Isiopolis

A priestess with the naos style of sistrum
A priestess with the naos style of sistrum

In Isis Magic, one of the key elemental implements of the priestess of Isis is the sistrum. It is one of several types of ancient Egyptian rattles that were used in the worship of the Goddesses and Gods. But it isn’t simply a musical instrument; it is also a magical instrument.

As you may already suspect, sistrum is a Latin word. In turn, it derives from a Greek term for the Egyptian rattle: seistron “that which is shaken.” The Egyptian terms are a bit more interesting. One of them is onomatopoeic, that is, the word sounds like the thing it represents. That one is sesheshet (say it out loud and you’ll see what I mean). The other is sekhem. And that one is quite interesting, for it means “power,” as in the name of the Goddess Sekhmet, the Powerful One…

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