Inari Okami The Goddess of Rice and Fertility

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Friday, June 7, 2024

The Epic Myth of Osiris: Ancient Egypt's Tale of Betrayal, Resurrection, and Vengeance

Its a tale where love defies death, betrayal sparks a quest for justice, and the eternal battle between good and evil unfolds in ancient Egypt. This is the myth of Osiris, a story that has been told for millennia. Join us as we explore this legendary saga, tracing Osiris's journey from a revered king to the ruler of the underworld, and uncover the legacy he left behind.

The Reign of Osiris
It was a time of peace and prosperity, with Osiris reigning as the beloved king of Egypt. Osiris, known for his wisdom and benevolence, brought civilization, agriculture, and law to his people. Under his rule, Egypt flourished, and he was revered by all who lived within his kingdom.

Osiris's reign marked a golden age in Egyptian history. He taught his people the art of agriculture, turning barren lands into fertile fields. Under his guidance, the Nile's annual floods were harnessed to irrigate crops, ensuring bountiful harvests that could sustain the growing population. His introduction of agricultural techniques transformed Egypt into a land of plenty, where hunger and scarcity became things of the past.

Beyond his contributions to agriculture, Osiris was also a lawgiver. He established a code of laws that promoted justice and order, bringing stability to a land that had once been plagued by chaos. His legal reforms ensured that disputes were settled fairly, and his judgments were respected by all. Through his wise and just governance, Osiris created a society where people could live in harmony and security.

Osiris's wisdom extended to the realm of spirituality as well. He introduced religious practices that honored the gods and fostered a sense of community among the people. Temples were built, and rituals were established, allowing the Egyptians to express their devotion and seek divine guidance. Osiris himself was seen as a bridge between the mortal world and the divine, and his piety inspired others to follow his example.

The cultural impact of Osiris's reign was profound. Art and architecture flourished under his patronage, with grand monuments and intricate carvings celebrating the glory of Egypt and its divine king. Music, poetry, and literature thrived, reflecting the richness of the society he helped build. Osiris's influence permeated every aspect of life, leaving a lasting legacy that would be remembered for generations.

Osiris's success and popularity did not come without challenges. His benevolent rule and the adoration of his subjects sowed the seeds of envy and resentment in the heart of his brother, Set. As Osiris continued to lead Egypt into an era of unprecedented prosperity, dark clouds of jealousy began to gather, setting the stage for a dramatic and tragic turn of events.

In this time of peace and prosperity, the people of Egypt looked to Osiris not just as a king, but as a savior who had transformed their world. His reign was a testament to the power of wisdom, justice, and compassion, laying the foundation for the epic tale of love, betrayal, and vengeance that was about to unfold.

Set's Jealousy and the Coffin Trick
However, not everyone was pleased with Osiris's success. His brother, Set, harbored deep jealousy and resentment. Set, the god of chaos, storms, and the desert, felt overshadowed by Osiris's widespread acclaim and the love he received from their people. This envy festered within him, gradually turning into a dark and consuming rage.  Their relationship deteriorated further after Nephthys, Set's wife, disguised herself as Isis and seduced Osiris, becoming pregnant with the god Anubis. Set's anger drove him to concoct a sinister plan to usurp the throne and eliminate Osiris once and for all. Knowing that he needed to catch Osiris off guard to ensure his plan's success, Set commissioned the creation of a beautifully decorated coffin, crafted to Osiris's exact measurements. The coffin was an exquisite work of art, inlaid with gold and precious stones, designed to attract and intrigue the unsuspecting Osiris.

With the coffin prepared, Set orchestrated a grand feast, inviting Osiris and many other guests to celebrate. The atmosphere was one of joy and festivity, filled with laughter, music, and the clinking of glasses. Set, hiding his true intentions behind a mask of brotherly affection, mingled with the guests, his mind constantly on the treacherous act he was about to commit.

As the feast reached its peak, Set unveiled the magnificent coffin, presenting it as a gift. He declared that whoever fit perfectly inside the coffin could keep it. This announcement piqued the curiosity of the guests, who were eager to see who would be the lucky recipient. Set's words were met with admiration and intrigue, as everyone marveled at the coffin's craftsmanship.

