Who is Isis and Who is Aset?


Ancient Kemetic Terms and Ancient Greek Terms


We are told by the Ancient Classical Greek writers like Plutarch and Herodotus that the Ancient Greeks got their gods and goddesses from Ancient Egypt (Kemet) and Nubia (Ethiopia). In keeping with the spirit of the culture of Kemetic Spirituality, we will use the Kemetic names for the divinities through which we will bring forth the Philosophy of the Prt M Hru (Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead). Therefore, the Greek name Osiris will be converted back to the Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) Asar (Ausar), the Greek Isis to Aset (Auset), the Greek Nephthys to Nebthet, Anpu to Anpu or Apuat, Hathor to Hetheru, Thoth or Hermes to Djehuti, etc. (see the table below) Further, the term Ancient Egypt will be used interchangeably with “Kemit” (“Kamit”), or “Ta-Meri,” as these are the terms used by the Ancient Egyptians to refer to their land and culture.


Ancient Egyptian gods and greek names



Goddess Isis (Aset)

Aset Glyphs color copyAst” (Ancient Egyptian “Aset”/ Greek “Isis”)

The goddess called Isis by the Ancient Greeks was originally called Aset in Ancient Egypt.



Aset color2 72Goddess Aset

The Trinity of Asar-Aset-Heru

(Osiris, Isis and Horus)


The tradition and worship of Asar, Aset and Heru was general, throughout ancient Kamit. The centers of this tradition were the city of Abdu containing the Great Temple of Asar, and the city of Pilak containing the Great Temple of Aset.[1] Each Neteru listed above here has specific wisdom related to the nature of self, Creation and the Divine. Following this tradition means studying their mythic significance, their wisdom teaching and their mystical insight. Together, they constitute a wholistic teaching, integrating the philosophy of their own tradition and their relationship with the other traditions. These teachings, their understanding and application are to be learned through the process of Shedy. [For more details see the Book Resurrecting Osiris by Muata Ashby]

Nut color copyGoddess Nut

In the temple of Iunet (Denderah), it is inscribed that Nut gave birth to Aset there, and that upon her birth, Nut exclaimed: “As” (behold), “I have become thy mother.” This was the origin of the name Ast, Aset. The text further states that “she was a dark-skinned child” and was called “Khnemet-ankhet” or the “living lady of love.” Thus, Aset also symbolizes the “blackness” of the vast un-manifest regions of existence, Asar. Her identification is also symbolized in her aspect as Amentet,[1] the Duat, itself. Therefore, Amentet (Aset) and the soul of Amentet (Asar) are in reality one and the same. In her aspect as Amentet, Aset represents the subtle substance of nature, the astral plane.


The devotional love of Aset Neter Meri, Beloved One-Divine Love (universal and transcendental love) was instrumental in discovering and putting the pieces of Asar’s dead body back together. The two most important features which Aset encompasses are love and intuitional wisdom. Aset’s undying love and devotion to Asar transcended her loss of him twice. Her love also caused the resurrection of her son, Heru, as well. This divine devotion led her to discover the pieces of Asar’s dead body. This is the devotion of the initiate which leads him or her to the Divine. All that is needed to attain spiritual enlightenment is a deep, ardent love for the Divine.


In her name, Rekhat, Aset also represents rekh or wisdom. She is the patroness of all rekht or Sages. Aset represents the kind of wisdom which transcends all intellectual knowledge. She is at the same time, Creation, and Amentet, the ultimate hidden reality of that Creation. Thus, it is said that she veils herself and that “no mortal man has unveiled her.” The wisdom of Creation or knowing Aset in her full essence means becoming one with her in consciousness. When this unity occurs, one transcends ordinary human consciousness, so in this sense, no worldly human can discover her. The wisdom of Aset refers to that profound understanding of the essence of the Divine which is devoid of any kind of ignorance in reference to the Transcendental Self. This wisdom is the intuitional realization, which comes from pondering the nature of the Divine. Pondering implies repeated reflection and meditation on the Divine, trying, with sincerity and humility, to understand and become one with the Divine.



Birth of Heru

Above: Image From the birthing room of the Temple of Aset, Egypt



Aset is also a healer. She healed the body of Asar even after it had been dismembered into several pieces. As a goddess she assists all those who pray to her, bestowing health and well being. She manifests in the form of love, motherhood, valor, devotion to God and intuitional realization of the Higher Self, Enlightenment.


Goddess Aset is one of the most important divinities in Neterian religion. Historically, she was coregent with Asar. In later times Aset was especially popular in ancient Greece and Rome as Isis. Much is known about the worship of Aset in Greece and Ancient Egypt and the mysteries of her temple because Plutarch, a Greek initiate of her mysteries, wrote extensively about it. Those writings have been corroborated with the Ancient Egyptian wisdom teachings, myths and titles of the goddess.


