AKA Goddess
Book 1 of The GrailKeepers
In Her Kind of Trouble, Maggi goes looking for the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names, Oldest of the Old... in other words, ISIS.

Here is her story....

"Ankh if You Love Isis"
(pagan bumper sticker)

As long as goddess worship was safe in the Western World, there was the Egyptian goddess Isis.  She predates the Greeks and Romans by perhaps as much as two thousand yearsin fact, if you believe that she's a continuation of older goddesses such as Ishtar or Astarte, she may go even further back than that! 

Isis worship, as an official religion, continued until the 6th century CE, well into the common, or Christian, era.

Many of the iconography that has been attributed to the Virgin Mary, in old Catholic Churches, was originally used in representations of Isisfigurines of a mother with her infant son (who happens to be a god) on her lap, or a figurine wearing a halo of stars or standing on an orb. Some scholars believe that the connection to Isis is the reason that "Black Madonnas" of southern France are black. 

Not only that, but the most long-lived of the Isis legends is an incredibly romantic story, and shows her as a major bombshell of a goddess.

Since the mid-90's, I have a picture by Susan Seddon Boulet which shows Isis cradling the fallen form of her husband, Osirus, which I just love.

But mostly, I realized that the Isis Grail must be Maggi's next adventure when I began reading up on the Sunken Palace of Cleopatra.  Cleopatra VII (the Julius Ceasar/Mark Antony/heavy-on-the-eyeshadow/death-by-asp Cleopatra) considered herself a reincarnation of the goddess Isis, continuing a long tradition of Egyptian pharaohs as human incarnations of the gods.  Once I saw the work that's being done to uncover the long-lost remains of Cleopatra's palace in Alexandria, I just knew.

Isis was calling to Maggi.  And to me.


There are excellent versions of the Isis legends--and the Isis/Osirus story--out there.  Instead of doing a lesser version here, why don't I just include the story as Maggi explains it in HER KIND OF TROUBLE...?

          Since it was nothing he couldn't find out on the Internet, why not give him the 4-1-1 on the Goddess of a Thousand names?
          "Isis was a powerful being in her own right," I started. "A goddess of magic and healing. But her most famous legend has to do with her marriage to the god Osiris."
          "So a lot of these goddesses are part of a a sacred couple, are they?"
          "I'm not sure how you'd define a lot" I felt something brush my foot, and stiffened. Then I realized it was Lex's foot. Sans shoe. Hidden by the fullness of the embroidered tablecloth.
          When I caught his gaze, his brows lifted in polite inquiry. The brightness in his eyes contradicted his air of casual nonchalance.
          Instead of protesting, I continued, "Remember that the French goddess, Melusine, was married to a mere mortal."
          But at the moment, I could see the attraction of mortals.
          "But she was married," he insisted, massaging my foot with his. "Are most"
          He hesitated when I pulled my foot away, tried not to look hurt, then finished, "Most goddesses married?"
          But the only reason I'd pulled away was to use the toe of one foot to slide a sandal strap off the other heel. Then, foot bare and all the more sensitive, I touched the ridge of his toes with mine, then ventured up his sock to his instep.
          His eyes closed for a moment.
          "Athena never marries," I told him, clinging to the sanity of what could have been a class presentation. "Or Artemis. Or..."
          His toes caressed under the arch of my bare foot, which arched further in welcome. The rest of my body was taking notice as well now, a satisfied warmth like from a good glass of wine. But we weren't drinking wine with our dinner, not in a Muslim country.
          "Or a lot of them," I finished lamely, grasping at conversation.
          "But a lot of them are married, r--?"
          He broke off as I drew my foot up the crease of his trousers, toward his knee, then back down, then back up.
          "Right," I agreed, smiling evilly. "Isis. Hera. Persephone. Even Aphrodite... wait."  My foot paused, resting on his knee. "Why are you asking this? You aren't leading up to another marriage proposal, are you?"
          "A little higher, and I am."
          He sighed as I deliberately slid my foot away. It would be much easier to insist on celibacy if I didn't continue this. More fair, too.
          "According to the legend," I said, resuming the lecture, "their brother Set invited Osiris to a banquet where enemies ambushed him. Set cut him into pieces and scattered those pieces across Egypt. It's only because of her powerful magic that the grieving Isis was able to collect all but one of the pieces."
          "Do I want to know what that missing piece was?" From his wince, he seemed to have already guessed that they had, as Rhys would put it, 'Abelarded' Osiris.
          "No." I considered it. "But she made him a new one... Goddess of Healing, remember? She wrapped him in bandages--the first mummy--and breathed life back into him."
          "The king who dies and is reborn." Clearly Lex recognized the familiar motif. "Like Arthur."
          "Like a lot of gods. Not only did Osiris revive, but he was able to impregnate Isis with the god Horus. Then Osiris became Lord of the Underworld."
          "Having been dead and all," mused Lex. "So he and Isis weren't together after that?"
          "One of her ten-thousand names is Queen of the Underworld. She was able to move in both worlds, which may explain why her worship continued until the sixth century."
          But while I spoke, Lex's foot quested up under my skirt....

Gifts of the Goddess:
So how do Isis's powers help Maggi?  Well let's see... it has to do with at least one of the following.

Isis is incredibly powerful in her own right. She is willing to not play fair, if need be.  She finds her lover when he has been ambushed.  She heals him.  And then....

But that's probably more than enough hints!