Osiris, trusting his brother and captivated by the beauty of the coffin, decided to try his luck. Encouraged by the cheers and encouragement of the guests, he lay down inside the coffin, perfectly fitting its dimensions. In that moment of vulnerability, Set's true nature revealed itself. With a swift and ruthless motion, Set and his accomplices slammed the lid shut, sealing Osiris inside.

The guests were horrified and confused, their joyous celebration turning into chaos. Set's loyal followers quickly overpowered anyone who attempted to intervene. With Osiris securely trapped, Set's minions carried the coffin to the Nile River. Under the cover of night, they threw it into the dark, swirling waters, leaving Osiris to what they believed was his watery grave.

Set's heinous act was not only a bid for power but also a direct assault on the natural order and harmony that Osiris had worked so hard to establish. By casting Osiris into the Nile, Set sought to plunge Egypt into chaos and darkness, usurping the throne and imposing his own brutal rule.
Osiris' body traveled out to sea and eventually his coffin became lodged in a great tamarisk tree growing near Byblos in Phoenicia. 

Isis's Relentless Search
Devastated by the loss of her husband, Isis, Osiris's devoted wife, embarked on a search to find his body. Her heart heavy with grief but fueled by determination, she traversed the length and breadth of Egypt, following every rumor and clue. The journey was arduous, filled with challenges and dangers, but Isis's love for Osiris and her unwavering resolve kept her moving forward.

Isis's journey took her far and wide, beyond the familiar borders of her homeland. She ventured into distant lands, consulting with wise men, priests, and oracles, all in the hope of uncovering the whereabouts of Osiris's coffin. Her travels brought her to the bustling markets and serene temples, the desolate deserts, and the dense forests. She pleaded with the gods for guidance, performed rituals, and prayed fervently, all the while keeping her faith that she would find Osiris.

After an exhaustive search, Isis's efforts were finally rewarded when she discovered that the coffin had been carried by the Nile's currents  and became lodged in a great tamarisk tree growing near to the city of Byblos, Phoenicia. The tree had grown quickly around the coffin until it completely contained it. The king of Byblos, Malcander, came to the shore with his wife Astarte and admired the tree and the sweet scent which seemed to emanate from it. He ordered the tree cut down and brought to his palace as an ornamental pillar for the court, and there Osiris remained, trapped inside the coffin within the pillar, until he died.

Upon arriving in Byblos, Isis quickly realized the significance of the tree and the pillar within the royal palace. Disguising herself as a humble servant, she gained entry to the palace and became a nursemaid to the queen's child. Her presence brought blessings to the household, and she soon earned the trust and favor of the royal family. In time, Isis revealed her true identity and her quest to the queen, who was moved by her story and agreed to help.

With the queen's assistance, the pillar was carefully dismantled, and Isis reclaimed the coffin containing Osiris's body. Her relief and joy at finding her husband were immense. Determined to restore Osiris to life, Isis embarked on the next stage of her journey: returning to Egypt. She carefully transported the coffin back to her homeland, hiding it from Set's spies and followers. She knew that Set's wrath would be swift and merciless if he discovered her mission.

Set discovered Isis's success and, in a fit of rage, Determined to stop Osiris's resurrection, dismembered Osiris into fourteen pieces, scattering them across Egypt , hidden in remote and desolate places, ensuring that Isis would face an almost insurmountable challenge in her quest to find them all. Undeterred, Isis, with the help of her sister Nephthys and other loyal allies, set out to find the scattered pieces. She overcame perilous obstacles, guided by love and powerful magic, preserving each piece for the final act of resurrection.

Set's cruel act was driven by his desire to cement his power and eliminate any threat to his rule. He believed that by dispersing Osiris's body parts across the land, Isis would be unable to reassemble him and bring him back to life. Set reveled in his perceived victory, confident that he had finally rid himself of his rival.

But Isis, undeterred by Set's cruelty and relentless in her love for Osiris, refused to give up. Her grief was profound, but her determination was unbreakable. She knew that the task ahead would be arduous, but her resolve to restore Osiris drove her forward. With the help of her sister Nephthys and other loyal allies, Isis set out on a new quest to find the scattered pieces of Osiris's body.

