Meeting Isis

 
  
Now for something different. Normally I have posted my own thoughts here on matters of Isis, Mary, religion, and what not. I have made some exceptions however when I have posted poetry or some other writings that I have thought to be interesting or beautiful. That is what I am doing now. This is a message regarding Isis posted by a woman who is a member of the “Temple of Isis yahoo group.”  The link is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Temple_ofisis/
It is sort of a testimonial of her spiritual past, how she met Isis and of her ongoing relationship with her. I thought that it was well worth reading and want to share it.
 
Glenn
 
 
 
Hello all!  For myself, here are several reasons I do not post. The first being I am relatively new to working with Isis so I don’t really feel qualified to post anything. I did post on one list about my spiritual history and how amazing it has been since I discovered Isis and got dead air and in fact, the owner wrote about a month later and was extremely critical of anyone writing about how great their life has been with Isis! I joined so many Isis lists when I became connected to Her I forget which one it was, but lets say that sort of dampened any future desires to share on any list. 

 
Secondly, I’m not sure where I fit in on the Isis spectrum.  I have been Asatru-Norse Pagan for 20 years.  I was a hard polytheist and extremely devoted to that pantheon. I practiced Seidhr-Nordic type shamanism for about 5 years.  About a year ago I got into Plant Spirit Shamanism which led me-for the first time- to work outside of the Northern European pantheon, but Gran Bwa’s presence was undeniable.  So, being the ‘green man’ to me anyway I started incorporating him into my work (I am an aromatherapist and have a physical shop that sells natural things-so it fits).  I had disconnected form all the Asatru lists many years ago because I found them to be combative and more concerned with minutae than actual spiritual connections. 
 
Anyway, about 9 months ago in a meditation/shamanic journey whatever you want to call it, I found myself in a completely different area of the other realms and saw “God’ who said she was Isis-the first mother, the creator of all, all beings are Her and She is all things.  (Of course, this is my perception and not one other person has to agree with it so I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything.)  Needless to say, this completely rocked my hard polytheistic, Asatru soul!! But, it was undeniable and the incredibly deep peace I felt in Her presence was proof enough for me.  So, instead of clinging to a spiritual system I was very versed in scholastically and spiritually I let it go and followed this new path. It was difficult at first trying to understand all the information I was getting but I feel I have assimilated it into a cohesive system for myself.  I read deTraci Regula’s book and Isidora Forrest’s books and I have some more Egyptian religion books. But, my connection with Her is so powerful, I’m not feeling the need to do a lot of bookwork and am enjoying my connection to Her and where it leads me.  I have recently begun working with Osiris as Green MAn, god of vegetation and of all things that live and die. 
 
I don’t post because I assume I will probably be picked apart as on previous lists for not doing things the way other humans (in any age) have decided I should do them. I don’t really fit inot any ‘camp’ with Isis either it seems like. I am not Kemetic and although I see Isis as The Goddess, I also believe she is everything and so all the other deities-gods and goddesses- are parts of Her and absolutely exist as those forms and do not need to be disrespected. So, you got a post-but probably a little more rambling and long than wanted 😉   I do read my Isis lists every day and do always hope for interesting discussion that is respectful and thought provoking or devotional. I would love love to find an Isis group near me but there are none.  I have been a part of the Pagan community in my area for 10 years, but it is very small and even though we now have a Universal Pagan Ritual format, people don’t really come to group activities. OK. Now, you know more about one of the list subscribers than you ever wanted to know 😉
 

Best thoughts,
Heather D.

 

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The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity

One modern myth ( the word in the popular sense as untruth)  is that a sacred prostitution was common in both the Ancient Middle East and the Greco-Roman World. This myth of course is found within the Bible in which the charge is commonly made that fornication, adultery, and other forms of illicit sex  were involved in the pagan cults of Canaan / Israel. In the late 19th century and  early 20th century scholars of the ancient world assumed the basic truthfulness of the biblical writings on this subject. When they combined the biblical sources with some of  the writings  of a small number of  Greek authors such as Herodotus and Strabo,  the full fledge theory of the prevalence of sacred prostitution in the Ancient World was born.
Given the fact that the primary testimony for the idea of sacred prostitution is a Biblical source, one would  think that modern members of  the Neopagan community would be suspicious of a theory based on such testimony. Unfortunately that is not the case. In fact many modern Neopagans are in love with the myth of the  sacred prostitute as evidence that ancient Paganism had the same belief in the sacredness of sexuality as does much of modern Paganism. This of course sets Paganism  off from the supposedly anti sexual ideologies  of  the bad old monotheisms of Judaism and Christianity.
Supposedly the sacred prostitutes of the ancient world primary role was to  unite the ordinary man to the sacred sexuality of the Goddess. This modern myth of sacred sexuality and prostitution has helped lead to the development of a glamorous view of “sacred prostitution.” which has at least great theoretical  attraction to some  within the Neopagan community. Within the modern Christo-Pagan movement it has contributed to  modern speculation that  Mary Magdalene was a priestess or holy prostitute of Isis inspite of the absolute lack of evidence  that the ancient Isis cult or any other of the Egyptian cults were ever homes of sacred prostitution.
The problem with the modern myth of sacred prostitution is that during the last 30  years much of the scholarship of the Ancient Middle East and the Greco-Roman world has become very skeptical about the very existence of sacred prostitution in that world. Scholars such as Julia Assante, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, and Stephanie Budin with her “The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity” have shown the real  lack of  evidence that such cults of sacred prostitution ever existed. For those interested in reading an excellent summary article on the subject I would recommend  “Sacred Prostitutes”  by  Joanna Stuckey the editor of  Matrifocus: Cross Quarterly for the Goddess Women. Its link is http://www.matrifocus.com/SAM05/spotlight.htm
Glenn