Posted by: Isidora | January 7, 2018

The dancing woman now really dances


This is just one of 24 prehistoric Goddess gifs created by Nina Paley that are free for all to use. You can find them here

This figure has been called a Dancing Woman, a Nile Goddess, a Bird Goddess, and probably some other things that I’m not thinking of right now. Well, she’s certainly dancing now, thanks to artist Nina Paley.

If you know Isis Magic, you might also recognize her posture as the “Wings of Isis.” It is a posture that can be used to invoke, thank, and commune with Isis. So, I like to think of this ancient figurine as a priestess invoking her Goddess, imitating the protective and powerful wings of Isis.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Offering to Isis about this posture:

The open wings of Isis can also be related to a posture seen in images of the ancient Egyptian Bird Goddess. This is the posture of the famous Neolithic statuette of a so-called dancing woman with her arms raised in an open curve above her head, and which has become a popular amulet among modern Goddess worshippers. The same posture can be seen in the Goddess figures that ride in the curved boats that were a favorite motif of pre-dynastic Egyptian pottery and petroglyphs. According to Egyptologist Louis Breasted, the posture is typical of Egypt. And although these ancient figures do not have obvious wings, their unwinged but upraised arms foreshadow the winged, upraised arms of Goddesses seen in later Egyptian art. Nevertheless, the beak-faced figures are identified as Bird Goddesses, so perhaps the wings are implied—or they may indicate that the figures represent human priestesses who are imitating their Bird Goddess. Whatever the case, the “wing” stance is a posture of great antiquity and numinosity and many researchers consider it to be characteristic of the Divine Feminine.

May Isis spread Her wings for you today and enclose you in Her feathered embrace.

Posted by: Isidora | November 24, 2017

Isis Thanksgiving leftovers

As you might expect, I have alerts set up for all kinds of Isis-related topics. Every now and then, something interesting comes up. On this day after Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a couple of them with you.

Isis Magic is FAST


That’s Isis Magic out in front.

The other day, an alert came across for “Isis Magic” that amused me. Turns out there’s an Isis Magic that isn’t a book, but rather, an Australian racehorse. She’s a five-year-old mare with a 57% “win percentage” and a 64% “place percentage.” So she’s a winning horse, too, and is supposed to be able to run very fast for a very long time. Isis has endurance! I have no idea how Isis Magic got her name, but I sure would like to know. Anybody have an inside information on that?

New Isis temple uncovered in Egypt


Workers building a housing project found an Isis temple. Scary seeing that shovel scooping up pillars with hieroglyphs.

Earlier this month, workers who were building a residential project in the area of Tell Atrib near Egypt’s Banha City unearthed the remains of a pharaonic Temple of Isis. Tell Atrib is in the southern delta, about 30 miles north of Cairo. In Greek, it was known as Athribis. In ancient Egyptian it was Hwt-ta-ḥry-ib, “the place over the heart”.  The heart of Osiris was supposed to be located there.

The city may have been established as long ago as the Old Kingdom, but our physical evidence so far only comes from the 12th dynasty. It was once capital of the 10th nome, Kem Wer, the “Great Black One,” named for the sacred black bull that was kept there and associated with Osiris, the black-faced Lord of the Dead. The city was most prominent in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.


The Temple of Isis in the Place over the Heart

However, the earliest Deities of the Heart City were Khentikhety, a crocodile God, Who was said to have found the heart of Osiris and watched over it, concealing it beneath His own heart. Khentikhety is paired with Khuyet, a winged Goddess Whose name means “Protector.” Eventually, Khentykhety was assimilated to Horus. I haven’t found out for sure yet, but it would seem reasonable that Khuyet would have been assimilated to Isis, though we also have at least one reference to Khuyet protecting Isis Herself.

And that’s what I’ve got for now!

Except for this PS from my publisher, who has asked me to remind you that Isis Magic (the book, not the horse) is available from Abiegnus House…and makes a great gift for any Isis-interested folks on your list. Just click on the book on the right. Thank you so much!




