I have like 6 Catholics trying to debate me at the same time now over on another site. So I will talk about some of the things we are discussing. To be real clear, this has nothing to do with conjure work. This is religious matters so if that's not your fancy then you can stop reading here.
Okay, before I begin I wan to remind my readers of Voodou and Santeria, specifically of how a saint is used as a mask for a pagan spirit. I think we can all agree to that. Ex- Shango/Chango & St. Barbara.
Now, the Romans were notorious for stealing the religions of the people they conquered. They did it first with the Greeks, taking their pagan gods and renaming them, i.e. Zeus = Jupiter. They did it with the Celts, renaming their gods and giving them a Roman gods name in it's place or else a joint name, such as "Apollo Grannus". They even took the Celtic goddess Epona, goddess of horses and cavalrymen, to Rome. They did it to the Egyptians with the cult of Isis. They did it to the Persians with the cult of Mithras. They just loved doing it. Now, it should be stated that when the Romans stole something they did not keep it intact. They changed it. So the Egyptian Isis was no longer an Egyptian woman, but was shown as a Roman woman, wearing the clothing of a Roman woman, and carrying a sistrum or sacred rattle. Sometimes she was shown with a pineapple on her head to show that she is foreign, and hence exotic. More than often she was portrayed suckling the god-child or with the god-child in her lap. But she was rarely, if ever, portrayed with the horn and disk headdress as the Egyptians portrayed her. That's important.
So as Protestants we also believe that not only did Rome steal all these things but they also stole Christianity as well. Protestants believe that the Roman Catholic Church was created by Constantine 1 in the 4th century. A fake back story involving Peter preaching in Rome and being martyred there was invented to give this new Roman creation credence. Constantine ordered that any Christian who refused to join the new Roman Catholic Church would be put to death. He was also the first person to use the term, "Vicar of Christ", which after his death was used by each and every Pope. So from the Protestant perspective, Romans stole Christianity, just like they stole all these other religions. So the people who persecuted Christians now claimed that they were THE Christians.
So now let's talk about Mary and Isis. From the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church Mary has played a pivotal role for believers. Catholics believe that Mary is the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, is a perpetual virgin, is our mediatrix, and did not die but rose into heaven instead. That's the traditional Catholic take on Mary.
So let's go back in time to Rome, pre-Constantine. At that time people were losing faith in the traditional pagan gods of the Roman empire, gods like Jupiter, Venus, Minerva, etc., People were losing interest in these gods. What was the trend was the "mystery cults", the cults of Isis, Mithras, and Cybele, which promised a personal salvation and eternal life. Before these cults the standard view was that you must live your life to the fullest because when you died you went to Hades, saint or sinner, and that your eternity would be spent in doom and gloom, pitch darkness, and with nothing to eat but filth and worms. So it's easy to understand why these foreign religions that Rome stole were so popular. They promised salvation from death, salvation from Hades, and eternal life. The cult of Isis was perhaps the most popular with Romans. The cult of Cybele required men to cut off their testicles and the cult of Mithras was only open to men. So it's no biggie that the cult of Isis, which was open to both genders and allowed men to keep their balls, was so popular. People loved and adored Isis. In fact, here's a passage of The Golden Ass where Isis speaks.
"Behold Lucius I am come, thy weeping and prayers has moved me to succor thee. I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of powers divine, Queen of heaven, the principal of the Gods celestial, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the air, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be disposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customs and in many names, for the Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, the mother of the Gods: the Athenians call me Cecropian Artemis: the Cyprians, Paphian Aphrodite: the Candians, Dictyanna: the Sicilians , Stygian Proserpine: and the Eleusians call me Mother of the Corn. Some call me Juno, others Bellona of the Battles, and still others Hecate. Principally the Ethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Egyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustomed to worship me, do call me Queen Isis. Behold I am come to take pity of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favor and aid thee. Leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away thy sorrow, for behold the healthful day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandment."
So Isis was much beloved. She was called the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of the God (Horus/Harpokrates), the perpetual virgin. She was also called "Stella Mari" (Star of the Sea). Isis' sacred flower was the rose. Note that in Isis' speech she says that she is worshipped by every culture, every race. They just call her under different names. This was important because the Romans attempted to use the cult of Isis as a universal religion to unite the empire. They failed. However, they would soon find a religion that would be successful....Christianity.
The Roman Catholic veneration of Mary is simply a mask for Isis, in the same way that St. Barbara is a mask for the African Shango/Chango. The only difference is that with time people have forgotten that Mary was simply a mask. They forgot that Isis lay beneath. Or perhaps the Roman Catholic Church didn't want people to know that Isis lay beneath the veneration of Mary.
Here are some images.
Isis and Mary
Mary or Isis
Now, the only difference is in Ephesus where the statue of Diana was torn down and replaced with a statue of the Virgin Mary. But then again, Isis said she was all goddesses! LOL Isis was literally called the goddess of a ten thousand names! Her divine consort, the Roman Serapis (Osiris + Apis), was likewise called under a multitude of names as well. According to Emperor Hadrian, Serapis was also called, "The Christ" by worshippers in Rome (pre-Christianity).
So let's break down the similarities between Isis and Mary.
-Both are called, "Queen of Heaven".
-Isis is called, "Mother of the God", Mary is called, "Mother of God"
-Both are called, "Stella Mari" (Star of the Sea)
-Both are portrayed holding the god-child they gave birth to
-Both were considered perpetual virgins
-Both concieved a child w/out traditional sex
-Both are potrayed as weeping
-Both are associated with roses
-Temples dedicated to Isis were later dedicated to Mary. In fact, Notre Dame was built on an altar of Isis.
Because Isis worship was so popular, with temples all across the Roman empire, with temples even in what is now modern day England, Constantine 1, and the others who helped create Roman Catholocism, could not eradicate her. They had to incorporate her into their version of Christianity that they stole. So they gave her the mask of Christ's mortal mother but kept the same attributes.
This is the reason why there is so much drama between Roman Catholics and Protestants over Mary.
More on the failed "Universal" cult of Isis