Set: A God of the Pentagon’s Lt. Colonel
Though the Nile is many miles away, the Egyptian god Set (or Seth)
apparently rules in at least one office of the Pentagon. (See related story:
A Pagan in the Pentagon in this issue).
What follows is an historical analysis of the Egyptian god Set. Although Lt.
Col. Aquino’s Temple of Set may or may not be a complete restoration of this
ancient religion, it would follow that if the modern religion derives its
name and focus from ancient Egypt at least some of the characteristics would
be brought into the 20th Century.
E.A. Willis Budge, late keeper of Egyptian Antiquities in the British
Museum, explains in the introduction of his translation of The Egyptian Book
of the Dead that Set was called “the evil one,” (p. 49).
Budge further states, “About the XXIInd dynasty, however, it became the
fashion to regard the god as the origin of all evil, and his statues and
images were so effectually destroyed that only a few which escaped by
accident have come down to us,” (p. 116; ).
John B. Noss, who has written one of the finest works on comparative world
religions, has this to say about Set:
“According to the Pyramid Texts, which are our earliest sources, Osiris, the
good and beneficent king, was killed by his brother Set. (Was Seth the demon
of desert heat?…) (Man’s Religions, p. 38; parenthesis retained).
Cyril Aldred, formerly Associate Curator of the Department of Egyptian Art
in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, drew an interesting parallel.
He observed, “they dutifully worshipped Re of Heliopolis, as well as Seth or
Sutekh, the Egyptian equivalent of their Baal,” (The Egyptians, p. 124; ).
Budge, in a second book, describes a sacrificial service involving the
Egyptian god Set.
“The Kher-heb next made ready to perform the sacrifice which was intended to
commemorate the slaughter, at some very early period, of the friends who
were the friends of Set,” (Egyptian Magic, p. 194).
Budge further explains, “Set’s associates then changed themselves into the
forms of animals,… but they were caught, and their heads were cut off;
Set, however, who was concealed in the form of a pig, contrived to escape.
“The sacrifice consisted of a bull (or cow) or two, two gazelles or
antelopes, and ducks. When the bull had been slain, one of the forelegs was
cut off, and the heart taken out, and offered to the statue…” (Ibid, p.
Lt. Col. Aquino’s restored Temple of Set undoubtedly includes the worship of
Set as an evil god. It also may very likely practice animal sacrifice and
the removing of the victim’s heart, an element which is central to nearly
all 20th century occult groups.
(For further information on Occult practices, order The Christian and the
Occult, $3.00, plus help with postage, please. You must ask for it by name.)