Esoteric Tarot is the art of reading Tarot cards, the practice of using cards to gain insight into the past, present or future by formulating a question drawing and interpreting cards. Reading Tarot cards is a type of cartomancy. One of the earliest reference to Tarot triumphs, the first reference to Tarot as the devil's picture book, is given by a Dominican preacher in a fiery sermon against the evils of the devil's instrument. References to the Tarot as a social plague continue throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, but there are no indications that the cards were used for anything but games anywhere other than in Bologna; as Dummett notes, "...it was only in the 1780s, when the practice of fortune-telling with regular playing cards had been well established for at least two decades, that anyone began to use the Tarot pack for cartomancy." The belief in the divinatory meaning of the cards is associated with a belief in their occult properties: a held belief in the 18th century propagated by prominent Protestant clerics and freemasons.
One of them was Court de Gébelin. From its humble uptake as an instrument of prophecy in France, the Tarot went on to become a thing of hermeneutic, mystical and psychological properties, it was used by Romani people when telling fortunes, as a Jungian psychological apparatus capable of tapping into "absolute knowledge in the unconscious", a tool for archetypal analysis, a tool for facilitating the Jungian process of Individuation. Many involved in occult and divinatory practices attempt to trace the Tarot to ancient Egypt, divine hermetic wisdom, the mysteries of Isis; the first of those was Antoine Court de Gébelin, a French clergyman, who wrote that after seeing a group of women playing cards he had the idea that Tarot was not a game of cards but was in fact of ancient Egyptian origin, of mystical cabbalistic import, of deep divine significance. De Gébelin published a dissertation on the origins of the symbolism in the Tarot in volume VIII of work Le Monde primitif in 1781, he thought the Tarot represented ancient Egyptian Theology, including Isis and Typhon.
For example, he thought the card he knew as the Papesse and known today as the High Priestess represented Isis. He related four Tarot cards to the four Christian Cardinal virtues: Temperance, Justice and Prudence, he relates The Tower to a Greek fable about avarice. Although the ancient Egyptian language had not yet been deciphered, de Gébelin asserted the name "Tarot" came from the Egyptian words Tar, "path" or "road", the word Ro, Ros or Rog, meaning "King" or "royal", that the Tarot translated to the Royal Road of Life. Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language to support de Gébelin's etymologies. Despite this lack of any evidence, the belief that the tarot cards are linked to the Egyptian Book of Thoth continues to the present day; the actual source of the occult Tarot can be traced to two articles in volume eight, one written by himself, one written by M. le C. de M.***. The second has been noted to have been more influential than de Gébelin's; the author takes de Gébelin's speculations further, agreeing with him about the mystical origins of the Tarot in ancient Egypt, but making several additional, influential, statements that continue to influence mass understanding of the occult tarot to this day.
He makes the first statement proposing that the Tarot is, in fact, The Book of Thoth, that it is associated with the Romani people, makes the first association of Tarot with cartomancy. The first to assign divinatory meanings to the Tarot cards were cartomancer Jean-Baptiste Alliette in 1783 and Mlle Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand. According to Dummett, Etteilla: devised a method of tarot divination in 1783, wrote a cartomantic treatise of tarot as the Book of Thoth, created the first society for Tarot cartomancy, the Société littéraire des associés libres des interprètes du livre de Thot. created the first corrected Tarot, The Grand Ettielle deck created the first Egyptian tarot to be used for Tarot cartomancy published, under the imprint of his society, the Dictionnaire synonimique du Livre de Thot, a book that "systematically tabulated all the possible meanings which each card could bear, when upright and reversed.". Etteilla also: suggested that Tarot was repository of the wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus was a book of eternal medicine was an account of the creation of the world argued that the first copy of the tarot was imprinted on leaves of goldMichael Dummett suggests that Etteilla was attempting to scoop Court de Gébelin as the author of the occult tarot.
