Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shape shifters in Mythology

Today shape-shifters, werewolves, and others are a big hit in romances. While doing intensive research for my paranormal fantasy set in mythological Egypt, I discovered that the concept of shape shifters is as old as the world and often associated with Romance.

In Greek Mythology, the god of gods, Zeus seduced many pretty women, but he had to switch to bull or shift his lovers to swan, or heifer, or other animals to protect them from his jealous wife Hera.

In the Egyptian Mythology, the gods use their shape-shifting power to perform their duties, attack enemies or defend followers. I will let each of the gods acting in my paranormal fantasy, OSIRIS’ MISSING PART, introduce himself or herself.

                        Seth: I am the god of storm and darkness.
My mother and father favored my older brother, the handsome Osiris. My mother betrothed me to Nephtys when she knew I was in love with Isis, the most beautiful goddess in the pantheon. I couldn’t stand to see Isis fool around with Osiris. I killed him, cut him into fourteen pieces and spread them all over Egypt and beyond the seas and the desert.

I usually wear a red mantle to match my red hair and eyes. Because of me, Egyptians consider the bright red to be a color of evil. I can switch to a black pig or hippopotamus, or even to a crocodile or a shark. I am often represented with a human body and jackal’s head.

Isis: As the goddess of family and health, I protect young family and dot on small children. With my key of life I can perform miracles. I wish I could have a son—Osiris’ son.

I can shift to a cow, a generous animal who gives her milk, or a woman with a cow’s head. My crown is adorned with a throne or decorated with the horns of a cow encasing a solar disk. I have always loved Osiris, even when he cheated on me. When Seth killed him, I cut my tresses and searched for his body pay parts all over the earth and the seas, until I found thirteen of his body parts and put him back together.

Osiris: I am the god of knowledge, work and agriculture. I am probably the only Egyptian god who never shifts to another form. I like to wear my Atef cone over my head and hold my scepter.  I take good care of my subjects who adore me but call me a womanizer. Is it my fault if I appreciate beautiful woman. Isis is my lover and friend. When she couldn’t find my male member where my godly power is stored she reattached a giant’s phallus—as if a man, a god, could live without his own organ. Isis has done so much for me but can she forgive the sins of my past and help me find the missing part?

Nephtys: I am betrothed to the ruthless Seth, but I love Osiris. I am a protective goddess who symbolizes the death experience. In the funerary role, I am often depicted as a bird of prey called a kite, or as a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protection. My association with the kite or the Egyptian hawk (and its piercing, mournful cries) evidently reminded the ancients of the lamentations usually offered for the dead by wailing women.

Anubis: I am Nephtys’ son, but who is my father? Seth or Osiris? I was associated with the mummification and protection of the dead for their journey into the afterlife. I am usually portrayed as a half human, half jackal, or in full jackal form wearing a ribbon and holding a flail in the crook of my arm.

Nut: I am Isis’ mother and the goddess of the sky. I spend hours bending over the earth or reading the star constellations to decipher the future and wisely explain the world plans

Kismet, also called Sekhmet, the ferocious goddess of destruction: with my statuesque woman body toped with a lioness head adorned with the solar disc and a cobra, I am wisely feared by everyone, but I love Osiris. He was such a good lover in his first life. Why did he stupidly become faithful to Isis in his second life? My hatchet man, Nekhoret the vulture, helped me in my attacks.

Min, the gloating dwarf  and god of sexuality: I instruct young men on improved performance. Osiris doesn’t like me because I try to court the beautiful Isis or maybe because my male member beats all others in length. 

Sobeck, the crocodile god: I protect the justified dead in the netherworld, restoring their sight and reviving their senses, but I often ate their insides before mummifying their bodies. Because of my ferocity, I was considered to be the patron of the army.

Horus, son of Osiris and Isis: My favorite shape is a human body with a falcon head bearing an orange sun disk wrapped with a golden cobra serpent. I lead the dead to the Afterlife. Ancient Egyptians believed that the Sun was my right eye and the Moon my left eye.

    When the evil god, Seth, killed his brother, Osiris, cut him into fourteen pieces and spread them over Egypt, Isis, goddess of family, found and reassembled thirteen body parts. She used a human substitute to replace the fourteenth missing part, his male organ, where his godly power is stored.
   Love blooms between the charming Osiris and Isis as they fight evil gods and search for the missing member, but can Isis forgive the sins of his past and their unexpected consequences?

This book is dedicated to the many friends, readers and fans who love Ancient Egypt, a fabulous civilization, shrouded in mystery, glamour and mysticism.



Anonymous said...

I really look foward to reading this story, and hopefully, the missing part will be found. What an adventure!

Maeve said...

I love Egyptian mythology! This one's going on my MUST read list.

Toni V.S. said...

Sounds like an ancient Eqyptian soap opera: Nephtys loves Osiris but is engaged to Seth who loves Isis who loves Osiris who loves Isis but fools around while a legitimate and possibly illegitimate son hover in the background. Whew!

Josie said...

What an interesting and clever post. I especially like Min, the gloating dwarf. Ancient Egypt is fascinating.

LK Hunsaker said...

I love mythology, too. Strange I never thought about the connection between today's shifters and the gods and goddesses.

Lynne Marshall said...

Fascinating stuff, Mona! Yeah, shifters, or tales of shifters, have been around forever. (Isn't it funny how we think - our era - discovered the trend?) Anyway, even kissing a frog served a purpose, but in truth they used to fling frogs against a wall to make sure they weren't shifters. Poor frogs didn't stand a chance!

Barbara Monajem said...

Hmm... I didn't know Kismet was destructive. I just thought of her as Fate. Thanks for educating me, Mona. :)

StephB said...

Mona, I'm really looking forward to reading the story! I love your international settings and I've always had a fondness for Egyptian gods. Amazing how we've been thinking of shifters for so long, but there's something to be said about the ancient Egyptians. Isn't it fascinating that they built those pyramids, considering it was so long ago and they didn't have the modern advancements that we have?


Nightingale said...

Very interesting Mona. Your research must have been fascinating. Can't wait to read the book.

Mary Marvella said...

Who knew?
As others commented, shape shifting is old but still popular today.

Beth Trissel said...

How fascinating, Mona. Amazing stuff, too. I think this sounds like a very fun story and is going on my TBR also.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Fun post, Mona. Lots of conflict going round.

Mary Ricksen said...

What a great premise for a book Mona!
You are something else!
This sounds right up my alley, I can't wait to read it! Good luck Osiris!

Mona Risk said...

Debbie, it'll be found. LOL

Maeve, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Toni, maybe this was the beginning of soap operas.

Josie, did you look carefully at Min's picture? LOL

Loraine, I have done a huge amout of reserach while writing this book and leraned about Greek and Indian mythologies too.

Hi Lynne, is that what brought the story of kissing a lot of frogs before finding your Mr. Right?

Steph, I bet they were the best architects the world will ever see.

Barbara, in Arabic, Kismet means fate. This lion goddess had several names, such as Sekhmet.

Hi Linda, a lot of research--very interesting.

Hi Mary, you never know what you can find when doing research.

Beth, I'll be very honored if you put it on your TBR list.

Hi Dawn, there's a lot of conflicts in this story.

Thanks Mary, i am sure you will enjoy it.

Gabriella Hewitt said...

Great descriptions, Mona. Delving into mythology really is fascinating. The stories are filled with intrigue, deception, romance and more. They're ancient soap operas! LOL!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Gabriella, I am glad you enjoyed this post. I will post more about Ancient Egypt and its fascinating culture.