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Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship with the Goddess of 10,000 Names Paperback – March 8, 2001


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About the Author

M. Isidora Forrest has been a devotee of the Goddess Isis for more than fifteen years. She is an initiated Prophetess of the House of Isis, and in 1997 she was formally ordained by Arch-Hierophant Olivia Robertson as a Priestess of the international Fellowship of Isis. Forrest has also earned the title of Adept for her more than twenty years of study in a one-hundred-year-old Hermetic magical tradition.

Ten years ago, Forrest and her husband founded the Hermetic Fellowship, a legally recognized, not-for-profit religious organization. Today, the Fellowship offers a mix of ritual for worship, celebration, and spiritual growth, as well as workshops and classes devoted to education in the Western esoteric tradition.

Forrest is the author of "Divination in the Greco-Egyptian Magical Papyri," in The Golden Dawn Journal, Book I; "The Equilibration of Jehovah"in The Golden Dawn Journal, Book II; "The Hermetic Isis"in The Golden Dawn Journal, Book III; and "Pagans and Neo-Pagans"in Magical Pantheons, all of which were edited by Chic and Tabatha Cicero and published by Llewellyn.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Great Goddess Isis

The Goddess is alive. She always has been.

But during the last two millennia, at least here in the West, She has been obscured. Occulted, but not erased, Her life-enhancing worship did not die. It was secreted within the inner teachings of esoteric societies, trivialized as folk custom, or enveloped within a mass of religious practices that officially denied Her Divinity while continuing to build cathedrals in Her name. For even though the Christian Fathers had long warned against making Mary into a Goddess, She functioned as Goddess1 for Her many adoring worshippers.

And this is precisely the point.

She is.

Official sanction has nothing to do with Her reality. Diminishing Her rituals into folk custom has nothing to do with Her power. Denying Her existence has nothing to do with our human need of a relationship with Her. Our humanity calls out for our Divine Mother, Sister, Grandmother, and Wife. We need the Creatrix, the Warrior Woman, the Wise Queen, the Lover and the Beloved, and the Divine Feminine Mystery. We need the entire range of aspects that the wholeness of Goddess provides us. God, too, needs Her; for without Her, He is incomplete.

Throughout the history of the worship of Feminine Deity, She has been known by many names. Modern Goddess worshippers have understood, with Dion Fortune, that ¿all the Goddesses are one Goddess.¿ This is expressed in a common hymn in the Goddess community that sings the names of many Goddesses as a way to invoke the one Goddess: Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hekate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna!

This insight is not new. But it was new at one time worshippers of the Goddess Isis came to the same realization during the centuries surrounding the beginning of the Common Era (c.e.). When the religion of Isis and Her Greco-Egyptian consort Sarapis was exported from Egypt at that time, They became known to Their worshippers as universal Deities. No longer tied to Their native country, Isis and Sarapis were worshipped by Egyptians and non-Egyptians alike in lands far from Egypt's national boundaries. This innovation, originating in the increasingly universalistic religion of Isis,2 was to become a vital concept in the emerging Christian religion as well.

At the height of the Isiac religion approximately the second century c.e.Isis was known throughout the Mediterranean world as the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names, or in Greek, Isis Myrionymos. While other Goddesses certainly underwent syncretism and were invoked by a variety of names, the phenomenal extent to which Isis was universalized, and the great popularity of Her religion with high-born and low-born people of both sexes, put Her in a unique position. For many people in the polytheistic Greco-Roman world, Isis became the Goddess.

Following this established tradition of the Isiac religion, this book, too, focuses on Isis as The Goddess. Like Isis devotees before us, we will build a relationship with The Great Goddess by focusing our search for the Divine Feminine through the religion of one Goddess. As She was for so many during the thousands of years of Her worship, for us, for now, let that One be Isis of the Ten Thousand Names.

She will take us far. We will truly encounter Isis as Myrionymos not only in Her Egyptian aspects, but also as She was worshipped in the Hellenistic world and eventually throughout the Roman Empire. We will also explore beyond these ancient antecedents to the new ways women and men can relate to Her today when more and more people once again hunger for the love of Goddess.

Those who do not know Isis will be introduced to Her, and those who do know Her will find advanced techniques for deepening a relationship with Her. The most well-known myth about the Goddess suggests itself as a metaphor for the purposes of this book: When Isis' husband, Osiris, was murdered, the Goddess searched for the scattered pieces of His body in order to resurrect Him. She found all but the phallus, which She fashioned anew from gold and thereby conceived the Divine Child, Horus. The first part of this book is the result of my search for the scattered pieces of the Isis religion and my desire to bring them together in one easily accessible place. I have included retellings of Her myths as they are recorded in a variety of sources. I have collected pieces of Her story from the Book of Coming Forth by Day (popularly called the Book of the Dead), the Coffin Texts, and Pyramid Texts, as well as invocations, hymns, aretologies, inscriptions, and other documents that span thousands of years of Her worship. Together we will explore the many aspects of Isis as She was honored by our ancestors: as Primordial Deity, Divine Mother, Lady of Magic, Goddess of Nature, Patroness of Women, Lady of Sacred Sexuality, Goddess of the Mysteries, and Mistress of Hermetic Wisdom. We will see how She remained present, although hidden, even during the centuries of Christian religious exclusivity in the West and how She is once again emerging to cradle us in Her loving arms.

Part Two of the book is like the refashioning of the golden phallus and the birthing of the Child. It is a way of bringing new life to this ancient worship by providing modern rituals, devotions, meditations, prayers, and other practices for the worship of Isis today. The practices you find here are the results of many years of research into the ancient practices of the Isis religion and the inspiration of over fifteen years of personal devotion to Her. If you are drawn to this Ancient and Living Goddess, I offer this to you as a way of making a genuine and enduring connection with Isis.

