Friday, July 8, 2011

Shape shifters in Mythology - by Mona Risk

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 lover to swan, or heifer, or other animals to protect her 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 the god Horus who has no direct role in my story introduce you to the society of gods performing in OSIRIS’ MISSING PART.

My mother, Isis, wanted a son and spent years hoping that the handsome Osiris stop flirting around and propose to her.

Isis was the goddess of family and health, and the most beautiful goddess in the pantheon. Her crown was decorated with the horns of a cow on her head encasing a solar disk between them. Sometimes she also was represented as a cow, or a woman with a cow's head.

My father, Osiris, the god of knowledge, work and agriculture, was probably the only Egyptian god who never shifted to another form. His subjects adored him because of his kindness. With his Atef cone over his hand, his scepter and a key of life in his hands, he was so handsome that women and goddesses fell in love with him.

My uncle, the hateful Seth, threw iniquities on the people who called him god of storm and darkness. He usually wore a red mantle to match his red hair and eyes. Because of him, Egyptians considered the bright red to be a color of evil. Osiris’ brother was often represented with a human body and jackal’s head. He could switch to a black pig or hippopotamus, or even to a crocodile or a shark, as when he tried to capture my mother Isis underwater in the Red Sea.

Nephtees, Seth’s wife, is a protective goddess who symbolizes the death experience. In the funerary role, Nephthys often was depicted as a bird of prey called a kite, or as a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protection. Nephthys's 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.

My cousin, Anubis, believed to be the son of Nephthys and Seth, was associated with the mummification and protection of the dead for their journey into the afterlife. He was usually portrayed as a half human, half jackal, or in full jackal form wearing a ribbon and holding a flail in the crook of its arm.

Nut, mother of Isis and my grandmother, was the goddess of the sky. She spent hours bending over the earth or reading the star constellations to decipher the future and wisely explain the world plans.

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

Everyone hated the ferocious Kismet. The goddess of destruction had a statuesque woman body and a lioness head adorned with the solar disc and a cobra. Her hatchet man, Nekhoret the vulture, helped her in her attacks.

Min, the gloating dwarf, was the god of the desert. My father Osiris didn’t like him as he tried to court Isis.
Now let me tell you about myself as I may become the hero of Mona’s next book. As I said I am 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. 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, 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.

Warning: Mona writes the "spicier" type of romances


At Ellora’s Cave Blush:


Mona Risk said...

Vijaya, thank you for hosting me on your beautiful blog.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Mona (and Vijaya),

I've been fascinated by the Egyptian pantheon since I was a kid, and I've even thought about using some of the mythology in a book - but I guess you've beaten me!

Many ancient civilizations understood that we humans are not so far from the other animals. Perhaps that is one reason why shapeshifters are popular - we recognize our heritage as brothers and sisters of the wolves, hawks, and cats.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Lisabet, I left you a long comment before but blogger ate it. If you like Ancient Egypt, you will enjoy my paranormal fantasy, Osiris' Missing Part. My book is based on the legend of Isis and Osiris, and will take you on an armchair traveling through Ancient Egypt.

Linda Andrews said...

Hi Mona,

What an interesting concept for a book. I too love Egypt. Lots of fodder for books there. Do you plan to write more than one using the Egyptian pantheon?

Mona Risk said...

Hi Linda, next will be the story of Horus, son of Isis and Osiris, his fight against his father's enemy, Seth, and his love for Hathour, the most beautiful goddess in Egypt, considered to be Venus. You can find more pictures and stories on my blog:

Sarah J. McNeal said...

What an interesting blog about the new genres of steampunk and speculative fiction. Very informative.

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