the many reasons why Isis has become associated with the sign of Virgo.  Indeed, ancient writers such as Apuleius in the 2nd century CE described Isis as having a manifestation as the goddess Ceres, and a title of “Caelestis” or “Celestial” developed linking several godesses such as Isis with a supreme Heavenly Goddess that was also connected to the constellation of Virgo¹.

The trauma that both Ceres and Isis experience in their search for their lost beloved ones has a resonance with Virgo through the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm of Virgo integrating and accessing its polarity of Pisces through crises.  It sometimes takes the gut wrenching shattering of our hearts through trauma or cataclysmic events to open up parts of our Soul or Self that we have locked up tightly in frozen emotional holding patterns.  Through the heart opening from tragedy, we can in the end more fully connect with Spirit (Pisces) in the moment, integrating God or Goddess into our daily life and work (Virgo).  This is the higher potential we can find in the disturbing times we find ourselves in today, with mass explosions dominating our current events. The archetype of Isis can help us reassemble ourselves into a more authentic whole as a result of reliving traumatic events or having our hearts opened through compassionate witnessing of the pain of others- we can retrieve fragmented parts of our psyche we had previously repressed due to the pain they carry, so that even though the experience can be incredibly terrifying, we can ultimately achieve greater strength and wholeness from having gone through it, and reintegrating parts of ourselves we had previously lost.  In this way Isis reflects our ability to synthesize knowledge from even our most difficult experiences in order to expand our consciousness and connect more strongly with our core Self and sense of connection with Spirit / Source / Goddess / God.

Isis wall painting

Love and Devotion

  • Isis connects with Virgo in Esoteric Astrology in part through the symbolism of the Moon being the esoteric ruler of Virgo.  She is a Great Mother archetype that connects with Ceres as the symbol of Virgo.  She became a divine mother of Horus similar to how Mary gives birth to Jesus.

  • Isis integrates Pisces through polarity and in part through Esoteric Astrology, in which Pisces is ruled by Pluto and associated with the death of duality.  Isis evokes unconditional love and faith that transcends, transmutes, and transforms beyond duality. She is reached on our Soul level through the death of our forms tied to duality.

  • 2nd Ray in Esoteric Astrology (Virgo, Pisces, Gemini):  The Ray of Love and Wisdom

  • 6th Ray in Esoteric Astrology (Virgo, Pisces, Sagitarius):  The Ray of Devotion and Idealism

Isis is a powerful archetype to perceive through the soul-centered lens of Esoteric Astrology.   In my opinion, reflecting upon the nature of Isis as an archetype is a helpful way to synthesize the connection in Esoteric Astrology between the sign of Virgo with its esoteric ruler the Moon, and its rays of manifestation being the second and the sixth.  In Soul Centered Astrology: A Key to Your Expanding Self, Alan Oken explains the link in the Ancient Wisdom teachings between Virgo and Isis:

The Ancient Wisdom Teachings tell us that the name Virgo is a corruption of an Atlantean name that was applied to the Mother Principle.  Lilith, the dark moon of astrology, was the name of the last Virgin Goddess of Atlantis.  There are three other names for the Virgin that we should examine, as they will reveal more about the esoteric nature of this sign:  Eve, Isis, and Mary.

Eve is the symbol of the mental nature of humanity, and represents the desire for knowledge.  She symbolizes the eating of “the fruit of the tree,” or the information gained by the Soul from physical incarnation.  Isis has two forms:  veiled and unveiled.  She also represents the gathering of such information, but her domain is the realm of the emotions.  The veil of Isis has to do with the illusions of the astral plane, while the unveiling of the Goddess reveals the perception of hidden truth.  The root of the name Mary is very ancient.  It is constantly associated with water, whether it is from the Sanskrit root maya, the Hebrew mayam, or the Latin mare.  Mary is the maternal matrix of form, originating in the sea.  It is from the physical body of Mary that the “Heavenly Fish” was born, Jesus, the Anointed Savior of the Age of Pisces.  Virgo, in her three aspects of mind, emotion, and body, represents the synthetic qualities of the Mother Principle, which is blending the proper nutrients for her unborn offspring; she is always gathering in the proper information for the growth of the Soul  (p. 194).

Although Esoteric Astrology relies on an intuitive perception that is vastly different than a rationalistic science perception, the Moon being the ruler of Virgo, so that the Moon is the ruler of the sign of the Goddess, fits well with science since life on our planet and the development of humanity would not have occurred without the orbital influence of our Moon and its effect on tides and other earthly phenomenon.  As a result we can feel the connection of the Moon with Virgo Goddesses such as Ceres, Mary, and Isis, and how these Mother figures on an astrological level could help us digest and synthesize our experiences in order to provide nourishment to our Soul within.  In this way Isis represents the synthesizing of our emotions and desires within the archetype of Virgo and the Mother Principle, and is why she has a strong link to the second and sixth rays of Estoeric Astrology:  Love and Wisdom, and Devotion and Idealism.