Isis's search was fraught with peril. Each piece of Osiris's body was hidden in a place guarded by dangerous creatures, natural barriers, or magical traps set by Set. Yet, guided by her unwavering love and powerful magic, Isis overcame each obstacle. She ventured into the darkest forests, crossed treacherous deserts, and braved the depths of the Nile. Her journey was a testament to her strength, resilience, and unyielding spirit.

The Heart in the Nile Delta
Isis began her journey in the dense forests of the Nile Delta. Guided by her magic and unwavering determination, she calmed the creatures guarding the first piece, Osiris's heart, and retrieved it with reverence and care.

The Left Leg in the Sahara Desert
Her search then led her to the vast Sahara Desert, where Osiris's left leg was buried beneath the scorching sands. Guided by visions and divine intervention, Isis braved the treacherous desert, her feet blistered and her body weary. Finally, she uncovered the leg, weeping tears of both sorrow and relief.

The Right Arm in the Eastern Desert
The search for Osiris's right arm brought Isis to the treacherous cliffs of the Eastern Desert. The arm was hidden in a cave guarded by a fierce serpent. Armed with powerful incantations, Isis confronted the serpent, emerging victorious and adding the arm to her collection.

The Head in the Northern Mountains
Osiris's head was hidden in the rugged northern mountains. Isis climbed the steep slopes, facing harsh winds and freezing temperatures. She found the head in a hidden cave, retrieving it with solemn reverence.

The Right Leg in the Southern Swamps
The search for the right leg took Isis to the southern swamps, where it was hidden among thick reeds and murky waters. Navigating the treacherous terrain, she found the leg submerged in a bog, retrieving it with determination.

The Left Arm in the Western Oasis
The left arm was hidden in a lush oasis in the western desert. Isis, guided by the whispers of the gods, followed the trail to the oasis. She found the arm in a hidden grove, guarded by mystical creatures, and retrieved it with careful incantations.

The Torso in the Valley of Kings
Osiris's torso was buried in the Valley of the Kings, a place of great spiritual significance. Isis performed rituals to gain access to the hidden tomb, where she found the torso protected by ancient spells. She broke the enchantments and retrieved the torso.

The Liver in the Faiyum Oasis
The liver was hidden in the Faiyum Oasis, a fertile region known for its abundant wildlife. Isis navigated through the dense foliage and wild animals, eventually finding the liver in a hidden cave.

The Stomach in the Red Sea Coast
Osiris's stomach was hidden along the Red Sea coast, buried under layers of coral and rock. Isis dived into the depths, using her magic to breathe underwater, and retrieved the stomach from its oceanic grave.

The Intestines in the Western Desert
The intestines were buried deep in the Western Desert, a place of harsh conditions and dangerous creatures. Guided by divine visions, Isis found the intestines hidden in a remote cave.

The Spine in the Nile River
The spine was hidden in the Nile River itself, symbolizing Osiris's connection to the lifeblood of Egypt. Isis performed sacred rituals to part the waters and retrieve the spine from the riverbed.

The Ribs in the Eastern Marshlands
The ribs were scattered in the eastern marshlands, a place of thick reeds and treacherous waters. Isis used her magic to navigate the marshes and found the ribs hidden among the reeds.

The Hands in the Great Pyramid
Osiris's hands were hidden in the Great Pyramid, a place of immense spiritual power. Isis performed ancient rites to gain access to the hidden chamber and retrieved the hands.

The Phallus in the Nile (Swallowed by a Fish)
The final piece, Osiris's phallus, had been swallowed by a fish in the Nile. Unable to retrieve it, Isis used her magical abilities to create a replacement, ensuring that Osiris's body would be whole once more.

As she gathered each piece, Isis performed sacred rituals to preserve them, ensuring that they would be ready for the final act of resurrection. The journey took her to every corner of Egypt, and her perseverance became legendary among the people, who saw in her the embodiment of devotion and hope.

