Not too long ago, I came across a collection of epithets of Isis in which the author translated the core concept as “awful.” What?
But, in the original sense of the word, “full of awe,” awful makes a great deal of sense as a Divine epithet. Nevertheless, in our common understanding of the word today, it’s…oh, let’s say…uncomfortable.
So you can get a full taste of the strangeness of it, here are some of Isis’ awful epithets: She is “The Lady of Awfulness,” “The Lady of Awfulness More than the Divine Powers,” “She Whose Awfulness is Great,” and “She Whose Awfulness is Greater than the Gods.” She is awful on earth, in the heavens, among the Deities, in Egypt. She is “Great of Trembling” and “Hundreds of Thousands Tremble at Her Sight.”
Of course, this is not the most common way people think of…
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