In Esoteric Astrology, the seven rays relate to our human ability to cultivate Soul-consciousness, self-actualize and individuate, and accept responsibility for our lives and our ability to co-create not only our own destiny, but our collective destiny.  However, in order for us to develop this ability means that we need to move beyond our attachment to our ego and our Personality-focused consciousness.  When we are more wrapped up inside the confines of the Personality we believe ourselves to be and perceive life through, we diminish our ability to take responsibility for our lives and make ourselves more likely to have a fatalistic feeling about the events of our lives.  Alan Oken in Soul Centered Astrology makes the distinction that when we are Personality-centered, we are more attached to the “forms and effects of manifestation,” whereas a Soul-centered individual focuses on “the relationship between cause and effect” in our life:

Yet the distinction has to be made that personality-centered people- the vast majority of people in the world- identify themselves with the materialization of events and attach themselves to the forms and effects of manifestation.  The Soul-centered identify themselves much more with the relationship between cause and effect, and respond to the quality aspect or consciousness inherent in manifestation . . .

The Seven Rays are the basic building energies of manifestation and are the keynotes of this relationship between cause and effect.  (p.96)

I am only beginning to come to a greater comprehension of this material, but at this stage of my understanding these Wisdom teachings remind me of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and the importance of becoming more self-aware of our thoughts, the causes and effects of our thoughts, where our thoughts take root from, how we are imprinted by past experiences, and how we cause our own suffering through perceiving events through this ego personality bonded to our past conditioning and imprinting.  I have heard Alan Oken teach about the spiritual importance of the objectification of our ego, how objectifying our consciousness can help us become aware of our illusions, overcome fears, and gain the power of mind over matter in the process.

The  connection between Isis and the 2nd Ray is evidently powerful as Isis has been connected with the star Sirius since ancient times, and in Esoteric Astrology the star Sirius is also connected with the 2nd Ray.  Alan Oken describes “the two primary stellar vehicles for the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom” as the Sun (representing the “Heart of this Great One”) and the star Sirius (p. 97).  As a result, Oken explains that all of the Seven Rays “function in our solar system through the Second Ray, making It and the quality of Its energy of Love/Wisdom the most vital to us . . . ”

Love and the Wisdom which leads and proceeds from Love are the primary qualities of consciousness in our solar system, and hence, of life here on Earth.

–Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology, p.97

For me, visualizing the mythic figure of Isis is a helpful way to grasp some of the significance of the second ray and how Love/Wisdom connects all of life.  Oken states that Virgo is the “controlling factor” and the “primary sign of the Second Ray” in part because it is not dualistic like the other signs of the Second Ray, Pisces and Gemini, but instead is “multiplistic” since as the Mother it is the “birther of all forms” (p. 108).  When we face challenging events, Isis helps us integrate the Pisces polarity of Virgo through our experience, since Pluto rules Pisces in Esoteric Astrology, carrying with it a Shiva energy of destruction that can be painful, but also brings the potential to destroy our attachment to material forms.  Pisces and its esoteric ruler Pluto can help us transcend the suffering our ego personalities cause us through the death of our duality perception that our personality is separate from our soul.  Alan Oken teaches that when we lose attachment to form, we can use form for the purpose of our Soul. When we consider the resurrective power of Isis in her myths, she is a powerful Goddess to visualize having control of the 2nd Ray:

Love is that matrix, that Mother Force, which births those forms that house the essential spirit of Life.  Love is the healing dynamic which, through its cohesivemenss, eventuates the process of evolution into greater and more highly evolved wholes.  Love and the energy of the Second Ray unites, binds, and holds all of the manifestations of Creation together.  (Oken, p. 107)

The fact the astrological signs related to the Second Ray are all mutable reflects their ability to find connections between everything, but at the same time it also provides the challenge for people with a strong Second Ray, since most of us perceive through personality-consciousness more so than soul-consciousness.  Because the Second Ray has a universal urge for unity and embracing everything, people with a strong Second Ray can lose a sense of their own center, stability, and focus at times, becoming influenced by the people surrounding them that they are connecting with through their energy of love.  In contrast, if a Second Ray person begins to emphasize the Wisdom side more so than the Love side, Alan Oken explains there is the additional challenge that they can become aloof, and “may appear indifferent to others and lacking in the compassion that is at the very heart of this Ray’s life quality” (p. 109).  Isis as an archetype in our chart could fall prey to similar challenges when we are focused on the daily challenges to our personality from our environment, losing touch with our centered and loving Goddess inside.

