The first Mother of God in recorded history was Isis of Egypt (See: Book of the Dead, chapter No. clvi; her name was Aset by the ancient Egyptians) but became a fixture in pagan and later Christian Greece as Theotokos. Isis was very powerful and was the first to reveal the hidden name of the great god Ra by creating the first cobra and using its venomous bite to coerce Ra into revealing his secret name. This fiction was incorporated into the fantasies of Yahweh, known as the “Tetragrammaton”. Officially the four consonants (YHWH) were not to be pronounced–the same as in ancient Egypt (http://www.yahweh.com/PWMags/PW11-04/theName2.html).
Isis was at the center of a cult that spread far beyond Egypt’s boundaries. The Romans were aware of the cult’s existence, but the ruling class frowned upon it as it degraded Roman goddesses. The Emperor Augustus (Octavian) decreed that worship of Isis was forbidden as part of his attempt to return Rome to local deities; but her worship was transferred over to the mythical Mary, mother of Jesus, in the New Testament–being a regeneration of the mother of Moses who is the prototype for the Christ (an Egyptian word for the senior magi[cian] who changed water into wine, multiplied loaves and fishes, and spoke of forgiveness). For some Roman worshippers, Isis was absorbed into the cult of Cybele, which held bloody rites in honor of their mother goddess–rites that included slaughtering adult men by nailing them to crosses in hopes of their resurrection in three days.
The cult of Isis moved as far afield as ancient Greece, and was known as a mystery tradition among the Hellenes until it was banned by Christianity around the sixth century c.e., only to be revised and restored by the Carthusians and Cistercians in the Middle Ages, when nearly all churches in Europe were dedicated to “The Mother of God, Our Lady Mary.” The images of Isis suckling the child Horus unquestionably inspired the multitude of icons showing the Madonna and Child.
Like Mary mother of Jesus, Isis had numerous prayers and liturgies in her honor. The most famous was a poem:
Mighty mother, daughter of the Nile,
we rejoice as you join us with the rays of the sun.
Sacred sister, mother of magic,
we honor you, Lover of Osiris,
she who is mother of the universe itself.
Isis, who was and is and shall ever be
daughter of the earth and sky,
I honor you and sing your praises.
Glorious goddess of magic and light,
I open my heart to your mysteries.
A second one hailed
Isis, mother of God,
full of grace,
the Gods are with you and you are blessed among and above all other women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb (Horus)
who would succeed her husband/brother Osiris in ruling heaven and earth. To counter the popularity of this prayer, it led to St. Andrew of Crete writing the myth that Mary returned to Egypt, a story later redacted and incorporated into the Bible that was slowly emerging and yet not official (canon) until the fourth century (See: http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/mary_egypt_ext.htm).
Isis became known as “the throne” on which all gods sat, and from this throne the god of the dead would judge with Isis the souls of mortals. Isis would watch over the liver of the dead to ascertain veracity in the confession of the supplicant.