Asteroid Isis – A Sum of Parts

the-temple-of-isis-on-philae-island-1882ASTRONOMY
Asteroid 42 was discovered on May 23rd 1856 by Norman R. Pogson of Oxford England.  The name however was given by the astronomer-director of Radcliffe Observatory.  It is thought that the name may have some reference to Pogson’s daughter Elizabeth whose middle name was Isis and also perhaps a subtle reference to the part of the river Thames which is locally known as The Isis in Oxford.

Isis is a main-belt asteroid measuring 100.2km. Her orbit is 3.82 years.

MYTHOLOGY

She who gives birth to heaven and earth,
She who knows the orphan,
She who knows the widow spider,
She who seeks justice for the poor people,
She who seeks shelter for the weak people
She who seeks the righteousness in her people
The Book of the Dead…

Isis was considered to be one of the Ennead – one of the 9 primary deities of Egypt. She was born on the fourth intercalary day. In Ancient Egypt, the year consisted of 360 days plus 5 extra days at the end of the year to allow the year to catch up with the Sun (much like we today have an extra day added every four years so that our calendar ‘leaps’ to stay in time with our local star).

Daughter to Geb (God of Earth) and Nut (the over-arching sky), Isis was one of four siblings. Her sister Nephthys married their brother Seth. Isis married brother Osiris. In ancient times it was common to retain royal blood lines by marrying within families.

The name Isis has been said to mean ‘throne’ and ‘knowledge’. As Great Mother to All, she watched over the Pharaoh and provided a source of power to the Royal seat. In hieroglyphics, her name was written as ‘throne’. Generally she had a special relationship with woman, being both a Goddess of child birth and Goddess associated with death but she was revered amongst all as a dedicated, faithful, compassionate wife and mother.

Amongst her many tales, two stories stand out. The first is the tale of how she tricked Ra into telling her his secret name which gave her magical power over him. The story goes that Isis created a snake out of the spittle which Ra (the Sun God) drooled as he slept one night. The snake then bit the Sun God. Ra discovered that despite all his magical power, he couldn’t cure himself of the poison from the snake.  This was because the snake was part of him so immune to his own powers. Isis then told Ra she could cure him but only if she knew his secret name. Eventually Ra relented and told her his true name whereupon she cured him but retained the magical knowledge of the Gods and became equal in power to them.

The idea of the snake ‘biting’ the Sun seems to me a symbolic story that explains a solar eclipse.

The other famous tale of Isis concerns the loss of her husband-brother Osiris. Jealous Seth killed Osiris and hid his body in a box thrown into the River Nile. Isis however, overcome with grief at the loss of her husband, searched high and low and eventually found his body. Seth was enraged and proceeded to tear the body of Osiris apart, scattering it across the world.

But Isis would not give up. Her love for her husband meant she scoured the earth until she found all the pieces. Once she had reassembled him, she breathed life into Osiris, made love to him and conceived a child – Horus.

Whilst the details of the story seem to change with different translations, the essential part remains the same. Isis put together her husband and gave birth to a child.

Looking at her name I see the words ‘Is‘ ‘Is‘ – Is is the present tense of ‘To Be’ in the English language. Isis just IS. She contains the concept of just ‘being’. In this sense we see the Great Mother. She is creation, assembling the fleshy pieces of her dead husband O – siris until he is complete, remade and reborn; fertile once again. She is the circle of life and death.

Inscribed on one of the temples of Isis are the words, “I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or shall be.”

ASTROLOGY
Isis is one of the Great Goddesses with a complex history and mythology. Working  with asteroids in astrology, I find they tend to hone in on specifics. Depending on the connections in the chart however and the individuals experience, the myth of Isis may take on a broader tone.

For me personally, the most striking tale of Isis is her determination to piece together the body of her husband Osiris and the resulting child. It is this that seems to echo through the asteroid.

Keywords and Concepts – Collect, collate, assemble, piece together, get it together,  accumulate, unite, compile, jigsaw, a need to bring together scattered parts, seeing the whole in a sum of parts. Magical knowledge, un-dying love, faithfulness, the perfect wife, dedicated mother.