Etteilla in fact claimed to have been involved with Tarot longer than Court de Gébelin. Mlle Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand outshone Ettiella and was the first cartomancer to people in high places, being the personal confidant of Empress Josephine and other notables. Lenormand used both regular playing cards, in particular the Piquet pack, as well as cards derived from Etteilla's Egyptian root, she was so famous that a deck was published in her name, the Grand Jeu de Mlle Lenormand, two years after her death in 1843. The concept of the cards as a mystical key was extended by Éliphas Lévi. Lévi was educated in the seminary of Saint-Sulpice, was ordained as a deacon, but never became a priest. Dummett notes that it is from Lévi's book Dogme et rituel that the "whole of the modern occultist movement stem
A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole and simile are all types of metaphor. One of the most cited examples of a metaphor in English literature is the "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It: This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not a stage. By asserting that the world is a stage, Shakespeare uses points of comparison between the world and a stage to convey an understanding about the mechanics of the world and the behavior of the people within it; the Philosophy of Rhetoric by rhetorician I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle; the tenor is the subject. The vehicle is the object. In the previous example, "the world" is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of "the stage". Other writers employ the general terms figure to denote the tenor and the vehicle.
Cognitive linguistics uses source, respectively. Psychologist Julian Jaynes contributed the terms metaphrand, metaphier and paraphier to the understanding of how metaphors evoke meaning thereby adding two additional terms to the common set of two basic terms. Metaphrand is equivalent to metaphor theory terms tenor and ground. Metaphier is equivalent to metaphor theory terms vehicle and source. Paraphier is any attribute, characteristics, or aspect of a metaphier, whereas any paraphrand is a selected paraphier which has conceptually become attached to a metaphrand through understanding or comprehending of a metaphor. For example, if a reader encounters this metaphor: "Pat is a tornado," the metaphrand is "Pat," the metaphier is "tornado." The paraphiers, or characteristics, of the metaphier "tornado" would include: storm, wind, danger, destruction, etc. However, the metaphoric use of those attributes or characteristics of a tornado is not one-for-one; the English metaphor derived from the 16th-century Old French word métaphore, which comes from the Latin metaphora, "carrying over", in turn from the Greek μεταφορά, "transfer", from μεταφέρω, "to carry over", "to transfer" and that from μετά, "after, across" + φέρω, "to bear", "to carry".
Metaphors are most compared with similes. It is said, for instance, that a metaphor is'a condensed analogy' or'analogical fusion' or that they'operate in a similar fashion' or are'based on the same mental process' or yet that'the basic processes of analogy are at work in metaphor', it is pointed out that'a border between metaphor and analogy is fuzzy' and'the difference between them might be described as the distance between things being compared'. A simile is a specific type of metaphor. A metaphor asserts the objects in the comparison are identical on the point of comparison, while a simile asserts a similarity. For this reason a common-type metaphor is considered more forceful than a simile; the metaphor category contains these specialized types: Allegory: An extended metaphor wherein a story illustrates an important attribute of the subject. Antithesis: A rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences. Catachresis: A mixed metaphor, sometimes by accident.
Hyperbole: Excessive exaggeration to illustrate a point. Metonymy: A figure of speech using the name of one thing in reference to a different thing to which the first is associated. In the phrase "lands belonging to the crown", the word "crown" is metonymy for monarch. Parable: An extended metaphor told as an anecdote to illustrate or teach a moral or spiritual lesson, such as in Aesop's fables or Jesus' teaching method as told in the Bible. Pun: Similar to a metaphor, a pun alludes to another term. However, the main difference is that a pun is a frivolous allusion between two different things whereas a metaphor is a purposeful allusion between two different things. Metaphor, like other types of analogy, can be distinguished from metonymy as one of two fundamental modes of thought. Metaphor and analogy work by bringing together concepts from different conceptual domains, while metonymy uses one element from a given domain to refer to another related element. A metaphor creates new links between otherwise distinct conceptual domains, while a metonymy relies on the existing links within them.
A dead metaphor is a metaphor. The phrases "to grasp a concept" and "to gather what you've understood" use physical action as a metaphor for understanding; the audience does not need to visualize the action. Some distinguish between a dead metaphor and a cliché. Others use "dead metaphor" to denote both. A mixed metaphor is a metaphor that leaps from one identification to a second inconsistent with the first, e.g.: I smell a rat but I'll nip him in the bud"-Irish politician Boyle Roche This form is used as a parody of metaphor itself: If we can hit that bull's-eye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards... Checkmate. An extended metaphor, or conceit, sets up a principal subject wit
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Visconti-Sforza tarot deck
The Visconti-Sforza tarot is used collectively to refer to incomplete sets of 15 decks from the middle of the 15th-century, now located in various museums and private collections around the world. No complete deck has survived, they are the oldest surviving tarot cards and date back to a period when tarot was still called Trionfi cards, used for everyday playing. They were commissioned by Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, by his successor and son-in-law Francesco Sforza, they had a significant impact on the visual composition, card numbering and interpretation of modern decks. The surviving cards are of particular historical interest because of the beauty and detail of the design, executed in precious materials and reproduce members of the Visconti and Sforza families in period garments and settings; the cards offer a glimpse of nobiliary life in Renaissance Milan, which the Visconti called home since the 13th century. The three most famous collections are discussed in more detail below.
