An Offering to Osiris.

Oil on canvas. 91 x 122cm. 1989.

Osiris, the lord of the underworld, is seated in a shrine, and holds the crook and flail, symbols of kingship. He is accompanied by his sister/wife Isis, Great of Magic, who offers protection and support. He is painted green to symbolize regeneration. A man and his wife, with arms raised in adoration, make an offering of food, clothing, etc, in the hope that Osiris will provide for them in the afterlife. The woman holds a lotus flower and a sistrum in one hand and menit beads in the other.

The sistrum was a musical instrument used in worship, a type of rattle that would scare off the powers of darkness. It was also used by the goddess Hathor to bestow blessings.

The menit was a symbolic necklace of several rows of beads with a counterpoise at the back to balance the weight. It symbolized physical vitality and sexual renewal, and was often presented as an offering to the gods or to the deceased. It was used as a musical instrument which made a pleasing jingling sound.

The sistrum and menit beads were usually presented together as an offering.

The hieroglyphs beside Osiris say;

wsir HqA Dt wn-nfr mAa [-xrw]

Osiris, Ruler of Eternity. Wennefer (the good being), true [of voice].

Beside Isis they say;

Ast wr.t nTr.t mwt

"The great Isis, mother goddess."

On her head is the symbol of a throne which is the hieroglyphic sign for her name.

The larger passage of hieroglyphs is the Offering Formula employed in the funerary cult;

Htp di nsw Htp di wsir nb Ddw nTr aA nb AbDw Di=f prt-xrw (m) t Hnq.t ka.w Apd.w Ss mnx.t x.t nb.t nfr.t wab.t anx.t nTr im n kA n nb.t pr Dn-nfr Htp di nsw Htp di wsir prt-xrw n={s} t Hnq.t m Hb nb hrw nb

A boon which the king gives, a boon which Osiris gives, Lord of Busiris, the great god, Lord of Abydos. That he may give invocation offerings consisting of bread and beer, oxen and fowl, alabaster and clothing, all things good and pure on which a god lives, to the spirit of the mistress of the house, Jennefer. A boon which the king gives, a boon which Osiris gives, that there may be invocation offerings for her at every festival and every day.