Isis as an archetype like the Second Ray is highly magnetic in nature, and has also been linked by many to kundalini and sex magic, probably due at least in part to the section of the Osiris myth in which Isis is able to not only reanimate his corpse, but make love to him and become impregnated.  In  The Magdalen Manuscript by Tom Kenyon and Judy Sion, the link between Isis and sexual magic is shown through the voice of Mary Magdalene, portrayed as a High Initiate of Isis who practiced sacred sexuality with her lover, Jesus.  In this manner, the sexual act becomes a way to merge and expand consciousness with one’s lover in a way that transforms our previous form:

The Sexual Magic of Isis has to do with the innate ability of the feminine being to utilize magnetic energies to open deeper levels of consciousness through the act of surrendering to the sexual energies and pathways that are opened . . .

Two Initiates engaged in the Sexual Magic of Isis can strengthen themselves and rapidly expand their consciousness through the power of this magnetic field.

The Magdalen Manuscript, p. 37

Mary Magdalene has been linked as being some sort of High Initiate of Isis by many writers, and whether or not you believe the validity of this, what is valid is the link between discipleship and Isis.  This is because to fully integrate Isis calls for a practice of discipleship, and connects to her association with the Sixth Ray, the Ray of Devotion and Idealism.

Just as Isis in the myth has an obsessive focus upon finding Osiris and making him whole again, she connects with the 6th Ray in Esoteric Astrology through her intense devotion to her ideal of healing Osiris.  On the Soul level, the 6th Ray brings the “urge to transform selfish and personal motivation into selfless, impersonal devotion for the good of all,” while on the Personality level it can reflect the negative potential to become fanatic, dogmatic, and exclusive to others from a perspective of having a more enlightened belief system (Oken, p. 133).  Reaching the 6th Ray on more of a soul level helps us avoid being exclusive to others, but instead “reorient the exclusive to the inclusive for the greater expression of Love/Wisdom” (Oken, p. 133).  Alan Oken gives the example of Saint Francis of Assisi as a figure who was able to utilize “Spiritual Will . . . in an individualistic way for the good of the collective” (Oken, p. 131).  Saint Francis is particularly interesting in this 6th Ray context, since he grew up in the time of the crusades, a 6th Ray war of fanaticism, and took part in the crusades as a young man before dissolving his identity in his process of finding his connection with God.  Saint Francis became a disciple of the teachings of Jesus Christ, used Will and discipline to become a spiritual warrior focused upon being inclusive within the collective rather than exclusive.  His ability to synthesize his religious beliefs with his love of nature, his openness to forming community and supporting women in taking leadership roles in his church, and his indomitable spirit that refused to back down to status quo authorities of the church, makes him a strong example of the higher use of the 6th Ray that Isis also embodies.

I believe Isis also embodies this same 6th Ray focus of the Higher Self on inclusion rather than exclusion.  If we look at the mythstory and history of her transformation through myth across time, we can see that the figure of Isis continued to transform in a manner that would be more inclusive to other regions and religions of the world around her- first on a local level within Egypt, and then on a wider level beyond the boundaries of Egypt.  At one point, she was depicted as the wife of the pharaoh, but eventually became merged with the goddess Hathor as she also became the mother.  This is why in later depictions she has the cow horns and solar disk of Hathor on her head.  In earlier depictions she often had the hieroglyphic sign for a throne on her head, since she was involved with the seat of the ruler.  As the figure of Osiris became more and more important, her mythic story also shifted to incorporate him, and their story became an important mystery ritual for ages.  It is also interesting that following the terror and trauma of the invasion of Alexander the Great through the region, a figure who through his conquests served to synthesize and link ancient teachings from Greece through Egypt, Babylonia, and India, Isis continued to synthesize and merge with other cultures, becoming linked with Aphrodite, Ceres/Demeter, and many other important Goddesses.  Even today in modern times, Isis still is very visible and synthesizes many ancient wisdom concepts for people around the world from different backgrounds.

