Wednesday, July 16, 2014


                               Isis gives the Ankh, "The Key of Life," to Queen Nefertari

Every book I write opens doors to different worlds. I begin with what I know, but soon I move into the realm of mystery & explore what I want to know.

In my last book I researched blues guitar, photography, jazz trumpet, city redevelopment, & how to run a restaurant-- among other things. For the new book, I'm beginning with two subjects I've always loved: magic & archaeology. My wanderings in magic will be the subject of another post, but archaeology, this time around, has led me to the history of the Goddess. I am utterly fascinated, blown away, by the richness of Goddess mythology, religions, rituals & history.

The glorious figures & paintings reflect an era of female power so natural & instinctive it shocks us in our supposedly liberated time. Here is the great Goddess of 10,000 Names, Isis, with wings, & surrounded by the emblems & tools of her power. 


There are images of her holding & breastfeeding her baby, Horus, that demonstrate a clear path from pagan symbolism to modern-day religions as well as New Age mystical temples & rituals that return us full-circle to where we began.

One of my favorite images is the one at the head of this post, in which Isis transmits the Ankh-- the Key of Life, as well as the Key to spiritual knowledge, & the secret name of God-- to a female queen, Nefertari. I love this image because it shows Isis in one of her many roles: The Magician/Teacher/Mother who imparts secret knowledge to her Disciple/Sister/Daughter/Student. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, Isis was a girl before she became a God. After that transformation, she ruled Egypt with her brother-husband, Osiris. Their love story is one of the most beautiful & tragic in history. And of course it will be part of my book!

This image shows Isis at the height of her powers in Egypt-- before her power & reputation spread to the Greco-Roman Empire & throughout the world, even as far as South America. Before the "civilized" world destroyed her temples, burned her relics & statues, & tortured her followers. By all rights, she should be forgotten today, another goddess swept away by Time & the crusades of modernity.

Yet she is still here-- a formidable presence worldwide. There are many, many Daughters of Isis, many girls in strange lands who look to the Mother rather than the Father for knowledge.

Maybe because in her prime, in Rome, when Isis worship was more popular than Christianity, she welcomed women, prostitutes, slaves, & the poor into her temples. She did not discriminate-- all were welcome.

Maybe because even though one of her names was The Throne, when Osiris was murdered, she went mad with grief & tore through Egypt searching for him, tricking a god, using magic & rage & love to breathe life back into him.

Maybe because during secret rituals, she shared her wisdom with her Daughters, & they, in turn, shared it with their daughters (& sons). As we do.

Mother to Child.

Author to Reader.

Here is the Mystery. Shh. Pass it on. 

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