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.
The following are a few examples of how I pray. The first is a brief standard invocation to Set. The second, third, and fourth are prayers to be recited in the morning, the afternoon, and at night respectively. The final prayer is taken from an execration ceremony (the full text of which may be read here, if anyone is interested).
Note: The images below are public domain and were retrieved from Pixabay.com.
More than a month ago, someone shared with me that they were having some trouble navigating my website; so I’ve decided to create a sitemap. Hopefully, having everything in one convenient location should help make it easier for folks to make sense of what I’m going on about. This sitemap will be updated as new sermons go up.
I fully support the humanitarian effort to tackle public health crises in foreign countries. If you’re in Uganda just to feed, clothe, and educate the people there, I have no problem with you. But this is seldom the primary concern for missionaries. While they might indeed provide food and/or healthcare to the people they serve, their primary goal is—and has always been—to win more converts. And there is no easier way to win converts than by going to some country where the people are hungry, uneducated, and desperate. While the missionaries say they aren’t “forcing” Christianity on anyone, they are introducing it to people who are physically and emotionally vulnerable, and who have no way of “fact-checking” anything they are told.
This can have disastrous results, as when Pentecostal churches began exploiting local superstitions about witchcraft in Africa during the 1980s. Extreme poverty and disease are almost always blamed on supernatural forces in such communities, which is already bad enough to start with. But then the charismatic pastors come in with all their hellfire and brimstone, claiming to fight against the “witches” in the name of “God” with their faith healings and their exorcisms—neither of which provides the people who are suffering with any practical solution to their woes. In fact, such practices only escalate the situation because it reinforces the people’s superstitious fears, motivating them to harm and even murder their own children for being accused “witches.” (There is an entire report from Unicef about this particular matter, if you would like to read more.)
I’m not saying Pentecostals are entirely to blame for this, or that there is nothing of value to their faith healings or their exorcisms. There’s a reason people keep coming back to these ritual procedures; as someone who delights in performing execration ceremonies, I can attest that such rites are incredibly potent and can provide some much-needed catharsis in times of extreme anxiety or panic. The problem is when such procedures are claimed to be the one and only treatment people need to recover from their misfortunes. Yes, dancing and chanting to execrate an evil spirit can contribute to your health and emotional well-being, but it’s not going to heal you of AIDS or find you a fresh source of drinking water. It’s not going to eliminate any mental health issues you might be living with. These people deserve to be given a proper scientific education, so they can understand how things like diseases actually work. Telling them that “God will take care of everything” if they just believe and pray is one of the most irresponsible things anyone can say to someone who desperately needs help.
And then you have those missionaries who think they know what they’re doing, but don’t. Exhibit A: Renee Bach, an American missionary who posed as a medical doctor in Uganda without a license. Bach is not a medical professional, yet she has administered blood transfusions, hooked children up to breathing machines, and otherwise participated in people’s medical decisions. Now some of the children she has treated are dead, and an investigation into her activities has been launched. Just from reading the report, I can tell that Bach is someone who cares for children very passionately, and who truly intends to do good work. I do not believe this person intended to harm anyone. But unfortunately, that just isn’t good enough when it comes to practicing medicine. You can love kids and want to heal them all you want, but if you aren’t a licensed physician, the help you provide might actually be deadly. So please think twice before you run off to practice medicine without a license (not just in Uganda, but anywhere).
This is the standard message I’ve written for sending the Setianism tract to Christian ministries that are advertised to me on Facebook:
Thank you for sending me this advertisement. Since you have sent me yours, I am sending you mine. Please note, this opportunity is for free.
And this is the procedure I have chosen to follow:
- Whenever a Facebook ad for a church ministry is received, immediately investigate the source. (Do they push and/or profit from public policies that are harmful to Pagans, women, LGBTQ people, and/or anyone else who shouldn’t be harmed? If not, ignore; if yes, proceed to Step 2.)
- Post the standard message above as a reply in the comments section of the advertisement.
- Immediately block the source of the ad and hide the discussion; when Facebook asks why, choose “This shouldn’t be on Facebook,” then “It goes against my beliefs.”
- Proceed to the next victim.
(I’m up to ten so far, and they just keep coming!)
I thought there was a way to attach files to comments in Facebook, but in lieu of such a function, just including a link to the post on my blog about the tract should suffice. Doing so causes the comment to generate a preview image of the tract, which I like better anyway since it is usually easier to draw attention with visual cues than with verbal ones.
I will say, traffic on this blog has exploded through the roof since last night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these kinds of stats before!
Click the image above to read the tract.
I understand platforms like Facebook have to burden us with advertisements; after all, they can’t do everything they do without making some kind of revenue, right? But ever since I joined last year, I’ve received a staggering number of ads for hardline Catholic and evangelical Christian ministries. For example, in the past month alone:
Steven Kozak sent me a piece bemoaning the “post-Christian” times in which we live.
True Horizon sent me an article that attempts to prove atheism is really a “religion” (!).