If you’ve been trying to purchase Isis Magic from Amazon and run up against the message that the book is unavailable, please purchase it from the publisher, Abiegnus House. We are currently having some issues with Amazon that may not be resolvable. (Amazon is engaging in some practices that seem to be designed to push out small publishers. Sigh.)

However, the book IS available from the publisher—and at the same price as it was on Amazon.

Just click on the book on the right and the link will take you to the publisher’s site where you can purchase the book.

Thank you and so sorry for the inconvenience.

Oh…and if you wouldn’t mind, would you please let your friends and folks in your social circles know that the book is still available from the publisher? Thank you so much!

By the way…if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area. I plan to do some Isis classes starting in March that will go until Fall Equinox. To be made available soon. So be thinking on that. I’ll let you all know when I’ve got the details worked out. This will be the first classes in quite a few years. I’m a bit nervous. And excited!

A priestess making offering; photo by Victor Keppler

Under Her Wings,


Posted by: Isidora | March 28, 2017

Do you hear what I hear? The Call of Dionysos…

Hello, lovelies!

This is for those of you in the Portland, Oregon area who are in on the secret that…just as Isis is my Goddess, so Dionysos is my God. This is a call for Bacchants to take part in a Fall Equinox Festival, Sept. 14-17 at Ffynnon this year. Here’s the official spiel:

Have you heard the call of Dionysos?

Thiasos (group) forming now for ritual parts in 2017 Fall Equinox Festival (Sept 14-17, 2017). If He has called you, if He has claimed you, then come explore that call and claim with us. Learn more about Dionysos, trance dance in His ecstasy with your sisters and brothers of the thiasos. Your commitment? Meet once a month, likely on a Sunday afternoon, at The Hallows (private home with a grapevine in the backyard—yes!) in NE Portland; be open to learning and gaining new experience; then serve at the Festival in September. Thiasos size is strictly limited, so think about it now. Then if you’re still interested and if you can make the commitment of time (we cannot emphasize this enough; we need your physical presence), then contact Isidora Forrest (aka Klea) at: Put “Bacchant” in the subject line.

I am looking for Bacchants of all ages and genders (sorry, you will need to be 18+ as there will be wine). As it says above, you must commit to a physical presence monthly at my house. You will come to know Him, His Mysteries, and you will practice your part in the Festival.

Group is limited in size, so email me ASAP if you want to/can/desire/are inflamed to be a part of our mad group.

I love you.

Now enjoy some Bakchic eye candy that should inspire you:

Okay? So email me. Right away…group starts meeting in April.



Posted by: Isidora | December 18, 2016

Goddess 2.0 book now available

Hello, all!

I am pleased to let you know that one of my Isis articles in included in a new anthology entitled Goddess 2.0, edited by Karen Tate. And wow, am I in some good company, indeed. Here’s the list of contributing authors:

Anne Baring, Starhawk, Carol P. Christ, Riane Eisler, Barbara G. Walker, Cristina Biaggi, Elizabeth and Robert Fisher, Shirley Ann Ranck, Bob Gratrix, Patricia ‘Iolana, Nancy Vedder-Shults, M. Isidora Forrest, Karen Tate, Amy “Amalya” Peck, Linda Iles, Andrew Gurevich, Charlotte L. Cressey, Delphine DeMore, Tabby Biddle, Trista Hendren, and Harita Meenee.

I am humbled that my work will appear alongside the work of these outstanding women and men.

The collected essays in Goddess 2.0 are intended to show us a way forward from where we find ourselves now, guided by the Divine Feminine by whatever name you know Her. In my case, of course—and perhaps yours, too—She is Isis, and my essay is about “Isis and the Path of Sacred Magic.”

