The Golden Seat of Isis
By Linda Iles
Isis, Lotus of Alexandria Lyceum
I. Functioning of the Delphys Maternal or Splenic Center
“Spiritual rebirth through the Mother Goddess is activated through Her Hidden Rose.”
- FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson, “Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess”
The text in Part I. below is from the introduction found in the FOI Liturgy book "Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess" written by Olivia Robertson.
“The activation of a little known Chakra is being brought about by various Tantric, Sufi, Egyptian and Wiccan practices. The Delphys Maternal Centre is the psychic equivalent to the womb. It is the Aset Seat of the Parthenos, called in China the Temple of the Heavenly Ruler. Situated in the heart cavity and near the spleen of both sexes, it is behind and below the Heart Centre and above the Solar Plexus Centre. Hence, hidden by the Heart and Solar Plexus luminaries, it has been called by Western Occultists The Sun behind the Sun. It is the Adytum, the concealed chamber of rebirth, the Omphalos Hive of the navel. Every Egyptian tomb represented this womb of re-birth through the Mother. The tomb entrance is guarded on the lintel by Isis with Her wings outstretched. The wings are depicted as emanating from the Delphys part of the back. It was in Her winged form, kneeling, that she is shown restoring Her Husband the God Osiris to life in order that the Hawk God Horus might be born to Her.
Through this Delphys Centre, life may be renewed through Divine Influx. This refers to Immaculate Conception, the Goddess giving birth to Herself. The inclusion of the God - and man - in the creative act is presented through the participation of Osiris - Horus - Eros - Gabriel. Parthenogenesis is symbolised by the self renewing Phoenix. The Delphys Cord which attaches the psychic to the physical body is the equivalent of the physical umbilical cord attached to navel and unborn child.
The White Goddess has been seen by thousands of people during this century, and Apparitions of Her have become more frequent during the Seventies. For a few years She has appeared physically over the Coptic Church in On near Cairo, witnessed by thousands of Moslems, Copts and those of other faiths. She appeared for hours at various times and has been photographed. She occasionally was accompanied by strange white doves. She has been called "Isis," "Fatima", "Mary". When this White Lady or another such Visitant appeared at Fatima in 1917 She is reported to have told Lucia, the girl who spoke with Her, that She wished a portrayal Of Her Immaculate Heart to be depicted and venerated side by side with a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her request that the whole earth should be dedicated to Her "Immaculate Heart" by the Pope has since been fulfilled.
Thus we are given the concept of two Hearts to be reverenced through out the world; one already known, the other, feminine, newly presented to us. The word "immaculate" was already given in the enigmatic words "I am the Immaculate Conception" by the Virgin Figure at Lourdes. We may see here a connection with the Delphyos Centre of the Parthenos. The Sacred Heart is traditionally shown surrounded by a crown of thorns: the Immaculate Heart pierced by Seven Swords which we may take as shafts of light. These twin Hearts may be compared with those of the God Siva and The Goddess Parvati of Hinduism. The Greek God of Love, Eros with his Bride Psyche have their two hearts pierced by one arrow. This symbols of twin Hearts of Love is still popular on Valentine Greeting cards.
C. W. Leadbeater of the Theosophical Society published coloured pictures with descriptions of this Centre, which he presented as being the receiver and giver of seven channels of "Pranas," of power streams. He was laughed at by critics for introducing this "unknown" Chakra, and for substituting it for the Sex Centre. The latter was regarded as Victorian prudery. But Leadbeater was a remarkable clairvoyant. This Chakra is obviously connected with the throat and Sex centres. It produces creativity of every sort: psychic projection, healing, artistic expression and healthy childbearing. Spiritual re-birth through the Mother Goddess is activated through Her Hidden Rose. “
- End of quote from "Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess."
The article below will compare the findings of Charles W. Leadbeater, who wrote about his observances using Sanskrit forms, with surviving evidence found in works dealing with ancient Egyptian religious thought. Although the two systems, Eastern Indian and ancient Egyptian are unique unto themselves, they deal with two common elements - the physical body, and spiritual experience. To begin, let's explore the ancient Egyptian concepts behind the 'Nbt' - the symbol upon which Isis is seated in the photograph above - and see how it relates to the Delphys Maternal center.
