Much has been said all over the internet lately about Horus, specifically about how the life of the Egyptian God Horus parallels that of Jesus to an uncanny degree of similarity. You may have seen excerpts from a movie, or an info-graphic which makes these claims. Here’s the hype, directly off of a YouTube Description: Horus=Jesus, Isis=Mary, Osiris=God, Amun=Amen, Apophis=Devil MUST SEE!!!!!
The creators of this hoax, meme, fallacy, hype (you choose the term) have taken a page from the writers of the original Star Trek, where Spock will list four philosophers, three from the fictional Star Trek Universe, and one from earth history, like Socrates to draw parallels and create verisimilitude. In this instance, there is a case to be made for Amun=Amen. But not the rest. But by drawing the parallels, they create a fallacy of comparison, so that the uneducated person will think it is logical. This post will get into those so-called parallel points between the life of Jesus and Horus as we look at the details from the life of Horus, Isis and Osiris. As a store named after the Egyptian god Horus, or at least, his eye, we felt compelled to create a new info-graphic to set the record straight. We also highlight the one true parallel construction between the myths and draw our own conclusions.
Horus and Jesus
Let’s look at how the two are definitely not similar, contrary to claims. We will also look at where they are truly similar. For there are parallels to be drawn between the myths, with some startling conclusions. We assume our readers are familiar with the life of Christ which is the source material for these points…
One of these things is not like the other
Born of a VirginHorus was not born of a virgin: None of the texts say anything other than Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris, who were married in all accounts.Some texts say Horus was conceived before Osiris was murdered. Other texts give the miraculous story of how Isis would not give up on Osiris. In her grief, she either lay on his dead body and conceived or she tracked down his dismembered pieces, pieced him back together (except for one missing bit which she crafted – the first dildo) and used her magic to conceive.You could argue that, given that Osiris was dead, Horus was the son of the Living Goddess, and hers alone. In fact, that is one of his names, Her-sa-aset (Horus, son of Isis). But we think that’s going a bit far, because Osiris definitely was a father figure to Horus, because the son felt the need to avenge his father’s murder.Actually, there is no “Virgin Mary” in the Bible, either. Look it up. It’s implied, but not stated anywhere. Had 12 DisciplesHorus had no disciples: Even within the movie which makes this claim, it is clearly disproved, because they are talking about the 12 signs of the Egyptian Zodiac. There were four demi-gods who followed him, and he certainly was a leader of his people. Earliest accounts have him being a War God who lead his people to victory. How like Jesus is that? Crucified and raised from the dead 3 days later. Yeah – no clue about history. According to these people, thousands of years before crucifixion was invented, someone was crucified. In most accounts, Horus never died. In one story, he did but Isis brought him back to life. There’s Isis again. Raised “Asar” which is supposedly the Egyptian form of Lazarus from the dead. No record of this. None. Just another fictional parallel. Isis was the one busy raising the dead. Asar doesn’t mean Lazarus, it just has some of the same letters. It means Osiris. So wrong on two counts. Born on the 25th of December.First off, the Christian Myth doesn’t say when Jesus was born, most scholars now agree it was March from the context of the stories. However, Mithras was born (of a rock) on December 25th. Horus’ birth was actually celebrated during the month of Khoiak, (October/November).
Similarities between Horus and Jesus
- Both have mothers
- Both have largely absentee fathers
- Both are male
- Both are “king-makers” – in England, the Divine Right of Kings, and in Egypt it was said the Pharoah was Horus incarnate
- Both were/are worshiped as gods
With the exception of #4 and #5, that could represent millions of people. Not so remarkable. As for #4 and #5, well, it’s pretty typical once you are a deity to have leaders claim their right to rule as given by you. So let’s look into the story of Horus and see if we can find any other connections between Egyptian and Christian mythology. Because there really is something very interesting when you dig a little deeper.
