The deities of ancient Egypt including Isis, Osiris, Horus, Set, Atum, Amun, Ptah, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Thoth, and others can be shown via abundant and compelling evidence to be associated with specific constellations in the infinite realm of the heavens.
This fact is extremely significant, in that the texts of ancient Egypt, inscribed in stone, such as the Pyramid Texts within the pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty kings and queens, are among the oldest surviving extended texts of any culture known to modern historians — and the system was already in use at that time.
It is firmly established even among conventional historians that the god Osiris was closely associated with the figure of the constellation Orion in the heavens. Orion is a slain god, who is murdered by his brother Set and enclosed in a coffin, which is sent down the river Nile and eventually into the sea, where the waves eventually carried the chest to the land of Byblos or Byblus (Gebal) in ancient Phoenicia along the Levant. There, a tree grew up around the coffin containing the slain god, which was later cut down and used to make a pillar holding up the roof of the palace of the king and queen of that land.
The goddess Isis, the consort of Osiris, was so distraught at the murder of her beloved that the ancient myths tell us she immediately cut off one of the tresses of her hair. She then set about searching all over the earth for the body of the slain Osiris.
The act of cutting off a lock of her hair provides a strong clue (among many others) that this myth is based on celestial metaphor, in common with virtually all of the other ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories the world over. The constellation Coma Berenices (or “Berenice’s Hair”) is located immediately above the constellation Virgo in the night sky, in direct line with Virgo’s distinctive outstretched arm. Coma Berenices plays the role of the cut-off hair of a goddess or of a queen in many different Star Myths from many different cultures — for example, in the story of the theft by Loki of the beautiful hair of the goddess Sif (the consort of Thor) in the Norse myths.
There are many other pieces of evidence that the goddess Isis is frequently associated with the constellation Virgo, particularly when she is depicted seated upon a throne and nursing the infant god Horus (this same pattern is found in the figure of Mary in the New Testament, who can also be shown to be associated with the constellation Virgo).
However, Isis can also be associated with other constellations — this association with multiple constellations is not at all uncommon for extremely important figures in ancient myth, such as Isis. She can also be shown to be associated with the constellation Sagittarius when, after discovering that the coffin containing Osiris has been found in the land of Byblos, she visits there in disguise and sits down beside a spring, and braids the hair of the queen’s maidservants as part of her plan to be taken to see the king and queen of the land. This pattern is extremely prevalent in ancient myth around the world: it is discussed many times in detail in Star Myths of the World, Volume Two (Myths of Ancient Greece).
Later, when Isis is taken to the palace and served the queen in disguise as the nurse of the queen’s baby, Isis would turn into a swallow at night and flit about the pillar made from the tree containing the coffin of Osiris. At this point in the story, Isis is undoubtedly associated with one of the two “great birds of the Milky Way,” Cygnus the Swan and Aquila the Eagle.
The pillar itself, containing Osiris, can be shown to be another extremely important constellation which is not, in fact, the constellation Orion. This very pivotal constellation with which Osiris is also associated (particularly when he is slain and wrapped as a mummy) is discussed in depth in The Ancient World-Wide System: Star Myths of the World, Volume One (Second Edition).
The figure of the “slain god” is a central myth-pattern or oicotype found in ancient myths literally around the globe. Other examples of this same pattern include Dionysos or Dionysus in ancient Greece, Baldr in the Norse myths, One Hunahpu in the Popol Vuh of the K’iche’ Maya, Rabbit Boy of the White River Sioux, Tammuz or Dumuzid in the myths of ancient Mespotamia, Jesus in the New Testament gospels, and many, many others. The search for the slain god, and the lamentation for the slain god, are a common feature of this world-wide pattern.
In his 1940 masterpiece Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scriptures, Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880 - 1963) explains that the death of the god and the need to search in order to recover the deity is an esoteric depiction of our own human condition in this incarnate life, cut off from the infinite realm — but capable of recovering contact with the infinite if we search for the “buried divinity.”
I am convinced that ancient disciplines including meditation are designed to help us find the sleeping god who is buried in darkness and in stillness, but remains always available to us, if (like the goddess Isis) we are willing to perform the search.