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brother seth, heaven and earth, divine presence, magic abilities

Osiris and the journey to Eternal Life

Author: Mirjam

Brought to you by Archetypal Astrology

Osiris, the king of Egypt was beloved by all his people. He taught them to plow the earth, to honor the gods and he gave them laws to live by. But his brother Seth was jealous and plotted against him to become king in his place. Even though his queen, Isis, was constantly on her guard, Seth tricked Osiris into taking place in a casket which was locked and thrown into the Nile where the current carried it away.

When Isis found out about this, she was overcome with grief and cut off her hair, dressed herself in mourning clothes and went on her way to search for the coffin which contained her husband's body.

From Coffin to Tree

She wandered for a long time, weeping and searching for the casket, until one day she found that it had floated ashore and gotten stuck in a heather bush. Nurtured by the divine presence of Osiris´ body, the bush had sprouted and grown into a large tree which had been cut down and used in the building of a palace.

Found and Lost

In the palace she soon enough found a pillar, made from the treetrunk that enclosed her husband's coffin. Some time later she was permitted to take the treetrunk back to Egypt. When she had returned to the Nile, Seth and his men were out hunting nearby. When he happened upon the casket, he recognized it and feared that Isis had found him out and would punish him. He broke it open and tore Osiris´ body into several pieces which he spread out all over the land. Only then did he feel safe from revenge.

Isis cry of anguish shook heaven and earth. Once more she went out searching and for long, sorrowful years she wandered through the lands. Wherever she found a piece of the body, she erected an altar, giving thanks to the gods. And when at last all the parts had been found, she succeeded, through her magic abilities and her prayers to Ra, in restoring life to Osiris - for one night of love. Thereafter he died again.

Lord of Eternal Life

But after his ordeals and sufferings Osiris was reborn in the Land of the Dead and there he reigned and presided over the deceased to ensure that they too would live forever, while in the Land of the Living his son Horus revenged him and took up his fathers place on the throne, so that life could start anew.

The Connection to Capricorn

When the sun is at its lowest point and the darkness seems endless, the sign of Capricorn begins. It is interesting to note that several myths about the god who dies and is reborn celebrates this time of year as the rebirth of the new god. Not only Christ is celebrated at this time of year, the cult of Mithras also saw the god die and being reborn when the days were at their shortest. And King Arthur is also said to have been born at the winter solstice.

The sign of Capricorn has to do with authority and seriousness, of assuming responsibility and of a life burdened with work and duty. Here one could associate with the myths dealing with leadership, be it as a father or a king.

The myth, or passion, of Osiris is a remarkable story of complex symbolism. Each of the figures partaking in it, has an archetypal function, acting out their part with striking clarity, yet there are levels of understanding that evades the reader at first. Osiris´ connection to Capricorn, which we have to limit ourselves to here, is about rulership, responsibility and the necessity of giving up ones´ usual existence for another form of life.

The king must die - so that the son may assume his role. This is a recurring theme throughout the world of myth. But the king is reborn in a new form and so the circle has been closed and the new beginning is at hand. This idea was known even in Ancient Egypt, in the myth of Osiris and his wife Isis. The female here plays a crucial part, for without her it would have been impossible for their son Horus to assume his fathers place.

This is an important point. For many with Capricorn emphasized in the chart, it is not so easy to let the female part have its say. It can be all too easy to be absorbed in daily duties and struggle for money and career, while the intuitive and feeling side of the personality is suffering in silence. And without that, Capricorn runs the danger of mental crystallization from living within fixed structures and set ways of going about things. So the king must die, the act of Seth is necessary in the order of things. Osiris has to be torn apart, old set ways of living must be broken down so that new ones - new approaches, can bring new life. Isis, the female within, assembles and heals. She is the one who finds all the parts, she is the one who actually does the work! Without her it would have been impossible to create new life. In that way the new life within is given a chance.

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