S. Douglas Woodward sent me a sermon arguing that if I want to be a good Christian (?), I ought to be reading the Septuagint instead of the King James Version of the Bible.
The National Catholic Register sent me a warning against shopping at Walmart because it is supposedly selling “satanic merchandise” that can lead people to hear “satanic voices” in their heads.
Ray Comfort—the pastor who is best known for pleasuring a banana on his televangelism show, The Way of the Master—sent me a sermon about how “[through] God’s power, many homosexuals have been forgiven and changed” (i.e., brainwashed to hate themselves and think they are straight).
Catholic Action for Faith and Family sent me a request to “send my support” to Bishop Thomas Tobin, who publicly claimed that LGBTQ Pride events are “dangerous” for children to attend.
The “Alliance Defending Freedom” sent me an article imploring me to help them fight the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to existing laws that ban discrimination.
The Vatican sent me a new document they’ve been circulating to address the “educational crisis” that is being “caused” by transgender people.
Absolutely none of this horseshit is new to me; this is all the same old garbage the Religious Right has been vomiting since the 1970s. Facebook seems to think I might find these things interesting because I am a legally ordained minister. You would think that with all their fancy algorithms and what-not, they would notice I am not a Christian and I am pro-LGBTQ. And while Facebook does provide us with the ability to hide or even report any ads we don’t appreciate, this feature is virtually useless. I receive a new ad for each one that I report or block (and often on the same day, in fact.)
I’m not saying these people should be banned from Facebook or anything like that. I respect their First Amendment rights, even if I think the things they say and do are deplorable. But let’s get real here: if Pagans were to start employing these exact same recruitment techniques, these assholes would start screaming and throwing tantrums. To make things even more interesting, some Pagans feel it would be “unethical” to engage in this sort of outreach. Paganism is a personal thing, they argue, something that should never be marketed like a product. But Paganism does not develop in a vacuum; no one becomes a Pagan just because the idea occurs to them right out of thin air. They hear about it from someone else first, and if they are interested, they investigate the subject in greater detail; then they make a decision and act accordingly. None of us would be Pagan, not even me, if no one ever “advertised” Paganism at all. This notion that we’re just supposed to hide and wait for people to come to us is actually harmful because it holds us back as a community, it prevents us from enjoying the same protections other faiths enjoy, and it alienates up-and-coming Pagans who don’t even know they are Pagans yet. Clearly, a new way of doing things is needed.
With all of this in mind, I’ve designed a tract about my own particular branch of Paganism. I’ve decided to send copies of this tract to every single pastor, church, or other religious group that sends me any more of these solicitations on Facebook (and on every other social networking platform I might frequent). I’m also giving serious consideration to printing a ton of hard copies and sneaking them into church restrooms throughout my entire state (especially in red congressional districts). I understand most people will probably not even look at it, and that it is unlikely to affect most readers. This is irrelevant. I’m willing to bet there are people involved in each of these ministries who are secretly Pagan and who are just waiting for someone to light a great big Pagan bonfire in their hearts. Perhaps by sending this tract to these groups, some of these individuals might happen to see it and be awakened. It could just be a large waste of my time, but I’m sick and tired of the way things are, so I’m putting this out there in the hopes that perhaps it will do someone some good.
As a final note, this tract does not discuss Paganism in general. There is nothing about Wicca, Druidry, or any of the other major players in here. This tract is specifically for Set and His people, because that is what I am most qualified to discuss. I would encourage other Pagans who like what I have done here to develop similar tracts for their own varieties of Paganism as well. (I’m happy to offer my services as an editor or graphic designer to anyone who might be interested, and for free. Just contact me if you’re interested.) I’m also aware that some Setians might not agree with everything I have written in this tract (or even with its purpose). I have my own blind spots just like anyone else, so if anyone thinks there might be a way to improve this sucker, please feel free to contact me about it and I’ll happily take your suggestions under consideration. Finally, I am donating this tract to the public domain. If you like what you see, feel free to administer the tract (whether electronically or on paper) as much as you please. There is absolutely no need to check with me for permission to reuse.
Here is a version of the pamphlet that should be shared electronically, as well as a version for printing hard copies. (Remember to print double-sided!)
- Setianism: A Brief Introduction (For Electronic Dissemination)
- Setianism: A Brief Introduction (For Printing & On-Site Dissemination)
I sincerely pray that my work here will benefit someone out there, even if it’s someone I will never know or meet. May Set straighten your bones with His holy iron, and may you be empowered to embrace yourself for the living demigod you truly are!
Set is mighty, and so are we!
A special thanks to everyone who provided me with helpful feedback on this tract during the course of its development!
Went through my Sermons page and organized the sermons according to topic. (This is a much easier to do now that the new site’s been up and growing for a while.) A reader mentioned recently that they were having difficulty navigating my site, so I thought it might be good to do something similar here on the blog. The last several posts include links to my sermons, organized by subject. Hopefully this will make it a little easier to make sense out of my ramblings. Links to these posts are included in the right-hand column of the screen, and they will be updated accordingly as further sermons are published.