Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
by Thomas Inman, M.D. (1874)
Pagan and Christian symbolism
Figure 28 is copied from Lajard, Op. Cit., plate xiv. F. That author states that he has taken it from a drawing of an Egyptian stèle, made by M. E. Prisse (Monum. Egypt., plate xxxvii.), and that the original is in the British Museum. There is an imperfect copy of it in Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii.
The original is too indelicate to be represented fully. Isis, the central figure, is wholly nude, with the exception of her head-dress, and neck and breast ornaments. In one hand she holds two blades of corn apparently, whilst in the other she has three lotus flowers, two being egg-shaped, but the central one fully expanded; with these, which evidently symbolise the mystic triad, is associated a circle emblematic of the yoni, thus indicating the fourfold creator. Isis stands upon a lioness; on one side of her stands a clothed male figure, holding in one hand the crux ansata, and in the other an upright spear.
On the opposite side is a male figure wholly nude, like the goddess, save his head-dress and collar, the ends of which are arranged so as to form a cross. His hand points to a flagellum; behind him is a covert reference to the triad, whilst in front Osiris offers undisguised homage to Isis. The head-dress of the goddess appears to be a modified form of the crescent moon inverted. It is not exclusively Egyptian, as it has been found in conjunction with other emblems on an Assyrian obelisc of Phallic form.