Therefore, we can look to the placement of the Isis asteroid #42 in our birth chart to see a place where we can synthesize love and wisdom from our experiences in life, open our hearts and express love and wisdom in the areas of life associated with its placement by house, sign, and aspects to other planets.  The house, sign, and aspects of the Isis asteroid can also show us an area of life where we can become idealistic and devoted to a personal cause or passion.  Since most of us are not already soul-centered individuals, however, we also must heed the warnings of challenges that personality-centered individuals face through the 2nd and 6th Ray.  This same area of our birth chart involving the Isis asteroid could thus show us where we could have illusionary perceptions stemming from misguided emotions and desires, where we could potentially lose our own sense of center through finding connection with others, where we could become overly focused on developing wisdom for ourselves rather than personal connection with others, and where we could become blindly devoted to a personal cause, losing ourselves in hero worship, exclusivity, prejudice, or fanaticism.

In my personal chart, I happen to have just experienced an Isis return as I am writing this, as I have Isis in Pisces in my 10th House conjunct my Mid-heaven and my Mercury.  I also have Isis square my Gemini Moon in my 12th house and the nodal axis of my Moon.  Without going into personal detail, I have certainly faced my own challenges of the mutable cross associated with issues such as becoming lost in the illusions of my own emotional perceptions, but as I have grown, become more self-aware, and taken greater responsibility for myself, I have ended up in situations where I have had to synthesize my understanding in a public, 10th house manner.  For example, I have been teaching about some of these same concepts with young adults who have come from traumatic backgrounds, and so I have had the opportunity to teach the same lessons I have had to learn and continue to learn, in order to help bring about healing and self-actualization for my students.  In addition, just the act of researching and writing this piece about Isis for my blog, using my Mercury function to synthesize my own understanding of various research leads I have followed, has been a great catalyst to help connect me more strongly with the whole of my core Self.

Finally, we can look to the placement of Isis in our charts as a point of focus through which we can heal the fragmentation of our own soul, as well as help retrieve and heal the fragmentation of the souls of others.  The bottom line of this ability sources from Love, pure and simple- the consciousness of love and an open heart that is the connective tissue between everything, including all of our own disparate mental and emotional pieces that feel like they are lost on the floor like puzzle pieces at times.  I realize this makes Isis sound somewhat like Chiron in astrology, but I believe Isis functions more explicitly through love and is more about a healing of our wholeness through a death and resurrection process than Chiron.  Working with Isis can involve a deep process that involves a death of current emotional or mental patterns in order to retrieve and heal our fragmented parts.  In my own chart, for example, with Isis in Pisces in my 10th house conjunct my Pisces Midheaven and Pisces Mercury at the very end of my 9th House, I have ultimately become a teacher in a public role.  However, I grew up incredibly shy with a speech impediment to which I responded by barely talking to anyone, and certainly never in public.  One of the first ways I was able to get in touch with my voice was through my writing, using the combination of my Isis, Mercury, and Midheaven in that way, and placing myself out in public first through my writing, rather than my speaking.  This experience was still intense for me, even through my writing, but ultimately I have been gradually returning to my whole self in my public speaking.

The esoteric link between the Moon and Virgo, and so between the Moon and Isis, will be highlighted this week with an intense Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on April 25, 2013.  Eclipses are another example of the human ability to synthesize understanding from events:  the almost incomprehensible symmetry that the size of the Moon and its orbit could create the visual effect of Eclipses on our planet helped ancient astrologers discover the nodal axis that has helped so many modern astrologers help heal fellow human beings today.  As we head into the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse of April 25 this week, and an intense eclipse season of May, it will be more difficult as it always is during eclipse season to assert our own Will into the world around us from an ego-personality perspective.  Hopefully, the figure of Isis can be of service to you in your ability to merge your Will with Higher Will, and connect with your Higher Self and Love consciousness.  These upcoming times of the May 2013 eclipse season are likely to be intense- if we can embody the love and devotion of Isis and face whatever happens with an open heart that is open to whatever experience comes our way and whatever feelings, no matter how painful, well up from within, we can ultimately cultivate greater healing for ourselves through reassembling our emotional being into a more complete whole, synthesizing greater wisdom and an expansion of our love-consciousness in the process.

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References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis

Blavatsky, Helena (1972). Isis Unveiled: Secrets of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition, Madame Blavatsky’s First Work.  Abridged by Michael Gomes.

Cavalli, T. (2010) Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation. Quest.

Kenyon, T and Sion, J. (2002) The Magdalen Manuscript: The Alchemies of Horus & The Sex Magic of Isis. Orb.

Oken, Alan. (1990). Soul Centered Astrology:  A Key to Your Expanding Self. Ibis.

von Franz, Marie-Louise. (1992). The Golden Ass of Apuleius:  The Liberation of the Feminine in Man. Shambhala.

  1. ^ Plutarch, translated by Frank Cole Babbitt, Isis and Osiris, 1936, vol. 5 Loeb Classical Library
  2. ^ ApuleiusMetamorphoses 11.2.