Seth

This god is an especially mysterious character of the Egyptian mythology. We don’t know for sure even the animal he is identified with on the pictures. Some say okapi, others identify it with an ant-eater or shrew-mouse. Others say it is a chimera, a made-up creature wearing different animals' parts. He has an excellent pedigree: he is the brother of Osiris and Isis, and the husband of his other sister, Nephtys. The couple doesn’t have baby, Anubis, the son of Nephtys is the child of Osiris.

Seth is Mr. Bad Guy of the Egyptian pantheon. If Osiris is fertility, the reviving nature for Egypt, then Seth is the representative of the devouring desert, the destructive heat storms. He may appear more unpleasant about the murder of Osiris and the fight with Horus – the son and legitimate heir of Osiris - for the Double Crown (Hopefully we will discuss the fight of Horus and Seth in more details. Numerous stories refer to this conflict.)

Despite all of these, he is not related only to bad things. Seth represents the “necessary bad” in the Egyptian religion, the counterpoint without which good could not exist either. He is the god of deserts and war, but he is the protector of the oases, too. He not only present in the Sun-bark, the symbol of the order of the world but this boat of Ra could not complete its daily journey on the celestial Nile without him. The Sun-bark meets the serpent Apep every evening on the western horizon. This creature wants to swallow the bark including its “passengers”. It is Seth, who beats Apep so the Sun-bark can continue its cruise on the Underworld-Nile and next morning Ra’s face can shine forth again over the world.

Despite all believes his sanctuaries were not sites of orgies and his priests did not forced bloody sacrifices to satisfy their furious god. Not an Egyptian god demanded human sacrifice. (They liked the bread, the beer, and the nice incenses!)

Sema-tawy featuring Horus and Seth, dedicated to Senwosret I

This sema tawy has the importance of featuring Horus and Seth, as protectors of the Two Lands. It explained by the tendency of Egyptians to think good and bad as complementive sides of existence, both important. The cartouche above bears the name of Senwosret I (12th dynasty)

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