One of the coolest Setians I know and look up to personally is the artist Setken, who paints some of the most beautiful and spiritually empowered images you will ever see. Setken is re-launching his Blogger site, and I highly recommend checking it out!
Each religion has its concept of the Underworld; but what is this dark and mysterious plane, exactly? In popular culture, it’s usually pictured as a dark, nightmarish world that exists underground, and which is filled with tormented ghosts and demons. In fact, this notion of the Underworld seems to have influenced the Christian idea of hell, except that only “bad” (i.e., non-Christian) people are thought to go there. In ancient Paganism, however, almost everyone was thought to go to the Underworld, save for heroic warriors and kings (who reigned with the gods in heavenly places like Valhalla). Going there had nothing to do with whether you were good or evil in life; it was basically a matter of social status. Important people were noticed by the gods and welcomed into their various heavens, while common working class folk were expected to eat mud, drink tears, and gnash their teeth down there in the darkness forever.
Or were they?
In Egyptian mythology, Khepesh (“The Thigh”) is the Iron of Set. This powerful force was once a part of Set Himself, but it was removed from Him by Horus during Their war for the throne of civilization. It is sometimes described as being Set’s “bone,” “foreleg,” “semen,” or even His “testicles” (which means its removal is sometimes described as a “castration”). This Iron is what enabled Set to kill Osiris, and it was returned to Him once He was “tamed” enough to be reconciled with the rest of the gods. Set now uses Khepesh to defend Ra from the Chaos Serpent, and its physical counterparts in nature include the asterism we know today as the Big Dipper, as well as the chemical element Fe (iron).
Set is a very complex deity with more names than anyone can count. We can’t even be 100% sure of how the name Set itself was originally pronounced. (All we know for certain is that it contains the consonants S-T; we don’t know which vowels might have been used.) The following is my attempt at explaining what some of Big Red’s names actually mean (or at the very least, what they mean to me personally). However, we must always remember the fact that in Egyptology, new discoveries are made every day, and sometimes an accepted theory will need to be updated or even discarded. For this reason, nothing I write here about Set’s names should be considered “definitive” or taken as “gospel.” This is just one Setian’s perspective on these various voces magicae, so take from it what you will.
Yes, that’s right. Even more powerful than Abrahadabra, Xepera Xeper Xeperu, or Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches, these ancient mystical voces magicae will set you free and empower you to embrace yourself for the living, breathing demigod you truly are! Just repeat liberally as needed, preferably in the comfort and privacy of your own ritual chamber, and never while operating heavy machinery or navigating through heavy traffic.
It’s time for Egyptian New Year again! I will be celebrating next week on August 15, but depending on what side of the planet you’re living on, it might already be New Year in your neighborhood. (The Egyptians followed what is called a “Wandering Calendar.” Check out my sermon on this holiday for further details as to how and why.) So here’s wishing everyone a Merry Wep Ronpet (Egyptian for “Opening of the Year”), a Blessed Wafaa el-Nil (Arabic for “Flooding of the Nile”), and a Happy Egyptian New Year!
And in some corners of the world, today is the epagomenal Birthday of Set, which is one of five intercalary days that immediately precede the New Year. So Happy Birthday, Big Red! All honor and praise upon You! May Your name be spoken and heard all across the earth on this beautiful day! May the sound of Your name straighten the bones and open the mouths of those who uphold Ma’at in Your name; and may the sound of Your name send all who serve the Serpent running for cover!
Marie Svoboda is an associate conservator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and she is a specialist when it comes to what are called “mummy portraits.” These are works of funerary art that were attached to the mummies of upper class citizens during the Roman occupation of Egypt. They were painted with the utmost realism and attention to detail, and they are exquisitely beautiful, seeming almost to glow even after all these centuries. Below is a special report from CNN in which Marie Svoboda describes her work.
And here is a podcast in which the conservator shares some further details about mummy portraits: