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25 November 2005 @ 09:15 pm
The Osiris Myth  

In Alan F. Segal, Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West, we read on page 40 of the Osiris myth:

Seth chops Osiris's body into fourteen parts and scatters them over Egypt. After a long search, Isis finds all the missing parts save one—the phallus. Indeed, many Egyptian spells are dedicated to reanimating the phallus.

As are many contemporary American prayers and potions; notably Viagra, the name of which contains the obvious reference to "agriculture" and thereby to ploughing and planting.

 
 
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Diplomatically brutal since 1999tuluum on November 26th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
interesting. esp. since i received my Egyptian Tarot deck today which revolves in part around the myth of Osiris! :)
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of the Fredcritterfredcritter on November 26th, 2005 10:04 am (UTC)

Interesting, yes. Does your new Egyptian Tarot deck have a phallus?

alces2alces2 on November 26th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
One thing that bothers me is that the body is mentioned but not the mind. Strange what one considers more important sometimes.
Marybraider on November 27th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)
They may not have thought of the mind as having a physical component?
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of Geri's Fredfredcritter on November 27th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)

Close but not exactly, I think. See my comment to alces2 below.

Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of Geri's Fredfredcritter on November 27th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)

I don't think the Egyptians made any distinction between the body and the mind—that seems to have been a Greek invention. I can tell you that by no later than around 1320 BCE, Egyptians thought the heart to be the seat of intelligence (and therefore the part of the person answerable for moral behavior). So perhaps one of Osirus's body pieces in this tale was the heart = the seat of intelligence = what we would call the mind.

alces2alces2 on November 27th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, now I have new incentive to go read the numerous books on Egyptian religion and gods & goddesses I have on our to-be-read-shelves. Thanks.
Skylarker: The Big Pictureskylarker on November 28th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
Isis finds all the missing parts save one — the phallus.

Which didn't realize that it was part of something bigger and went wandering off on its own. Even today one often hears of encounters with random dick-heads who have obviously been possessed by the lone part.