The Meaning of the Worship of Goddess Today

As we...(Continues)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (March 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567182860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567182866
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. Isidora Forrest has been devoted to Isis ever since the Goddess told her, in no uncertain terms, that she was not yet ready to be Her priestess. (Isidora respects a Goddess Who doesn't coddle.) More than twenty years--and a lot of research, ritual, agony and ecstasy later, Isidora has earned the title of Prophetess in the House of Isis.

She is also a priestess of the international Fellowship of Isis, a Hermetic adept, a maenad for Dionysos, and a founder of the Hermetic Fellowship, a religious non-profit devoted to education in the Western Esoteric Tradition. She is the author of Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship with the Goddess of 10,000 Names and of Offering to Isis: Knowing the Goddess through Her Sacred Symbols. She is also a contributor to the Golden Dawn Journal series of books edited by Chic and Tabatha Cicero. Isidora lives and works in the not-all-all-Egypt-like climate of Portland, Oregon with her husband Adam Forrest, a fierce black cat, and both a Temple of Isis and a grape arbor sacred to Dionysos in the backyard.

Customer Reviews

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It really make more deep your relation with Her, with Aset.
Tamara Camara
ISIS MAGIC BY M. ISIDORA FORREST Isis the Great Mother, Isis the Goddess of Magick, Isis the Lady of wisdom these titles fit her suitably.
Amazon Customer
Those interested in the Goddess in general and Magic in particular will benefit by reading and following the path laid out in this book.
Malcolm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
With the publication of Isis Magic, M. Isidora Forrest has set a new standard by which all subsequent books devoted to a single Deity may be measured, and proven that modern Neopaganism and Goddess Spirituality is indeed capable of attaining depth and spiritual maturity.
The book is divided into two sections. The first consists of a historical survey of the worship of Isis through the ages, from antiquity to the present day, with insights worthy of academic journals, but written with the soul and insight of a practitioner, not a mere observer. The second section consists of spiritual practices-- rituals, meditations, devotions-- designed to develop a deep, rich connection with the Goddess Isis.
I recommend this book to anyone who has outgrown the endless stream of redundant introductory level books on Neopaganism and Goddess worship, and to anyone who has (or wishes to develop) a sincere and potent relationship with their Goddess or God. It's the real thing. May there come to be many more like it.
--Daniel
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Dray on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book extensively to do some research for a book I'm writing, and it was very useful and inspiring to those ends.
But it's not really meant for people like me. It really is a lovely book for worshippers of the Isiac faith, and is aimed at becoming a practitioner. In a way, it is like an Isiac bible, with stories and versus, and educational information. It's lovely both in layout and content, and is unapologetic in its spirituality.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
ISIS MAGIC
BY M. ISIDORA FORREST
Isis the Great Mother, Isis the Goddess of Magick, Isis the Lady of wisdom these titles fit her suitably. M. Isidora does a beautyful job of describing the Great Isis. She describes her worship in ancient times. How in the ancient world her worship spread throughout Egypt, Rome, Greece, Romania and many other parts of Europe. She tells the myths of Isis, her history, and how through out the ancient world and to the present about how people love and worship her. Isis is the magician, the initiater, the warrior queen, the goddess of those who travel by water, the Goddess of mothers, the Goddess of children, the Goddess of love, the Goddess of marriages, The protectress, she is this and many more things. The auther describes the plight of women in the ancient world and the history of the queens of Egypt and the famous queens the Ptolomy royal family. She describes many of Isis' aspects even her Black aspect. She tells! how the Golden Dawn and many other famous magicians adopted Her.She describes people's love and experience with the goddess Isis. She also describes how Isis became a prominent Goddess in the ancient world. She has some info on Nepthys, Osiris, Anubis, Set, Ra, Horus in this book as well. She has two parts to this book one is the information on Isis the second part is the rituals that allow you to dedicate yourseld to Isis step by step. The second part you start out as the votary of Isis, the next step is becomming the handmaiden or servent of Isis, when you are ready you become the magician of Isis, then you become the prophet/ess of Isis.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
This has been one of the most influential books I have read. I was searching for a way to honour the Goddess [in Her guise as Isis]-a way that truly spoke to me, and I found it in this book. Even if you are not devoted solely to Isis, this book will offer you new and exciting ways to worship the goddess. I recommed for beginners who need a place to start as well as for seasoned worshippers who would like a new way to honour Her. A truly beautiful book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book on Isis is great because it focuses on cultivating a relationship with Isis, and the tons of rituals in this book reflect that. It really drew me close to the Goddess Isis because it wasnt all just fluff and puffed up imagination seen in a lot Wiccan books. Isis became real to me after reading this book and its great how you start out as a Votary and progress to higher levels. The history in the beginning is great because it shows you Isis is not just a purely Egyptian diety, but universal. You can tell that the woman who wrote this really is full of joy to be worshipping Isis and is glad to share it with others. If you want to feel close to Isis this book will surely aid you!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ron on February 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ms. Forrest has taken a wide range of insights on the Goddess and corrolated them in a comprehensive and readable almost encyclopedic tome. This is not to say it's dry academic text however... Within is full, easily understood ritual that can greatly enhance your relationship with Isis and wheather beginner or adept give you new scope in your magickal career. The best goddess book I'm aware of.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm on March 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a unique blend of scholarship, inspiration and magic. Those interested in the Goddess in general and Magic in particular will benefit by reading and following the path laid out in this book. New comers and seasoned magicians alike will find this book an endless source of inspiration for practice.
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