What is all this mumbo jumbo?
What’s the significance of “Remembering Osiris?” Who was Osiris? And why do we need to remember him?
Let’s start with some basics.
The “mumbo jumbo” has always been an important part of what we do here at Spirit Quest. It’s the hidden agenda, the underground stream, the esoteric part that moves beneath, and powers and informs the surface, exoteric part.
Our journeys work on multiple levels: as we travel across a country, we also move through history, and culture, and, most importantly, we travel a spiritual landscape.
Just as we build an itinerary to carry us from place to place, we also construct a map for our souls to follow: guideposts to help shape our journey inward.
As we return to Egypt this year, it seems fitting that this inner itinerary should follow the path of Osiris; a path of dissolution and death followed by reconstruction, rebuilding, rebirth, and “re-membering” of what came before. Given what we’ve all been through these past few years, and indeed what the global community is going thought now, this strikes me as a vital, and valuable, template to follow.
Osiris, is the very archetype of rebirth; the prototypical “dying and resurrecting god-man.” His saga illustrates the eternal struggle between the constructive and destructive forces at play throughout all creation.
Before the coming of Osiris, during the time of “zep tepi” - the time before time - the Egyptians lived in a state of primal barbarism - without laws or culture. And Osiris was the law-giver, the light-bringer, who elevated mankind from this animal state; giving people science, law, agriculture, and all the other hallmarks of civilization, ushering in a golden age of harmony and progress. The kingdom, and the people, flourished.
But there was a rot growing deep within this beautiful fruit. Osiris’ brother, Set, was jealous of his brother, of the people’s love for their golden king, and jealous of the boundless love that Isis, Osiris’ storied wife, held for her husband. This hidden jealousy ate through Set’s heart, metastasizing into hatred, rage and eventually flowering into a plot to murder his brother, usurp the throne and steal his wife and kingdom.
This is the Passion of Isis and Osiris, and its first act see Set kill and dismember his brother - hacking his body into pieces, and throwing them into the sacred Nile. Isis, overcome with grief, hunts for the missing parts of her beloved husband. Where she found one, she built a temple, and these places are still active today.
Eventually she recovers his entire body, all save the phallus, which was eaten by a crocodile, and she reconstructs him; calling on her deepest magic and creating the first mummy. She then enlists Thoth, the Ibis-headed god of wisdom, to fashion a golden replacement for the missing male organ. Powered by primal magic, and Isis’s overwhelming love, Osiris is for a brief moment vitalized, and Isis, in the form of a kite, a female hawk, hovers over him and takes his essence into her.
This immaculate conception results in the birth of their son, Horus, the hawk-headed avenger who battles Set, restores his father's kingdom and returns the land, which has become chaotic, barren and filled with suffering, to its former harmony.
You can see how vital this myth is, how it traces the outlines of everything from Hamlet to the war in Ukraine. But most importantly, it sketches the very progression of our individual lives and our soul evolution: from wholeness and unity, through chaos and destruction, into greater wholeness; guided and vivified by the power of love. It speaks to the redemptive power of the Sacred Feminine.
This passion story is rich with detail and subtle nuance, which I’ve barely scratched the surface of here. As we travel across Egypt, we will continually explore these themes, anchoring our travel into this mythic realm that gave birth to the remarkable culture of ancient Egypt.
As we physically explore the mysterious sites of the Osirion and the Tomb of Osiris, we’ll confront this underlying spiritual reality.