Isis: Make a Goddess

You can make your own goddess. Why would you want to do that? Entertain a child. . . entertain yourself. . . create an art project. . . possess your own tiny outer manifestation of your own grand inner goddess. . . .you name it.

Kimberly Crick, of theenchantedgallery.com, has posted a great goddess paper doll template here:

http://www.theenchantedgallery.com/paperdolls.html

She encourages all of us goddess-makers to use it, as long as we give her the credit she deserves. Visit her site to find  goddesses much more artistic than mine–as well as   mermaids, fairies, and other enchanted creatures.

I made the Egyptian goddess Isis. Why? Because in Edmund Spenser’s great 16th century poetic epic, The Faerie Queene, when the woman warrior Britomart is torn between her roles as  nurturing woman standing by her man and bold warrior maiden, she turns to Isis for advice. She travels to the temple of Isis, and there she has an amazing dream: Isis stands on a crocodile, subduing it with her wand. She wears the moon on her head, and she is covered with precious gems. She tells Britomart to claim her power. That is the key to her true womanhood.

FQ Book V, canto vii, describes Isis as

A Goddesse of great powre and soverainty
And in her person cunningly did shade
That part of Justice, which is Equity . . .

The statue of Isis is

framed all of silver fine,
So well as could with cunning hand be wrought,
And clothed all in garments made of line,
Hemd all about with fringe of silver twine.
Upon her head she wore a Crowne of gold,
To shew that she had powre in things divine;
And at her feete a Crocodile was rold,
That with her wreathed taile her middle did enfold.

One foote was set uppon the Crocodile,
And on the ground the other fast did stand,
So meaning to suppresse both forged guile,
And open force: and in her other hand
She stretched forth a long white sclender wand.
Such was the Goddesse; whom when Britomart
Had long beheld, her selfe upon the land
She did prostrate, and with right humble hart,
Unto her selfe her silent prayers did impart.

After Britomart beholds the goddess,

There did the warlike Maide her selfe repose,
Vnder the wings of Isis all that night,
And with sweete rest her heauy eyes did close,
After that long day’s toile and weary plight.
Where whilest her earthly parts with soft delight
Of sencelesse sleepe did deeply drowned lie,
There did appeare unto her heauenly spright
A wondrous vision, which did close implie
The course of all her fortune and posteritie.

Her seem’d, as she was doing sacrifize
To Isis, deckt with Mitre on her hed,
And linnen stole after those Priestes guize,
All sodainely she saw transfigured
Her linnen stole to robe of scarlet red,
And Moone-like Mitre to a Crowne of gold,
That euen she her selfe much wondered
At such a chaunge, and joyed to behold
Her selfe, adorn’d with gems and jewels manifold.

And in the midst of her felicity,
An hideous tempest seemed from below,
To rise through all the Temple sodainely,
That from the Altar all about did blow
The holy fire, and all the embers strow
Upon the ground, which kindled privily,
Into outragious flames unwares did grow,
That all the Temple put in jeopardy
Of flaming, and her selfe in great perplexity.

With that the Crocodile, which sleeping lay
Under the Idols feete in fearelesse bowre,
Seem’d to awake in horrible dismay,
As being troubled with that stormy stowre;
And gaping greedy wide, did streight devoure
Both flames and tempest: with which growen great,
And swolne with pride of his owne peerelesse powre,
He gan to threaten her likewise to eat;
But that the Goddesse with her rod him backe did beat.

Tho turning all his pride to humblesse meeke,
Him selfe before her feete he lowly threw,
And gan for grace and love of her to seeke . . .

Taming that crocodile, Britomart can now ride forth to rescue her man from his imprisonment and take her rightful place as a controller of violence and a bringer of civilization.

Gotta control those crocodiles! Calling Dr. Freud. . . 

Left: Britomart Disarming, a Victorian-era painting by Frederick Richard Pickersgill (1855). Find out more about this painting at http://goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com/2008/06/frederick-richard-pickersgill-britomart.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s