42 Isis

This minor planet is named after the Egyptian goddess Isis, and is sequentially the first planet to be named after a mythical figure not in the Roman/Greek tradition. And yet it is not too far from it - this goddess has a long and complicated history, projected over around 2000 years of human belief.

She is, variously, a goddess of motherhood, the sky, magic, and creation itself. When the Greeks got to her, she was syncretized into their pantheon, and was linked to the likes of Demeter and Aphrodite. By the time the Romans came around, she was fully a part of the Roman state religion. Eventually, when the long arm of Christianity reached over to her, she became a form of the Virgin Mary.

The symbol for this minor planet is the tyet, the unique symbol for the goddess that resembles an ankh with arms or loops coming down from the sides. It represents a sort of knot of rope or cloth.

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