Overcoming Apep

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Part of my day job is reading and editing books, recently I was preparing the ebook edition of Seth & The Two Ways (Morgan 2019). Reading Appendix 2 – Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep (Bremner Rhind Papyrus 3), a papyrus found in Thebes (in Upper Egypt), probably from the tomb of a priest from the Ptolemaic period, filled with the most powerful and hostile of curses. To get the editing job done, I had to read the nine books in one go. Working on these texts I noticed a strange feeling creeping over me. As I read the first two books, I felt upset and unsettled, as if the disturbing words of the text caught me off guard and were now literally directed toward me. By the time I got to book three, the heavy feeling of despair changed to something else, difficult to describe. By books three and four, I could feel a surge of energy shooting up and down my spine and I could sense a powerful circle forming around me. When I started book five, The Book of Knowing The Creation Of Ra And Of Overthrowing Apep, I could almost see the circle of power enclosing me, on all sides. I felt protected and at the same time strong and ready, but for what?

By the time I finished reading book six, I had an insight into the nature of cursing and the importance of the god Seth in Egyptian Cosmology and its pantheons.

The ninth book vibrates the victorious rhythms of mission accomplished, the priest ferried through the most horrendous and atrocious curses, his spirit never failing, his heart never broken, his body fully charged with the primaeval power of the ancient serpent that vibrates with the secrets of creation. He is one with the Dark Lord, with the Red God, with the Black power of the North, he is ready to take on the ancient worm.

By the time I finished reading the ninth book, I felt powerful, strong, determined, and mighty. I was ready to slay a dragon.

Most of the curses and “grimoires” we are familiar with are working on a very specific psychological level – earthy and primal, to intimidate and bully a person, in the most extreme and influential ways, to make them believe they are cursed. As we know, this power is indisputable and when a person believes in something, it can be nearly impossible to argue with them or to change their minds.

This type of cursing is directed straight to the emotional centre, resonating with the lower and earthly vibrations to cause fear and upheaval in the lives of the ‘victim’. On the other hand, the person who does the cursing is as much trapped in the emotional realm of aggression and intimidation as the target is. 

In order to curse an awesome and primaeval power such as Apep, the priest who conducted the ritual, needed to be as strong and as powerful as Apep, probably stronger. 

I have come to believe that the Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep was meant to be read and performed as one ritual without a break. Like many other Egyptian texts, the Bremner Rhind Papyrus 3 is a text that takes us on a journey of becoming. The priest or priests build up their mental and physical resilience by vibrating those hostile words, channelling the power and assimilating them into themselves, transforming those nine books of curses into a powerful and mighty weapon of protection and strength. 

I mentioned above how these texts were probably found in the tomb of a priest. They were included in the funeral rites and preparation for the underworld or night journey. Whichever way one looks at it, one can’t avoid the awareness that Apep is eternal, bornless and cannot be killed. This realisation could cause a psychological battle in the mind of the priest, leading to doubts, despair and resentment of his beliefs, and losing their ability to perform their roles properly in the temple. By turning the tables and learning the secrets powers of the curse, the priest acquires a tool of power, channelling the powers of the cursed one onto himself, freeing himself from the mundane state of existence, transforming and attuning his mind into the cosmic rhythm of the eternal.

Being equipped with such a papyrus, with such a powerful curse, in the tomb on your final journey, would be like the ultimate insurance policy against the immense forces of Apep the eternal, to protect his “soul” (Ba, Ka, Akh) on the final journey.

The Names Of Apep Which Shall Have No Existence – Book nine is like a repetitive mantra to be chanted and written on papyrus and to be burned in the fire. In the mantra, the name of Apep is repeated twenty-nine times! Each repetition is written with one of his terrible and horrific powerful characteristics, for instance – (21) Apep Kher Amam (Apep, The Fallen, The Devourer) (25) Apep Kher Kenemmti (Apep, The Fallen, The Dark One) (28) Apep Kher Sekhem-her (Apep, The Fallen, The Potent of Glance). Ostensibly it looks as if the priest is chanting and writing a very fierce curse. From my personal experience with mantra chantings, I can say that the more you repeat the same word,  vowel or seed mantra, the more one can actually feel the energy gathering, charging and vibrating around and within you. You are becoming one with the rhythm, like the physical vessel of the mantra vibrations. The repetition of Apep’s name is the way in which the priest channels and charges the power into himself. 

According to the instructions on the Abydos Temple walls, the daily temple ritual was performed three times a day.  Based on information from Temple Ritual at Abydos by Rosalie David (2016), before entering the temple, the priests had to purify themselves in the water basins, the sacred lake or any other convenient pure water source. Weapons must be left outside the temple and only then can they approach the shrine door. 

