Today, the 5th of March, is the ancient Egyptian festival of "Navigium Isis"- a fete honoring the goddess Isis, also known as"She of Ten Thousand Names".
The goddess Isis (the mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day. At some time Isis and Hathor had the same headdress. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother, Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Her magical skills restored his body to life after she gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important in later Egyptian religious beliefs.
Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children from whom all beginnings arose. In later times, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of her tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. This occurrence of his death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era.
Isis, while an Egyptian goddess, is revered by many modern neo-pagans as well. She is the Goddess of many things, including Magic, life, rebirth and death, and is considered by many to be the absolute ultimate in goddesses, (she is referred to as "The Mother of All Goddesses"). She served her people as a midwife and physician, teacher and friend.
Her awesome powers, which included the resurrection of her husband (and the subsequent invention of the dildo, a former teacher of mine never fails to point out), were recognized in the titles of "The Giver of Life" and "Goddess of Magic". She is known both as a creator and a destroyer, as most powerful Goddesses are.
Unlike gods and goddesses that come later (who are distanced from humanity) in history, the goddess Isis is an older Goddess, one that spent time among her people, teaching women how to grind corn and make bread, spin flax and weave cloth, and how to "tame men enough to live with them".
In a move that would be repeated over and over in history in multiple cultures, Isis, who is a moon goddess, gave birth to Horus, the god of the sun. Together, Isis and Horus created and sustained all life and were the saviors of their people. This is a familiar tale not only in polytheistic religions, but also is foreshadowing of the patriarchal, monotheistic religions that came after them.