The legend of Set will be familiar to most Christians, containing as it does so many
elements of the Christian Myth. Before we begin with the legend, it may be
of interest to some readers to know that Set was portrayed the way he was for no
other reason than the Egyptians believed that anything that evil must be ugly!
He was usually portrayed as red in colour as this was the colour of evil and
bad luck to the ancient Egyptians. Even red-haired people were shunned as servants
It is not the intention of this site to attempt to show
the evolution of the Sethian legend, or which sections were likely to have been
additions due to various foriegn influences. For example, originally Osiris drowned
and was reborn, at the same time that Set was a benevolent God slaying the
serpent of self-deceit. Originally worshipped by the people of the Eastern Nile
Delta, Set was most frequently shown as human. This page will content itself
with the best known and widely accepted version of the myth, that of Set's murder
of Osiris and his epic battles with Horus.
According to legend, Set (also known as Seth, Typhon,or Sutekh) and his brother jointly
ruled the lands that would become ancient Egypt, with their wives, Nepthys
and Isis. Set, smitten with passion for his sister Isis, and jealous of Osiris'
popularity, conspired with 72 others to trick Osiris into captivity at a banquet.
After being tricked into getting into a custom-made sarcophogas, Osiris
was thrown into the Nile (or sea) and was washed up in a sacred Tamarind tree.
After events of no relevence to our story, Set cut Osiris' body into fourteen pieces,
which he hid in different places around the world. After many years of searching,
Isis recovered all of the pieces of her husband's/ brother's body, except
for the penis, which was never found. Certain occult circles call the mummified
phallus of Osiris "The Talisman of Set"
Aided by Set's wife/sister
Nepthys, Isis reassembled Osiris, and with the use of her own occult abilities
and the aid of the God of Magick, Thoth, she temporarily restored Osiris to
life, so as to conceive her son Horus.
Upon Horus attaining his manhood,
he set out to regain his rightful throne and inheritance from his uncle,
After numerous battles, during which Horus allegedly used srategy and tactics, while
Set used deceit and low cunning, Thoth declared Horus the victor and condemned
Set to a period of punishment.As a result of all this trickery, Set became
the personification of all that is evil to the ancient Egyptians. As the Egyptians
did not believe in the Christian concept of eternal damnation, after the final
judgement, Thoth merely banished Set to be bound in chains for 1000 years.
At the end of this period, Set will be allowed to resume his rightful place in
the scheme of things.All of this is so close to the legend of the fall of Lucifer.........
was worshipped by the Hyskos invaders, as well as well
back into the pre-dynastic period. Pharaohs called themselves "beloved of Set"
until as recently as the 16th dynasty, while Set once more became a popular
deity during the Ptolemaic period.
The centre of Set's cult was
at Ombos in Upper Egypt, with numerous other major centers having a special
reverence for the God Of Storms.
In modern times, the worship of Set is once more becoming popular in certain circles,
while it has been long acknowledged in occult circles that Set is an alternative
form of Saturn. Set is basically the inventor of the theory that "Might
is Right", and should find many more worshippers over the next couple of years
if the course of human history is any indicator.
Around the time of
the 22nd dynasty, the deliberate destruction of statues and artifacts relating
to Set began. As a result, the value of the few remaing pieces is considerably
higher than other antiquities of a similar age and period. While examples from
the Ptolemaic period are comparatively common, it is unusual to find images of
Set much older than this. This is why I am so proud of my earlier bronze. I also
saw a magnificent section of stele in an exhibition of the Liederbekke Museum
in Holland that was pre-dynastic, and showed Set in human form slaying Apep, the
serpent of self-deceit.
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