In my own chart, Isis is conjunct natal Mars in the 10th house in Taurus. Realising this was like one of the ‘aha!’ moments that often happens in one’s astrological journey! Whilst I relate to Mars in Taurus in that I work slowly and steadily, my working life is a patchwork of interests and experiences pulled together by love for the things I do. Sometimes I stop and start, pulled in different directions but deep down I know the pieces that belong.

I noticed in the last Full Moon chart cast for London, England, Mercury sat in conjunction with Isis conjunct the Ascendant from the 12th house. This seemed to me a fascinating comment on the current situation with the hacking scandals involving certain tabloid newspapers in Britain. The situation itself is represented by this configuration – pieces of information were gathered in secret to create ‘news’. Lighting up the 12th house of this chart was the Sun, sitting on the Sabian “A meeting of a literary society!”.

Barack Obama has an interesting position of Isis. Nestled between his natal Sun and Mercury in the 6th house, Isis shows Obama is a skilled orator motivating people to work together to improve their daily lives.

Carl Jung had Isis in the 10th house in Scorpio. He made a career out of piecing together the archetypal dream images from the deep unconscious as a psychiatrist; seeking to understand the whole from the sum of parts.

Dan Brown, author of fast paced mystical thrillers has Isis conjunct Mars in Gemini. His most famous novel The Davinci Code sees the hero of the tale piecing together clues to a hidden code which reveal a story of both his own lineage and that of Christ.

For me, Isis is ultimately about union. She sees connections where others cannot or perhaps it is her devotion that continues to look until she sees.

It makes me smile to think that Isis is asteroid number 42; maybe she is the answer to Life The Universe and Everything! Douglas Adams himself had Isis in Aquarius in the 8th House opposite Pluto. When you consider that the computer (Aquarius) was called Deep Thought (Pluto sesquiquadrate Mercury) is it any wonder that he came to the conclusion ’42’? 🙂

HOW TO FIND ASTEROID ISIS IN YOUR OWN CHART
To find Asteroid Isis in your chart go to Astro.com. You need to register on the site but this is free. Once you have joined, enter your birth data in ‘My Astro’ then click on ‘Free Horoscopes’. Scroll down to ‘Extended Chart Selection’. Once you reach the data page choose ‘Natal Chart Wheel’ and change the house system to the one of your choice. At the bottom of the page you will see an ‘Additional Objects’ section. Type the number 42 into the ‘additional asteroids or hypothetical planets’ field then ‘click here to show chart’. Voila!

Resources
Wikipedia – Isis
The Book of the Dead
Astrodatabank

Painting – ‘The Temple Of Isis On Philae Island’ by Vasily Polenov
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17 COMMENTS

  1. Hmmm, I had never explored or looked up Isis before, but now (after reading this) I looked up the position and discovered that she is conjunct my Gemini Ascendant!

    I know what you mean when you discover something about your chart that strikes you with an ‘aha’ moment…it did the same to me when I found Pallas and Juno’s position in my chart. Pallas is conjunct my 8th house saturn (and incidently both my parents suns!) and Juno is conjunct my Descendant. Also Vesta completes a grand earth trine with my Moon and Venus/Pluto.

    Oooh all this is making want to explore it all much further, I am sure there is so much there and I have only just scratched the surface and have not even begun to ‘see it’ all.

    Thanks as always for a thought provoking post. 🙂 x

  2. My Isis is 21 Leo…..5th house……how and where can I find the interpretation of that position?

    Many thanks in advance….curious because I have lillith 21 taurus. house 2

  3. Hi Chickie
    Not very much has been written about Isis, in fact many of the asteroids are still a mystery to us. Much of it is about seeing how they work in your chart, particularly when activated by transit or progressions.