The most challenging part of her quest was finding the final piece, Osiris's phallus, which had been swallowed by a fish. Using her magical abilities, Isis created a replacement for the missing piece, demonstrating her resourcefulness and ingenuity. With all the pieces now collected, she prepared for the sacred ritual to bring Osiris back to life.

In a secluded and sacred place, Isis, with Nephthys and other loyal followers, reassembled Osiris's body. She used her powerful magic and performed ancient rites, chanting incantations that called upon the gods for their aid. The air was thick with anticipation as the ritual progressed, and the forces of the divine converged upon the scene.

Through her unwavering faith and magical prowess, Isis succeeded in resurrecting Osiris. Though he could not return to the mortal realm as before, Osiris was revived enough to fulfill his destiny as the ruler of the underworld. His resurrection was a triumph of love and devotion over death and chaos, a beacon of hope in the darkest of times.

Osiris existed in a state between life and death, a divine being with the capacity to interact with the living world in limited ways. His resurrection was sufficient, however, to allow him to unite with Isis and conceive a son, Horus. This miraculous event was a testament to the enduring power of love and the relentless determination of Isis.

Following this miraculous conception, Osiris underwent a transformation, assuming his new role as the ruler of the underworld. In this capacity, he presided over the realm of the dead, known as Duat. His duties involved judging the souls of the deceased and determining their fates in the afterlife. Osiris's wisdom, justice, and compassion made him the perfect arbiter in this sacred role. 

Osiris's presence in Duat was both majestic and solemn. He was often depicted seated on a throne, wearing the Atef crown, a white crown flanked by two ostrich feathers, symbolizing his authority and divine nature. In his hands, he held the crook and flail, traditional symbols of kingship and power. His serene and dignified appearance conveyed his role as a just and compassionate ruler.

The process of judgment in Duat was a critical aspect of Osiris's duties. Upon entering the underworld, the souls of the deceased faced the Hall of Ma'at, where their hearts were weighed against the feather of Ma'at on the scales of justice. This pivotal moment determined their fate in the afterlife. If the heart, representing the soul's deeds and moral character, balanced with the feather, the soul was deemed pure and worthy. Osiris, presiding over this ritual, ensured that each judgment was fair and just.

Those who passed the judgment were granted passage to the Field of Reeds, a paradise where they would experience eternal bliss, similar to their life on earth but without suffering or toil. It was a place of abundance and peace, where the righteous souls could live forever in harmony with the gods and their ancestors. For those whose hearts were heavier than the feather, indicating a life of wrongdoing, the outcome was dire. These souls were condemned to various punishments, tailored to the nature of their sins, or faced obliteration by the monstrous deity Ammit, who devoured the impure hearts. This finality ensured that only the virtuous could attain eternal life, reinforcing the moral codes of ancient Egyptian society.

Osiris's role as the judge of the dead extended beyond mere judgment. He also offered protection and guidance to the souls navigating the complexities of the underworld. The deceased would invoke Osiris in funerary texts and prayers, seeking his favor and assistance in their journey through Duat. His benevolence and fairness provided comfort to the living, knowing that their loved ones would be treated justly in the afterlife.

Temples dedicated to Osiris, such as the famous temple at Abydos, became centers of worship and pilgrimage. Festivals and rites celebrated his resurrection and his reign over the underworld, reinforcing his importance in the daily lives of the Egyptians. 

The Birth and Destiny of Horus
Isis gave birth to Horus, a son destined to avenge his father's death and reclaim the throne of Egypt from Set. Horus, born in secrecy, was nurtured by his mother in the safety of the marshes, away from Set’s watchful eyes. Isis, a figure of immense wisdom and power, dedicated herself to preparing Horus for his future role. She taught him the ways of the gods, instilled in him the principles of Ma'at (truth and justice), and trained him in the arts of war and leadership.

From a young age, Horus showed signs of his divine heritage. His eyes glowed with a fierce determination, and his heart burned with a desire to restore balance to the land. Under Isis's careful guidance, Horus learned to harness his innate abilities, mastering both physical combat and magical prowess. Isis ensured that Horus understood the weight of his destiny, imbuing him with a sense of purpose and responsibility.

