I will always leap at the chance to learn more about Isis. She’s been an active presence in my life for years, although it took a trip to Egypt in 2010 for me to finally acknowledge her role and take her as my patron. When I heard that M. Isidora Forrest was releasing an updated tenth anniversary edition of Isis Magic, I was eager to review a copy.
With new rituals and meditations, this expanded volume is a wonderful tool for those who already work with Isis and those who wish to know her better. This goddess has often been described as “all things to all people” (p. 7), as her continued popularity attests, and Forrest offers myth and historical background to help readers know this multi-faceted goddess. The history is balanced with contemporary rituals and prayers, and while this book does not strive to recreate the religion of ancient Egypt, it does offer a solid contextual grounding, which readers can take or leave as they begin working with Isis.
The elaborate rituals included in this edition range from solitary devotional practices to full group ceremonies, from private, intimate rituals to those that can be performed publicly, offering a spectrum of ritual to readers. Forrest has added an Isiac same-sex marriage ritual, as well as a magician’s ascension rite, a night-long initiation, and other new practices.
Developing a relationship with Deity is a unique, complex experience. As Forrest puts it, “being drawn to a particular Deity is a little like falling in love; you will know it when it happens” (pg. 11). Looking back, I realize now that I did know it when it happened, but at the time, it seemed too impossible to fit my life. Isis claimed me when I was a young child; my most vivid childhood play consisted of pretending to be a priestess of Isis, and sometimes even the reincarnation of the final Cleopatra herself. As I grew older, I convinced myself that these ideas were just childhood fancies, and Isis faded into the background, waiting patiently for me to acknowledge her again. When I found my way back to her, it wasn’t so much a discovery as an acknowledgement of something that had always been present; it felt strangely right and deep, not like a sudden brush of infatuation. Like many before me, I found Isis when I searched for a patron, and it was like falling in love and coming home.
To learn more about the tenth anniversary edition of Isis Magic by M. Isidora Forrest, visit http://www.abiegnushouse.com/isis-magic/.