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Set

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Set
Set

Set also known as Seth was the god of storms, deserts, chaos, and the opponent of Osiris and Horus. He is depicted as a unique animal called the "Set animal" by Egyptologists. The animal has a curved snout, a canine-like body, and boxed ears. He is often seen as a man with the head of the Set animal. There is some indication that the depiction is an amalgamation of various animals like the jackal and donkey. There is also some connection between Set in his characteristics and depiction with the Greek Typon and both are associated with chaos and destruction. His wife is his sister Nephthys and his brother is Osiris.

Set, is the enemy of Horus and the ruler of Upper Egypt. His rivalry and enmity with Horus springs from Set killing Osiris, who Isis then resurrected long enough to conceive Horus. Horus goes on to avenge his father. Before the conflict, Egypt was divided between Set and Horus; Set ruling Upper Egypt and Horus ruling Lower Egypt. During the battle, Set was able to rip out the eye of Horus who castrated Set in retaliation. After the struggle, Horus became the ruler of all of unified Egypt and Set was regulated to the god of foreigners and the red desert. His connection with the red desert could be seen as a symbolic struggle between the red desert and the fertilization of the black Nile. The struggle and battle between Set and Horus is well attested to in a variety of Egyptian writings, like the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Text. After the intermediary periods and various invasions by foreign nations, Set was cast more in a more adversarial role, especially as the god of foreigners which was further cemented his worship by the invading Hyksos. His role in an Egypt divided also played a part in the adversarial role he was cast in.

While in later views, Set's defeat was celebrated as symbolic of Egypt's defeat of foreign invaders and a celebration of unified Egypt, Set does have a very important role in the pantheon. Set rides on the barge of the sun with Ra and uses his magic to protect Ra from the great serpent, Apep. Being the ruler of the red dunes of the desert, he also was the protector of Egypt itself. In this way he represented both the chaos and destruction of the desert as well as the protective buffer that it offered.

Devotees who honor the Egyptian pantheon call upon Set for works of destruction and aggressive protection.

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