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Forget Daesh, THIS is Isis...

Written by Maia Newley   
Sunday, 13 December 2015 02:36
Forget Daesh, THIS is Isis

If you landed on earth today, you could be forgiven for believing that Isis is the name of a terrorist organization. You might wonder where they got the name from before someone explained to you that it is an acronym which is intended to illustrate their perverted ideology.

I have long campaigned to get broadcasters to STOP using the terms ISIS, ISIL or IS and to call these people by the name Daesh, the name they are referred to in the Arab world, and a name which far better illustrates their raison d'etre and their philosophy. Perhaps they assume that we are all too stupid to cope with the word 'Daesh' or perhaps they are 'scared' of annoying the terrorists, who knows! But we SHOULD all be calling them Daesh for a whole host of reasons, not least of which is that we must stop playing by their rules and using a name which is wholly incorrect in terms of actualities. They are NOT a 'state' , they are a disparate group of terrorists and thugs who do not believe in Islam but are happy to hijack it for their own ends, mostly in order to set us all against each other. For them, if you confronted them with a series of texts, one from the Qu'ran, one from the script of a MacDonalds advertisement and another from one of those rude limericks, they would have no clue which one was the holy text. Let us be clear about that.

So, PLEASE can we call them Daesh and stop with this pandering to them which is going on in the mainstream media – it legitimizes them in a heinous way and it somehow serves to make them far bigger than they, in actuality, are.

But, even more than that, I wish to rescue ISIS! I've always really loved Isis and now I want her back! I mean the REAL Isis! Ok, anyone who knows me will know I am a bit of a nerd! I have high-functioning autism and an accompanying tendency to become obsessed with slightly strange things! And I am very keen on Ancient Egyptian mythology! And so please let me introduce you to the REAL Isis, and tell you what she stood for, what HER raison d'etre was, and give you a feel for just how perverted it is that we are now calling Daesh by HER name!

Isis is the Ancient Egyptian goddess of love, motherhood, magic, fertility and healing. There are various descriptions of her remit but all share the same central tenets, she was a force of nurturing, caring and compassion. She was a strong, determined woman who brought people together and who used her magic powers for good purposes only. I'm not a believer of supernatural powers so don't be alarmed! But the concept of what Isis stood for is what is important to me and, in all probability, it is what was important to the Ancient Egyptians.

Her name is the Greek form of the ancient Egyptian word for 'throne' and she was sometimes known as Aset or Eset too. She started out as a relatively obscure and unimportant Goddess but, as the Egyptian empire grew, so too did Isis. By the time the Roman Empire came along, keen to pinch the culture and ideologies of the Egyptian, Isis was big business! She had temples dedicated to her, ancient marbles carved of her in various manifestations (as a mother, as a lover, as a giver of life and so on), she had paintings dedicated to her, she had priests and the whole kit and kaboodle. The Romans indeed, took her ideologies back to Rome with them and although the cult of Isis remained small in Rome, there were temples built to her in the ancient city there too as well as having a decent-sized following. She was never prohibited by either Egypt or Rome, unlike many of the other new or incoming Gods and Goddesses. She was never viewed as a threat to anyone, possibly because her following in Rome WAS relatively small but in Egypt, she was allowed to flourish and her worshippers were allowed to continue worshipping her throughout the entire period when Rome was knocking at the doors of Egypt and merrily stealing her works of art and killing her philosophers.

The point being, Isis was always seen as a thoroughly benign and positive ideology and belief. No one was remotely threatened by her or by her followers. There were of course those, particularly in ancient Rome, who found her too 'mystical' for their tastes (which is frankly a bit rich coming from an Empire who made their ex-leaders Gods at the drop of a hat... there is even a very amusing anecdote from one Roman Emperor who, when dying, said to his Aide “I believe I am becoming a God!”, so Rome really had no room to talk about mysticism or supernaturality . But horses for courses as they say I suppose!

Anyway, I digress...

