Apep

3

Foul serpent!

I besmirch thee! Let thine uncreation be sent back from whence it came!

I smite thee, despicable beast! May your body shrivel and turn to ashes like your paper counterpart; may you be sliced a hundred thousand times; may you feel the fiery blaze of Re’s wrath and die!

May Bast’s quicksilver claws rend your flesh and tear apart your scales like the dry, dusty leaves in the wind. May Sekhmet’s fangs dig into your spine and snap your ashen vertebrae. May Set’s spear pierce you until your body is long, long dead. May Re smite you down with His wrathful fire until your ashes are scattered far and wide within the Nun.

Die, disgusting creature! Die and leave this place, never to be worshiped, never to be spoken to, never to be loved.

Go, and fuck you.

I think something that has sorta… moved into my brain during all of this discussion about a/pep and isfet is that in a way, just like ma'at, isfet is subjective sometimes.

I mean, “the destruction of Creation” is a good generalized way of describing it, the same way that “balance” is a good way to describe ma'at. BUt once you start to get down to the specifics of things, it becomes very subjective very quickly.

A good example is warfare (which sat brought up in another thread). In antiquity, if Egypt want to war, it was to “uphold ma'at”. However, I’m sure to the people whose villages were being burned to the ground, whose family members were being brought back to Egypt for slavery didn’t think of it as upholding ma'at or creating any sort of beneficial balance.

And if the shoe was on the other foot- with someone coming in to attack Egypt, sure as shit that was an act of isfet (we know this because they execrated against enemies of the state, known and unknown every day).

Same act- war, conquering, taking over, stripping of resources.

But if Egypt was doing the do, it was okay. If someone else was doing it against Egypt, it was bad.

I think this is also noticeable with the “is illness isfet” discussion. Technically we execrate things that are isfet in our lives- and illness shows up on there pretty regularly for a lot of us. For some, the illness is nbd and maybe even improves their immunity, but for others the illness effects every aspect of their life and threatens to kill them- hence the disagreement about whether it’s isfet or not. Another example might be when you execrate a person to get them out of your life. Sometimes the person isn’t inherently bad, but if they’re screwing up your balance, disrupting your ma'at, in a way, that is like having a bit of isfet in your life.

So I think what all of this musing is telling me is that isfet, like ma'at, is not static or even objective in a lot of ways. And that there are elements of subjectivity to the concept that have to be kept in mind, and that what might be isfet in one context is ma'at in another, or that one act/item/situation can be both depending on the perspective.

Or something.

Carving from an ancient tomb depicts the Serpent Apep, Osiris’ eternal foe. Here, a deceased and his three sons attempts to placate Apep, who eats the souls of the dead in the Underworld. 

Don't Battle Apep

Don’t battle Apep. Don’t do rituals involving banishing negativity with Apep. It is incredibly foolish to do so, breathtakingly stupid. At the risk of getting into a messy debate, I have got to proverbially get this out there.

Apep symbolizes chaos, decay, waste, and yes, excrement. Look into the symbolism of your battle with Apep and it should be pretty clear what is wrong with this idea of battling Apep…

As Apep represents excrement, I must say if you are having battles with your excrement then you should probably have a long hard look at what you are eating. This is no shallow play on symbols or dig at misguided kemetics. Your waste products are an indicator of the health of your body and how well you are treating it. It is completely pointless to blame and “battle” the shit you make. The shit is not making itself! If your excrement is a source of loathing to you then you may want to look into that. Do not attack your excrement but rather change your diet.

Apep is symbolic of chaos, but this should be understood like the above. The chaos is being produced by a system of order. The worse the chaos is indicates how messed up the system of order is. Natural, evolved, or democratic systems can manage chaos and use this as a source of strength. Rigid, unnatural, and unsustainable systems produce nasty side-effects which must be continually battled.

If your system is creating conflict with Apep then your system is screwed up. This applies to your physical helath, your relationships, your government… Shit happens. The question is, can you deal with it in a mature and responsible fashion?

One final point. The battle with Apep is endless. That was part of the myth. You can battle Apep and win but you’re going to have to do it again and again forever. If you take something you want to remove from your life and attach it to Apep in ritual then you are dooming yourself to have to fight the same damn fight over and over and over again.

So stop battling Apep. It is merely the consequence of your own actions. Focus your spells on where they can actually be effective.

THE DARK SIDE OF MYTH & FOLKLORE: APEP

In Egyptian mythology, Apep was the serpent deity of evil, darkness, and chaos. He was eternal enemy of Ra, the god of the sun and upholder of Ma’at (truth), and the devourer of souls. Every night, Apep did battle with Ra, seeking to devour him and prevent the sunrise.

Mythological Creatures #48 (Your daily dose of myth history.)

Today’s creature: Ra

Features: body of a human with the head of a bird.

Source: Egyptian Mythology

Habitat: On a boat in the sky

The great Egyptian god of the Sun and of the Sky. In very early times Ra was simply known to be a “Sun god”. He was later combined with Amun to become Amun-Ra. He was also merged with Horus to become Ra-Harakhte. He is one of the few gods who like Osiris does not live on the earth. He is an ageing and primordial god who had grown too old to deal with his children any longer and so he has devoted all his time to living in the sky in his boat the Manjet-boat (Dad’s do get tired and I mean can you imagine how long a God takes to mature he was probalby a father for millions of years that is a nightmare).

Each day Ra journeys across the sky in a Manjet-boat. He was joined by many gods on this daily journey. He sailed through the 12 provinces that represented the 12 hours of daylight. During his daily voyage he would battle the great serpent of the sky, Aapep. Ra was nearly always victorious in this duel but when he lost and died this resulted in heavy stormy weather and clouds or an eclipse. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and he then began his night voyage. During this voyage due to the lack of winds, Ra relied upon unfriendly spirits and demons to move his boat. His main job on this journey was to bring light to the souls of the dead. (Man this one was long this is why I try to stay away from Gods they have too much crap to read hope you guys liked it and it was worth you time?)