Apep, Demonic Water Snake of Chaos and Enemy of Ra
by Caroline Seawright, 2004
Apep (Apepi, Aapep, Apophis, Apopis) was a demon of the underworld, in the form of a giant water snake. It was believed that he was created when Nit spat into the primeval waters of Nun. An alternate belief from Iunyt (Esna) was that the umbilical cord of Nit’s son (eg. Ra), who she bore in the waters of chaos, turned into Apep after it was cut. He was the enemy of the sun god, trying to stop him as he travelled on his barque through the underworld each night. He was so powerful that little could defeat him, and even then, he was back again the following evening to threaten Ra. He was a demon outside of ma’at, the opposite of order, a demon of darkness and chaos. Continue reading
By J. Hill, 2010
Apep (Apophis) was the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction who threatened to destroy the sun god Ra as he travelled though the underworld (or sky) at night.
Originally Set and Mehen (the serpent headed man) were given the job of defending Ra and his solar barge. They would cut a hole in the belly of the snake to allow Ra to escape his clutches. If they failed, the world would be plunged into darkness. However, in later periods Apep was sometimes equated with Set who was after all a god of chaos. In this case a variety of major and minor gods and goddesses (including [Auset] (Isis), Neith, Serket (Selket), Geb, Aker and the followers of [Heru] (Horus) protected Ra from this all consuming evil. The dead themselves (in the form of the god Shu) could also fight Apep to help maintain ma’at (order). Continue reading