Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Nephthys and Isis. A Tale of Two Sisters
Article ID: 14761
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 626
Times Read: 3,117
RSS Views: 19,375
Author: Heather Belt
Posted: October 2nd. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,117
In ancient Egyptian lore, there lies a tale of two sisters. One dark and one light. Nephthys, sister to Isis, Mother of the house and funerals, could not be any different from her sister. While Isis' function in the Egyptian pantheon is that of re-birth, and is obviously the more popular of the two, their bond was deep and unbreakable…even through infidelity on the part of Nephthys with Isis’ husband, which is told in one Egyptian story. If it was Isis’ job to bring the re-birth experience, it was Nephthys’ role to encompass all things related to the death experience.
Little is truly known about this dark sister, and there are many "stories" surrounding her mystique. After learning about their respective roles in mythology, I found it very easy to correlate the tale of the two sisters, not only with their roles as Goddesses, but also as an allegory for spiritual death and re-birth as it relates to ones spiritual journey.
Nephthys was clearly viewed as sometimes morbid, but always crucial force of heavenly transition from life to death. While Isis is always correlated with that which precludes death, re-birth. It is said that Egyptian Pharaohs become stronger for their journeys to the afterlife through the intervention of Isis and Nephthys, working together. The same divine power could be applied later to all of the dead, who were advised to consider Nephthys a necessary companion. “According to the Pyramid Texts, Nephthys, along with Isis, was a force before whom demons trembled in fear, and whose magical spells were necessary for navigating the various levels of Duat, as the region of the afterlife was termed. It should here be noted that Nephthys was not necessarily viewed as the polar opposite of Isis, but rather as a different reflection of the same reality: eternal life in transition” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepthys) .
Applying this to the train of thought that they were indeed one in the same, it makes me think about the aspects of the triple moon. Mother, Maiden and Crone. All three aspects, while represented by different Goddesses, are really just the progression of the cycle of life and death. Maybe Nephthys and Isis are really just an expression of Isis in her dark phase of accompanying one on their journey of death in the beginning before they can be re-born. An analogy for the journey we take as humans not only in physical death, but also spiritual death and re-birth.
For this reason, I found myself quite drawn to Nephthys in the aspect that before ones spiritual journey can begin, you first must "die". Dying implies letting go of negative/baneful habits to make way for the new ways of living life more positively. Dying implies surrendering yourself to the universe and letting what will happen...just be. We mortals are more enamored with the idea that re-birth is more fundamental than death because re-birth is a more desired aspect of spirituality. We often overlook, I feel, the most important first step of surrendering to the Divines true will. Is this, as it is sometimes referred to, rock bottom? Well yes and no. It doesn't have to be rock bottom in the sense that you submit to defeat of your "demons" and give up all hope. Rock bottom means you have exhausted all of your negative mental and physical injuries and there is nowhere else to go. The choice is in the heart of the person as to whether or not he/she will reach for the dark or go towards the light. Going towards the light is like walking towards Isis. You have reached a place where you are now ready to lay all of that stuff at the feet of the Goddess and move on to the next chapter of your life a free soul…reborn.
Nephthys helped Isis gather the dismembered body parts of her husband Osiris after he had been murdered by envious Set. Stories of funeral ceremonies abound in stories of Nephthys. Nephthys was known as the ruler over one of the darker aspects of Egyptian death ceremonies, the Canopic jars. These jars were the keepers of the vital organs of those who were deceased. While you will find she has many functions in Egyptian entomology, her most prominent is leading those on their journey to the underworld after their mortal lives have ended. For these reasons I have to say she is indeed the Goddess to look to when you are at that place in your life when you are ready to take her hand, and let her lead you down the path of spiritual death, to anew. And then Isis, her sister, will be there waiting for you to help you start your new life.
I have such a different outlook on the journey of spiritual death after really taking the time to explore this story. The message is as old as time in the text of pagan annals, but to me the story of Nephthys and Isis gives is a new, more tangible, context in which to place the practice.
One of my favorite poems and what inspired on of my tattoos is from The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley. In this poem, he speaks of the Stag Beetles, known throughout Egypt as a symbol of bringing the darkness into light, just as the beetle pushes the dung over the horizon, the sun will also rise and bring anew. Known by the names, #16 ΚΕΦΑΛΗ ΙΣ or THE Stag-Beetle, I can think of no better way to sum up the story of Nephthys and Isis as two sisters, interlinked together in life and death, helping us find our way to spiritual enlightenment. The poem is as follows:
Death implies change and individuality if thou be THAT which hath no person, which is beyond the changing, even beyond changelessness, what hast thou to do with death? The birth of individuality is ecstasy; so also is its death. In love the individuality is slain; who loves not love? Love death therefore, and long eagerly for it. Die Daily.
The Book of Lies, Aleister Crowley
Copyright: This article is the sole property and work of Heather S. Douglas
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Author's Profile: To learn more about Heather Belt - Click HERE
Other Articles: Heather Belt has posted 8 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Heather Belt... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).