The word Aset means wisdom, just as the Greek translation, “Isis” also means wisdom. Specifically, this is the kind of wisdom that puts things together. It can collect the missing pieces for understanding the spiritual philosophy and which allows the initiate to discover the transcendental truth which bestows enlightenment, the great Nehast (Awakening). This is the service she performs for Asar and Heru in the Asarian Resurrection Myth. She resurrects them with her power of Self-knowledge that she gained from becoming one with Ra.[2]

Aset suckling Heru

The Goddess Aset, Suckling baby Heru

     Aset represents the principles of motherhood, marital love, devotion, loyalty, and compassion in terms of worldly affairs. In affairs of mysticism and philosophy she presides over: dispassion, detachment, obedience, determination-cunning and understanding-intuitional-wisdom


In order to make her intuitional realization effective, she is known as the “Lady of Storms” because one time there was a storm and boats could not come in to port. She quelled the storm through her powers and her act is commemorated on March 5th. In a deeper sense she has the power to calm the waters of consciousness. She does this with the instruments of Hekau (words of power). Her Hekau is powerful so she too is referred to as Urt-Hekau, “Great in words of power.” In one instance the utterance of her words of power stopped the boat of Ra and so too time and space were stopped. The utterance of her words of power also gave Heru six days of respite when he was battling Set. Those who refuse to accept her (i.e. her wisdom teaching) are given adversity to humble them. Those who accept her receive the boons of prosperity, peace and wisdom.[3]/[4]


Aset and Asar were worshipped by people outside of Kamit, specifically in Asia Minor and Europe (as Isis and Osiris).[5] Asar and Aset were worshipped throughout the ancient world. In the first century B.C.E. Aset was one of the most popular goddesses in the city of Rome. Her temples were filled with altars, statues, obelisks, etc., brought from Egypt, and orders of priestesses were commissioned to perform the “Mysteries of Aset” and other Egyptian miracle plays in the great temples of the Eternal City. From Rome, the cult of Aset spread to Spain, Portugal, Gey, Gaul, Switzerland, and by way of Marseilles, to western North Africa. In a manner similar to which Aset was identified with many other goddesses in Egypt and Nubia, in foreign lands she was given the attributes of other goddesses such as Selene, Demeter, or Ceres, Aphrodite, Juno, Nemesis, Fortuna, Panthea, etc.[6]


Temple of Isis at night 2

     In the temple of Aset (above) the path of spirituality (Shetaut Aset), known today as the Yoga of Wisdom, was taught. It is a spiritual discipline involving the following areas. The aspirant is to purify the body through a vegetarian diet, control the sex urge, and engage in devotional practices and study of the wisdom teachings.[7] Stage 1: Listening to the teachings of the myth of the goddess and receiving mystical insights into these.[8] Stage 2: Reflecting on those teachings, and living life in accordance with virtue and truth (i.e. practice of the teachings in daily life). Stage 3: Through Subtle One-pointed mentation, leading oneself to a meditative union with the Goddess who is the essence of light, which transcends mind, body, time and space.[9]

Aset glyphs defined

     The name Asar (Osiris) is intimately related to the name Aset (Isis). Asar and Aset are often referred to as “brother” and “sister.” This relates to the idea that they come from the same parent, i.e. the same spiritual source. In ancient times men and women who married were also referred to as brother and sister. This had no relation to his or her parentage. Rather, this epithet relates to the mystical origins of all human beings. Essentially, all men and women are brothers and sisters. Genetically, all human beings originated from one person who lived in Africa 150000 years ago. The common origins of humanity were understood and accepted in Ancient Egypt. Furthermore our true nature is not man and woman but soul, and our parent is the Universal Spirit, from which all souls originate. This teaching was also well understood in Ancient Egyptian philosophy


Through the myth of the Asarian Resurrection, we learn that Asar and Aset are Avatars, divine incarnations, sent to earth to lead souls, incarnating as human beings, towards righteousness, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment. In a higher sense, Asar represents the soul of every human being which comes to earth and must struggle to overcome the lower nature, who is symbolized by Set.


Aset embrace pose color  Aset Black Head On Aset winged brass




[1] This aspect of the goddess will be discussed later.

[2] See the book Mysteries of Isis by Muata Ashby

[3] See the book The Asarian Resurrection by Muata Ashby

[4] For more details see the Tree of life audio lecture series Principle of Aset

[5] See the book African Origins by Muata Ashby

[6] For more on the teachings of the Temple of Aset- the Yoga of Wisdom, see the book The Wisdom of Aset by Dr. Muata Ashby.

[7] Chanting, singing, prayer.

[8] For more details see the Book The Wisdom of Isis by Muata Ashby.

[9] See the book Initiation Into Egyptian Yoga by Muata Ashby