Shortly after I began working with Set, I received a vision from him. It occurred while I was driving on the way to my dead-end internship. And it struck me so hard… I couldn’t get it out of my head until I got it on paper.
And all of you have seen a portion of this vision- as it forms the basis of my avatar in all of my Kemetic accounts. For those who have never seen the whole thing, here it is:
When this originally came to me, I was beginning to explore Set’s role in Osiris’ demise. I was learning about my own rage and anger- and it was reflected in the myth that I was studying. Set getting so jealous of Osiris being the golden child… that he lost his cool one day, and felled his brother. So at the time, I felt that this image was Set taunting Osiris- “Look at me, brother. I have your crook. I have your flail. And you’ll never get them back.” For many years, I believed this to be the full extent of vision- that of forceful victory. That of flaunting the spoils of war.
However, I’ve recently realized that Osiris has been vested in me for a while. One day while considering this, I realized that there was another unexplored angle to this vision I had. Perhaps Set was flaunting to Osiris… because I chose to listen to Set before I chose to hear Osiris. Osiris had been whispering to me for years… YEARS and I never listened (I believed I was picking up signals meant for SO, not myself). Yet Set managed to get my attention in under a month (best I can tell). So instead, Set managed to waltz right in, and take all that Osiris had been attempting to achieve with me.
Both interpretations are likely correct. This vision likely has more than one meaning. And it’s entirely possible (and probable) that this vision has even more meanings that I haven’t discovered yet. And honestly, Kemetic myths work much the same way. There are many forms of the various myths out there… and all of them are correct. Each version of the myth brings it’s own truths to the story. And only in considering all of these angles does the truth beneath it all emerge.
Let’s reconsider the myth I was examining before- Set felling Osiris.
In bringing Osiris into my daily practice, I’ve begun to examine the myth from his side. I’ve begun to view this tragic tale through the lens of agriculture, cycles and necessity. It became less about anger and more about love and the unchanging cycles of life. Does this invalidate my original ideas about anger and rage? Not necessarily. At the time, the myth was serving as a tool to help me understand my own emotions. Set seemingly wanted to direct me down that path to better balance myself. And for all we know, there was some anger involved on Set’s side- I know I would be angry that I had to fell my brother. Now, at my current state, this myth is best served to teach me about mourning, loss, and healing after a loss.
And in the future, it’s entirely likely that I’ll read some other angle of this myth, and I’ll have something else to learn from it. Our myths are built from layers and layers of symbolism. Our myths can deliver complex ideas on one reading… and then deliver a completely different (and possibly contradictory) meaning the next time you read it. I personally find this to be an awesome aspect of Kemeticism- that one story can have many ideas, themes and possibilities- all of which have something to teach and can be relevant to each of us in different ways at different points in our lives.
How often do you examine the myths of your path for multiple meanings? Have you experienced layers of symbolism in the myths of your tradition?