This deck known as Colleoni-Baglioni and Francesco Sforza, was produced around 1451. Composed of 78 cards, it now contains 74, i.e. 20 trumps, 15 face cards, 39 "pip" cards. The Pierpont-Morgan library in New York City has 35, the Accademia Carrara has 26 in its catalogue, while the remaining 13 are in the private collection of the Colleoni family in Bergamo. Trumps and face cards have a gilt background, while the "pip" cards are cream-coloured with a flower and vine motif; the two missing trumps are the Tower. Modern published reproductions of this deck contain attempted reconstructions of missing cards; the figures on the suit of bastoni carry a long staff. Those on the suit of cups wear gold garments, embellished by the heraldic device of sun and rays; the suit of spades shows figures dressed in full armour. Curiously, the characters represented on denari wear garments decorated with blue ribbons wound around circular suns; the Knight of this suit is the only one not wearing a ducal crown. Named after the Cary Collection of Playing Cards, absorbed into the Yale University Library in 1967, it is known as the Visconti di Modrone set, has been dated back to around 1466.
Some scholars have, suggested this may be in fact the oldest of sets commissioned by Filippo Maria Visconti at the onset of the project. 67 cards have survived, which has led to the suggestion that, given the distribution of the Pierpont-Morgan deck, the total number of cards when this set was produced should have amounted to 86. In the 2007 book "The history of the tarot", scholar Giordano Berti proposes that the deck was produced between 1442 and 1447, because the denari cards bears the recto and verso of the golden florin coined by F. M. Visconti in 1442 and withdrawn from circulation at his death, in 1447; the Cary-Yale is the only historical Western deck with six ranks of face cards, as the "Damsel" and the "Lady on horse" supplement the traditional King, Queen and Jack. Their ranks can be mounted on a horse, or enthroned; the trumps contains the three theological virtues which appears only here and in Minchiate decks. All trump cards have a gilt background; this set is named after Giovanni Brambilla, who acquired the cards in Venice in 1900.
As of 1971, the deck has been in the catalogue of the Brera Gallery in Milan. Commissioned to Bonifacio Bembo by Francesco Sforza in 1463, it now consists of 48 cards with only two trumps - the Emperor and the Wheel of Fortune. All face cards have a gilt background; the seven remaining face cards are: Jack of cups. All "pip" cards have survived, as this set is only missing the four of denari. Giordano Berti. Storia dei tarocchi: verità e leggende sulle carte più misteriose del mondo, Mondadori, 2007, ISBN 88-04-56596-9, ISBN 978-88-04-56596-3, 241 pages. Michael Dummett; the Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards, G. Braziller, 1986, ISBN 0-8076-1141-7, ISBN 978-0-8076-1141-8, 141 pages. Gertrude Moakley; the Tarot Cards. Painted by Bonifacio Bembo for the Visconti-Sforza Family. An Iconographic and Historical Study, New York P. L. publishing, 1966. S. R. Kaplan; the Encyclopedia of Tarot, 2 volumes, New York: U. S. Games Systems, 1979–1986. Giordano Berti & Tiberio Gonard. Visconti Tarot, Llewellin - Lo Scarabeo, Minneapolis - Torino, 2002.
Visconti Tarot From the digital collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
The Pictorial Key to the Tarot
The Pictorial Key to the Tarot is A. E. Waite's guide to divinatory tarot, published in England in 1911 in conjunction with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Waite was concerned with the accuracy of the symbols he used for his deck, he did much research into the traditions and history behind the cards; the book consists of three parts. Part I, "The Veil and Its Symbols", is a short overview of the traditional symbols associated with each card, followed by a history of the Tarot. Waite dismissed as baseless the belief that the Tarot was Egyptian in origin, noted that no evidence of the cards exists prior to the 15th century. Part II, "The Doctrine of the Veil", contains 78 black and white plates of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, a discussion of the unique symbols chosen for each card. Waite drew upon the earlier Tarot of French occultist Eliphas Levi, at times retaining his changes to the traditional deck, at other times criticizing him. Part III, "The Outer Methods of the Oracles", concerns matters of divination with the cards, including a description of the famous Celtic Cross Tarot layout, which the book helped popularize.
