Osiris was known as the Lord of Love.
The name Osiris is the Latinised form of the Egyptian Usir which is interpreted as “powerful” or “mighty”. This god of creation presided over the organic cycle of deaths and rebirths that a normal person experiences in their evolution. This process may continue for hundreds of lifetimes as someone slowly becomes more unified. In this way the Green Man was often portrayed beside Isis and Nephthys (rebirth and death).
Mercy (the crook) and severity (the flail) played key roles in this process. Mercy is conveyed by the crook, because this is a merciful way of gently “guiding” a stray animal back into the fold. Severity is embodied by the flail, which is a severe way of “forcing” a rebellious beast back into line. In this way we are reminded of the human psyche.
The “Osirianised” dead, by crossing two symbols above the heart indicates that the middle way must be found—the pathway between perceived polarities. By using these instruments of self-control to balance their profound and prosaic instincts, the deceased had “followed in the footsteps” of Osiris and found balance within. (Here we notice the placement of the beard, where the higher aspects of the mind also meet the heart.)
Osiris’s hands are crossed over the solar plexus, indicating the tetrahedral energy of power. The crook and flail cross over the heart indicating the love of spirit. Together they indicate SPIRITUAL POWER and remain the symbols of kingship. The outermost coffin was the largest of three concentric coffins. This represents the triple aspect of life that we know as the Mer-Ka-Ba.
So the crook is held by the left hand (aligned with the female, right brain) and the flail is held by the right hand (connected to the male, left brain). In other words, the receptive and resistant brain correspondences have specific registers—the right brain is aligned with the higher instincts and the left with the lower. When the crook and flail were brought together (where they cross the heart) it symbolised the balance point where enlightenment could be experienced.
This Egyptian metaphysical doctrine was inherited by occultists, alchemists and philosophers as new civilisations were born. Over the centuries it became grouped into different sub-genres including Alchemy, Hermeticism and Gnosticism. Its insights on the nature of man, however, remain as relevant today as they were 5,000 years ago.