The Osiris Myth
Author:R Kay Ologist
Date: 2015-03-02 02:50:13
Tags:The Osiris Myth, Isis, Nephthys, Apep, Apophis, Abydos, Seth,
Plutarch wrote down the first complete Osiris Myth in the 2nd century CE. There are many variations, but the following is the most popular:
“Osiris was the ruling god on earth and was prominent as his role of god over agriculture. He had married his sister, Isis, and was content. His brother Seth, however, was jealous of Osiris and plotted against him. Seth arranged a party and invited lots of his friends and family. Towards the end of the party he showed a coffin and promised it to anyone who fitted in it exactly, though it was made especially for the dimensions of Osiris. Once Osiris lay down in the coffin, Seth closed the lid and sealed it, and then threw the coffin into the Nile. The coffin floated until it reached Byblos, in Lebanon, where it rested against a tree, which made it tall and strong, Osiris’ magic still working! The local king then used the tree as a pillar in his palace. Isis hunted high and low for the coffin and finally brought it back to Egypt. Seth found the coffin and cut up Osiris’ body into 14 parts and threw them into the Nile. Isis and Nephthys mourned over Osiris and Isis set off again to reclaim her husband. She managed to find all of the pieces of his body, except for his phallus as it had being eaten by a fish, and put him back together again, using bandages to hold his body together. Once all of Osiris’ body is reassembled, Isis made a phallus out of gold, attached it to the body of Osiris, and then worked her magic to bring him back to life. She then impregnated herself upon him, usually being shown as a kite whilst doing this, the impregnation leading to the birth of her son, Horus. Osiris becomes God of the Dead and is recognised as the first mummified body. Osiris then presides over the underworld”.
• Each location, along the River Nile, that Isis found part of Osiris’ body grew into a large area of worship for him; for example, Abydos.
• In other versions of the myth, Osiris’ phallus is actually recovered and Isis attaches it to the rest of his body before impregnating herself.
• Ironically, Seth is usually seen in a negative way, and yet it is he who protects Osiris on his journey through the underworld every night, battling with Apep (Apophis) to ensure Osiris’ safety.
• Isis and Nephthys are associated with the kite (bird), due to its high pitched scream that sounds like a woman wailing. They became the chief mourners throughout ancient Egypt, and visions of them, with kite wings upon their arms, are often seen on the edges of coffins.
• Osiris is usually portrayed, in reliefs, wearing a white shroud; the white shroud Isis used when putting his body back together. The same type of white shroud was also used in mummification!