Set, Seth - The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Set, Seth
The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

Set is the Egyptian Lord of the Desert and Lord of Chaos and Disorder. He is among the set of quadruplets born to the Earth and Sky; his siblings are Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys.

Both Osiris and Set love their sister Isis but she chooses Osiris. Set marries Nephthys but she also loves Osiris, and so theirs is not a happy marriage.

Osiris is initially Ruler of the Black Land, the fertile belt of civilization around the Nile River. Set is the Lord of the Red Land as the Egyptians characterized the harsh, barren desert. It, too, however, is a place of power.

Set was a powerful magician, second only to Isis. Appeals are made to Set to keep bad weather far away; he has dominion over rainstorms, sandstorms and windstorms.

He is the master of love and sex magic and is petitioned for assistance with contraception and abortion. Set appears on many ancient uterine amulets. Some of these amulets were employed to “open” the womb, requesting assistance with menstruation, conception or birth. Set is also featured on amulets to “close” the womb. These amulets were used to procure contraception or abortion.

Sometimes a hero, sometimes a controversial figure, he is most famous for his rivalry with Horus, his nephew. In modern retellings of the saga, Set is usually presented as the villain, however it may be more complex than that: the myth may be a metaphor for the historic rivalry between Upper and Lower Egypt, which Lower Egypt (Horus’ territory) ultimately won.

Set’s main cult centers were at Tanis, Ombos, and Naqada. His color is red. His sacred creatures include crocodiles, hippopotami, and pigs, as well as something called the “Set beast” which has never been conclusively identified. The Set beast may be an extinct creature, a creature that only exists in the spirit realm, or an anteater.

See also Isis ANIMALS: Pigs; ERGOT: Corn Mother: Isis.