Images of Set: Changing Impressions of a Multi-Faceted God by Joan Lansberry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Images of Seth
Almost everyone who has studied Egyptian history and mythology has become familiar with the conflict between two brothers, Osiris and Set, where in Osiris is slain by Seth. From that point on Seth is viewed as the bad guy. But is he really such a bad guy? A survey through Egyptian History and architecture tells a different story.
Ra's boat, call the Boat of a Million Years travels through both our daytime and night time skies. During the night Re's boat descends into the underworld where Apep, or Apophis is waiting to destroy it. Every night it is Seth who stands on the barque of the boat driving a spear into the throat of Apep. Re is the creatore god. Apep is the chaos serpent who wants to return everything to non creation. Only Seth is strong enough to fight against him.
Earlier depiction of Seth show hieroglyphs of of a dog figure with box cut ears. Later this animal head would bee the head of Seth. In ARabia to this day there are hunting dogs with box cut ears. Seth is also represented by the bull or white bull. Since he does represent virility the part most sacred is the bulls sex organ. When dried it could be made into a staff for Seth. In the early years Seth was seen a protector of Egypt. His lands were the desert wastelands. He stopped Egypt's enemies from breaching their borders.
Pharoahs had even taken Seths name and incorporated it into their own. Depictions of Pharoahs being crowned, show him being escorted by two deities, Horus and Seth. Horus and Seth were two spiritual natures that were reconciled in the being of the pharoah. Both natures complimented each other. Almost like two sides of the same coin.
Of note, most people are unaware of this connection between the two deities. Remember that is Horus who fights against Seth to avenge the death of his father, Osiris. In the ensuing battle Horus tears off the testicles of Seth while Seth destroys Horus's eye. Thoth, who is the magician and healer of the Gods repairs the battle damage and reunites the two.
There were several cult places for the followers of Seth. One place was Ombos, Seth was called the Bull of Ombos. Avaris was another of these city cult centers. Avaris is also where the Ramseside dynasty hailed from. When the Asiatic hysksos took over Egypt, they made Avaris their center. Seth was considered to be their god. From that point on his image started going down hill. Seth is equated with Baal, the storm god who slays the sea serpent. Later on they would be driven out and Akhenaten would abolish the worship off all the Egyptian gods. He too would be overthrown and King Tut would succeed him. Ramses came from a non royal military family in Avaris. He considered Set one of his ancestors. He made many graet military gains and this helped invigorate the name of Seth. During the PErsian and Greek Periods Seth would be grouped with the bad guy Typhon.
All through out, Seth is making a comeback. People are relaizing his value. He is needed for balance. HE represents viral sexuality, war, individuality, assertiveness. For spiritual growth to occur you must recognize your inner Seth and becomes knowledgeable with it. Do not deny the nature. Horus could represent team work because he helps Seth defeat Typhon. Osiris represent passivity and acceptance. "Gods give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change those things that I can" Seth gives you the courage.
Seth bestows both life and death. THe big dipper represent the tool that opens the mouth oof the dead. He is the giver of consiousness. He is also a god of chaos and Mercury is the most chaotic planet. All hail Seth...great book.
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