The visage of Set may evoke fear in the ritual landscape, but his function was always regarded as a vital component in the cosmic scheme. Set’s raw physical powers gave rise to his name Seb Ur (“greatest strength”), the title of his cosmic sceptre that stands at the pole of the Earth in the form of the Big Dipper. He is also lord of Earthly forces, embodied in the metals of iron and lead that fashioned his awesome tools-the adze and ceremonial blades used in the transformative Opening of the Mouth ceremonies. All must be reconciled to the powers of Set, and though they are formidable, they are the forces that govern the essential laws on Earth and within the mortal form itself. Thus, he oversees the realm of corruption and decay, an important phase in the life cycle of the phenomenal world.
Principle: Fixation. The energy dynamic of Set imposes physical restraints that may inhibit free movement and thought. His influence brings conditions to a standstill that may require extended periods of remedial action, such as repeating efforts, experiencing bureaucratic delays, and facing opposition. However, his own powers have limitation, and will subside when natural laws are obeyed. Set may assist in health matters that have been misdiagnosed or disguised by symptoms; he allows conditions to present themselves openly.
Function: Corruption. Set brings adversaries to one’s attention without compromise and he assists in facing irresolvable situations that may appear formidable and overpowering. He provides mental endurance and physical stamina, allowing the weak to come back with renewed vigor.
Associated deities: Apep, “the devourer,” who governs cyclic phenomena on the organic plane; Sobekh, the crocodile god whose powers heal the deformed; Taurt, goddess of proliferation; Sokar, deity of hibernation and the winter solstice.
Animals: Goat, crocodile, hippopotamus, antelope, gazelle, oryx (all desert animals).
— Rosemary Clark: The Sacred Magic of Ancient Egypt