Isis, Osiris and Horus
If you read the story of Isis, Osiris and Horus which talks about how Horus was conceived, on ancientegyptonline.co.uk (short version), or EgyptianMyths.net (long version) you’ll see for yourself that Isis wasn’t a virgin. She had a husband, Osiris. Not only that, but of the trio, or triad, or trinity, it was Isis who seemed to have the most active power. In fact, the story of the three is really her story about rescuing or resurrection or re-membering her husband so she could have a child.
Let me rephrase this, because this is an important revelation: Of the three Egyptian Deities, Isis is the most-high Goddess. In Christian Myth, Jesus was the resurrection and the life, but in Egypt, Isis was the resurrect-or and the life-giver. Most of the stories of Horus are about his battles with Set. It’s time to shift perspective here from the importance of a male son diety causing all kinds of unnecessary controversy over falsely drawn correlations to the female mother diety and see what parallels can be drawn.
So let’s look at the mothers, Isis and Mary. We’ll start with Isis, since her story is much, much older, and see how they compare.
Egypt’s Mother Goddess Isis
- Isis discovered the grain of both wheat and barley
- She ruled over the land, which she did both wisely and well.
- Isis possessed great skill in the working of magic and could powerfully curse as well as heal, even raising the dead.
- When her husband Osiris was killed, Isis went on a quest to recover his scattered pieces.
- When Isis traveled over land she was guarded by seven scorpions.
- Isis then used her prodigious magical talent to reanimate Osiris and conceive Heru-sa-aset (Horus, son of Isis).
- Isis had a son and named him Horus.
- She also used her magic to assist Horus in battle, when he grew up and went to battle Set (who murdered Osiris).
- Horus chopped off her head when she was given an opportunity to, but didn’t, kill Set, but she just grew a cow’s head on her shoulders, proving her regenerative powers once again.
The name Isis comes from the hieroglyph of the throne with a female ending reading ‘Mistress of the Throne’. The name Isis was understood by Plutarch as meaning ‘Knowledge’. She was venerated as the inventor of agriculture, law and medicine, and as the Mother who placed the Sun God Ra in the sky. According to Egyptian scriptures,
“in the beginning there was Isis, Oldest of the Old, the Goddess from whom all becoming arose.”
In fact, she was pretty well limitless, at least according to the Tour Egypt site.
Mary, mother of Jesus
None of these attributes sound like Mary. Actually, we don’t really know anything much about Mary’s life since she is barely mentioned in the Bible. But we can say that none of these actions or attributes of Isis parallel Mary’s life except one. They both had sons. Both sons were worshipped. Here is where people can see some serious similarities, not in the particulars of their conception stories, but in the art which depicts them. This is where the mystery lies, and we’ll reveal a startling truth. Some of you may already know what it is… read on and find out.
Isis and Horus meet Mary and Jesus
Let’s look at two pieces of religious art created thousands of years apart:
Talk about stunning similarities! The relative proportions of the babe in arms are the same, even the large eyes of the mother are the same! Forget about Horus and Jesus, with Isis and Mary we are actually seeing some parallels. How do we explain these two pieces of art, one a statue and one a mosaic, created thousands of years apart?
The mundane answer is, one piece is older, and the other simply copied good art and shifted it into another medium. Reading more into the similarities, pretending art doesn’t influence art, but rather that divine inspiration struck both is really unnecessary. It’s easy to see the similarities. But notice the differences.
The new version of mother and child shows a subtle but profound change in culture. In ancient Egypt, they clearly were not ashamed of the human body and a mother breast-feeding was literally enshrined. Then we switch to a culture where as much of the female body is covered as possible, and a good deal of the child is covered, as well. Also note the sacred serpent which represents royal deity on the statue has been transformed into a nimbus or halo in the second image to indicate holiness. In the first, Horus is clearly the son of Isis, born of her flesh. In the second, the woman could be anyone taking care of any child. It might not even be hers. One is clearly Mother. Isis has agency – the ability to give life and nourishment and enact her will. In the other image, Mary is more of a servant, representing her role as passive and permissive vessel. This cultural shift is the first step in our understanding.