II. Nebt (Nbt) - The Golden Seat of Isis
The name of the Goddess Isis has been interpreted variously as ’seat,’ ‘stone seat,’ or 'throne.' She is generally depicted in the form of a woman wearing a headdress shaped like a three-stepped throne. Isis is the Lady of Sovereignty in ancient Egypt. She is the key to whether or not a candidate sits upon the royal throne. Every Pharaoh had a Horus name, therefore associating the king magically with Horus as His descendant, as his direct heir. By extension, every Pharoah was descended not only from Horus, but from Isis and Osiris as well.
Usually we see Isis either wearing the throne shaped headdress or seated on a throne suckling her infant son Horus. This connects Her with earthly sovereignty. But, sometimes we see the Winged Isis seated on the symbol for gold, called Nebt (Nbt). This depiction is also connected with sovereignty but in an entirely different way. It is the sovereignty of Inner Mastery which has nothing to do with physical thrones and lines of royalty. This type of sovereignty can come to a member of a princely line, or to a beggar walking a dusty street in ragged clothes, without shoes to wear - as long as the heart and spirit are ready to receive.
Gold capped the tips of ancient pyramids of Egypt, it was the favored metal of temple statuary. Gold had strong associations with the sun and all the deities of ancient Egypt. Gold was considered both divine and indestructible - it was considered to comprise the immortal flesh of the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt. It represented harmony, beauty and stability. The Pharaoh was called “The Golden Horus,” the royal tomb was the “House of Gold,” and the God Re was believed to live within a “Mountain of Gold” (the sun disc). Another written form of Nebt is ‘Nub” which may survive in the name Nubia. This country provided vast quantities of gold through tributes paid to the Pharaoh.
There are some interesting interpretations concerning the actual source for the symbol. In the Late Period, the sign was drawn as a necklace with pendent beads which Grafton Elliot Smith (1871 - 1937) felt was the original form, since the necklace with pendant beads was a determinative of Hathor, who was guardian of the valleys in the east where gold was found.
Jean-François Champollion (1790 - 1832) decipherer of the Rosetta Stone, regarded the symbol for ‘nebt’ as a representation of a crucible. Modern day Egyptologist Eduardo Crivelli (University of Cairo) views this symbol more along the same lines as Champollion, as a type of portable furnace used for the fusion of gold, the rays representing flames, which 'can be observed in the use of this type of furnace, are unable to ascend because the wind inclines them horizontally' (Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte).
The assistant and great friend of Champollion, Ippolito Rossellini (1800 - 1843, founder of Egyptology in Italy) along with Carl Richard Lepsius (1810 - 1884, one of the founders of modern Egyptology) both believed ‘nebt’ represented a bag or a cloth with the ends gathered and hanging, used to wash grains of gold; the radiating lines descending from beneath it representing streams of water running out. Sand containing grains of gold, deposited in riverbeds, or in a flood area (such as the delta in northern Egypt or along the banks of the Nile) was named ‘nub-en-mu’ - ‘gold of the river’ distinguishing it from gold extracted from mines - ‘nub-en-set ’or ‘gold of the mountain.’ The sand was placed in a fleece made into a bag made of a fleece with the woolly side inward. Water was added and the bag shaken vigorously by two men holding either end. The water was then poured off, the sand was carried away, leaving the heavier particles of gold adhering to the fleece. (Could this simple ancient method of gathering gold be the origin of the Golden Fleece?)
I have a strong preference for the interpretation of 'crucible' for the Nbt. The Priesthood of ancient Egypt were forbidden to wear wool or leather into the temples. Their robes were of linen, their sandals made of woven palm. The bodies of executed criminals convicted of acts of treason or heresy were wrapped in sheepskin when buried as a sign of their unworthiness, their uncleanness. The crucible, on the other hand is ‘open ’ in the same way as the Grael, the Cup, the Cauldron. It is much more fitting as a symbol of a chakric center that can receive and transmit energy.
