Saturday, July 18, 2015


Image of Osiris from Nefertari's tomb, wikimedia

With green skin showing he is dead, Osiris is seen here on the tomb of Nefertari. The firstborn of earth god Geb and sky goddess Nut, he was so prominent and popular that ancient Egyptians sometimes simply called him God.

Osiris married his sister Isis -- marriage between siblings was common practice among Egyptian gods, as it was for the Greek gods of Olympus. He was killed by his scheming brother Set who then usurped the throne.

Presiding in the afterlife, he judged dead souls for balance. But rather than simply awaiting his decision, aspirants tried to persuade him they merited the kingdom. Some used negative confession, listing bad deeds they hadn't done.

Osiris was resurrected twice after his double death, first after being sealed in a lead coffin and thrown in the Nile, and then following his dismemberment, when his faithful wife Isis found his parts, put him back together and breathed life into him. The resurrection myth of Isis and Osiris is thought to represent the natural cycles of death and rebirth that the Egyptians witnessed annually.

This god is portrayed as a mummified king. He wears a ceremonial curled beard and the white crown of Ancient Egypt, with or without the addition of feathers on both sides. He carries a flail and crozier.

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