The Power of Isis
Unlike Mary, who was a vessel, chosen at 12 or 13 years old to conceive and revered for her suffering and servitude, Isis was the Creatrix who worked miracles to conceive. Where Mary is barely mentioned in the Bible (as little as 4 events), Isis is a player in numerous stories, performing miracles and all kinds of acts of power and magic. Statues of Isis and Horus and temples to Isis were scattered throughout what is now western Europe. Hers was not an image which could easily be destroyed, nor her legacy wiped out, reaching from Africa to Britain.
All the Church could do was take the love for Isis, the mother Goddess so prevalent at the time, and cloak it with a different name. The worship of Isis had to be transferred and her image and symbols toned down, elevating Mary to greater and greater importance. So the iconic universal images of Isis and Horus became Christianized as the Madonna and child. But we now know who that image really represented. Facing persecution, many who worshiped Isis simply changed the name to Mary to continue their veneration.
This is the revelation. The worship of Isis, Queen of Heaven, Mistress of Magic was so widespread it could not be stamped out. Her images and the instinct to honor—to love and adore and pray to—the Divine Mother continued. These Mother and Child images and impulses to pray to a female deity which the church adopted and described as an adoration of Mary have not erased Isis; only placed her behind a veil of misdirection. Basically, you can’t keep a good Goddess down. Isis has demonstrated the truth of some of her many titles: “the greatest of the gods and goddesses. queen of the earth, most mighty one, the divine one, the only one, the light-giver of heaven.”
“I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or shall be; No mortal man hath ever me unveiled. The fruit which I have brought forth is the sun.”
in Egypt, the goddess’ name was Au Set (Auzit, Eset), which means “exceeding queen” or simply “spirit.” Isis (her Greek name) was originally depicted as a black goddess, making her early African origin clear. This is where the images of the Black Madonna likely find their roots. She became the Lady of Ten Thousand Names, whose true name was Isis. She grew into Isis Panthea (“Isis the All-Goddess”). She really had too many names and honorifics to list here, but was universally seen as all-powerful. Ancient Egyptian festivals for Isis included:
- The Festival of Isis
- The Birthday of Isis
- The Marriage of Isis and Osiris
- The Feast of Lights of Isis
- The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys for Osiris
- Isis Seeks the Body of Osiris
- Isis Rejoices as She Finds Osiris
- The Birth of Horus, Child of Isis
Arising out of Africa, Isis worship was refined in Egypt, and as Roman conquerors and Greek tourists traveled, they took veneration of Isis with them. Her fame as Mistress of Magic and Loving Mother quickly spread to all corners of the Roman empire. There was even a temple to Isis on the River Themes in Southwark, London. Britain’s oldest known pub was called “The Isis Arms“ Isis was really no stranger to Europe.
Conclusion. The Horus Jesus Controversy was largely extrapolated or invented by folks who didn’t bother to do any research in order to become an internet sensation with a Youtube Video. Maybe they were inspired by best-selling author Dan Brown’s claims in The Da Vinci Code, “Nothing in Christianity is original.” Many of these claims have since been thoroughly debunked, both by skeptics and by defensive Christians, as well.
The startling similarities between Isis and Horus statues and the Mary and Jesus images is being largely ignored by these conspiracy theorists. So where the Christian myth didn’t actually borrow from the Egyptian for the male son deity, it definitely ripped off the iconography for the female mother goddess. The result: Images of Isis continue to spread worldwide under another name and Her worship continues to this day.
- Read more about the history of Isis on the Tour Egypt Site
- The story of Isis and Osiris; how Seth murdered Osiris and how Horus avenged his father on EgyptianMyths.net
- Kemetic Orthodoxy (a form of Ancient Egyptian Religion as practiced today) – Kemet.org
- Also check out this great resource for clear background, history and stories of the Egyptian gods and religion: Island of Philae – The Center of the worship of Isis
- A somewhat quirky and obscure site on the role and importance of Isis in the modern age on ResurrectIsis
- For a more modern pagan perspective, check out About.com’s Article on Isis
- To further explore the mystery of Isis/Divine Mother, from an artful perspective, see Isis of Ten Thousand Names
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