The Encyclopedia Britannica says of her:

“Isis was the perfect traditional Egyptian wife and mother—content to stay in the background while things went well, but able to use her wits to guard her husband and son should the need arise. The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection. But her chief aspect was that of a great magician, whose power transcended that of all other deities. Several narratives tell of her magical prowess, far stronger than the powers of Osiris and Re. She was frequently invoked on behalf of the sick, and, with the goddesses Nephthys, Neith, and Selket, she protected the dead. Isis became associated with various other goddesses, including Bastet, Nut, and Hathor, and thus her nature and her powers became increasingly diverse. Isis became known, like other fierce goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon, as the “Eye of Re” and was equated with the Dog Star, Sothis (Sirius).”

Land of the Pyramids dot com describes her as:

“Isis was the famous Egyptian goddess of the moon, love, magic, fertility and healing. Egyptian Gods and goddesses, like Isis, were always depicted as young, beautiful and healthy. Following the death of her husband Osiris she took on the role of a goddess of the dead and of funeral rites. She was both the sister and wife of Osiris but in ancient Egypt incest was seen as acceptable in the lives of the Egyptian Gods as it retained the sacred bloodline of the gods. Isis was also regarded as the mother and protector of the Pharaohs.”

Ancient Egypt Online has this to say of her:

“The cult of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, was very popular throughout Egypt, and beyond and she became a goddess of almost limitless attributes. Isis was her Greek name, but she was known to the ancient Egyptians as Aset (or Aset, Iset, Uset), which is usually translated as "(female) of throne" or "Queen of the throne". Her original headdress was an empty throne and as the personification of the throne she was an important source of the Pharaoh's power (as descent was to some degree matrilineal). However, the exact meaning of her name is still disputed. Plutarch suggested that her name meant "knowledge" but another possible translation is "(female) of flesh", i.e. mortal, suggesting that although she was the Queen of the Gods, she had once been a mortal woman. This certainly fits with the mythology surrounding the Ennead which state that Isis and her husband, Osiris, had actually ruled Egypt before the time of the pharaohs. However, the Book of the Dead describes her as "She who gives birth to heaven and earth, knows the orphan, knows the widow, seeks justice for the poor, and shelter for the weak" suggesting that she was considered to be more than simply a mere mortal. Isis was known as "Hent" (Queen) in every Nome, but she was also known by a bewildering number of names and titles throughout ancient Egypt and took on the aspects of many other goddesses.”

There is a fantastic website online which displays ancient Egyptian art and they have an entire section dedicated to Isis which is well worth looking at as the art is truly wonderful. You can take a look at Isis in all her different ancient guises on this link..

In terms of her family, she was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus and there really are some gorgeous ancient carvings of Isis nursing Horus which we are privileged to still be able to view due to the excellent excavation and archaeological work of the last few centuries. She also adopted Anubus, the son of her husband from a previous marriage.

Isis was, in short, a force for good. She was an early feminist too really as she was always viewed as a Goddess of great strengths, of curative and healing powers, the bringer of life, the bringer together of people.

It is true to say that with Isis, as with all the ancient Greek deities and myths, there are indeed many different interpretations of what Isis looked like and what she stood for, but as I said at the beginning of this piece, they all agree on the central tenet that she was a force for good, for healing and for life. Some depict her with wings, others without wings, some claim almost infinite powers for her and some simply see her as a mother in the sense of a caring, nurturing, embracer of life. As always with these myths, you metaphorically pay your money and make your choice which of them you believe.

Me? I don't really believe any of them! But I still love her as an ideal, not as an ideal woman, that would somehow be awful and anti everything she stood for in most of the myths, but as an ideal state of being. If that makes any sense at all!

So PLEASE can we have Isis back? Can we call the thugs, murderers, corrupters of the Qu'ran and the terrorists Daesh, for that is who they are. And can we call poor old, long-suffering Isis, by her real name?

For more information on Isis, the following links provide some great detail... your social media marketing partner
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