March 5th brings us Navigium Isidi, or The Blessing of The Vessel of Isis.
This celebration of the goddess was a grand festival with all the accoutrement. Isis' cult spread through the Greco-Roman world & thrived until the establishment of Christianity. Temples honoring Isis frequently featured moon-boats, carved in stone, in which sat the figure of the goddess. The story of Isis speaks of her traveling the world in a papyrus boat to find & collect the pieces of her beloved Osiris.
Being such a revered goddess, she was maligned as a witch with the onset of Christianity. The fairy tale of “The Witch in the Stone Boat” referring to Isis, shows just how far in the world her cult had spread.
To celebrate The Vessel of Isis, pagans held grand carnival processions, culminating in the launching of The Vessel, laden with offerings of spices & milk for the beloved goddess. Flowers were strewn through the streets & floated in rivers & incense (very precious at the time), was burnt openly during the procession.
The merriment during Navigium Isidis included music, dancing & feasts, honoring Isis as Lady of the Moon & Ruler of the Sea. Isis would, hopefully, be pleased with the offerings & celebration, blessing the people with safe navigation & bountiful fishing & even safe passage into death, should it occur.
Isis has been a matron goddess in my heart for a very long time. So, in keeping with tradition, I am creating a paper boat under the New Moon tonight. The boat will be inscribed with her name:
In the boat, I will place offerings of flowers & incense. If I can break away from work tomorrow, I hope to launch the little boat in either the St. John's River or Lake Monroe here in Florida, but will probably simply float it in the bathtub.
Wild & Bright Blessings,