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Statuette Of Isis


Statuette Of Isis
Statuette Of Isis
1st century A.D.
Gift of The Morse Foundation

Key Ideas
Discussion Questions

Long, long ago the Egyptian sun god, Ra pronounced (Rah), created virtually everything that existed in the world. Simply by speaking the name of something, Ra created it. As he named birds, animals, and things, they appeared. Because Ra made all things, he also controlled them. More powerful than anyone, he ruled both heaven and earth.

Isis, a clever god gifted in the arts of magic, envied Ra's power. She desired to know Ra's secret Great Name, because it was the key to his magic and would give her greater power. Isis spent a lot of time wondering how she could obtain Ra's secret. As Ra grew older and weaker, she devised a plot.

Listen to Story of Isis, 5:45 minute duration (1.2 MB AIFF)

Whenever Ra drooled, the wily Isis gathered up his spit. Kneading the spit with soil, she created a serpent. Although the serpent came forth from Ra, he had not created it, so it was outside of his control. Isis molded the serpent into the form of a dart and placed it on Ra's daily walking path across the sky. When Ra passed by, the serpent reared up and stung him.

Soon, Ra began to burn with the serpent's venom. He was baffled by the creature's behavior and dismayed to discover that he had no power over it. He could not cure his body of the terrible pain. Ra called to his children for help, but they could not end his suffering.

Then Isis came forth and offered to work her magic to end Ra's pain. However, she insisted she could cure Ra only if he revealed his secret Great Name. Ra offered a variety of nicknames, but clever Isis was not fooled. Fearing for his life, Ra finally gave in and transmitted the Great Name from his heart to Isis's. That is how Isis successfully learned the secret of Ra's all-powerful magic.

Key Ideas Story Background Discussion Questions


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