Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Set Animal

From time to time the icongraphy of the god Set is discussed in His temple. Now this is not a pressing theological concern, despite Plato's remarks about knowing a god. Various animals are suggested -- the mormyus fish, the seluki dog, even giraffes. I am a salawa man, myself. Many of these debates are just touch tounge in cheek.

Iconography ain't simple. Let's take Jesus. What are his
icons? The pretzel, the shamrock, a fish shaped doo-dad (based on a Latin-Greek pun based on a Hebrew contraction eing 'Greekified" to start with), a pine tree (from Jesus Quest for the Runes), some Renaissance cloth from Turin, his blonde hair/blue eyes yadda, yadda, yaddaand we are only looking at only two thousand years in a historical times .
. .


Oh Set.

Set's a toughie. Of course part of the (agreed-upon) iconography shows up at least 6,000 years ago. Is he a Mormyrus? Hmm, Well unlike most fish they use electricity and noise. "Hey, Chick Pea, I tried to pick up this fish and it shocked me and then it said 'Water' so I threw back in the river." (This is funnier in Egyptian). "Hey Chick-Pea you notice how it isn't raining like it used to? Let's go down to the old swimming hole and
mark up some petrogylphs for the god Dazzler to keep that creepy Osiris dude away when we die. I hear that them glaciers are almost gone in Europe. It's global warming I tell you. That damn ditch between here and Italy will fill the fuck up with salt water soon. You know my big fear is that people will forget the soul goes North when you die and start worshiping the sun,
and start thinking the soul goes west when you die -- by the way I invented calendars and astronomy over at that little playa where the buffalo wallow. I'll show you sometime. Sure is damn weird about that fish though. I don't fish should talk and use lightening. You know what god that has to be about. Last night I dreamt that a Hungarian named Laszlo Almasy will discover our
swimming hole in about 12 thousand years and make no connection between the image of Dazzler and those an English man named Petrie is going to discover. Instead -- get this he'll think they're fucking giraffes! I think I'm going to work some fish imagery into my petroglyphs today. I don't know what a Hungarian is, but it's just damn creepy. Tonight I have go polish the bull
horns on my dad's grave so his Bakha will still be be honored up in the Constellation of the Thigh. Hey Chick-Pea you know what Uncle Den found out? If you take a Bull's dick and turn it inside out and dry -- it looks just like the Dazzler's Head. He's giving them out for Christmas this year to all the other head men. I can't believe how early the Christmas stuff is being put in the malls this year. It's still Proyet and the Wind of
Breathing hasn't come. You know I'm tired of being a nomad (Month) all the time, I think I'll use that calendar idea to create agriculture. I mean I will always love cattle, but I like bread better than drinking cow's blood for my sugars. Here's another think Chick-Pea the headman of our Masai cousins now calls himself the King of the World, he believes his descendants
will get to meet Priest F---- some day, so he's acting all big and bad. I'm glad he's getting a bull dick for Christmas."

But then you got that great tail, which is birthing knife/circumcision/ Opening the Mouth tool, which was a symbol of Set in archaic times and the Empire. Dr. Ann Macy Roth makes a good case for that being where the tail comes from. Not a bad symbol for Imitation god. Birth, join your guild
(Phyle/ Za), join the Akhu. Very African (even today)

But Egypt being the great crossroads of the world, Set got wings from the Sumerian gods -- not many Sumerians around these days -- Sabaras folk in India and Zheng-zheng speakers in Tibet.

The local Bedouins had those great headless demons and that entered into the mix pretty early -- "I don't know Adbul something just grabbed me and I had all these weird thoughts, what do you think of that? Anyway what makes you think without a head of its own? You know I always have them dreams after a
meteor hits the sand. There's some connection with the night sky and Headless Demons I tell you, just the other day I was visiting Thebes and a Monthu Priest named Lives the Moon told me that he has been dreams about Headless demons too, in his next life he is going to check them out. He said he is coming back as a Greek god named Alastor. So I said, "What the frak is a Greek?" and he said, "Remember those pirates that Raesses III kicked out of the Delta?" yadda, yadda By the way, I had the goofiest dream last night that the Headless Demon tradition is going to go through a weird path of historical corruption and become something called a Barbara Eden."

However my bet is still the salawa.

There is a modern Salawa Information center in Armant(Hermouthis). They still show up there from time to time. There's a little problem with them though -- they vanish after you catch them -- in fact they seem damn similar to the stories of shaman that can make their bodies into dream animals. At
Heliopolis there were bounties posted against them. Now here's the Rub -- why Hermouthis. Well, the only other god to have a Set-head, Monthu was worshipped there:

So boyz and squirrels, there you have it -- the Bull Woshipping Nomads had a little trouble with werewolves as the desert moved in . . .


bluegreenplant said...

Keep up the good work.

Don Webb said...


Anonymous said...

I have a bit more extensive page on the Was scepter than the Wikipedia page:

(You can see there the source of the one photo at Wiki, a couple of wooden Was scepters at the Met museum, plus a great many
more images.)

Possibly, it took a while for the ancients to come up with the standard Set look that we know and love:

(ancient images):

(modern images):

I alternate in opinion between a greyhound type animal made to go extinct and a composite animal rather like the Griffin.

The ancients might have come to the conclusion Set's personality is way too vast for just one animal to symbolize him.