In 1918, an American author, L. W. de Laurence, published an exact facsimile copy of the book under the title The Illustrated Key to the Tarot: The Veil of Divination, Illustrating the Greater and Lesser Arcana, without giving any credit to Waite. HTML version of the 1910 text, with images
Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, produces and protects his heir, Horus, she was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow. In the first millennium BCE, Osiris and Isis became the most worshipped of Egyptian deities, Isis absorbed traits from many other goddesses.
Rulers in Egypt and its neighbor to the south, began to build temples dedicated to Isis, her temple at Philae was a religious center for Egyptians and Nubians alike. Isis's reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, govern the skies and the natural world, have power over fate itself. In the Hellenistic period, when Egypt was ruled and settled by Greeks, Isis came to be worshipped by Greeks and Egyptians, along with a new god, Serapis, their worship diffused into the wider Mediterranean world. Isis's Greek devotees ascribed to her traits taken from Greek deities, such as the invention of marriage and the protection of ships at sea, she retained strong links with Egypt and other Egyptian deities who were popular in the Hellenistic world, such as Osiris and Harpocrates; as Hellenistic culture was absorbed by Rome in the first century BCE, the cult of Isis became a part of Roman religion. Her devotees were a small proportion of the Roman Empire's population but were found all across its territory.
Her following developed distinctive festivals such as the Navigium Isidis, as well as initiation ceremonies resembling those of other Greco-Roman mystery cults. Some of her devotees said; the worship of Isis was ended by the rise of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. Her worship may have influenced Christian beliefs and practices such as the veneration of Mary, but the evidence for this influence is ambiguous and controversial. Isis continues to appear in Western culture in esotericism and modern paganism as a personification of nature or the feminine aspect of divinity. Whereas some Egyptian deities appeared in the late Predynastic Period, neither Isis nor her husband Osiris were mentioned before the Fifth Dynasty. An inscription that may refer to Isis dates to the reign of Nyuserre Ini during that period, she appears prominently in the Pyramid Texts, which began to be written down at the end of the dynasty and whose content may have developed much earlier. Several passages in the Pyramid Texts link Isis with the region of the Nile Delta near Behbeit el-Hagar and Sebennytos, her cult may have originated there.
Many scholars have focused on Isis's name in trying to determine her origins. Her Egyptian name was ꜣst, which became ⲎⲤⲈ in the Coptic form of Egyptian, Wusa in the Meroitic language of Nubia, Ἶσις, on which her modern name is based, in Greek; the hieroglyphic writing of her name incorporates the sign for a throne, which Isis wears on her head as a sign of her identity. The symbol serves as a phonogram, spelling the st sounds in her name, but it may have represented a link with actual thrones; the Egyptian term for a throne was st and may have shared a common etymology with Isis's name. Therefore, the Egyptologist Kurt Sethe suggested she was a personification of thrones. Henri Frankfort agreed, believing that the throne was considered the king's mother, thus a goddess, because of its power to make a man into a king. Other scholars, such as Jürgen Osing and Klaus P. Kuhlmann, have disputed this interpretation, because of dissimilarities between Isis's name and the word for a throne or a lack of evidence that the throne was deified.
The cycle of myth surrounding Osiris's death and resurrection was first recorded in the Pyramid Texts and grew into the most elaborate and influential of all Egyptian myths. Isis plays a more active role in this myth than the other protagonists, so as it developed in literature from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period, she became the most complex literary character of all Egyptian deities. At the same time, she absorbed characteristics from many other goddesses, broadening her significance well beyond the Osiris myth. Isis is part of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a family of nine gods descended from the creator god, Atum or Ra, she and her siblings—Osiris and Nephthys—are the last generation of the Ennead, born to Geb, god of the earth, Nut, goddess of the sky. The creator god, the world's original ruler, passes down his authority through the male generations of the Ennead, so that Osiris becomes king. Isis, Osiris's wife as well as his sister, is his queen. Set kills Osiris and, in several versions of the story, dismembers his corpse.
Isis and Nephthys, along with other deities such as Anubis, search for the pieces of their brother's body and reassemble it. Their efforts are the mythic prototype for mummification and other anc