Seth – God of the desert, storm and violence
animal head with long curved pointed snout
Seth (or Set) is shown with an animal’s head with a long curved pointed snout, slanting eyes, and square-tipped ears. Sometimes he has a forked tail. No-one seems to know what the animal is. Aardvark, antelope, ass, camel, fennec, giraffe, greyhound, jackal, jerboa, long-snouted mouse, okapi, oryx and pig have all been suggested! Seth was the God of the desert, storm and violence, which are all enemies of the fertile, properous, narrow valley of the Nile.
Seth carries a sceptre, which has his head on top and his tail at the other end. Several other gods seem to carry this sceptre as well. Can you find them?
Seth was not always bad. He helped Ra fight the snake Apep.
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. Seth had killed Osiris by tricking him into a coffin, which he threw into the Nile. When Osiris’ wife Isis heard about this, she started searching desperately for her husband’s body, to bury it properly. She asked everyone she met and finally some children told her where it was. Isis mourned for her dead husband. Then she hid the body, while she went back to look after her son Horus, still a baby. Seth was terrified that Isis might be able to bring Osiris back from the dead, since she was a great magician. So Seth found where she had hidden the body and cut it into pieces, which he scattered up and down the Nile. Now Isis had to find all the scattered pieces of Osiris. Whenever she found a piece, she buried it there and built a shrine. This means that there are lots of places in Egypt where Osiris was buried! Osiris himself became the King of the Dead, and all Egyptians hoped they would join him after death.