Isis – The most powerful and popular goddess in Egyptian history. She was associated with virtually every aspect of human life and, in time, became elevated to the position of the supreme deity, “Mother of the Gods”, who cared for her fellow deities as she did for human beings. She is the second-born of the First Five Gods (Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus the Elder), sister-wife of Osiris, mother of Horus the Younger, and symbolically understood as the mother of every king.
Her Egyptian name, Eset, means “Goddess of the Throne” because of her association with the monarch. She was also known as Weret-Kekau, “The Great Magic”, because of her incredible powers. She cared for people in life and appeared to them after death to help guide them safely to paradise. After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, her worship traveled to Greece and then to Rome.
During the time of the Roman Empire, she was worshipped in every corner of their realm from Britain through Europe to Anatolia. The Cult of Isis was the strongest opponent of the new religion of Christianity between the 4th-6th centuries CE, and iconography, as well as tenets of belief, of the Isis cult, were incorporated into the new faith. The imagery of the Virgin Mary holding her son Jesus comes directly from Isis cradling her son Horus and the Dying and Reviving God figure of Jesus himself is a version of Osiris.