Isis, the Bird Goddess

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bird.

We took a Nile River cruise in Egypt in 2013. One of the sites we visited was Esna Temple, about 50 km south of Luxor. The temple was originally built in New Kingdom times, but the present structure was completed by the Romans in the third century AD.

The temple walls are covered with ornate carvings. One of them, shown in the following image, is Isis, the bird goddess. Isis, whose name means “she who sits,” is seated with the warrior goddess Sekhmet to the left and a god(?) wearing a double-plumed headdress to the right while offering two vessels for judgement. Notice the ankh, representing the key of life, in Isis’ right hand. In this carving, the staff in her left hand is topped by a bird’s head rather than the traditional lotus.

This photo was taken on March 1, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 800, f/4.0, 1/80 sec, focal length 80mm (35m-equivalent).

5 thoughts on “Isis, the Bird Goddess”

  1. Beautiful shot! If I remember correctly, Isis, together with her husband Osiris, is one of the most powerful deities in ancient Egypt. They rule over life and death. But nowadays, her name is accidentally “polluted” by a bunch of senseless killers 😦

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    1. Thank you. The Egyptian deities seemed pretty complicated to us. However, we realized that everything in the carvings had special meaning.

      We hope Isis will be just the Egyptian goddess again soon.

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