Yes, you can get it on Amazon. You can also get it at editor Karen Tate’s site…actually for less than on Amazon. (By the way, none of the contributors are making any money. Costs mainly go to cover publication.) Here’s what the cover looks like:


I invite you to check it out in the hope that it will offer some end-of-the-year inspiration. Many blessings and may you remain, Under Her Wings.


Posted by: Isidora | November 12, 2016

Beautiful Mourner, Weep with Me

This is a gift the priest/ess brings before the Beautiful Mourner, Isis the Weeper Who Transforms: an invocation offering of mourning.

I offer You, Isis, my mourning for there is nothing else I can do with it. How is it that something so empty can be called pain-full? I am abandoned in an ocean of pain so deep that there is nothing else. My tears are nothing but more salt for that bitter sea. My grief is nothing but a hole in my belly. I cannot breathe. I have no breath. There is no air. My mind is blank, unable to receive the words that are pushed at me. My heart? I have no heart.

Mourning is what we do when the loss is so great that we can do nothing else. Each of us who mourns has her or his own share of this hollow pain. But it is the pain of one human being at one time, in one place. You, Isis, You hear the cries of the world. You feel each heart breaking, You know every human cruelty.

The sorrows of a Goddess are deep. What then is my mourning compared to Yours?

Listen, O Isis, to the words of Mourning: “I am offered unto Isis for She is the Well of Mourning. She absorbs me and takes me into Her vastness. I am dissolved in infinity. I am mixed with all things. I am reborn as a child. I am the mystery of suffering. I am Mourning.”

Unto You, Isis, I offer my mourning and all things beautiful and pure. M’den, Iset. Accept it, Isis.

Talia Took's new image of Isis mourning. You can get prints of this work here.

Thalia Took’s newest image of Isis mourning. You can get prints of this work here.

Right now, like so many of us, I mourn.

Right now, like so many, I am angry. I fear.

And right now, our Goddess hears us. She knows our hearts. She, too, has mourned. She, too, has raged. She, too, has feared. She understands us when we bring our hollow hearts and roiling bellies to Her.

She will hear us, hold us, advise us. In time, She may even heal us.

But before that healing, we must feel what we feel. The God has died and He must be mourned. We can share the burden of our feelings with others who mourn with us. We can share them with our Deities, with Her. Yet at some point, the mourning time will pass. And what will we do then?

If we would follow Her, then what we must do is rear the fatherless Child. We must take action. We must continue our Work. And perhaps we will find that we need to take up new work. There are rights that we thought we had won that will have to be defended—or even won back. If we join together we can do this. Let us not despair.

Instead, let us renew our dedication to our Deities and our spiritual work for this will strengthen our souls. Let us support progressive institutions with our dollars. Let us join with others in progressive organizations to work for the change we want to see.

Our Goddess is strong and practical; let us follow Her in this wisdom.

And on a final and yes, practical, note, here are some suggestions from Slate for some very specific things we can do once our mourning period has passed.

Posted by: Isidora | July 2, 2016

New article in a new book is out!

I’m popping my head out of my cave because one of the things I’ve been working on in Isiopolis’ downtime has finally come to fruition.

Those of you who know me may know that in addition to my Isiac and Dionysian devotions, I am also a Hermetic Adept. I was asked to write an article about that Work for a new book from Azoth Press called LIBER SPIRITUUM: A Compendium of Writings on Angels and Other Spirits in Modern Magick. The publisher’s info on the book is below, but I wanted to give you a more personal intro to my article.

This was a hard article for me to write because it was to be about my personal Adept Work and I tend to be very private about that. It’s more self-revelatory than I generally am in this blog. You see, many years ago, the Archangel Raphael asked me to be His priestess. Yeah. Weird, I know. So I spent 40 days exploring that possible relationship as part of my Adept spiritual Work. This article is about what happened during that 40 day exploration.

Yes, I’m still working on the next Isis and Egyptian magic book, too. (It will be a while, but I think you will like it.) For now, I wanted to let those of you who may be Hermetically inclined as well know that this new project is now available.

