Today’s post is short as I have my head and keyboard buried in working on a talk I’m preparing for another part of my magical life. Enjoy. I snorted when I found this out…

This image is not AT ALL what I thought it was

This is a lesson in not seeing what’s right before your eyes. (For me, I mean.)

I have seen this image, well, forever. But I never knew what it actually was. As far as I was concerned, this was just a Roman fresco of Our Lady Isis as Isis-Fortuna, complete with Her requisite steering rudder and cornucopia of plenty. I never knew what the tiny, naked human flanked by either helpful or dangerous snakes (not sure which) was supposed to be doing.

The Goddess is indeed Isis. And the tiny, naked human is taking a crap.


An excavated Roman public toilet; it wouldn’t have been this clean

This image comes from a Roman public toilet. The Latin above it says “cacator cave malu(m).” It means “shitter, beware the evil.” So Isis-Fortuna is there to protect anyone using the public toilet because anytime they used one, they were exposing themselves to a whole lotta evil infection and parasites and general uncleanliness. I’m not going to go into the yuck (though there’s plenty of yuck to ancient Roman public toilets). That’s not the point.

The point is, you’ve always got to look deeper and understand the context…because it’s not always obvious.

That said, I hope Isis was able to help keep the evil away from all those ancient shitters.