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The Cult of Isis and the Bahari

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  • The Cult of Isis and the Bahari

    In Beckett's Jyhad Diary one of the OOC story seeds (p.20) describes the Cult of Isis as Bahari cult. As someone who likes both groups (although I tend to significantly reduce the amount of masochism and splatterpunk in the Bahari), this was a bit surprising to me. It's the only instance I can recall indicating there is an overlap.

    I can kind of see it work, though. Does anyone know of other sources that describe a link between the two?

  • #2
    I guess they see Lilith as an aspect of Isis. Or vice versa?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by voidshaper View Post
      In Beckett's Jyhad Diary one of the OOC story seeds (p.20) describes the Cult of Isis as Bahari cult. As someone who likes both groups (although I tend to significantly reduce the amount of masochism and splatterpunk in the Bahari), this was a bit surprising to me. It's the only instance I can recall indicating there is an overlap.

      I can kind of see it work, though. Does anyone know of other sources that describe a link between the two?

      Well, truth be told i tend to regard the OoC story seeds in each of the chapters of BJD as of optional canonicity - and of quite scattershot consistency with the lore depending on case, so everything should be taken with a grain of salt.

      At first brush correlating the egyptian goddess with Lilith can seem peculiar (a number of goddesses that could make better fits), but things make far more sense for the historical cult of Isis, the syncretic mish-mash of multiple mother or magic goddesses that would take form in the ptolemaic egypt and spread throughout the whole of the greco-roman world, (to the point of there being sanctuaries dedicated to her in the british isles, something Bernard Cornwell jokes with through Guinevere as a Isis priestess in the Winter King novel at least). The cult making the case that Lilith is an aspect of Isis or vice versa would be quite appropriate indeed.

      All of that said though, there's definitely some room for dispute, scholastic, literal or other, over who is the mask or the true the face, groups who call that conflation inappropriate or even downright blasphemous and more. I would expect Setite worship levels of trouble & strife (Ministry's formation and running to the anarchs due to Fire Court heavy hand and pogroms in V5 included) in places where those groups develop large enough cells to develop disgreements over dogma, authority and so on.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 11-04-2022, 07:02 PM.

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      • #4
        It's not a great translation. Lilith is antagonistic towards the status quo. She hates Adam her husband and God who made her for him. Isis on the otherhand was a top-tier wife who resurrected her husband, happily had a son who became a great ruler, has a good relation with other gods and is a god of fate and, well ,supports the status quo. She became an extremely popular figure, while Lilith is reviled.


        Does your faith centre around a strong female who rails against a macho man or two? If so, you too can apply to be a Bahari cult!

        In V20, everything's Bahari.. Even the Noddists are closet Bahari. Lilith is the one true god and Caine is both a man who could never be her equal and the figure who screwed her over out of jealousy of her power. If you listen to The Bahari, all the strong women of myth are Lilith
        Though to be entirely fair, if you listen to a Follower, all the strong men are Set. I still hold some reservations though, because the FoS are depicted as Full of Shit while the Bahari are oh-so-clever and know better.


        Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 09-08-2022, 10:35 AM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
          Does your faith centre around a strong female who rails against a macho man or two? If so, you too can apply to be a Bahari cult!

          In V20, everything's Bahari.. Even the Noddists are closet Bahari. Lilith is the one true god and Caine is both a man who could never be her equal and the figure who screwed her over out of jealousy of her power. If you listen to The Bahari, all the strong women of myth are Lilith
          Though to be entirely fair, if you listen to a Follower, all the strong men are Set. I still hold some reservations though, because the FoS are depicted as Full of Shit while the Bahari are oh-so-clever and know better.
          All cults are Full of Shit on principle, it's just that the Bahari are so pitifully irrelevant not to say mostly unknown for kindred society as a whole that 90% of materials on the cult or their myths comes directly from them, ergo hilariously slanted (and ignorable). It's like trying to seriously discuss western theology based only on cathecisms from random megachurchs and/or the Left Behind movie series.

          Some writers might have treated Bahari elements of Bahari mysticism as true cosmic truths? Well, the Wan Kuei mythology was taken as fact for a good chunk of late 2nd edition and the whole of Revised (not to mention almost everything done with Saulot up to Gehenna hinged on that) and well, just take a look at the "Cathayans" in canon now for how worried i am about any "Bahari revelations" or whatever....

          (Caine might not even exist, being just the product of early christian Cappadocian scribe-monk runaway fanfiction propaganga, at least in some of my chronicles, for all i care)


          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
          It's not a great translation. Lilith is antagonistic towards the status quo. She hates Adam her husband and God who made her for him. Isis on the otherhand was a top-tier wife who resurrected her husband, happily had a son who became a great ruler, has a good relation with other gods and is a god of fate and, well ,supports the status quo. She was an extremely popular figure, while Lilith is reviled.
          As i pointed out previously, while it can seem weird to contemporary egyptologists or history buffs, it actually goes pretty well with the thousand faced schizo goddess of femininity with both motherly and cthonic faces that will change in focus according to local leadership's convenience that the worship of Isis actually was throughout the greco-roman world - and also happens to be in contemporary neopagan worship, might be said.