Below is info on the book from the publisher:



The book is available for order through the online bookstore, Miskatonic Books ( The 500-copy hardbound edition retails at the excellent price of $59.00, and the 32-copy deluxe leather-bound edition at $379.00.

About Liber Spirituum:

For Liber Spirituum: A Compendium of Writings on Angels and Other Spirits in Modern Magick, Azoth Press has assembled a group of nine of the foremost writers in the field of ceremonial magick, representing a depth of devoted study and practical expertise spanning the Western Magical Tradition from the Greek Magical Papyri to the Solomonic grimoires, from the Golden Dawn to Thelema, from Theurgia to Goetia, from Qabbalah to Rosicrucianism. In this beautiful volume, obviously designed for the practicing magician, these teaching adepts share their insights, experiences, tools, techniques, and even new rituals, all focused on a central concern of magical praxis, communication with those Spiritual Beings from Gods to Angels to Demons with whom the magus must become truly and transformatively familiar.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Opening a Book of Spirits
by Adam P. Forrest

The Place of Mingled Powers: Spiritual Beings in the Magical Lodge
by John Michael Greer

Patrons and House Gods: Building Lifelong Relationships with Your Spiritual Guardians
by Aaron Leitch

The Evocation of Metatron: A Golden Dawn Z-2 Ritual
by Charles Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero

The Prayer for Success
by Jake Stratton-Kent

Lay Thy Tongue Upon My Heart: Forty Days of Ritual Communion Between a Pagan Adept and the Archangel Raphael Tipherethel
by M. Isidora Forrest

Substance Through Spirit: A Reflection on Magical Evocation and Talisman Construction
by Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)

Kalein tous Theous: Divine Invocation in the Late Neoplatonic Tradition
by Jeffrey S. Kupperman

Evoking Zodiacal Angels
by Scott Michael Stenwick

The hardbound edition is limited to 500 copies. Printed in two colors throughout, with 2-color illustrations, bound in faux leather silk-touch cloth. Foil stamp on both the front and back boards, with a full color frontispiece by acclaimed artist Caniglia.

The deluxe leatherbound edition is limited to 32 copies, with satin ribbon sewn-in marker, custom endpapers, and housed in a handmade tray case.

6×9 inches

256 pages

More about the Liber Spirituum can be found at

Posted by: Isidora | September 20, 2015

Putting Isiopolis Under Her Wings…at least for now

A Portrait of Isis, by Feather Collector. See it here.

A Portrait of Isis, by Feather Collector. See it here. This reminds me of a vision I had of Her long ago.

My fellow lovers of Isis,

I have been writing this blog since May of 2009 and it seems that the time has now come to put it on hiatus. I don’t know for how long. A while.

As some of you may know, I work full time at a rather demanding job. This leaves me only weekends to write. Since 2009, I have been spending pretty much all of that writing time on this blog, leaving me none for other projects.

The good news is that I find I have a significant new writing project to which I wish to devote that time. Yes, a book, but I won’t say what it is right now. It, too, will be a while. There’s much research and much meditation still to be done. But you can be sure it will grow from our work together with the Great Lady of Sacred Magic.

Of course, you can still reach me here at Isiopolis for comments and questions as usual. I’ll stay in touch.

And remember, there are 325 posts that still live here at Isiopolis, so I hope that you just might find something of interest to read while I’m out.

Thank you all so much for reading Isiopolis…and I’ll see you again on the other side of my project.

Under Her Wings,


Posted by: Isidora | September 13, 2015

Isis & the Re-enchantment of the World

Golden Isis by Jane Marin. You can buy a copy here.

Golden Isis by Jane Marin. You can buy a copy here.

As those of you who have been reading along know, I rarely comment on the ongoing discussions in the Pagan blogosphere. But this week, I am inspired by some current posts and commentary about the “re-enchantment of the world” over on Patheos Pagan and Witches and Pagans. I believe the discussion was started by John Beckett, whose work I often admire and who has written on this topic previously. Others added their own thoughts: Galina Krasskova: Re-Enchanting the WorldSara Amis: The World Isn’t Disenchanted. It’s YouIvo Dominguez Jr.: Already Enchanted.

