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Okay, I took Elliebellie's advice and looked up Apep; that led to Set, and then Osiris, Horus, Anubis, Thoth, and of course Taweret, among others. After three days of research, I found tons of juicy tidbits that may be relevant to Lost. I don't think the show is necessarily all about Egyptian mythology, but there's no denying faith is an important element, and the earliest recorded religious faith seems to begin with Egypt. By looking at its mythology, we may glean enLIGHTenment to the mysteries of Lost, but no definitive answers, as in all mythologies.
There were over 2,000 gods in ancient Egypt but many had similar characteristics and appeared all over the country by different names. Over the years, the parts of the country that had the greatest political influence borrowed abilities from the most popular gods and assigned them to their own, so that different gods came into fashion and then went out of style. The trend toward assimilation continued with the Greeks and then the Romans and on down the line historically with the dominant political force claiming the gods with the most desirable qualities. This inventing or subsuming of gods was meant to form a bridge between the invaded and the invading (or the conquered and the conquering) so that both could find union in a supreme diety whose primary attributes were eternal life (afterlife) and FERTILITY.
The assimilation of gods makes it difficult to determine exactly which god or goddess is being referenced or alluded to, as evidenced by the statue of Taweret, which could have just as easily been Ammit or Sobek, among others. It also keeps us guessing (and I'm guessing that's intentional). Since we don't know the writers' intentions, we create our own explanations for the great MYSTERIES of Lost in the same way the ancients did for the mysteries of creation, life, and death. (Talk about irony!)
Here are some fun facts that may be connected to Lost:
Osiris, god of the afterlife and patron of FERTILITY, was referred to as "He who is permanently benign and YOUTHFUL." His name is written by means of two HEIROGLYHPICS, one that represents a throne and the other an EYE. He was a SHEPHERD god and was sometimes referred to as Ptah-Seker, the god of REINCARNATION. Even though he was a god, he was killed by his brother, Set, and since he died, he could no longer reside in THE LAND OF THE LIVING. He ended up in the underworld by an ACT OF TREACHERY and was kept there by a legal LOOPHOLE in the laws (RULES) of the gods.
Horus, son of Osiris who avenged his death, was often depicted as a falcon (HAWK) WHISPERing guidance in the pharoah's ear.
Set, god of DARKness and confusion, was INFERTILE. He was known to TAKE ON THE GUISE of Horus and he had an animal that was a mysterious, unknown creature possibly linked to the GIRAFFE. Strange events such as eclipses, THUNDERSTORMS, and EARTHQUAKES were attributed to him. He was seen as a necessary counterbalance to the GOOD side of the universe.
Taweret was said to have been a demoness but changed her ways and became a household goddess who protected women in CHILDBIRTH, newborns, and children. She was thought to have kept Set's powers of evil on a CHAIN. One version of the myth has her as the mother of Osiris, while in another she was the concubine (or wife) of Set.
Anubis was the god of dying and mummification, depicted as a JACKal and associated with cemeteries since the jackal was a scavenger that threatened to uncover bodies and eat their flesh. The jackal's distinctive BLACK color was the color of rotting flesh. He was the gatekeeper of the underworld, the patron of LOST souls and orphans and was associated with the EYE of Horus. The Greeks referred to his as the DOG of Egypt and renamed him CERBERUS.
Thoth, the god of TIME, was the pacifier of the other gods and considered to be their MOUTHPIECE. He was a wise counselor and persuader who served as a mediating power, especially between GOOD and EVIL, making sure that neither had a decisive victory over the other. He also served as the scribe of the gods and was called upon for workings related to wisdom, MAGIC, and FATE.
Apep was an EVIL demon with a terrifying roar, the deification of DARKness and chaos and an opponent of truth and order. He was thought of as "the eater of souls," so the dead also needed protection from him. Like Set, he was associated with frightening natural events, but he was seen as a CONSTANT underlying threat to the very stability of the cosmos, while Set could at times be beneficial. Apep's identity was eventually entirely subsumed by that of Set.
There's a lot more, like the first ground in Egypt was a rock coming out of the water called the BENBEN Stone, but I've already written more than enough for one post. If anyone is interested, I'll do a follow up and try to explain in terms of Egyptian mythology what may have happened with the dead John Locke. I welcome all comments and questions.
Peace, love, and Namaste