Who is She?
Understood histoicallly, Isis-Fortuna is a composite Goddess who manifested in the cultural ferment of the Roman Empire, primarily representing a pairing of the Great Roman Fortuna with the universalized All-Mother Mysteries Goddess Isis of Hellenic Egypt.
Both have agraian roots, and understood in their totality, both have and reconcile benevolent and fierce aspects. Before they were Empresses, they were Queens, and before that ladies of the manor, and before that, farmer women, wise women and chieftainesses--before that, they were hunters and processors of foodstuffs and all-providing mothers. They embody all the conscious forces that "taught" these roles and skills to humanity, forces that are evolving in and through us, and so they are Mothers of Invention dancing in mysterious relation to the spiritual force called Necessity. If we are to survive, it will be through deepening awareness of the Divine Powers They personify. If we are to know meaning, we do well to plumb the Mystery of their Personhood.
Understood devotionally, Dea Isis-Fortuna is a Divine Person, a conscious mystical force who manifests personally and conducts the devotee-aspirant on a path of deepening initiation culminating in cosmic consciousness, in the Pagan spiritual realization of simultaneous oneness and difference, personal and impersonal, immanent and transcendent, all-pervasive and particular divinity within the embodied self. She is a Mother of the Mysteries, and while She has at least one toe in the East and one foot in Africa, She is somehow very Western and deeply bound up with the energies of Rome that pervade Western culture. She is the unrelenting hub of the cosmic wheel, and also its still axis. She can help us to bridge the gap in history and recover our Western Pagan souls, to walk the many radiating paths that lead to Center, to our own traditional, earth-centered spiritual ways.
Understood mystically, Isis-Fortuna is a Sovereign Divinity, a personification of the Absolute Truth who manifests in this world as the Pattern of Destiny. Her name, from the Latin fero, implies that She is the One Who Brings Forth, the One Who Produces. One of Her aspects, Fortuna Primagenia, is named "Primal Origin." She is linked to all Gods and Goddesses and shares their consciousness; service to Her is service to the Whole. This Sovereign monist consciousness was present in both Isis and Fortuna prior to their cultural synthesis and helps to account for their "merger" in the Roman psyche. She is that irresistible Power other religions know as "the will of God," explicitly or implicitly in charge of such things as abundance, luck, fate, grace, chance, astrology, correspondence, destiny, karma, justice, money, wyrd, dharma, the Way, and the Course of the Tao, the natural flow. Properly understood, the Will of God is the Wheel of Goddess, and both are common weal. to flow is to grow... and to know.
I began to partner with the Goddess Isis-Fortuna in 2003, shortly after returning to my native West Virginia. I was drawn to an image of Her and began to keep a shrine in Her honor, a shrine that gradually evolved into a place of daily offerings and frequent contemplation, a focus imbued with the warm energies of the Mother's Hearth. I was drawn to the fact that She's a merger of the the Hellenic Isis with the Roman Fortuna (and of course the Hellenic Isis represented mergers still deeper in history). This merger is a fact which shows Her balance of eastern and western energies, something that is of value to me as a late Western inheritor of Egyptian and Hindu legacies, as someone who spent a decade studying Hinduism before gradually becoming a Pagan in the mid-to-late 1990s. She is a very ancient Goddess with cave and death-linked aspects as well as Lady Luck, so She links the most ancient Shamanic past with very ordinary contemporary representations.
em oh em em ay, em ah em ah
Dea Dea Isis-Fortuna
What offends Isis-Fortuna? That depends how you approach Her. She's consciously infinite and we customarily are not; like it or not, part of what draws human beings to true Gods is the desire to participate consciously in their greater being--their godliness and immortality. With godliness, human beings are like moths to flame. Some may recoil from physical light or from light verse, but all seek True Light, which is the Gnosis of Being that sustains all things. So, in our limited consciousness we latch onto different aspects of Isis-Fortuna's being, and sometimes confuse them for the totality. We also project our own linguistic and conceptual limitations and limiting expectations--so, in the developing stages of relationship with a Divine One, we comprehend part by part, then we intuit system, then we see the Whole, then we become at-one with the Whole, simultaneously one and different, a sacred persona ensconced in Godhead, immanent and/or transcendent according to Wholy Will. As a kitchen Goddess, Isis-Fortuna may be offended by things that compromise the integrity of the kitchen, like unsanitary conditions. As a Goddess of Right Abundance, She is offended by waste, by greed and by an uncharitable attitude. She embraces the Laws of Ma'at and the classical Roman virtues, all of which have much to teach us today. She is the matron of both thrift and abundance thinking, Goddess of the storehouse and the dispensary. She governs gambling, and perhaps She inspires the madness that waste wealth--but perhaps this also offends Her, or is Her teaching tool--for while She is the matron of luck and sudden wealth, She is also the Quaker businesswoman, the responsible, ethical guardian. To "offend" may really mean to tip the scales of our perception in favor of one of Her attributes, when the spiritual task must in fact be to balance them. Think of a pendulum--to the ancients, this Power could be capricious. The priestesses of Her antecedents governed temples who had the social responsibility of just distribution of wealth. She is the matron of tithes, and hence of all offerings--which makes Her a companion of priest/ess(e)s in their work. She is offended by linear thinking, and reminds us of greater cyclic and cosmic contexts for all things practicality makes us consider linear, like the span of a lifetime or an investment scheme.