In modern esoteric use, the projective energies of gold are ruled by the Sun. The elemental rulers are fire and air. The solar influences are those of healing, protection, spiritual illumination, magical energy and connection with the vital forces of life. Gold represents the union of that which is human with that which is divine through purification and transformation. Its subtle energies project a quality of love which results from purely motivated spiritual compassion, selflessness and consciousness freed from material limitations. This may seem to be a contradiction based on what is commonly seen. The lust or greed for gold is an expression of unbalanced energy, a desire for the beauty of gold alone discounting the spiritual purity of its inner nature. Gold is excellent for healing work of all types and represents the solar fire of true magic which brings elevated spiritual experience. With the etheric potencies of gold the knowledge of true compassion results in oneness with spiritual forces, an elevated state of being. Therapeutically gold is especially good for stabilizing, balancing, grounding and ailments of the heart.
III. Seven Sacred Currents in the Physical Body
Names of Isis as Daughter of Light and of Healing Power
Isis, Daughter of Ra, Diadem of Life, Dynamis, Eye of Ra, Female Ra, Khut-The Light Giver, Lady of Flame, Lady of Life, Lady of Light, Lady of the House of Fire, Lady of Warmth and Fire, Lady Who is a Chariot in the Form of Fire, Living One, Lofty Pharos of Light, Name of the Sun, Power That Heals the World, Ray of the Sun
The seven currents of etheric force that flow into the human body are listed in Shaktic Yoga texts as listed below, with the seventh force functioning primarily as a synthesis of the aspects of the other six currents.
1. Parashakti - the Supreme Force or power.
2. Jnanashakti - The power that fuels the intellect enabling the mind to associate, remember experiences and group sensations to generate the notion or idea of an external object.
3. Itchasakti - The current that is called the Power of the Will. It feeds the nerves and muscles to create the physical response necessary to achieve a goal.
4. Kriyashaki - This force of vital energy fuels the miraculous powers of the yogis and mystics. It fuels spiritual awakening when activated by devotion and contemplation of the Divine Source.
5. Kundalini Shakti - The Universal Life Principle that manifests through everything in nature. Electricity and magnetism are two manifestations of this energy. When activated through devotional contemplation it rises upwards to stimulate all the major etheric centers and creates the rebirth or awakening of the soul.
6. Mantrika Shakti - The current that gives life to our speech center. It also governs the force behind all manner of sound and is very important in devotional or magic ritual that uses music, words, mantras, etc. The evident influence of melody upon the emotions and level of physical energy of the body is an outer manifestation of this current.
7. The seventh current, a synthesis of the six, is Mahat, (Sarva) or Savitri Shakti, the creative force which brings the other shaktis into physical manifestation.
In Ancient Egypt
Although these currents are given with Sanskrit names, they do have correspondences in ancient Egypt. The closest equivalent to prana in surviving ancient Egyptian terms, is ‘Sekhem.‘ It is represented by a form of sceptre. The word ’Sekhem’ translates as ‘power’ or ‘might’ but also refers to a living vitality. The attribute of giving life was shown either by the symbol of the Ankh, by water poured from a sacred vessel or by the fragrance of a blue lotus flower (the source of creation) held to the nose, symbolizing ‘the breath of life.’
Seven was a number that held a certain degree of significance in ancient Egyptian thought. This is evidenced in a few examples given here: the seven thousand barrels of red beer used to pacify Sekhmet; the seven scorpions that guarded Isis; the fourteen pieces of the body of Osiris, seven of which were located in Upper Egypt and seven in Lower Egypt. In ancient Egyptian art, usually (not always) the symbol for water, represented by a rectangular pool, i.e. the temple or garden pool, contained seven wavy lines - the gardens around these pools were called Garden of Rebirth. Ancient Egyptian representations of the Nebt (Nbt) symbol generally show seven lines representing either flames or streams of water on the underside.
