Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Apep: Egyptian God of Darkness and Chaos

(art: Anubis & Apep by: http://darknatasha.com/)

Apep was the god of all darkness and chaos. He was believed to have taken a discarded form of Ra. How he god his form is unknown to us. Apep is the eternal enemy of Ra, the sun god. Serpents were a major nescience in upper and lower Egypt, so they gave the form of a snake to things that were evil. There are many stories about the battles between Ra and Apep. Egyptians needed reasons for things that happened that they didn't understand, like earthquakes, droughts, eclipses, ect… Apep was said to live underneath the world, because of his dislike of the sun. Whenever he would slither out of the ground, earthquakes would happen. When droughts came they thought Apep was strangling the Nile River. The people believed that Apep didn't attack the sun while it was daylight, because they would have been able to see the serpent. They thought that when storms came, Apep was fighting Ra. Ra was so overcome by the engagements with Apep he didn't have the power to light up Egypt. It was the same idea during eclipses, Apep would have swallowed up the sun, and eventually Ra's servants cut him free. Since Apep was thought of as from the underworld, to revive, he only had to wait for the night time. It was from this hatred and dislike of Apep, that the Egyptians came up with a process on how to kill serpents. This method of killing Apep was also used on other snakes. The list was taken from hieroglyphs that were all around Egypt, "Spit Upon Apep, Defiling Apep with the Left Foot, Taking a Lance to Smite Apep, Fettering Apep, Taking a Knife to Smite Apep, Laying Fire Upon Apep." The people needed a way of fighting snakes, so they made it know how to kill Apep. It was in this era that snake charming began to be a major talent. Apep was known to have a gaze that would enchant any man he looked at. Egyptians often tried to counter this gaze with a gaze of their own, thus creating snake charmers. During large banquets dolls and wax figures of Apep were fashioned, and during the ceremony people would demonstrate new techniques on how to kill this immortal god. Apep was also believed to live in the Nile River.

Apep did not have a known family, or any siblings. However he belonged to the "evil cult" led by Set.

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