I got up at four this morning to go to the high place where I watch Her star in its heliacal rising. Alas, Portland did its mostly cloudy thing and all I could see was an occasional glimpse of the moon and one of the stars in Orion’s belt. So I came home, went to Her temple, opened the doors and illuminated Her lamps. She shines diamond bright, even when I cannot see Her.
I know this because I have experienced it many times. Perhaps I can’t sense Her in my life at a particular moment, yet I know She is there. Just because there are obscuring clouds in my world, doesn’t mean She doesn’t shine. And this just may be a drop of wisdom, born of both knowledge and experience.
In Plutarch’s essay on Isis and Osiris, he tells us that Isis is a Goddess “exceptionally wise and a lover of wisdom.” And so our Goddess is a philosopher, a lover of wisdom, as well as being wise Herself. A Turin papyrus says, “Isis was a woman wise in speech, her heart more cunning than the millions of men, her utterance was more excellent than the millions of Gods, she was more perceptive than millions of glorified spirits. She was not ignorant of anything in heaven or earth.” Perception. Wide-ranging knowledge. Cleverness. And both wise and effective speech. In this aspect, Isis is called Rekhiet, “the Wise Woman.” One of the titles of Isis-Sothis is Rekhit, “Knowledge,” all of which easily led to Isis’ identification with Sophia (Gk. “Wisdom”).
Isis’ wisdom makes Her kind as well. She is among the Hearing Deities usually called by the epithets “Great of Hearing” and “Of Hearing Ears” and Who were perceived as being especially wise and compassionate. There is a papyrus found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, which lists the many places around the Mediterranean where Isis was worshiped and the names and epithets by which She was known in those places (more on that here). In three of these cities, Isis was called Understanding.
Understanding is relational. One understands something or someone. In my case, and perhaps yours as well, Isis understands me. Not just how I am in the world (though She knows that, too), but why I am like that. And if I am listening, She can help me better understand…and so perhaps gain another little drop of wisdom. It’s like that. Drop by drop. Mistake and resolution. Confusion and epiphany. Isis’ deep eternal well of unfailing wisdom speaks to my gathering drops of it.
How does She speak to your wisdom?