References are made to the Seven Hathors in ancient Egyptian religious texts. These goddesses presented special gifts of good fortune and health to newly born children. Some sources have equated them with benevolent spirits somewhat like the “good fairies” of old rhymes and folk tales. The goddess Hathor was the daughter of Ra, or the Eye of Ra - there is a close relationship between this goddess and solar life giving energy. In this context it would be easy to entertain the idea that the seven Hathors are related to the seven life currents listed above. Their proper manifestation within the physical and etheric body of the newborn child would be crucial to it’s future development and welfare.
Like the Goddess Hathor, the Seven Hathors can be depicted either as celestial cows or as women. The cow forms are represented in funerary context generally, often accompanied by the Bull of the West. The tomb of Queen Nefertari is famous for it’s beautiful painted walls. Among the paintings there, the Seven Hathors are represented along with their names - Lady of the Universe; Sky-Storm; You from the Land of Silence; You from Khemmis; Red-Hair,;Bright Red; and Your Name Flourishes Through Skill. Elsewhere they are referred to collectively rather than individually as - Ladies of the House of Jubilation; Mistresses of the West; Mistresses of the East; and Ladies of the Sacred Land. In their funerary context they act on behalf of the dead, ensuring their well being. In both instances, whether funerary or in the welfare of the newly born child, they are protectors of an individual who has just entered a portal into a different life.
The complex of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera contained a sanitorium for healing. Supplicants would bathe in the sacred water which had been poured over a statue of Hathor - water that contained an infusion of blue lotus - the flower which symbolized primordial creation, life and rebirth. Today all that remains is the statue base, which contains an inscription of magical/healing texts which caused the water to become holy and curative. Basins were used to collect this water situated at the western end of the sanitorium. We know that water can be prismatic in sunlight and that the rainbow has seven colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Is it coincidence that Hathor, who was so intimately connected with the sun and with sunlight, has seven manifestations?
Another ancient Egyptian reference to the number seven can be found in the work of Pythagoras, who was an initiate of the ancient Egyptian mysteries. His teachings stated the number seven was composed of the joining of numbers three and four. Together they formed an equilateral triangle, which also happens to be a symbol of the Goddess Isis, among whose many titles we find: “Base of the Perfect Triangle.” According to Pythagoras and his disciples, this perfect triangle was the vehicle of all life. It consisted of body, mind and spirit and the four elements. Together, one on top of the other, the union of four and three formed the base of the Tetraktys, one of the most important and sacred symbols of the Pythagoreans.
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IV. Seven turns into Five
Situated both within our body and immediately surrounding it are various forces or currents that imbue us with life. These currents provide links to the astral, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our being. These formative forces that underlie our physical world are called the Tattwas (or Tattvas). They correspond to the elements of Earth (Prithivi), Air (Vayu), Fire (Tejas), Water (Apas) and to Spirit (Akasha). Their symbols are a yellow square for earth, a gray hexagram of two interpenetrating triangles (representing light and fire) or a blue circle for air, a red triangle for fire, a silver or white crescent for water, and a black or a white egg shape for spirit. The symbols of these five basic Tattwas can be combined in various ways to illustrate the interplays of elemental energies present within the subtle energy flows and centers of life force (Chakras) that are present in the etheric body.
When prana enters the human body it differentiates into five distinct types of etheric force. In Hindu tradition they are named Prana, Vyana, Samana, Apana and Upana. However, Charles Leadbeater determined that only after prana is received into the Delphys Maternal or splenic chakra does it differentiate into these five bodily currents which he said entered the body initially as seven rays of colored light. He states that the seven colors are as follows: yellow, rose red, green, orange, dark red, violet and blue. After leaving the splenic center the violet and blue join into one ray and the orange ray joins with the dark red. At this point prana does flow through the body in five main streams which he then identifies with the traditional pranic differentiations of the Eastern Indian teachers. In his book “The Chakras” he carefully describes these currents as he perceived them.
Here are quotes from his observances about the functions of these seven rays after they leave the splenic chakra:
Prana: “The yellow ray is directed to the heart but after doing its work there part of it also passes on to the brain.” Related to the heart, lungs, mouth and speech.
Vyana: “The rose colored ray runs all over the body along the nerves and is clearly the life of the nervous system.” Related to the blood channels, the veins and the arteries.