As Horus grew, his training intensified. He practiced tirelessly with weapons, honing his skills with the spear and the bow. His agility and strength became legendary, matched only by his strategic mind. Isis also imparted to him the sacred knowledge of spells and rituals, ensuring that Horus could wield both martial and mystical power in his quest to defeat Set.

During this period, Horus also forged alliances with other gods and powerful beings who supported his cause. He gained the loyalty of the god Thoth, who shared his wisdom and knowledge of the arcane arts. The falcon-headed god was also backed by the goddess Nephthys, his aunt, who, along with Isis, provided emotional and spiritual support.

Horus's Vengeance
When the time came, Horus, fully prepared and imbued with divine strength, stepped forward to challenge Set. The heavens and earth trembled as these two powerful gods faced off, each embodying fundamental cosmic forces: Horus representing order, justice, and rightful kingship, and Set symbolizing chaos, destruction, and illegitimate power.

The conflict between Horus and Set was marked by a series of epic battles that tested the limits of their strength, cunning, and resilience. Each confrontation was more intense than the last, as the gods transformed into various creatures and wielded their immense powers to gain the upper hand. The battles were not confined to the physical realm; they also involved intricate strategies, magical duels, and divine interventions.

One of the most notable clashes occurred in the great celestial arena, where Horus, with the head of a falcon, and Set, in the form of a monstrous beast, fought for dominance. The sky itself seemed to reflect their struggle, with storms and celestial disturbances mirroring the chaos of their confrontation. Horus, with his keen eyesight and swift reflexes, matched Set's brute strength and ferocity blow for blow.

Their battles also spilled over into the mortal world, affecting the lives of humans and the natural order. In one legendary encounter, they fought as hippopotamuses in the Nile, their immense bodies churning the river into a frothy tempest. Villagers along the banks watched in awe and fear, aware that the outcome of this divine struggle would determine the fate of their land.

Throughout these epic battles, Horus demonstrated not only physical prowess but also exceptional wisdom and strategic acumen. He sought guidance from his mother, Isis, and other supportive deities like Thoth, the god of wisdom, and Hathor, the goddess of love and joy. Their counsel and support were instrumental in bolstering his resolve and providing him with the necessary tools and knowledge to confront Set.

One of the key moments in their struggle was the infamous trial before the assembly of gods. Set and Horus presented their cases, each arguing their right to the throne of Egypt. The trial was a complex and prolonged affair, filled with debates, accusations, and divine testimonies. Isis, ever resourceful, played a pivotal role in ensuring that Horus's legitimacy was recognized, using her intelligence and charm to sway the gods' opinions.

Despite Set's cunning and relentless efforts to undermine Horus, the truth of Horus's rightful claim could not be denied. The gods, led by Ra, the sun god, ultimately ruled in favor of Horus. This divine verdict was a turning point, symbolizing the triumph of order and justice over chaos and treachery.

Set was not one to concede defeat easily. Even after the judgment, he continued to challenge Horus, leading to one final, climactic battle. This ultimate confrontation took place on the plains of Edfu, where Horus, imbued with the power of the gods and the righteousness of his cause, faced Set in a duel that would decide the future of Egypt once and for all.

In this decisive battle, Horus unleashed his full might. With the strength of a warrior and the precision of a falcon, he struck Set down, defeating him decisively. Set's defeat was not just a personal loss but a cosmic victory for the forces of order. Bound and exiled, Set was cast out to the barren deserts, far from the fertile lands of Egypt, where he could no longer wreak havoc.

Horus's triumph marked the end of a long and arduous struggle. He avenged his father's death, restoring honor to Osiris's memory and justice to the land. Ascending to the throne, Horus became the rightful king of Egypt, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. His reign was characterized by adherence to Ma'at, the principle of truth and balance, ensuring that his rule was just and benevolent.

The epic myth of Osiris remains one of the most enduring and influential stories in Egyptian mythology. It continues to inspire and fascinate, offering timeless lessons about resilience, devotion, and the triumph of good over evil. The story of Osiris stands out as a beacon of hope and a testament to the enduring human spirit.

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