Study Guide

Apophis Sightings

Sightings

Oops!

We don't know if she stuttered, tripped over the pronunciation of coelacanth, or had too much wine for breakfast, but Neith let a tiny drop of saliva fall from her mouth unintentionally as she spoke the names of all created beings into existence. That unnamed, unwanted droplet became Apophis, the Uncreator, jealous of everything he wasn't and not willing to accept any apologies.

Jan 1, 1970

Cue the Jaws Music

A bowl painted with an image of a god in a boat shows a giant angry snake headed straight for it. There aren't any names written next to the pictures, but we're sure we've seen this story before. (Maybe just this sunrise, even…)

Dec 21, 2019

A Bad Guy for Bad Times

Egypt wasn't a great place to be in the First Intermediate Period—there was civil war, plague, and famine. Maybe it's not so surprising that the first texts that mention Apophis by name show up at this time. He was having a blast!

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

The Book of Overthrowing Apophis

Egyptian priests came up with a way to help Seth and his friends in their battles against the Uncreated: prayers and magic spells called The Book of Overthrowing Apophis. In the temples each day, they prayed for Ra's victory, even torturing small wax or clay serpents molded to look like Apophis by burning them, chopping them up, or tying them with ropes and nets.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

ApophiSethTyphon?

Whether it was because they had a mad on because he murdered Osiris, or Isis told them to, or they just weren't as good at reading hieroglyphs as they thought, later priests started to talk about Seth not as Apophis's enemy, but as his minion. Eventually, by the time the Ptolemies took over, Seth and Apophis were thought to be the same god—and both were also considered to be Egyptian forms of the Greek demon Typhon. (And Seth thought he didn't get any respect before that? Wow.)

Tasty, Tasty Evil

Just like Seth destroys Apophis at every sunrise, the Egyptian priests destroyed Apophis in his name on Egyptian New Year, the day of Ra's birthday. At sunrise, they took a cake baked in the shape of a serpent, called it a bunch of nasty names, and then carved it up with knives and ate it. Too bad they didn't have raspberry jam to put in the center of their snaky cake…