Samana: “The green ray floods the abdomen and while centering especially in the solar plexus, evidently vivifies...the digestive apparatus generally.” Related to the assimilation and distribution of nourishment taken from food.
Apana: “The orange-red ray flows to the base of the spine and thence to the generative organs.” (The orange and dark red rays leave the spleen separately and join together behind the solar plexus and then travel downwards to the root chakra.) Related to the organs of elimination and to those of reproduction.
Upana: “The violet-blue ray flashes upwards to the throat where it seems to divide itself, the light blue remaining...while the dark blue and violet pass on into the brain.” (The violet and blue rays leave the splenic center separately to converge below and behind the heart center before traveling upward to the throat chakra. From there the violet ray travels upward alone.) Related to the brain, nose and the eyes.
Colors associated with the rays are a good guide, but keep in mind there can be some degree of variation. The perception of color varies from individual to individual. Also the ‘tone’ or ‘tint’ of the colors of the rays can vary within individuals. We are all unique, like snowflakes!
In Ancient Egypt
A Papyrus in the British Museum designated as BM 50601, contains a demotic version of the Hymn to the Ten Bas of Amun (Bas being the plural of Ba) best known from the hieroglyphic copy preserved within Amun's temple at Hibis in the Kharga Oasis. The walls in the temple are decorated with the Litany of Ra, and the hymn to the Ba of Amun in its tenfold form.
According to Egyptologist Jan Assmann: “The paradigm of manifestation and Ramesside ba theology reach their high point in the theory of the ten bas of Amun, developed in a tremendous hymn" (p. 199). Only three of the bas are preserved, but all ten are named in the introductory hymn. The first five refer to life-giving elements: right eye (sun), left eye (full moon), Shu (air), Osiris (water), Tefnut (light). The second five are classes of life-endowed animate creatures: human (human beings), lion (quadrupeds), falcon (birds), crocodile (aquatic creatures), snakes (terrestrial creatures). The theology understands the ten bas of the One, not as the visible world, but as mediating powers that animate and sustain it. They are cosmic energies that emanate from the One.
Not only is this theology given linguistic expression in a hymn, but it is also translated into cult activity in the form of a ritual.The ritual is known to us from the Taharqa building next to the sacred lake in Karnak, where the wall reliefs are unfortunately very badly damaged, and from the Opet Temple in Karnak, in whose crypts a well-preserved variant has been discovered by Claude Traunecker. The fact that the cult was performed in a crypt might indicate that it was some kind of secret cult. The hymn is also surrounded by indications of secrecy. In the Hibis Temple version it bears the title 'Book of the Secrets of Amun Written Down on Boards of Nbs-Wood'.” The mysteries of the temples of ancient Egypt were received by initiates through use of symbol and ritual. What was done on the physical level was meant to prompt changes on the inner or spiritual level.
Unlike the tenfold manifestation of Deity, a human being was 'fivefold': the Ka, the Ba, the Akh, the Sheut, and the Ren. During life these five parts inhabited the body. The five parts are ‘Ren’ or ‘name’; ‘Sheut’ or ‘shadow’; ‘Ka’or ‘physical vitality’; ‘Ba’ or ‘soul, personality’; and ‘Akh.’ The ‘Akh’ lived on after death, it was the transfigured soul which rose to live amongst the imperishable stars if the person had been righteous during physical life. The ‘Akhu’ (plural of Akh) were known as the Shining Ones who lived amongst the stars with the Gods and Goddesses in the heavens. The symbol for ‘star’ in the sense of righteous transfigured dead or of celesital deities was always a five pointed star. The five parts of a human being could be transfigured, the earthly become divine - mirroring the tenfold perfection of the ancient Egyptian Deities.
