Many of you are beyond your first steps with Isis.

If so, I hope you will comment and add to this post your own thoughts about your first steps with Isis. But many of you—perhaps coming across this blog searching for information about Her—are looking to take your first steps, and wondering how to do so.

Perhaps you have had a dream. (Yes, She often calls to us through dream.) Perhaps you have repeatedly come across Her name or Her images. Like repeatedly. Perhaps you had an oracle or a tarot reading. Perhaps you simply had a feeling that leaves you wondering, “is this Isis?”

Sometimes, it might be something more dramatic, like a powerful experience at a festival or in circle or in your private meditations, an experience that leaves you in no doubt that SOMETHING has occurred. (For instance, back in the early days of forming my relationship with Her, I heard Her speak my name, loudly and emphatically and just once. It sounded as though I had heard it with my physical ears, not my metaphysical ones. So powerful was this calling that I still vividly, vividly remember it many years later.)

What to do? First, know that you don’t have to do anything. You can totally ignore these promptings. If now is not the right time for you to take on this connection, you don’t have to. But I would gently and kindly suggest that you be gentle and kind, too, and tell Her, “no, thank You.” If this is something you just don’t want, ever, that’s okay. But if your response is, “not now, maybe later,” let Her know that, too.

In most cases, Isis will take no for an answer. If your dreams or other promptings continue after your refusal, then there may be something She feels you need to know or take care of, even if it’s not a relationship with Her. How you handle this depends on your own specific circumstances.

But let’s say you do want to enter into a relationship with Isis. Now what?

There are some things you can do right away. First, read, read, read. Since you’re here, read back over older Isiopolis posts. In the sidebar, check out the archives. There’s a lot of information here about Isis, things that will help guide your understanding of Her nature. Sometimes, I’ve even written of my own experiences with Her. That will help give you an idea of what interactions with Her might be like. (Yes, of course, your interactions will be distinctly yours, but it does help to know what others have experienced.)

Reading everything from the experiences of modern devotees to the research of scholars is valuable in learning how your experiences match up with those of others, now and throughout the history of Her worship.

In addition to reading, see if you can find a space that can serve as a focus for your interactions with Her. In many cases, this will be an altar space. This can be as simple or elaborate as you like and as you have the ability to create. Choose a corner of your room or a small table that you can devote for this purpose. If you don’t have space like that, or if you’re a young person living at home and your parents might object, something as simple as a picture of Her on your wall or above your bed will suffice. Just make it somewhere you can sit either before or near during your meditations.

Once you have made the decision to explore a relationship with Isis and have some kind of a focus for your devotions, I would suggest making a formal vow to express your dedication to this exploration. Don’t make it a forever-vow. Make it for six weeks, or six months, or a year. At the end of the time you’ve chosen, you can re-access and decide whether you wish to continue beyond that time.

Making Your Dedication

Your dedication can be something as simple as lighting candles at your altar and speaking your intention or something as elaborate as the ritual of “Tying the Knot of Isis” from Isis Magic. On the simpler side, here are some words you can use or adapt in making your vow:

Words of Power of the Votary of Isis:

Hear me, Isis, and take my hand. Make fast the Knot that unites me with Thee. Grace me, Goddess, with Thy presence. I ask Thee with the breath of my body; I ask Thee with the thoughts of my mind; I ask Thee with the beat of my heart—to hear me. And open to me as I open to Thee. I speak Thy name, Isis. I drink in Thy love. I am for Thee, Goddess. I am Thy votary* for the period of <naming the time period you have chosen>. Accept these words of power, Isis, and all things beautiful and pure. Amma, Iset [AH-mah, Ee-set].

Isis Magic, 2nd edition

Following your dedication, your threefold work begins: the development of openness to Isis, the unfolding of hope, and the practice of expectation. 

Developing Openness to Goddess

Being open to Isis is a subtle thing. It involves openness both of mind and of the subtle body often known as the aura, the subtle energy field that surrounds each human being and all manifested things. Openness of mind does not mean we need to give up skepticism. Indeed, we should not. We only need to be able to suspend its judgment while doing meditations and other exercises that put us in touch with the Goddess. Analyze later. Experience now. To do this, try to be present in each moment and be open to the very real possibility that Isis is indeed with you.

In addition to opening our minds to the possibility of the presence of the Goddess, as votaries, we work to cultivate openness of our aura to Isis. Opening the aura to Her is, in part, a physical openness. You can use the Opening of the Ways ritual to safely and gently open your aura to Isis, a process that will help you feel Her near you, within you, around you.

Unfolding Hope

These two types of openness—of mind and aura—encourages a third: openness of spirit. Spiritual openness feels like hope; thus it is said that part of the work of the votary is the unfoldment of the wings of hope. Hope opens us to greater possibilities. Hope is a buoyant desire, a longing that can enlarge the spirit. During this early part of your exploration with Isis, you are urged to encourage hope in yourself…and in others.

Practicing Expectation

First, hope for and then, expect Isis’ presence. Like hope, the practice of expectation is a spiritual openness to possibility. Teach yourself to expect the touch and presence of Goddess. Isis is with us. Both in ancient times and today, many have felt Her presence. Many know Her reality. So can you. There is every reason to expect that Isis will make Herself known to you as you open yourself to Her. Being open and hopeful and expectant, you will see signs and portents everywhere. Does a breeze rustle the leaves of a tree as you pass, thinking of Her? It is Her breath. Have you found a piece of jewelry engraved with Her image? She confirms your Path. Did that hawk circle above you as you drive your car down a country road with Her name on your lips? She is guiding you. 

It is not foolish to see such signs at every turn. Rather, it is Foolish. Like the Sacred Fool of the Tarot, we are stepping off the cliff, looking upward to Isis, trusting—hoping and expecting—that She will guide our steps. And we shall find, I promise you, that indeed She does. This trust in the Goddess brings a unique and blessed state of freedom that you will discover for yourself as you develop your relationship with Isis, taking those first steps with Her.

*A votary is simply one devoted to something, in this case devoted to Isis for a specific period of time. This does not preclude any other devotions you may be undertaking with other Deities. Isis does not require exclusivity.