    With Isis in the 5th/Leo, Isis relates to creativity, children, love affairs
    She may bring a gift for bringing together seemingly unconnected ideas into a creative project.
    She may add a touch of magic to romance and bring new partners through meaningful coincidences.
    She may bring a deep love of children (Isis was a devoted Mother)

    Black Moon Lilith in the 2nd house can indicate a powerful and sometimes conflicting relationship with money. Money can be seen as the road to slavery or the road to freedom. In another way, BML in the 2nd can suggest drawing on your inner wildness as a resource. By accepting your inner darkness, you can find emotional security.

  4. Isis is exactly conjunct my IC in Taurus trine my 12th house Cap Sun…. many of my past relationships have been with broken men who I’ve tried to put back together again. I know the IC has to do with family inheritance etc… could I be from a high priestess bloodline?

  5. P.S. And Kali is conjunct my Scorpio North node…. lots of Goddess energy on sensitive parts of the chart.

  6. Hi Danielle
    Interesting how Isis has manifested for you – thanks for sharing that 🙂 It’s difficult to say whether you are from a High Priestess bloodline but it’s certainly possible that some ancient ancestor may have practised. For ancient heritage or past life indications I look to the 12th house, the Sabian symbol of the pre-natal new moon, the south node and the IC. If you would like to do more work on connecting with your family bloodline, I would recommend meditation on the new moon in cancer, the new moon occurring in your 4th house and the time of year when the Sun transits your IC and/or the south node. It might also be useful to keep a notebook handy around these times to note down any dreams or random thoughts that pop up during those times.

  7. Hello Leah, The way you described Isis made me think of Virgo right away, gathering, and putting back together to recreate the whole..

    When I did the chart………………my Isis is at 16° Virgo, in my third house. Usually, I think of the 3rd as my rotten thieving Taurus sisters who, tho rich themselves, stole my mother’s estate from me, the oldest who always was burdened with their care when young. I’m stumped, so your comments would be helpful. Prob. it is a mid-point of some 2 planets??

  8. I have got isis and osiris in the 1.house in leo. My ascendant is leo as well…also my lilith is placed in leo!

    Very Interested topic:)
    Thx for sharing

  9. I have Isis in the 10th house in Scorpio. Sextile Sun in Virgo, 8th house Sextile mercury in the 8th, and semi trine ascendant (Sagittarius) Any interpretations at all?

  10. Hi Elizabeth, I only interpret smaller asteroids that make close conjunctions (and occasionally tight oppositions) to planets or points otherwise with so many asteroids, the story of the chart starts to become diluted. Generally speaking, with Isis in the 10th house, maybe she would relate to a career that is composed of different interests – or a career that involves composition in some way (such as an artist or writer). In Scorpio, perhaps too, there is a skill at being able to piece together psychological profiles.

  11. Thank you for the enlightenment, I’m quite new to astrology so i’m just figuring out where all my Egyptian asteroids are placed. I’ve just noticed that I have Isis conjunct the mc too.

  12. You’re welcome Elizabeth – ah, if she is conjunct your MC, then I imagine she would make an impact. Gods and Goddesses on the MC can be rather like feeling watched over by those deities 🙂

  13. Thank you again for the interpretations, Checking my natal chart again, I also have Apophis conjunct sun, Anubis Conjunct MC, and Tutankhamen conjunct Mc. Do you have any interpretations on those at all? If you don’t mind that is. Thanks again in advance.

  14. Leah, I would love your take on Isis in the 8th at 2′ 56″ Pisces. This is where she lives in my chart and my affinity with Isis is very strong. I saw your mention above of Isis with Scorpio as skill at being able to piece together psychological profiles… This definitely rings true for me personally. I am curious what twist you might put on it framed with 8th house in Pisces? I appreciate any insight you can provide!
    Thank you so much.
    Aime

  15. Hello! I have Isis at 7° Sagittarius in my 7th house along with Osiris and Union. Im fairly new to astrology, any interpretation on her placement in the 7th house? Thank you!

  16. I have Isis and Innanen conjunct My Ascendant. What does it mean to have Isis and Innanen conjunct? How do they amplify My Ascendant in Gemini?

    Thanks!

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