Yet the heart-cry for re-enchantment is not new. We human beings have long complained about the world’s disenchantment. German sociologist Max Weber famously decried it in the early 1900s and before him Freidrich Schiller in the early 1800s. No doubt the discussion goes back much farther than that, too.

The disenchanted Max Weber

The disenchanted Max Weber

I first read the term in the work of Thomas Moore, a psychotherapist, former monk, and spiritual writer. His books, Care of the Soul and The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, were best sellers, which tells us that there are many of us longing to bring the enchantment back. As steps toward re-enchantment, Moore calls us to get away from our self-centeredness and experience the Other, to relinquish some of our literalism to become more poetic, to get out in nature, and to seek out Mystery.

The God Heka,

The God Heka, “Magic”

The enchantment of everything—the magic in everything, the magic OF everything—is one of the things I most admire about [probably my personal fantasy of] ancient Egypt, as least as far as we understand it. I love Jeremy Nadler’s interpretation in his book, Temple of the Cosmos, when he writes about the “interpenetrating worlds” of the ancient Egyptians. Spiritual realities are immediate and present because the spiritual world interpenetrates the earthly: “for the ancient Egyptian, a metaphysical world poured into the physical, saturating it with meaning.” Yes. Yes. YES!

My own quest for enchantment is one reason why I describe my spiritual path as Sacred Magic. In practice, this encompasses everything from simply chanting for Isis to a wide range of the expressions of modern Hermeticism (which indeed has its oldest roots in ancient Egypt), including the theurgic rites of magic that are intended to grow our souls and spirits. Of course, it also explains, at least in part, my attraction to Isis, Great of Magic.

You have probably also seen Isis described by the lovely title, “the Great Enchantress.” Who else would be the Goddess of Re-Enchanting the World but the Great Enchantress Herself? Yet when we see the title in older English translations, “Isis the Great Enchantress” usually translates Iset Werethekau, which we have discussed here. It seems to have been preferred by some of the Old Gentlemen of Egyptology who were perhaps a bit uncomfortable with the squirmy idea of magic and wanted a kinder and gentler epithet for the admirable Goddess Isis.

A badass magic-wielding Isis inspired by the game Smite; this piece is by KalaSketch

A badass magic-wielding Isis inspired by the game Smite; this piece is by KalaSketch

But enchantment has a long magical history. It comes from the idea that acts of magic are often sung or chanted or at least accompanied by singing or chanting. To be enchanted is to be affected by the magic carried in the chant or song. About 1300 CE, the word enchantment came into English from Old French, which got it from Latin incantare, “to sing into.”

Isis often activates Her magic by voice. The “Hymn to Osiris” in the Book of Coming Forth by Day says of Isis:

She recited formulæ with the magical power of her mouth, being skilled of tongue and never halting for a word, being perfect in command and word, Isis the Magician avenged her brother.

A papyrus in the Louvre says:

Isis. . .who repels the deeds of the enchanters by the spells of her mouth.

And a healing formula in the collection of the magical papyri says the spell will be successful

…according to the voice of Isis, the magician, the lady of magic, who bewitches everything, who is never bewitched in her name of Isis, the magician.”

The Goddess Merit

The Goddess Merit

In the second example above, Professor Robert Ritner, who has studied Egyptian magic and its vocabulary extensively, translated the Egyptian word shed-kheru as “enchanters.” “Shed” means “to enchant” and “kheru” is “coming/going forth” as in peret kheru, an invocation offering, the “going forth of the voice.” Shed-kheru then is something like “those who send forth enchantments by voice.” Shed seems to have been a specialized form of “to recite” and was used both in magical formulae and in temple ritual texts. When the Creatrix Goddess Neith spoke the cosmos into existence, She shed, “recited,” Her akhu, “spells.”

