Thursday Myths & Legends: Set, egyptian god

In Egyptian Mythology, Set, or Seth as he’s most commonly known, was the Egyptian god of chaos, storms, and the desert. His name is often translated to mean pillar of stability, but it can also mean (one who) dazzles, which makes it a popular and well loved baby name.

He is the brother of the well-known Egyptian gods Osiris, Isis, and Nephtys. He’s often depicted as a mysterious or unknown animal (though closely resembling a jackal) with a curved snout, square ears, a forked tail and a human body.  The prevalent myth regarding his life is that he was horribly jealous of his brother Osiris, often pictured as a great and wise king and married to Isis. The jealousy led to Set’s violent outburst in which he killed and dismembered Osiris. Isis reassembled him and had him embalmed. Osiris went on to rule as King of the Afterworld. Isis became pregnant with Horus, by means of Osiris’ corpse, and Horus and Set became archenemies.

During a battle, Set cut out Horus’ eye, and Horus went on to cut off Set’s testicles, having him often associated with infertility. Their story is often cited in Egyptian culture as a lesson on family relationships, fighting and jealousy between siblings. But it could also explain the division of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, until the Second Dynasty saw them brought together and united as one dual god, Horus-Set.

About Isabelle

Isabelle is a multi-published author who dabbles in romantic fantasy and Young Adult fiction. A dreamer who loves Jane Austen as much as she loves Star Wars, Isabelle is most comfortable on stage behind a microphone belting out her favorite karaoke tunes, or curled up in bed with a book and a cup of cocoa on a rainy night. View all posts by Isabelle

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