          Religion, the more fringe your branch of whatever is, the less one cares for canon, consistency or logic (that is pretty much like a large chunk of christian denominations see the Book of Mormon, for one example - disputes over canonical x deuterocanonical sources of their own part notwithstanding, that is).
          Last edited by Baaldam; 10-04-2022, 01:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Lilith resents Adam cause he wouldn’t let her be on top sometimes. At least that’s what my friend told me.

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            • #7
              This is surprising because off hand it doesn't seem like the Cult of Isis would have much overlap with the Bahari. For the most part they're not into masochistic self-mutilation. Their ideologies don't really seem to intersect. And also they don't have very many ties to vampires to begin with, outside of the Children of Osiris, and those guys are absolutely not Bahari.

              It's possible that there's some fringe faction of the Cult of Isis that could be working with the Bahari, but that really doesn't seem like that should be typical of the main Cult. Various Cultists are members of different Traditions. The Cultists that are part of the Verbena or Cult of Ecstasy seem like they would be the most likely to have ties to the Bahari. The ones who are part of the Celestial Chorus or the Order of Hermes, probably not.

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              • #8
                I would prefer if this thread doesn't derail into an argument about the validity of feminist motifs in religions if possible. We can agree that the worship of female deities was/is a thing and that both groups share that as a commonality, yes?

                With that said, it would be a bit disappointing if the female goddess motif were the only thing that both groups have as common ground. As was pointed out, there are other goddesses that would make a better fit (Nephthys is right there). The reason I was looking for other canon sources was specifically to verify whether there would be a more substantial link.

                In VtM and MtR the Cult of Isis has a very specific purpose in the preservation of the Spell of Life and together with the - now de-fanged - Children of Osiris is a rather important antagonist to the Followers. I'm curious if the role the Children had would now be shifted towards the Cult, and the vampiric side of the Osirian League legacies filled by Bahari. If so, I would expect a bit more of a mythological connection than just vaguely common motifs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                  All Cults are Full of Shit
                  IDK about that, when the magic literally works, they've got something right. Much as their idealogies range between alarming (Osiris) and the most extreme heights of heinous villainy (FoS are Ancaps) The Gnostics are very probably right in WoD.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                    This is surprising because off hand it doesn't seem like the Cult of Isis would have much overlap with the Bahari. For the most part they're not into masochistic self-mutilation. Their ideologies don't really seem to intersect. And also they don't have very many ties to vampires to begin with, outside of the Children of Osiris, and those guys are absolutely not Bahari.

                    It's possible that there's some fringe faction of the Cult of Isis that could be working with the Bahari, but that really doesn't seem like that should be typical of the main Cult. Various Cultists are members of different Traditions. The Cultists that are part of the Verbena or Cult of Ecstasy seem like they would be the most likely to have ties to the Bahari. The ones who are part of the Celestial Chorus or the Order of Hermes, probably not.
                    I agree, their ideologies are quite different. In M20 Sorcerer, the Cult is described as fractured and having drifted in dogma quite a bit. The last update is a re-unification under a new leader (Semet) with an altruistic slant.

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                    • #11
                      The other thing to bear in mind is that Isis was often merged with other goddess cults. And you can see that there was a lot of influence between the Canaanite/Levantine religions, the Egyptian religion and the Arabian religions, with influences also creeping into Greek and Roman religion (and vice versa).

                      So it makes sense to me that Lilitu (Mesopotamian) became Lilith (Hebrew) became Isis (Egyptian) and so on. Though, Lilitu was a minor spirit/class of spirits in Sumerian myth and so was Lilith in Hebrew myth, so really, Isis is more like Ishtar/Inanna and her various analogues. This gets justified in the lore because texts supposedly describing Lilith are often said, in the intros or footnotes, to refer to Inanna or a similar goddess in their oldest iterations.

                      So we may have to understand Lilith as being the name deliberately chosen by Caine-centric vampires to refer to any powerful goddess with parallels or vague intertextual connections to their own mythological founder. If she spoke to Caine or a Caine-like figure? Gotta be Lilith!


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                        IDK about that, when the magic literally works, they've got something right. Much as their idealogies range between alarming (Osiris) and the most extreme heights of heinous villainy (FoS are Ancaps) The Gnostics are very probably right in WoD.

                        Nah, disciplines work fine no matter what one believes or not, blood sorcery.... well, occult and willpower are key, not kindred lore, ever noticed that?
                        Kindred fanfiction about supposed true names of the mysterious cthonic monsters behind the making of clans and how they related or not to this or that religion from their breathing years they keep harkening to for arbitrary reasons, that's just distraction to cover up for ennui, things lost & forgotten and fearful things some of the eldest want to hide from themselves.
                        Last edited by Baaldam; 10-04-2022, 01:13 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Question for those who own Cults of the Blood Gods: Do the Bahari get a re-work or are they presented more or less the same compared to V20?

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                          • #14
                            IIRC Bahari in CotBG have dropped all the masochism in favour of sadism; they 'kick ass' and one example given was a vigilante. Even though V5 thinks of Vampires as superheroes as badwrong fun, it gave of that vibe, though my memory is hazy because I didn't like what I read and don't plan to give it a second read.


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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                            • #15
                              "The Cult of Isis is comprised of blood sorcerers and mortal will-workers dedicated to a version of Lilith they equate with magic, transformation, and transcendence." Let the Streets Run Red, page 101.

                              The most interesting part of it, is that they have some conflict with another Lilith associated cult, the Cultivars.

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