It is very common for those who look back into the ancient record to correlate the virgin birth of Horus by the Egyptian Goddess Isis with the virgin birth of Jesus by the Virgin Mary. I have to admit that the depictions of these two women with a male babe suckling at the breast is quite convincing. However, we must understand that the stories told of these two women are myths.
A myth is a metaphorical description of the spiritual journey, a holy archetype, or a spiritual principle.
As you will see, the archetype of the Virgin Mary is very different from the archetype of Isis. The only similarity between these two myths is the virgin birth of a male child. There are big differences in what that male child grows up to become.
We cannot fixate on just one part of any myth. We must look at the whole story to get the proper meaning that was set down by the creator of the story.
When we look at the earlier tale of Isis, we see a goddess who is one of four siblings and is married her brother Osiris. In myth, the king and queen are symbolic of the masculine and feminine principles in the psyche. Osiris was a good king. He brought order, understanding, and prosperity to his people. Osiris brought organization and learning through the structures of education and agriculture.
Set, the other brother, was jealous of Osiris so on multiple occasions carried out plots to kill his brother Osiris. On one occasion, Set tricked Osiris into getting into a coffin. Once Osiris was in the box with the lid closed, Set locked the box and threw it into the river Nile. Isis had to look throughout the kingdom and eventually found Osiris and rescued him. Set then again tried to kill his brother by cutting Osiris into many pieces. Again Isis had to journey around the kingdom, this time collecting all the dismembered parts.
What is this part of Isis’ story telling us?
It is telling us that Set, who is the god of violence, chaos, and the red desert, has kidnapped or dismembered the beneficial structures in the psyche. Isis the creative aspect of the psyche becomes powerless without structure. In desperation, she must collect the pieces of her consort so that the order of the cosmos can be restored. We see this in our lives when a disaster strikes.
The destruction of ALL inner structures takes place when The Passion, aka: The Kundalini, is activated.
When The Passion surges upward, all the order we relied upon or had created disappears. Like a raging forest fire, The Passion does not burn just the diseased or broken trees. It burns everything. The unnecessary, the harmful, and the beneficial are all destroyed. A creative personality considers this to be a disastrous event, because all the structures within a creative’s psyche are self-created to bring grounding, organization, time management, and logic into their world.
In the aftermath we can wallow in the misery of, “Why me?” or we can piece our life back together. As we piece things back together, order is slowly restored. The masculine principle of organization and order is magically born anew within the psyche. We have to remember that Isis does not find the phallus in her search for Osiris’ dismembered pieces. So, the conception of the new masculine principle does not come from any type of physical intercourse. The story tells us that the male child born to Isis becomes a king or Pharaoh of Egypt who when grown, smites the evil Set. This is the birth of the God Given Mission. Many organizations have been founded to help others who experienced a trauma and to prevent such incidents from happening again. MADD and the Pink Ribbon campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness are just a couple of examples. Many organizations and trust funds have been founded due to one person’s tragedy.
Who was the cracked up female archetype that is associated with Jesus? I can give you a hint. It wasn’t the Virgin Mary.
The Virgin Mary has a completely different experience. She is an unmarried maiden who out of the blue is told that she will bear a son. There was no preparation. There was no violence. There was no sin. We see that the birth of the male principle into consciousness is a natural part of spiritual journey for creative personalities. When the birth of organization takes place, a peace flows throughout the soul and it is possible to see the joy of all things in the world. The male child (I like to call this the Animus, but my psychologist friends do not consider this to be a correct definition of this Jungian term.) born to the Virgin Mary is the Prince of Peace, a spiritual master, or messiah.