Re-assembling Osiris

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Continuing with the Egyptian theme from yesterday’s post, the story of Isis searching the land of Egypt for the dismembered parts of her slain husband, Osiris, gives form to some thoughts that I’ve been having about my experience since I began my Sunrise Sadhana.

Through the experiences that I’ve written about, and other encounters that I haven’t, I have often felt that I was in the process of re-collecting parts of myself that I had for various reasons left behind or neglected or forgotten.  My experience yesterday with the sun and moon and the resulting re-animation of my past experiences with Horus brought that sensation into exceptionally high relief, again, appropriate relative to the myth of Osiris.

My experience also brings to mind the short story by Margret Atwood, “Isis in Darkness”,  in which an aging poetry professor who has lost his way makes it his life’s purpose to search out and assemble the life and works of one of his former students, Selena, whose poetry he admired.  Selena lived her life as a poet but became disillusioned, succumbs to alcoholism, and dies before her time.

While the story movingly reverses the male-female roles of the myth, it is also clear that in reconstructing Selena’s life, he is also redeeming, and reconnecting with, his own soul.  This student’s paper puts it very well:

By undertaking this project, he accomplishes two things: First, he takes on the role of Isis, transforming Selena into an immortal author by bringing together the pieces of her life, and second, he transforms himself into an author in his own right. Just as Isis reconstructs herself while she reconstructs Osiris, Richard builds himself into the author he has always wanted to be as he pieces together the note cards that contain the facts he has learned about Selena.

Both the original myth and Atwood’s story hint at this profound process that we are all capable of doing for ourselves.  While the process is always poignant, whether one’s story ends in tragedy or beatitude depends upon the undertaking.




The Pool of the Reflecting Heart




As our tale continues, our knight errant …




…having been bequeathed with the legendary sword of his ancestors, Shadowslayer…




… was charged with the first trial of his Quest, to slay his first shadow.




Not knowing in what vile chambers his  dark foe might be lurking, and wary of what powers it might possess,  the knight continued his wanderings. Once more he found himself drawn to the shores of the hallowed lake…




Indignant that evil would dare to defile this sacred ground, long strides he took in pursuit of his prey.  Suddenly, on an impulse that came from a source unknown, he slowed his pace to the rhythm of the lapping waters. As his footsteps kept time with the waves, and his breath merged with the breeze, it was as though a veil lifted ~ and revealed to him was the Pool of the Reflecting Heart.  Though he had trod this path many a time, never before had he seen this portal of magical powers, hidden in plain sight.




Thinking to bless his sword in the holy waters, he bent near, but when he saw his own reflection, he knew that it was not his sword, but he that must be baptized ~ that his heart must be reconciled to that of the earth, and through the earth, the entire creation, and through the creation, the Creator.


Beholding his reflection, held within the heart of the earth, held within the heart of creation, held within the heart of the Creator, he felt the heart of the Creator swell within his chest.  A searing light  infused the knight’s heart,  purged its vile chambers, and vanquished the dark foe that lurked therein.  And so it was that his first shadow was slain, the first trial of his Quest complete.


: )