They open that door while saying: “I remove the finger of Seth from the Eye of Horus” step into the shrine and look at the God, saying whatever comes into their mind as a greeting. Perhaps something like this: “Be not unaware of me (Ra), If you know me, I will know you”. They

move into the shrine and stand before the altar and clean away any debris, tidy the place, lighted the fire and anointed all the deity’s statues and figurines with the daily perfume and made an offering of food etc saying: “Hetep di nesew asir neb djedu neter Aa neb Abdu” Which was the standard offering formula in Egyptian rites and can be adapted to any deity. Once all this was done, the priest positioned himself in front of the offering table and started to read the Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep, building up the energy to the triumphant crescendo of the chanting the words of book nine – The Names Of Apep Which Shall Have No Existence, finishing the rite by throwing the papyrus into the purifying flames of the temple fire. 

One can almost see the rite taking place, almost feel the vibrations of the chants resonating within the temple.  Now imagine how would it feels to visit that temple when the ritual of Overthrowing Apep has been performed a myriad times, since the Middle Kingdom when its existence was first recorded. For the uninitiated and the laymen, the temples in which this rite has been regularly performed must have been the most forbidding and eerie of places, haunted by wild-eyed priests. For the cult and its initiates, this was a place of power, a place to immerse yourself and to be charged with the endless baraka of the eternal one.

The Sethian myth is established on the sacred triad: Ra, Seth & Apophis, none could exist without the others. It is the battle-dance of creation, one dies, another must kill and one must shine.  

 The complete version of the Books of Overthrowing Apep (The Mother of all Curses) is reproduced in Mogg Morgan’s Seth & The Two Ways

Seth & The Two Ways
Ways of seeing the demon god of Egypt
Mogg Morgan
Format: Softcover/illustrated/many in colour.
ISBN: 9781906958831
£18/US$26
Subjects: Ancient Egypt/Egyptian Magick

Click HERE for Seth & The Two Ways / UK / £18

Click HERE for Seth & The Two Ways / USA and Worldwide / US$26

 

Serpents everywhere

The snake charmer/Emil Otto Hoppe

A couple of weeks before Samhain/Day of the Dead, I had an insight.

This year, on our pilgrimage, to visit the ancestors, we going to perform The  Headless ritual in the graveyard. I’m not sure where this insight came from,  perhaps I was reading again too much Crowley’s stuff again.

When I asked M what does he think about performing The Headless ritual for our day of the dead extravaganza, he said it was a good idea and we should give it a go.

Later on that week, I had another insight – we must sing the headless ritual. When I say sing, I meant singing the power words.

The tune that was stuck in my head was – Schuberts’ Ave Maria…

Now, I can sing, not too bad actually, and when I’m really going for it, I can make some very cool shamanic howling, but I’m certainly not Maria Callas.

We arrived at the old farmhouse on Samhain eve, exhausted from the long drive, neither of us feel like performing any ritual, instead, we end up snoozing in front of the TV.

We agreed to do try the next day on our visit to the cemetery.

After a week or so of practising singing the power words, I felt more than ready. 

The next morning, we drove to the cemetery armed with a candle, joss sticks, and a printed version of the Bornless ritual. As soon as we start driving the weather changed from a nice sunny morning into a grey and wet one. As we turned a corner, the most beautiful rainbow appeared and a thought crossed my mind: 

The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow, our two ancient Haitian serpent deities that probably stand at the top of the Haitian Vodou system.

The serpent – Dambala Wedo is the ancient sky father, he is the origin of life and the ancient source of wisdom. His wife, Ayida Wedo is a water serpent with rainbow-coloured scales and her symbol is the rainbow.

The story goes like that – Dambala Wedo gave rain to the world, as the raindrops fell from the sky they formed a rainbow colour. Danbala fell in love with Ayida the rainbow serpent. They married and joined as a double helix of snakes, giving birth to the human race. (from Vodou Visions by Sallie Ann Glassman).

The rainbow reminded me why the Headless ritual would be good for this particular work (part from the urge to sing it). In the second part of the ritual that sometimes comes under the title ‘Assuming of the God form’, you can find a line that says: My name is a heart encircled by a serpent.  So the headless ritual has a serpent in it and somehow also felt connected to the energies of this time of the year.

The Orphic egg, not exactly a heart, but you get the idea.

By the time we got to the cemetery, it was very wet and we could sense a tempest was coming which reminded us that Set is a storm deity after all, aka the voice of the storm. So we lit the candle and the incense but again, something about the timing of the ritual didn’t feel right, the weather so bad we got back in the car and raced for home.

