Weaving has always been an act of power. To weave is to create. To weave is to connect. In ancient Egypt, in addition to cloth, magic could be woven. And Isis and Nephthys were known as the Abuti, the Two Weavers.
I would like to ask you to join me in a magical act of weaving connections right now in order to create a more beautiful cloth for Isiopolis. If you have friends who you think would be interested in the topics here on Isiopolis, will you please send them a link? Feel free to repost Isiopolis posts to forums or groups that you may be a part of. There are so many of us who love Isis today, perhaps Isiopolis can become one of the places we can share Her magic. Also, if you know of any good Isis or Egyptian-oriented blogs that you think I should link to, please let me know so I can weave from my end as well.
Thank you for your help in weaving Isiopolis into the community of Isis lovers, and now back to our regularly scheduled blog post…
In addition to Isis and Nephthys, there are other Egyptian weaving Goddesses. Tayt is the weaver of the all-important mummy wrappings and Neith is the Great Goddess of culture and war and Whose symbol has been interpreted as either a weaving shuttle or a shield with spears. The Greeks associated Neith with Athena due to Her Athena-like primary occupations. By the time Plutarch wrote his essay “On Isis and Osiris,” Isis and Neith were connected as well for Plutarch notes specifically that Athena (that is, Neith) is a Goddess the Egyptians identify with Isis. Plutarch is also the one who tells us that the statue of the Goddess at Sais, home of Neith’s major temple, bore the famous inscription, “I am all that was, and is, and shall be, and no mortal hath ever Me unveiled.” Because of Plutarch’s preservation of this inscription, many people today are familiar with the idea of the Veil of Isis; the veil itself being a woven thing, of course.
Like Tayt, Isis and Nephthys were mummy-cloth weavers. Funerary texts sometimes call this magic-imbued cloth the “netting of Isis” and the “cloth of Nephthys.” The Goddesses weave other things as well. A formula in the Graeco-Egyptian magical papyri addresses the wick of a divinatory lamp as the funerary robe of Osiris that was “woven by the hand of Isis, spun by the hand of Nephthys.” In a burn-healing formula, Isis is said to come out of the spinning house in order to heal Horus. In Apuleius’ account of the Festival of the Ship of Isis, the ship’s sail is made of woven white linen and inscribed with magical letters. Initiates of the Mysteries of Isis were known for their woven white linen robes as well. Late sources specifically tell us that it was Isis Who invented weaving.
In most ancient societies, the dexterous hands of women did most of the spinning and weaving. But Egypt was unusual in that both men and women wove. The reason that weaving wasn’t strictly considered lower status “women’s work” may have been that weaving and knitting provided an Egyptian image for how magic could be worked—and both sexes practiced magic.
Numerous funerary texts say that magic is knit or woven around the deceased. The dead person is “knit together in the egg” prior to rebirth, or her head is “knit on” by the Deities. An ancient formula to cure a poisoned cat says that Isis has “spun something” and Nephthys has “woven something” against the poison. Since weaving as an important mechanism of magic, Isis, the Goddess of Magic, is naturally a powerful weaver. Many modern magic workers would agree that the joining together of the threads of energy that are one mechanism of magic can be aptly described by actions such as weaving and knitting.
I’ve been working privately with Isis, Thoth,and Heka (the God Magic) and Weret Hekau (the Goddess Great of Magic) and They are all quite emphatic about the importance of the concept of weaving magic. We shall see where that goes. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in weaving the magic of connection. May Isis bless every thread.