Surely you did not expect me not to comment on the fact that the comet lander is named Philae, right? What with all the negative associations of a certain-terrorist-organization-that-shall-remain-nameless with the (most common, Anglicized) name of our Goddess, it does my heart good to hear something positive with Isiac connections in the news.
So, of course, I wanted to know exactly why they named the lander “Philae.”
Turns out that one of the obelisks found on Isis’ temple island of Philae was used to assist in the translation of the Rosetta Stone, which is what enabled us to crack the code of ancient Egyptian. The Rosetta Stone (which is now in the British Museum) has three scripts on it: Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic Egyptian, and Greek. The Philae Obelisk (which is now on a nobleman’s estate in England) is inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. The Philae Obelisk expanded the data and provided some cross-checking ability.
Since the space probe as a whole is named “Rosetta” and its mission is to “translate” information about comets to earth, the parts of the probe are named for the two inscribed items that assisted in translating ancient Egyptian. As an extremely appropriate bonus, the Rosetta probe also carries a “Rosetta disc” containing 13,000 pages of text in 1200 different languages. I. Love. That.
And as Our Lady is Goddess of Magic, so is She Goddess of Science. For as the lately lamented Arthur C. Clark famously quipped, “Magic’s just science we don’t understand yet.”
Isis has always been associated with the science of the day. She is Great of Magic and She is The Wise.
The Egyptians certainly knew Her as wise in medical science. The Ebers Medical Papyrus, dated to approximately 1500 BCE but likely containing much older material, begins with an invocation of Her:
“Words to Be Spoken in the Preparation of Medicines for All Parts of a Person Who is Ill
As it is to be, a thousand times. This is the book for the healing of all diseases. May Isis heal me even as she healed Horus of all the pain which his brother Set had inflicted on him when he killed his brother Osiris! O Isis, thou Great Enchantress, heal me, deliver me from all evil, bad, typhonic things, from demoniacal and deadly diseases and pollutions of all sorts that rush upon me, as thou didst deliver and release Thy son Horus! As I have penetrated into the Fire and have emerged from the Water, may I not fall into the snare of the day when I shall say: little am I and piteous!”
Writing in the first century BCE, Diodorus Siculus tells his readers,
“As for Isis, the Egyptians say that she was the discoverer of many health-giving drugs and was greatly versed in the science of healing; consequently, now that she has attained immortality, she finds her greatest delight in the healing of mankind and gives aid in their sleep to those who call upon her, plainly manifesting both her very presence and her beneficence towards men who ask her help. In proof of this, as they say, they advance not legends as the Greeks do, but manifest facts; for practically the entire inhabited world is their witness, in that it eagerly contributes to the honors of Isis because she manifests herself in healings. For standing above the sick in their sleep she gives them aid for their diseases and works remarkable cures upon such as submit themselves to her; and many who have been despaired of by their physicians because of the difficult nature of their malady are restored to health by her, while numbers who have altogether lost the use of their eyes or of some other part of the body, whenever they turn for help to this goddess, are restored to their previous condition. Furthermore, she discovered also the drug which gives immortality, by means of which she not only raised from the dead her son Horus, who had been the object of plots on the part of the Titans and had been found dead under the water, giving him his soul again, but also making him immortal. And it appears that Horus was the last of the gods to be king after his father Osiris departed from among men. Moreover, they say that the name Horus, when translated, is Apollo, and that, having been instructed by his mother Isis in both medicine and divination, he is now a benefactor of the race of men through his oracular responses and his healings.” (Diodorus Siculus, Books 1-11. 34.)
Here, Isis is a healer, a teacher of the healing and divinatory sciences, as well as the Lady of the magical science of resurrection and rebirth.
Isis is also associated with the science of alchemy, the basis of later chemical science. Indeed She is Herself an alchemist and knows the secrets of the Tincture of Isis. Here’s a link to a post on Isis’ alchemical connections.
It is also interesting how many modern scientific associations or companies dealing in science take the name of Isis. There are biotechnology and medical companies, a scientific journal, computer technology companies and more, all named for Isis the Wise. I hope that most of them will continue under Her name and not cave under the current “brand pressures,” though a few of them already have.
Isis Technologia expands Her sphere of influence with the times. So even though ancient Egypt had no smart phones or computers, I would not hesitate in the slightest to consider Isis the Goddess of Computer Science. It is completely consistent with Her ancient character. From the earliest Egyptian texts to today, Isis is the Goddess of Magic and so She is also, most assuredly, the Goddess of Science and Technology. Isis understands code. And I know for a fact that more than a few of Her modern programmer devotees have called upon Her when confounded by a coding conundrum. I’ll bet they received answers, too.