A is for the original “he who should not be named.” His name always appears crossed out like this:
Apep Note the number of knives they stuck in him for his portrait!
He is the unthinkable given life. Every night he threatens to devour the sun so that it will never rise again. We don’t worship him, we defy him, and doing so defines us. Given the recent passage of December 21, 2012, this post is somewhat timely. Yet another doomsday has come and gone. With the snake, any day could be the last. Everything we work for, everything we believe could just vanish. No one is saved. No one is vindicated. It’s just over. There won’t be anyone left to gloat or be relieved about it, or to say “I told you so.” That’s the only good thing about it, no time for grief.
I am a member of Generation X. I first encountered this concept in Star Wars with the destruction of Alderaan. A whole planet? All those people, animals, sunsets and mountains just gone? Nothing else could say ‘evil’ as eloquently as that. Then there was WarGames, where we nearly did that to ourselves. Let’s also not forget watching the Cold War on the nightly news. This was real, not just a movie. In high school, Hiroshima, the book, was required reading. It followed the stories of several ordinary people struggling to survive the nightmare of a nuclear attack. Our country did that. It gave all of us nightmares, as it should. Maybe we will learn to take the Snake seriously. Luckily we did. The Cold War did not turn into a hot one. Both sides were terrified. Both sides wanted to live badly enough to make it work. But we know the Snake still exists. We must always be wary.
Now, when I hear people who claim to be spiritual talk with undisguised glee about the End Times, whatever their personal variation may be, it makes me sick. When there’s a war going on and one side dehumanizes the other and says “turn it all to glass!” Again, it makes me sick. That is evil. There is no other way to say it. That’s like inviting the Snake into your house and expecting him to mind his manners. He doesn’t have any. Sometimes war is necessary, but it’s never a thing to be proud of. When war becomes annihilation, it belongs entirely to the Snake.
Every Name in the Kemetic pantheon fights the Snake. Some do it from the front of Ra’s boat. Others do it by upholding Ma’at, the order of the Universe. Each one is defined by how they do their job of keeping the Snake at bay.
It is the single most important job that any of us could have. How do you keep the Snake at bay? Do you do it by caring for your family? Do you do it by defending your country? Do you do it by making your voice heard? Do you teach others? Do you build the future? Do you keep your friends strong through their trials? Do you allow others to keep you strong when the Snake’s words start creeping into your thoughts?