The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis was adopted by many cultures over the centuries, including the Greeks and Romans and had cult followings from England all the way to Afghanistan. Several narratives tell of her magical prowess, far stronger than the powers of all other gods. She was a principal deity in rites connected with the dead; as magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the deceased to life; and she was worshipped by women as the great mother. Isis could change into a bird and is also associated with the star Sirius.
Isis has been visiting my sketch books for a year in different forms. Sometimes fully a bird and other times half a woman. She is powerful but finds herself bound in various states of freedom. She is caught in nets or escaping from them or flying to the stars and ingesting them. With many of us dealing with death and loss over the COVID19 pandemic, the appearance of Isis seems very timely. From the myth of Isis, perhaps we can be comforted that one can live through the loss of a loved one, grieve and become whole again with time. Isis, for me, is a symbol of intense female strength and resilience.