Whenever twin goddesses are around, it’s tempting to assume one isGood and the other is Evil. But it’s not necessarily so! In Ancient Egypt, for example, Isis was the queen of the gods and represented motherhood, magic and fertility. Belief in Isis endured for centuries and worship of her even spread through the Roman Empire. The pharaohs of Egypt were often depicted as being her children. She was associated with the rebirth that Egyptians expected in their afterlife. Pretty much the good stuff came to Isis and from her.
Her twin sister Nephthys, although not depicted as evil, was associated with death, with battling demons, darkness and dangerous places like the edge of the desert. She and Isis were viewed by the Egyptians as different aspects of the same supernatural power.
One thing that is very useful to me in writing my paranormal novels of Ancient Egypt is the many varying interpretations and legends surrounding all their gods and goddesses. This enables me to pick and choose the aspects that work best with my worldbuilding and then stay consistent in my choices. In my new book WARRIOR OF THE NILE, Nephthys sets the events in motion and Isis takes a hand in how events turn out, not exactly as her sister had in mind. My human characters have to maneuver around the commands from the gods, yet still save Egypt. (If I’ve piqued your interest, you can find the story blurb on my web page and the book is out in September.)
I also write science fiction romance. When I was doing the world building for my award winning novel, WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, I wanted to include an element of pure paranormal, along with the technical aspects of life in the far future. Inspired by the timeless theme of the twin goddesses, I created the Red Lady of D’nvannae and her sister, the White Lady. They’re ancient beings, regarded as deities by many in the sprawling outer space world of the Sectors. I’m not saying they’re meant to be Isis and Nephthys! Far from it. I just borrowed the idea of powerful celestial sisters.
The Red Lady has an army of highly dangerous followers who can be bodyguards or assassins. If both services are requested by opposing parties in the same case, she decides on a whim which to provide. If you can make the payment and contract with a member of the Brotherhood, the odds are high that you’ll achieve your goal, whether it’s your safety or someone else’s death. Her men and women are lethal. I modeled her very loosely after aspects of Kali, goddess of Time and Change and Darkness but the Red Lady does not equal Kali. My character IS known to be beautiful, greedy, sensual.
Marked with the flamboyant scarlet facial tattoo of his Order, Khevan, a senior member of the Brotherhood, plays a significant role in WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM .
The White Lady is harder to quantify, if you live in the Sectors. Her servants go about doing good deeds, don’t accept payment and sometimes directly oppose the D’nvannae. Some of her followers take a voluntary vow of poverty and chastity. I think most in my SF world view hers as a charitable organization. I will say she’s the only one who can control and contain the Red Lady, so what does that indicate about her power? Not that she chooses to act against her sister very often! The Lady in White also plays a small role in one scene of WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM.
Here’s an excerpt from WRECK, the first time Nick encounters Khevan, in the shuttle going up to the Nebula Dream:
Sipping his drink, he assessed the only other man on the shuttle who was as deadly as Nick himself could be when the occasion demanded - a D'nvannae Brother, dressed all in close fitting, soft black leather, as they usually were when traveling outside their world. The swirling red tattoo all D'nvannae wore proudly inscribed on the right side of the face, as a sign of fealty to their Deity, was particularly well defined on this man. He must be senior in the hierarchy, given the number of details in the tattoo. Gotta earn those the hard way in the Lady's service. Halfway paying attention to a broadcast of an inter Sector sports semifinal, the Brother was unbraiding his long, jet black hair, signifying his contract had been successfully completed and he was now at liberty to accept another.
Who on backwater Glideon might have needed such a high-priced, exotic bodyguard? Or been the target of such a relentless assassin? The D'nvannae could be hired for either purpose, conflicting offers resolved by the whim of the goddess.
Good. Evil. Complicated subjects, whether in ancient times or the far future!
WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM is available now on Amazon.