Who was the God Seth? Seth is the ancient Egyptian god of chaos who stood for everything that threatened harmony in the nation. He is known as the brother and husband of Nephthys and the brother of Isis and Osiris. Seth’s cult is believed to be the oldest in Egypt, and he appears to have had plenty of mayhem attached to him. After a while, the concept of Seth changed in Egypt. Initially, the Egyptians saw Seth as a beneficial god. They believed he lived in the realm of the blessed dead. Seth was known as a god the Egyptians prayed to so he would help their deceased family members.
After a time, the priests of Horus came into conflict with Seth’s adherents. Scholars believe Horus’ followers subjugated Seth’s. Then Seth’s role in the Pantheon changed. He became the polar opposite of Horus.
The Ancient Egyptians considered Seth as the god of darkness and chaos. He was also the ruler of the desert. Seth became the god of the unclean and an opponent of several gods. Opposing priests destroyed most of Seth’s statuary.
He was the personification of drought. Since he was considered as a lord of the desert and drought, Seth was an antagonist of everything that gave life. The Egyptians also viewed him as a storm and war god—the Egyptians related Seth with the planet, Mercury. The Egyptians associated the color red with Seth. The people thus hated people with red skin and even killed animals having red fur since they thought they were related to Seth and his influence.
Various Forms of Seth
Frequently Seth was portrayed as a man with the head of an animal that was recognized as a “Seth animal” and had a tall nose, rectangular ears, and a thin canine body with a long, forked tail. The body of this animal had fur tufts that were formed like inverted arrows. Most images of Seth show him holding an ankh in one hand and a staff in another. The staff was a long one which the head of a Seth animal on top, and was split at the bottom.
Seth was also illustrated as different animals like the antelope, the boar, and the crocodile. He was also correlated with some poisonous creatures like scorpion, snakes, and sometimes as a hippopotamus.
- Father: Geb, the god of the earth
- Mother: Nut, the goddess of the sky
- Brother: Osiris, recognized as the god of the underworld, vegetation, and fertility
- Sister: Isis, who was the goddess of magic, marriage, and wisdom
- Sister/Consort: Nephthys, goddess of darkness and decay
- Brother: Haroeris (Horus the Elder), known as a sky god
- Nephew: Horus the Younger, sun god and also the patron god of the pharaoh
- Nephew/Son: Anubis, the god of the dead and funerals
- Other Consorts: Anat and Astarte
The Egyptians saw Horus as possessing different identities, but the line between them blurred. Thus, Horus was, in various forms, both the brother and nephew of Seth. Some legends named God Seth as the father of Anubis, but others named Osiris as Anubis’ father.
The Power of Seth
Seth is believed to have been among the two ancient gods who gave pharaohs power and authority and was therefore respected a lot for his chaotic powers. Several kings were also named after his name, and many others used the Seth animal as part of their emblem to display their supremacy and frightening power.
In Egypt, there are two main festivals associated with the god Seth’s worship. One is among the five intercalary days that were celebrated just before the New Year started. The five days were celebrated as birthdays in honor of the five gods. The second festival in Seth’s tribute was a ritual reenactment that reenacted Horus’ defeat of Seth.
Templates of Seth
Tukh or Ombos is one of the center templates where god Seth was worshipped. The majority of the temple is now ruined, but the ruins date to the New Kingdom period. A huge scepter was found here, which was dedicated by Amenhotep III to Seth and is said to be the largest scepter object ever discovered in Egypt. One more center of worship was Avaris, which was the capital of the Hyksos people. The Hyksos people worshipped Seth as a dominant storm god.
Artifacts Related To Seth
Images on temples are the most frequent artifacts connected with Seth. The images also demonstrate the many myths associated with him. The scepters in the ancient temples of Seth are thought to be dedicated to the god made by pharaohs and Seth worshippers.