|ASPECTS OF FORTUNE
Roman Goddess of Fortune, Abundance, Chance and Fate
from the root fero, meaning "to bring, win, receive, produce or bring forth".
"Bringer of Fortune"
Fortuna of Praeneste
First-Born Fortune; Roman Goddess of Primal Origins and Inheritance; Matron of oracular shrine.
Fortuna Huiusce Diei
Fortuna in the Present Day, Fortuna of the Here-and-Now
Fortuna Antiat, Fortuna of Antium
A paired form of the Roman Goddess worshipped as Fortunae Antiates or Sorores Antii, perhaps embodying the dual nature of Luck, good and bad. Matrons of oracular shrine.
Roman Goddess of Nobility, Sacred Majesty, Divine Poise, Matron of Rome
(She wins the award for "Most Abused by Emperors").
Fortuna of the Baths; Matron of Hygiene and Pleasure, Matron of Soldiers.
Fortuna of Salvation, of Making-Whole.
Goddess of Safe Returns, especially for Travellers and Soldiers
Fortuna of the People; Fortuna of the Populice
Fortuna of the Unimpeded and Free. A Goddess of Childhood.
Fortuna of the Beards, Matron of Male Adolescent Transitions
Roman Goddess of Good Fortune; Divine Spouse of the God Bonus Eventus.
Roman Goddess of Bad Fortune
Roman Goddess, Fortuna of the Maiden, Matron of Female Adolescent Transitions
Roman Goddess; Fortuna the Blessed, Fortuna the Favorable
Roman Goddess of Calm Seas and Tranquility
Roman Goddess of Serenity
Fortuna Who Steers or Directs, "Captain" Fortuna, Fortuna at the Helm
Roman Goddess, Perhaps related to Navigation
Wavering Fortune; Fortune Between the Two Ways
Fortuna In Motion, Moving Fortune
Fortuna of Cavalrymen, Horses and Stables
Fortuna the Preserver
Roman Goddess; Fortuna Rich in Her Breasts
Fortuna of Femininity, Matronly Fortuna
Fortuna of the Harvest
Fortuna of War
Viril or Manly Fortune; attends Career and Marriage Choices, Work Energy.
brought victory in battle
Fortuna of the Individual or Householdl
A title on some old Wheel of Fortune tarot cards meaning Mistress of House of Everything (dominus meaning master of the house).
DIVINE SISTERS AND ALLOMORPHS
American Indian; Spirit Power of Abundance
Chinese Goddess of Abundance
Hindu Goddess of Sugar Cane Harvest
Hindu Goddess of Abundance and Good Fortune
Greek Goddess of Chance
Greek Goddess of the Harvest
Anatolian Great Goddess, Earthly Abundance, Cthonic Revelation
Sumerian Goddess of the Storehouse
Veltha or Voltumna
Etruscan Goddess of Turning Seasons
Etruscan Goddess of Fate
Roman Goddess of Auspicious Prosperity
Roman Goddess of Hope
Roman Goddess of Forewarning; Goddess of the Mint
Roman Goddess of Necessity; Goddess of the Challenge of "MUST"
Western Ally of Good Luck
Harvest Maid; Harvest Queen
Western Symbol of Mother Nature, Harvest, Abundance, Autumn, Thanksgiving
Buddhist take on many attributes of the Greek goddess Tyche; like Tyche, she is often depicted holding a cornucopia and dressed in Greek attire.
Japanese, Bringer of Happiness
Gaulish Goddess of Abundance, depicted with cornucopia. Her name means "Great Provider."
Anglicized "Fortuna" (Her presence in Britain is attested at Hadrian's Wall, antedating the English Language, and all derivatives of "fortune" come from Her Name).
SYMBOLS OF FORTUNE | WORKING WITH ISIS-FORTUNA
STORIES OF FORTUNE | LINKS | FORTUNA BLOG
FORTUNA IN LITERATURE