"That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above …” - Hermes Trismegisus, “The Emerald Tablet”
The Delphys Maternal or splenic center is composed of two minor chakras that lie superimposed and interact by combining forces to create one center - not unlike the concept of the "Sun behind the Sun" or the "Hidden Sun" spoken of in the Mysteries of Isis or the mystery of the Union of the Twin Souls, Isis and Osiris. And not unlike the hidden star behind the star in the star system of Sirius - our bodies are microcosms of the greater universe. The two etheric bodies closely associated with the giving and maintaining of life force in ancient Egypt were the ‘Ba’ and the ‘Ka’. ‘Ba’ is sometimes referred to as the soul. Most scholars agree this interpretation is inadequate because the concept of the Ba embodies so much more than this, but there is no viable modern day equivalent to express it in just one word, ‘soul’ being the closest. The ’Ba’ contained all the non-physical attributes of the personality and was closely tied to the physical body. ‘Ka’ is considered the creative power that infuses the physical body with life. It is a kind of ‘double’ of the physical body.
The Delphys Maternal or splenic center is a true gateway between the physical and the etheric in our bodies. It is also very closely related to the solar plexus chakra through numerous pathways in the nadis which manifest in the physical body as numerous minute conduits found in the nervous system. Functioning as a distributor of etheric force, the Delphys Maternal or splenic chakra fuels spiritual current into the higher centers of our etheric bodies; and also provides our physical bodies with the life force necessary for earthly life. It is the Delphys Maternal or splenic center which receives and transmits the psychic fire which opens the gateway between physical and etheric forces. It is truly the 'Golden Seat' of Isis.
Chakras and Healing:
Avalon, Arthur, (Sir John Woodroffe) “The Serpent Power, The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga,” Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, 1974
Bailey, Alice, “Esoteric Healing, A Treatise on the Seven Rays,” Lucius Publishing Company, New York, 1984
Bohm, Werner, “Chakras, Roots of Power,” Red Wheel Weiser, York Beach, Maine, 1991
Brennan, Barbara Ann, “Hands of Light, A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field,” Bantam Books, Doubleday, New York, 1988
Judith, Anodea, “Wheels of Life, A User’s Guide to the Chakra System,” Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota, 1987
Joy, W. Brugh, M.D., “Joy’s Way, A Map for the Transformational Journey and An Introduction to the Potentials for Healing with Body Energies,” J. P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles, 1979
Lansdowne, Zachary F., Ph.D., “The Chakras and Esoteric Healing,” Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India, 2002
Leadbeater, Charles W., “The Chakras,” Quest Books, The Philosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, 1973
Robertson, Olivia, “Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess,” Cesara Publications, Clonegal Castle, Ireland, 1983
Siegel, Alan, N.D., “Polarity Therapy, The Power That Heals,” Prism Press, San Leandro, California, 1989
Stein, Diane, “Essential Reiki,” Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California, 1995
Stone, Randolph, Dr., C.C., D. O., Polarity Therapy, The Complete Collected Works Volumes I and II. A highly technical and in depth study. The classic text in this field. CRCS Wellness Books Publications, Summertown, Tennessee, 1986
Ancient Egyptian Religious Thought:
Allen, James Paul. 2001. "Ba". In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, edited by Donald Bruce Redford. Vol. 1 of 3 vols. Oxford, New York, and Cairo: Oxford University Press and The American University in Cairo Press. 161–162.
Assman, Jan, “Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism,” Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1997
Search for God in Ancient
Egypt,” translation by David Lorton, Cornell University Press,
New York, 2001
About the Author: Linda Iles is an ordained priestess in the Fellowship of Isis. She is certified and teaches as a head instructor in all branches of the Fellowship of Isis, including the Adepti Spiral, the College of Isis, Solar Alchemy of the FOI Priesthood, Noble Order of Tara and Druid Clan of Dana. Linda is a founding member of the Circle of Isis Advisory Board of the Fellowship of Isis, a member of the Circle of Isis FOI Central Website staff, and a founding member of the Temple of Isis, Geyserville Chapter of the Muses Symposium and Sister member of the Circle of Pelagia. She is a member of two of the Foundation Triad Unions of the Fellowship of Isis, the ArchDruid Union of the Druid Clan of Dana and Grand Commander Union of the Noble Order of Tara. Linda undertakes some of the editorial duties for the Mirror of Isis. She has been an active teacher, given presentations at FOI events in Los Angeles and Geyserville and contributed articles, poetry and illustrations for Fellowship of Isis publications since early 1998.
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