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