Isis has a talent for wrapping her arms and legs around things. A fertility goddess can twist around an animal goddess like Artemis-Diana or search for the penis of Osiris to screw it back on. The Herculaneum fresco on the bottom left shows a smorgasbord of women – Nubians, Blondes, and Redheads and I bet an Asian woman or two had a place in the ritual. A cult has much use for the exotic because the exotic is interesting. Cults want to mystify so, I’m sure they imported many rare beauties from other lands. Slaves saw Isis as the goddess who gave them riches in the afterlife.
The Roman temple of Isis in Pompeii has a theatre and it shows scenes of Io (mythology), Argos, and Hermes ( they have a role in one of my favorite chapters, in my book). Metamorphoses, Music, and Mystery held a place in all mystery cults, but the main theme of all mystery cults is life and death. Isis, the Cabeiri, Orpheus, and other deities of mystery cults represented salvation before Jesus came along and stole the scene. The bottom right image is an illustration by Jean de Bosschère for The Golden Ass and the Isis provides salvation for the hapless hero who turned into a donkey (also has a role in my book).
The theater played a role in mystery cults and my last few posts have tried to emphasize this fact. Isis had so much power she moved from Egypt to Greece and then to Rome. She’s preceded by the myths of Ishtar, Astarte, and the first divine striptease artist – Inanna. Feel free to go visit your local stripper to worship and tithe.