by Fra. Ananael od Caosgo
An essay on the nature of our Guardian of the Gate of the West.
Since we’ve placed Seth on the Throne of the West, I’d like to do more research on him since it’s (obviously) lacking in the original GD materials. Seth only gets mentioned as Horus’ Evil Uncle, and implies simply that Horus kicked Seth’s butt and that makes him the baddest god of all and the avenger of Evil, etc. etc.
The mythology we discussed on Saturday morning tells how Horus made peace with Seth after Thoth helps him rediscover his true nature. This is nowhere in any GD materials I can find. As far as the Stella Matutina (as recorded in Regardie’s books) goes, Seth is simply the Golden Dawn’s “Satan” in the Christian sense of the word. This won’t do.
(Note: the idea that Horus could EVER completely defeat and destroy Seth is nonsense anyway. Seth is the foundation of the Material Realm. Seth is form and structure. He unlies Malkuth in such a way that were he removed, reality itself would collapse into the Primal Chaos. According to his legend, every night Seth rides the Barque of Millions of Years—the Solar Boat—and every morning before the Dawn he slays Apep, the Demon of Chaos and Entropy who blocks its passage, so that the Barque may rise again. Without Seth, the Sun would never rise and the Darkness would be eternal.)
So meditating on what I know of the godform, I come up with…
Material world—as has been said, Seth grounds the Temple in the Material Realm, in Malkuth, which is where his throne is on the Tree of the 0=0 Temple. In fact , he sits in the Black area of the circle of Malkuth.
Then there is “xepher”, as the Temple of Set understands it—the drive “to become”. This encompasses some attributes that can (obviously) be taken to Evil extremes; intelligence, drive, ambition, cunning, engineering, competitive spirit, pride in accomplishment.
From Don Webb of the TOS:
“Xeper is an Egyptian verb meaning “I Have Come Into Being.” Xeper is the experience of an individual psyche becoming aware of its own existence and deciding to expand and evolve that existence through its own actions. Xeper has been experienced by anyone who has decided to seek after his or her own enlightenment.
“Set, the Egyptian god of Darkness, is the Divine origin of the Word. Set’s name ultimately means the “Separator” or “Isolator.” His chief enemies are the gods of Stasis and Mindlessness. The first of these is Osiris, Death himself. Set’s slaying of Osiris has a twofold significance for the seeker of Xeper. Firstly this represents the slaying of old thought patterns, the dethroning of those internal gods that we have received from society. On a second level this was the act by which Set, alone of all the gods of ancient Egypt, became deathless. The Left Hand Path is a quest to Become an immortal, potent, and powerful Essence. Set’s other enemy is the demon of mindless chaos, Apep. Set is said to slay this creature every night just before dawn. This symbolizes overcoming self doubt and delusion, of acting at the times of greatest despair, or not being lulled to sleep by the powerful self-hypnotizing engines of mankind. Set achieves (on a divine level) this isolation from the universe so that he may say, “Xeper” = “I Have Come Into Being.” Each of these breaks—the break from the dead past (by slaying Osiris) and the break from the confused present (by slaying Apep)—is done for the sake of a self-determined future. One of Set’s cult titles, Set-Heh, means God of Unending Futurity.”
Not all of Don’s musings may apply to us directly, but he gives some “talking points” on what the godforms of Set—and Osirus—mean to our Work.
Seth also symbolizes even such realms as chaos mathematics and information theory, and indeed any of the esoteric sciences—especially the dangerous ones, like nuclear physics.
Seth does represent Darkness of course, but Seth is also Aiwass/Prometheus, the “spark” in the darkness, the “black flame” of Intelligence and Will. This is indicated by the white Triangle on the black ground that is the Badge of the Heirus.
Seth gives the grips and words to the Aspirant, the symbolic Secrets of the Gods. Seth gives Power, including Ethical power, the power to choose one’s Will, to “do that, and no other shall say nay.”
Seth has a very Luciferian aspect. (I believe there are Luciferian aspects to high degree Scottish Masonry.) Seth is the bringer of Intelligence, and by personifying the Darkness, he is the avatar of the Knowledge of the Good and Evil; without Darkness, we could not comprehend the Light.