I was looking for a picture that will capture the essence of the Headless ritual, and my research led me to a very familiar one that can represent the line – My name is a heart encircled by a serpent, but also connected to the double helix formed by the serpent and the rainbow I mentioned earlier.

The more I think and study the picture and my relationship with the deity in it, the realization of why we didn’t get to perform the headless ritual as planned, was sinking in. In my opinion, preparing for a ritual sometimes is just as good and powerful as the performance itself and by the time of the ritual, sometimes you feel that things are already in motion.

For the best part of about 3 weeks, all I did was explore the ritual in so many ways so I would find the best way to sing it. In that period of time, I read it over and over again and sang the words of power numerous times. By the time we arrived at the specific date planned for it, I felt saturated and full. I didn’t want nor feel the need to do it. This resulted in a very quiet and peaceful space in my head, something like the feeling of when a ritual is completed and we say the famous words 

IT IS DONE!

XEPHER!

2 serpents circling up and around the heart

So our friend Baphomet here, got a double helix sort of serpents, possibly symbolizing the rising of the kundalini through the lingam wisdom. Both of the serpents heads point in the direction of the sternum, which is the protector of the heart. 

When we prepare for a ritual, to make it successful, we need to put ‘our heart’ into it, some will say we need to put ‘our heart and soul’, but this can be open for discussion. However, by putting ‘our heart’ into the preparations, we are consumed by the ritual, the more we study we become one with it, and we start to initiate certain elements’ energies and powers into motion, while at the time doing so we are probably not aware of it at all. By the time the day arrives, there is nothing more to do. 

The Bornless One Ritual

“I summon you, Headless One,
Who created earth and heaven,
Who created night and day,
You who created light and darkness;
You are Unas, the beautiful whom none has ever seen;
You are Iabas;
You are Iapos;
You have distinguished the just from the unjust;
You have made female and male;
You have revealed seed and fruits;
You have made men love each other
And hate each other.”
“I am Moses your prophet to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me.”

“I am the messenger of the beautiful Pharaoh Unas
This is your true name,
which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel.
Hear me, Hear me,
arbathiaô reibet athelebersêth [ara]
blatha albeu ebenphchi chitasgoê ibaôth iaô
Listen to me and turn away this daimon”

“I call upon you, awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit,
arogogo-robraô
sekhmet
modoriô phalarchaô ooo

Holy Headless One. Deliver us
From the daimon which restrains us,
roubriaô mari ôdam baabnabaôth
ass adônai aphniaô
ithôlêth abrasas
aêôôy;
Mighty Headless One,
Deliver us
From the daimons that restrain.
mararraiô ioêl kotha athorêbalo abraôth,

Deliver us:
aôth abraôth basym isak sabaôth iaô”
“He is lord of the gods;
He is the lord of the inhabited world;
He is the one whom the winds fear;
He is the one who made all things
By the commands of his voice.”

“Lord, King, Master, Helper, save the Soul-Ba (Psyche)
ieou pyr
iou pyr
iaôt
iaêô
ioou
abrasax sabriam
oo yy ey oo yy
adônaie,

Immediately, immediately
Good messenger of the God
anlala lai gaia
apa diachanna choryn”

Assumption of the God form

“I am the headless daimon with my sight in my feet;
[I am] the mighty one [who possesses] the immortal fire;
I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds
are done in the world;
I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll;
I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain, which falls upon the earth that it might be inseminated;
I am the one whose mouth burns completely;
I am the one who begets and destroys;
I am the Favour of the Aion;
My name is a heart encircled by a serpent;
Come forth and follow.”

“Subject to me all daimons,
So that every daimon,
Whether of the heavens
Or the air
Or earthly
Or under the earth
Terrestrial or aquatic,
Might be obedient to me
And every enchantment and scourge
Which is from God.”

Closure:

When you want to finish do so by for example repeating the first part of Tankhem opening and then a “license to depart”:
“I release any spirits entrapped by this working,
May you go in peace to your lovely abodes.
Farewell Headless One,
Lord of the inhabited world,
Farewell Akephalos,
The son of Nuit
Leader of the company of heaven in their diurnal motion,
Senebty, great Bull of Ombos.”

After which pour any remaining offerings such as those of the chalice on earth and clear equipment, extinguish lamps etc .

This version of the Bornless ritual was taken from Egyptian magick by Mogg Morgan

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Inspired by the work of the 4th head, The Serpent, from Apophis by Michael Kelly.

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Another interesting view on the serpent, you will find in the YouTube link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72T2bW8bkfA

MMM