Especially on His healing cippi, Horus is sometimes called Horus-Shed, “Horus the Enchanter.” And yes, you are way ahead of me again. Of course, Isis, too, is called The Enchanter. In Her case (feminized), it is Iset ta Shetyet. In fact, we have a handful of instances of that name being applied to Isis. And so it seems that Isis is indeed The Enchantress and I shall have to retract my previous snark at the Old Gentlemen.

Chanting, singing, and music were a vital part of the worship of the ancient Egyptian Deities. By the time of the New Kingdom, the most common sacred title for women was Chantress or Singer of the Deity. These priestesses served both Goddesses and Gods, providing the songs and music that raised and channeled the energy of the sacred rites.

The Mereti, a dual form of Merit, one for upper and one for lower Egypt

The Mereti, a dual form of Merit, one for upper and one for lower Egypt

The Divine archetype behind this ritual role was the Goddess Merit or Meret, Whose name means “The Beloved.” With Her song, music, and magical gestures, Merit took part in the Creation. Daily, Her song greets the dawn and in kingship rites Merit encourages the king to bring good things to his kingdom, commanding him to, “Come, bring!” In this role of speaker and singer, Merit and the priestesses who represented Her—and in some cases, bore Her name as a title—were called “Great of Praise.” This was not meant to indicate that the priestess herself was praiseworthy (though she may have been). Instead, it meant that her praise—that is, the hymns she sang and the words she spoke—were words that had effect in the Divine realms. Just as the words of Isis, the Lady of Words of Power, are ritually efficacious, so the words of Merit are ritually efficacious.

Much of the magic of the ancient Egyptians was focused on the idea of renewal, rebirth, and reconnecting to the perfection of the First Time. For ourselves today, perhaps we should add to those three “r”s, a fourth: re-enchantment. As we work to renew and restore the world around us, it may be that our inner work is to renew our own magical perception of the world, re-enchanting ourselves from the inside out. And I’m quite sure that a chanted incantation to Isis the Enchantress wouldn’t hurt either.

Posted by: Isidora | September 5, 2015

Our Bacchanal


I’m taking this weekend off from the blog, for this weekend there is a festival at our house: the Hallows Grape Stomp & Bacchanalia. And so I offer these thoughts on the harvest, early this year, as we have had a very hot summer.

Today I serve not Isis, but Dionysos. For He is my other Divine love. And today we celebrate His harvest…

It is sweet, sad September. Amber and scarlet just beginning on the leaves of trees. The decayed-honey scent of fallen foliage. Sugar-dusted grape clusters dangling from the vines in our grape arbor. In this golden month, at the time when day equals night and the world enters its slow roll toward the darkness, the empurpled grapes are finally ready for harvest.

All of our Pagan beloved ones—Bacchants for a day—ply their sweet labor among our vines. Oh yes, we shall make wine.

Our Virgo Wine Mistress, Priestess of the Hydrometer, fusses. The children giggle as they rip grapes from the stem, toss them into the barrel (and at each other), and run screaming around the yard in a fine, Bacchic frenzy. The adults drink last year’s vintage as they work. They joke and gossip with each other. Then, we begin The Crush. As the grapes are stomped into juice beneath our purified, bare feet, we sing. We invoke Dionysos, the God of the Vine, the Bull-Horned One, the Mad, Honey-Sweet God of Divine Intoxication.

As we crush His purple flesh, our song is as sad and sweet as September itself. Once all have danced upon the grapes, we strain the fresh juice into the “must bucket.” There, the God’s holy blood will ferment into His own Divine wine, making our kitchen smell like grape-y bread for two delicious, heady weeks.

But tonight…tonight, the grapes have just been picked and crushed and the juice secreted away in the must bucket; and so, we dance. We dance, entranced—drums thundering—in the sweet thrall of the God, breathing the breath of the Wine Muses and loving, loving, loving the mad, human beauty of every single one of our friends.

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