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Egyptian Myth: The Osirian Cycle
The Osirian Cycle
Now, Great Re had at last grown old. He saw that man had become fearful and angry. They had made the first weapons, and attacked anyone who might be an enemy of the Sun God.
Sadly, Re chose to leave the Divine Throne and moved far away from the land; He moved where He could still see mankind, but be far out of their reach. He made the stars and scattered them along the belly of Nuit. He made the Field of Peace and the Field of Reeds as homes for the blessed dead. Finally, He summoned Wise Thoth. He spake unto Him and said, "See, I will shine here in the heavens. I will light the sky above and the sky below. You must represent Me on earth, and record the deeds of men." He then created the Ibis form of Thoth, and made Him the Scribe of the Gods.
When Re was in the underworld, the world was engulfed in Darkness, and men were afraid; They wept for the loss of the Sun God. Their cries reached Re Himself, and the Divine One also transformed Thoth into the Great White Baboon. Thoth shone with a silvery Light, and man no longer feared the sinking of the Sun. This was the mercy of Re to the children of His tears.
Finally, Re commanded Geb and Nun to guard the world against the Serpents of Chaos; and He set His Great Grandson, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, as the new Pharoah of Egypt, and made Isis it's Queen.
Osiris proved to be a wise and kindly ruler. He taught man how to irrigate the land from the flood-waters of the Nile, and to grow crops therefrom. He taught them how to know and worship the Gods. He gave them the law of the land. He guided them away from canabalism and incest, and brought civilization to the people.
Soon, the Great Pharoah had brought a Golden Age to Egypt, and He set off to share His wisdom with distant countries as well. Isis was left in his place, and She ruled as well as Osiris Himself had done. Her brother, Seth, Dark Lord of Storm, She watched as a mongoose eyes the cobra. For Seth coveted the Throne of Osiris for His own.
When Osiris returned to Egypt, Seth had designed a plot for His overthrow with the aid of seventy-two conspirators. A banquet had been planned in honour of Osiris; one that Cunning Isis would not be attending. During the festivities, Seth began to speak of a splendid chest that had been made for Him. He sent for the chest, and all present admired the fine wood and gilding. Seth declared that He would gift the chest to any man who could fit it exactly.
Each man, in his turn, laid within the chest. Some were too short, and others too tall. Seth knew that only Osiris would fit the chest exactly, for he had constructed it to Osiris' exact measurements. Osiris' turn came, and He lay trustingly back into the chest, fitting snuggly within it. There was laughter amoung the guests who thought that Seth had lost His prize to the Pharoah. Seth signaled his conspirators, and the chest was immediately slammed shut and locked.
The chest was carried in the dark of night to a branch of the Nile, and was tossed into the cold waters. Seth then declared the death of the King, and crowned Himself King of Egypt.
When Isis came to know of Her husband's death, she became half mad with grief. She cuff off a lock of Her hair and dressed in widow's clothing. She then went out in search of Her husband's body.
During Her travels, Isis came to learn that Osiris had known Her sister Nephthys. From that union had been born a child- Anubis- but Nephthys had turned Him away at birth. And so Kindly Isis tracked Him with the help of dogs, and raised Him to be Her guardian and attendant.
Form village to village She traveled, until finally She found that the chest had come to rest in the land of Byblos. It had been entangled in the roots of a young sapling. Strengthend by the murdered God, it had grown in a single night into a tall and graceful tree. When the King of Byblos heard of this marvel, he had sent for the tree to be made into a pillar for his palace. No one suspected that the tree contained a coffin within it's trunk.
Isis heard of this and made Her way into the palace, residing there for many months. At last she convinced the Queen of Byblos to give Her the pillar, and she cut it open to reveal the coffin inside. She was given the best boat in Byblos, and She journed home to Egypt; finally hiding Osiris' body in the marshes by the Nile.
One night, whilst Mighty Isis slept, Seth happened upon the Dead King. In a fury, He tore the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout Egypt to ensure they would not all be found.
When Isis found the empty coffin, Her cries reached unto the heavens; even unto the ears of Her beloved Nephthys. She came to Isis' side, and the two sisters searched the land for the scattered body of Osiris. For many sad years the Daughters of Nuit wandered through Egypt. Everywhere They found a fragment They built a shrine. At last, all the pieces were gathered; with the exception of the God's phallus. Isis reassembled Osiris' body, and fashioned a phallus of pure gold to replace the lost member. She wrapped the body in cloth and perfumed it with many scents. Thus was Osiris whole again, and mummification was created.
Isis then transformed Herself into the form of a swallow, and with Her wings She fanned the Breath of Life into Her husband. The Lord of Eternity arose, restored to life at last. But it was only to last for the length of one night, so that He and Isis could conceive their Divine Son Horus. Because of the loss of His phallus, He could not return to the land of the living. Instead, Re-Atum made Him the King of the Dead in the relm of the Beautiful West. From that time onwards, every Egyptian knew that death was nothing to fear, for his spirit would live on in the Kingdom of Osiris.
Even Horus could not have been come into being had not His Half-Brother
Anubis sacrificed a day of His own life so that Horus could be born. The Young
God lived a perilous childhood, yet survived to grow strong and proud. Soon He
came of age and set out to fullfill His destiny- to pull the Crown from His
uncle, Seth, and thus avenge His Father's death and claim His place as rightful
Heir to the Throne.