Mandatory Disclaimer: As with everything, this guide is exactly that- a guide. Gods (especially trickster and chaos gods) can change rules at the drop of a hat, and my interactions with Set might not match your interactions with Set. This guide contains my own personal thoughts and interactions with this deity as well as interactions I have witnessed other followers experience over the years. This guide is merely meant to be a general overview for those who are new to working with Set.
Nothing gets people talking like a trickster god. And one of the most discussed deities in the Kemetic pantheon could easily be Set. Is he evil? Is he mean? Will he ruin your life? Does he hate Osiris? Does Osiris hate him? If you worship him, does that instantly make you evil too? Set has called me- do I get excited, or run for the hills? He is one of the most misunderstood netjeru there is- to the point that you can gauge a lot about any book on Egypt by seeing how the author views Set (in my opinion), and even a fair amount of Kemetics, while understanding that he is no Satan, still fear him on some level.
And one of the largest things I have seen through the years is:
OMG SET HAS STARTED TALKING TO ME/FOLLOWING ME/REQUESTED MY ATTENTION. WHAT DO I DO?
And then panic ensues.
Usually, when I see Set step into people’s lives, he usually is there to help you grow, to help you move forward and to help you shed unnecessary things. If he only plans on staying in your life for a bit, you might only have to live through the destruction of your life once. If he is going to stick around forever, I highly recommend you learn to regularly purge un-needed things in your life. In my experience, working under him (for lack of a better term- I don’t like using ‘worship’) requires you to alter your perspective on life and the way you approach things. For someone who is only intending to work with Set for a spell, I believe you can learn a lot about how to approach him by examining how long-term followers experience him and handle his quirks.
So what are some things that are good to know with Set? What traits should you expect to cultivate?
1. Light a fire under your ass.
In my experience, Set likes go getters. That doesn’t necessarily mean he wants you to burn out, but he wants you to be actively moving forward in you life by the means necessary. So, for example, if you’re coming to him about getting a job, he would expect you to be actively pursuing getting another job- updating your resume, applying to whatever you can, honing your interview skills, networking, etc. If you’re coming to him about getting more money, he’d expect you to be saving where you can, budgeting better, and trimming excess fat. Those sorts of things. You can’t expect to ask Set for help, and then do nothing. If you ask him for help, or find that he is coming in your direction, you better prepare to start working quickly to make things better. As I have said to many others- if the destruction and change that you need requires you to jump off a cliff- jump off of it. Don’t wait for him to throw you off.
2. Learn to be patient and more laid back.
Ironically, we all think of chaos as being uptight. However, when you’re working with a deity that is chaotic, you’ll find that you need to learn to take a chill pill, or have your head explode from frustration. Many times, Set works in his own, secretive ways. He has methods, and sometimes they don’t make a whole lot of sense. There are also times when he’ll disappear at random and not reappear for quite a while. It’s chaos, it doesn’t always make sense or appear to, at least. One of the best things I’ve learned from this is to just chill out. Oh, Set hasn’t been around for a month or two? Well I guess he’ll wander back around when he needs me. So long as you’re actively performing number 1, you should be okay. The randomness of his actions might be maddening at first- but you learn to get used to it.
3. Remember the importance of a good attitude.
This is especially true if you asked for his help. Don’t cry to him for help, then complain about his methods. During some of my lower points, I’ve wailed to him about how I was breaking under the pressure, or how I was angry that he was effectively cutting me off at the knees (in my mind). This only garnered stares or responses of “GTFO”. Having a go-getter attitude really does go a long ways with him. And sometimes (in me experience) he won’t even bother to help you start moving forward until you’ve shown that you have the courage to jump off the cliff and accept his help- which also means accepting his methods of help. Even though it might seem like hell on earth while in the middle of the process, trust in it. Know that you are getting stronger, and that in the end, it is worth it.
4. Keep on keepin’ on.
Part of having a good attitude is to keep on moving forward. Usually, Set’s lessons are hard. They will push you to your limits- but that’s part of the point. Sometimes we have to break before we can ‘level up’ as it were. Once you’ve been thrown off the cliff, you might as well keep going until you hit the bottom or learn to fly. There is no point re-contemplating once you are half way down. Showing him and yourself respect by continuously moving forward (or trying to) is one of the greatest offerings you can give him (in my opinion). Having the discipline and trust to see things through to the end is important. Even if you have a few breakdowns and tantrums along the way- so long as you pick yourself back up and keep putting one foot in front of the other, that’s what matters at the end of the day.
Even though Set can appear to be a hardass, do keep in mind that there is more to him than that. On the by and large, I would advise against whining, crying, and throwing your hands up in a fit of “I give up!” However, it does happen to the best of us. There have been times where I have absolutely broken down in shrine. When I’ve screamed at him for the position I was put into. And never in any of those moments did he lash out at me (even if he looked less than pleased). There have even been times where he seemed to feel bad for the situation I was in. He can be nice, he can be caring. However, he seems to be very particular about when and where those feelings will be shown. That’s not to say he doesn’t feel these things all the time- it’s just that he doesn’t always show it. Sometimes we need someone to be stern and somewhat cold to help us grow. I think it is the harder exterior that scares many people away- because they don’t understand that there is more to him than that. If you are going to work with Set long term, it is helpful to understand this, and to try to understand the nature of the jobs he tends to take on. To understand his methods, for there is a rhyme and reason to what he does (usually). I also think it’s important that Set appears to have a better understanding of what we can handle. Many times I thought I was at the end of my rope- only to find out I still had more left in me. It was only when I was truly at my limit did he step in to make larger changes.
All in all, if we give Set the chance to work with our lives and help facilitate changes within ourselves, there is the potential to be so much more than we currently are. I know it’s scary for many people to hear that Set is looking in their direction, but he really does have valuable lessons for us that we should try to embrace and bring manifest into our lives. So the next time you see Big Red heading your way, instead of heading for the hills, try meeting him halfway and see how working with chaos can bring good things into your life.