Monday, June 04, 2012

Snakes against Creation

All Snake names are in bold.

Next we will look at those snakes that are said to be out to destroy order and creation.

Foremost of the "evil" snakes: Apep
Apep rules over mist, darkness, chaos and certain storms. His one goal was to prevent the sun from rising. (Think of the comic book archenemy who will do anything to stop the hero from succeeding. This is very much what Apep is to Ra, creation and order. Priests of Ra burned effigies, usually in wax, of Apep to help the gods drive him back to the darkness and allow the sun to pass and rise again. It was believed if a person or god encountered Apep the only way to destroy him was to curse him in all of his names. Those names include:
Am, Aman, Amen, Betshu, Hau-Hra, Hemhemti, Hem-taiu, Iubani, Iubau, Karau-anementi, Kenementi, Khak-ab, Khan-ru, Khermuti, Khesef-hra, Nai, Nesht, Qerneru, Qettu, Saatet-ta, Sau, Sebv-ent-seba, Sekhem-hra, Serem-taui, Sheta, Tetu, Turrupa, Uai, Unti, Aaapef, Ap, Apap, Pepi and others.

It was also believed that to speak or write the name of Apep was bad luck and destructive to creation. In order to avert this happening his name was written with decapitated serpent glyphs or curses were laid upon his name as it was spoke. Often he was called the "nameless one" due to the reluctance to say his name.  Another way to divert the bad of saying or writing his name was to depict him with spears piercing him or with someone attacking him with a knife.

Apep had minions/children named the "Children of Rebellion" because their goal was to overthrow order and balance.

"Overthrowing of Apep" is a phrase commonly added to protection spells/amulets/items.

Historically, there is some evidence that Apep is the origins of mythology about Rahabh in Hebrew texts and Tiamat in Babylon.

The Slaying of Apep

Akeneh - A serpent demon who is discussed in the Texts of Unas. The text describes how to destroy this demon serpent and other serpents and evil beasts.

Rerek - a form of Apep that was considered to be Set in the later periods during his demonization and association with Typhoon. This is another monstrous and destructive serpent much like Apep himself.

Senenahemthet - A huge serpent like Apep that must be repelled. Most notably referenced in the pyramid texts of Unas.

Tcheser-tep- A serpent who is included in the texts of Unas and listed as one that needs to be repelled. In the texts of Unas butchers and cooks those who come into the Halls of Ma'at with unworthy bodies, perhaps damaged mummies?

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