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Deities & Heros >> Egyptian
waxing and waning of the moon, mummy wrappings, fertility god, brother seth


Author: Mirjam

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Osiris, Wesir, Ausar, Usir, meaning "place of the eye". Also Wennefer which means "the eternally good being" or "the perfect one". He has been called "Lord of the Afterworld", "Judge of the Blessed Dead", "Father of the Kings".

He developed from a primitive fertility god in Lower Egypt to one of the greatest and most important of all the Egyptian Netjers, whose myth still lived on long after the fall of Egypt. In earliest times he was worshipped by the common people as a fertility god, associated with the inundation of the Nile and symbolizing the fertile land of Kemet. From this his association with resurrection and new life developed.

The waxing and waning of the moon was interpreted as the death and resurrection of the god.

Osiris is often depicted in white mummy wrappings and with his skin white or black, alluding to the realm of the dead, or green as a symbol of resurrection.

In myth he is the son of Geb, the earth god, brother and the husband of Isis, and brother to Nephtys andSeth. He was slain by his brother, resurrected by his sister-spouse who also gave him his son Horus whom he in the end took revenge upon his brother Seth.

Through this Osiris became the ruler of the Underworld, king of the deceased. He was seen as the night form of the sun, even the moon sometimes.

On the Island of Bigeh, close to the island of Philae, there is said to be found 16 mythical tombs to Osiris. The island is also called 'Abaton', which means 'inaccessible'. Loud speak was forbidden here, and the statue of the goddess Isis was brought over from Philae at frequent intervals to make offerings to his tombs.

It was also believed that Hapi, the personification of the inundation, to whom Osiris had a close connection, lived in a cave on Bigeh, the entrance being protected by a sacred snake.

Main center of worship:

Abedju/Abydos, 8 th Nome, Upper Egypt

Other sites:

Saqqara, 1st Nome, Lower Egypt - to Osiris-Apis & Isis

Hut-Heryib/Athribis, 1st N, Lower Egypt

Busiris/Abusir, 9th Nome, Lower Egypt

Taposiris magna west of Alexandria, Lower Egypt

Djan┬┤netTanis, west of, 19th N, Lower Egypt

Bigeh by Philae 1st N, Upper Egypt

Waset/Thebes, 4th N, Upper Egypt, at Karnak there was 5 chapels built to Osiris and a small temple to Osiris-Heka-djet.

Festivals: (dates not historically verified)

14th of July, the 1st Epagomenal Day, is the Birthday of Wesir (Osiris)

12 August - 25th Thuti - Osirian Mysteries

17th August - 30th Thuti - Rituals in the Temples of Ra, Horus and Osiris

30th August - 13th Paopi - Day of Satisfying the Hearts of the Ennead

2nd September - 16th Paopi - Feast of Osiris

5th September - 19th Paopi - Ceremony of Raising the Djed Pillar

16th September - 30th Paopi - Kemet in festival for Ra, Osiris and Horus

28th September - 12th Hethara - Osiris goes forth to Abydos

27th October - 11th Koiak - Feast of Wasir (Osiris) in Abydos

28th October - 12th Koiak - Day of Transformation into the Bennu Bird

29th October - 13th Koiak - Day of Going Forth of Het-Hert and the Ennead

30th October -- 14th Koiak - Coming forth of the Bennu transformed.

6th November - 12st Koiak - Raising the Djed Pillar

15th November - 30th Koiak - The Ennead feast in the House of Ra, Heru and Wasir

3rd December - 18th Tybi - Going forth of the Netjeru of Abydos

1st January - 17th Mechir - Day of keeping the things of Wesir (Osiris) in the hands of Anpu (Anubis)

20th January - 6th Pamenot - Festival of Jubilation for Wesir (Osiris) in Busiris

11th February - 28th Pamenot - Feast of Wesir (Osiris)in Abydos

13th February - 30th Pamenot - Feast of Wesir (Osiris) in Busiris; The Doorways of the Horizon are opened

15th March - 30th Parmutit - Offerings to Ra, Wasir, Heru, Ptah, Sokar and Atum

2nd May - 18th Payni - Wasir Goes Forth from His mountain

Suggested News Resources

New discovery in Upper Egypt reveals ancient Osiris rituals
A team of archeologists from Toronto University has discovered a cache of animal mummies that reveal rituals carried out by ancient Egyptians for their god Osiris. The team discovered the remains of three hall temples from the reign of King Seti I.