Set is on my mind this morning. I’m not sure exactly why. Keep in mind that I’m writing from a UPG perspective here, based on my own experiences with both deities. You probably could find ways to disagree if you looked for them. There are many different versions of the stories out there.
Team Set seems more popular on the internet these days than Team Heru. (You’re slipping, man, you really gonna let that donkey beat you in the polls? Heck, the Jackals and the Felines get more attention than you! Get off your feathered butt and get back in the game!) I’m joking, sort of.
We all know there’s that rivalry going on, a rivalry that got pretty ugly. How could they not hate each other? I’ve noticed that followers of Set can get nervous in Heru’s presence, and vice versa.
I’ll let you in on a secret that might make things a little easier on both sides. Heru and Set love each other. That doesn’t mean that everything is instantly OK between them. Love can exist in the same space as hate, jealousy and ambition. They don’t cancel each other out. As a follower of Heru, I can honestly say that a world without Set in it would be a far less interesting place. Then the old curse “May you live in interesting times” springs to mind.
My personal belief is that one reason why Heru and Set ended up in bed together was that when Set said “I love you,” he wasn’t lying. Heru was just too naive to realize that didn’t automatically make it safe. Young people have been making that mistake forever. Love does not always equal “happily ever after.” Just because someone loves you doesn’t mean they won’t screw you over. I believe that story wasn’t about rape, more like bad judgement. Heru’s hand was back there. Blunt fingernails could have become talons in an instant, but they didn’t.
My personal experiences with Set are a mixed bag. We always seem to say the wrong things to each other, little barbs and insults. I remember slapping him across the face once, talons out. He just laughed as the blood dripped down. He was proud of himself for getting me to react. And yet, he has helped me out a few times. When I’m near him, his energy reminds me of home and of family.
So, what about those accusations of homosexuality? They are completely not true! Heru and Set both enjoy the company of women. By today’s standards they would qualify as bisexual. Back then, it wasn’t really an issue. Sexual orientation wasn’t really an identifying trait. It was more of something you did, not something you were. Just because a man took what was offered didn’t make him less of a man. (It still doesn’t.) Now, the offering…there’s a different issue. Heru’s real problem, from a political standpoint, was that he didn’t insist on being on top, and was therefore seen as less dominant.
These days, after so much has been lost, family is more important than ever. They’ve had their differences, but, for now at least, it is in their best interests to work together.
(Another NSFW song for you.)
…And then I can almost hear Set saying: