Edges occur where one thing ends and another thing begins. Where land turns into ocean. Where the base of your offering cup rests against the shrine’s surface. Where doorways are. All of these things create edges or boundaries between two things. An edge denotes that you’re shifting from A to B, regardless of whatever A and B might be.
According to edge effect, an edge has an increased biodiversity because it combines elements of both systems that create the edge itself. It becomes an entity unto itself that is different from everything around it. In many ways, I consider this a sort of chaos — there are so many things occurring and going on from all sides that it can be challenging to tell where the edge begins and ends exactly, much less how all of the moving parts and pieces exist within this narrow ledge of space.
Slowly I’ve become to view Set as a deity of edges. He is the entity that you call (or don’t, honestly) if you’re stuck in a place where you no longer should be, it’s his domain and expertise to know not only when, but how to drag someone from the center of that system and then yeet them across an edge into a new system that is better for them. Of course, the act of transition is rarely that simple or smooth, and that’s what makes it something of a specialty. Osiris demands that you want to be there, but Set will drag you kicking and screaming, whether you like it or not, and that’s where he’s most comfortable. The uncomfortable space where things come together is what he’s used to and best suited for.
Butler refers to Set as “all the wild elements of human nature that resist civilization. Especially in his animal guises, or as the God of storms, Seth embodies the points at which nature itself comes into conflict with the human world, resisting domestication, or the points at which humans seek justification for their exploitation of nature.” In this description, you can begin to see how systems are coming into contact with each other (nature and humans, disorder and order, predictability/control and lack of control) and how Set shows up in any of those situations where contact occurs. The very touching of two systems creates a space that is ideal for his energy. When humans decided to utilize that energy, they ultimately developed a loophole wherein all of their exploitation can be pinned on Set, which wipes their conscience clean.
I believe that his role as an initiator, a bringer of chaos, a being who brings forth transition, a moving from point A to point B not only involves the manipulation of edges, which is to say that he is able to bring a state of transition closer to a person, but that he’s also able to create edges where the person already is, if needed. If someone is really stuck and refuses to move closer to the threshold of growth, perhaps its within his wheelhouse to be able to bring the threshold of growth to the person.
I expect that these are the moments when he comes in like the Kool Aid Man and just breaks down your living room wall so that you have no choice but to do what is needed. When left unchecked and unbridled, Set’s chaos has the same force that nature has, and it will sweep you up in its current and take you where it wants to regardless of consent. In essence, that is what it’s like to be pulled up into his movements and trials. You’ll be carried along this liminal space between what you knew and what he wants you to know. You’ll rub up against all sorts of new concepts and ideas. You’ll be uncomfortable for a long time. Ideally, you’ll eventually stumble your way through to the other side, stronger for the ride.
In permaculture, maximizing your edges is vital to creating resilient designs that withstand the oncoming horrors of climate change. The more biodiversity that you can introduce into an ecosystem, the better, and you do that by creating as many edges as possible. I spoke in my post earlier this year about how we should increase the edges in our lives so that we could have more diverse experiences and expand our horizons. But I would like to add onto that now to include that I feel that doing so is somewhat leaning into Setian energies, and there is useful heka in that knowledge.
Earlier today SGI wrote about Set and his associations to survival as it relates to climate change. Climate change, in a nutshell, is going to make our weather patterns unpredictable, and it will, by extension, effect every other aspect of the natural world around us because nature uses weather as a form of cyclical regulation. Plants require certain amounts of heat and freeze at specific times in order to produce fruit. Animals rely on markers of humidity, heat, or coolness to determine when to hibernate or mate or what have you.
By shifting the weather, we will be destabilizing and unpredictably altering the systems that we live in because we’re removing their baseline for homeostasis. In many ways, the edges that are familiar to us will become distorted and unfamiliar. Sure, some parts will likely remain somewhat familiar, but we will also be living in the equivalent of nature’s uncanny valley as the patterns we knew change and wobble year to year.
SGI suggested that Set would be the deity par excellence to help get us through these tumultuous times ahead. I agree. Set is all about survival, and he has the capacity to teach a person how to survive. The key here is that I expect that the surviving and the teaching will be more effective and smoother if all of us were more open to being yeeted across those chasms that keep us locked in our inertness. Most of us have no means to fully stop or avoid what is coming in terms of climate change. We can only change how we react to it.
How do you feel when you think about being yeeted into transition? Do you fear it or embrace it? How could you make yourself more open to transition and change?