Frequently Asked Questions
“What’s your religion?”
I’m a Setian who follows the LV-426 Tradition of Setianism, which is a unique fusion of Kemetic polytheist theology with Setianized Western esoteric practices.
“What the hell does that even mean?”
I believe in many Gods and Goddesses; I am especially drawn to the ancient Egyptian pantheon; and I am specifically devoted to a God named Set. I also pray and make offerings to Set according to a unique religious tradition that some of my best friends and I developed together while we were growing up.
“Is this some kind of cult?”
If by “cult” you mean “a dangerous extremist group led by a charismatic authoritarian leader,” the answer is NO. We already have enough of those here in the United States already, and most are actually considered to be “legitimate” churches, with full federal tax-exemption status and everything. I’m just a guy who prays to Set while he walks around in the woods alone; if you want to talk about actual cults, let’s discuss the number of organized churches that are deemed “socially acceptable,” but whose leaders turn out to be despicable monsters.
“Who or what is Set?”
Set is the Egyptian God of storms, deserts, and the nighttime world. His name is sometimes rendered as Seth, Setekh, Setesh, Sutekh, or even Suti, and He is also called Typhon in Greek (though He is not theologically identical to the Hellenic Titan who is also known by this name).
“Isn’t Set just the Egyptian version of Satan?”
No. Set is not a devil who rebels against His Creator; He is the Creator’s personal bodyguard, ritually defending Atum-Ra and all the rest of us from an ever-present apocalyptic threat. So while Set might seem dark and spooky, He is truly a force for good and not evil.
“It kinda looks like you worship the devil, though.”
That’s because “satanic” imagery was appropriated from various polytheist Gods, including (but not limited to) Set. This was historically done to demonize said Gods and the religions that follow Them. If it bothers anyone that my God reminds them of their “devil,” it really says more about them and their religion than it does about me or my faith.
“What about Osiris? Isn’t Set the bad guy in that story?”
Theologically speaking, Osiris can’t rise from the dead and create a happy afterlife for all good-hearted people unless He dies first; and it is part of Set’s job to make sure this happens. This is not a story of “good versus evil,” but of agricultural cycles, changes in ecosystems, the hope for better experiences after painful life transitions, etc. It is also not uncommon for Set and Osiris to be honored together at the very same shrines.
“The ancient Egyptians believed in magic; do you?”
The ancient Egyptians believed in heka or “divine speech,” which really means something more like “prayer” in general, and which potentially includes a wide variety of religious expression (discussed further below). While heka does attempt to influence events in Nature and/or human society by means we might assume to be “supernatural,” the exact same thing is true of prayer in all religions. So the way I see it, my practices are neither more nor less “magical” than those of any other faith.
“So what are the tenets of your faith, exactly?”
Nothing, not even the Creator, can exist without Set.
Many of the Egyptian Gods “die” and “rise again” due to the astronomical phenomena with which They are associated. Since He is linked with the Big Dipper (which is circumpolar), Set is never said to “die” in the first place, but remains truly deathless. He is there to protect the other Gods while They regenerate Themselves through Their various transformations, and to prod Them into regenerating Themselves as necessary (like in the Osiris story). Set is therefore indispensable to Nature; the universe literally can’t function without Him.
Set is the Setian above, and the Setian is Set below.
Being Setian is not about “fearing” any God who threatens to “punish” you if you don’t comply. It’s more like you’re a “little Set” who’s growing up to become a “big Set.” You already have His power and majesty deep within you; it’s just a matter of apprehending and growing in this knowledge over time. Set is inherently present and active within every well-balanced Setian heart, providing key insights and empowering people with His divine unruliness. This means we are not His “playthings,” and we are not expected to grovel before Him like “slaves.”
There are many Gods, but Set is the greatest, and every Setian is their own prophet.
We acknowledge many Gods and Goddesses in the LV-426 Tradition, but Set will always be our “Big Enchilada.” If we’re ever forced to choose between Him and another deity for whatever reason, we’ll choose Set every time. He has also been revealing Himself to us directly since we were teenagers; we have never needed anyone else to validate our relationships with Him, and we never will.
“Isn’t the name ‘LV-426’ from that movie, Alien?”
“Why is your sect named after something from a monster movie, and not from ancient Egypt?”
We grew up watching classic monster movies together, and we drew all kinds of parallels between these films and ancient mythology. Doing this with certain films, TV shows, and even music was a way of ritualizing our faith without making it totally obvious to our families at home, which could have painful consequences to say the least. When I decided to start writing about us, we needed a name, and we didn’t feel right calling ourselves a “church,” a “temple” or even an “initiatory order.” So we decided on a goofy-sounding Alien reference that’s hard for people to read, say aloud, or even remember correctly. (We figured Set would think this was funny.)
“What are some of your religious practices?”
I like to pray, which I define as any heartfelt communication with a God or deceased loved one (even if the purpose is just to express anger or despair, rather than praise or worship). I enjoy making offerings, which can include sharing meals, creating art (like paintings, sculptures, music, pottery, etc.), or even just dedicating a good deed to the Gods and/or the dead (like feeding stray cats for Bast or Sekhmet). I also try my best to keep what we like to call our “Sabbat” in LV-426: a weekly midnight mass involving prayer, offerings, and meditations guided by Set (usually observed on Friday evenings, but really any night will do, as long as it’s weekly).
Incidentally, many of my personal offerings to Set (and to other Gods and Goddesses) are available for the general public to enjoy as well. These include my entire discography, my podcast, my art, and even this website you’re visiting right now.
“What holidays do you celebrate?”
I really observe just one Egyptian holiday: Wep Ronpet (“Opening of the Year”), the New Year festival, which occurs in early- to mid-August during the annual inundation of the Nile. It’s technically a “roaming” holiday that falls on a slightly different date each year, but I prefer to celebrate on August 15 since this coincides with the date of my original conversion experience in 1997. The other holidays I traditionally observe are not Egyptian in origin; these include Hallowtide (October 31 through November 2), Walpurgis Night (April 30), and Friday the Thirteenth.
“Are you a member of the Temple of Set?”
No. I am well aware of the Temple of Set, but I have never been involved with that particular organization, and I respectfully do not subscribe to their ideology. Nor does anyone need to join that organization to know or walk with Set.
“Isn’t Setianism a ‘left-hand path’ (LHP) religion?”
Some Setians identify with this term, but I do not. Some would argue I am “right-hand path” (RHP) because of the devotional emphasis in my faith; but I don’t identify by this term either. Nor do I try to collapse every possible variety of religious experience into some false “LHP/RHP” binary. Setianism existed long before anyone ever used such terminology—which means “LHP” beliefs are supplementary to believing in Set, not fundamental.
“Are you a Sethian Gnostic?”
No. Sethian Gnosticism is not named for Set, but for Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve in the Bible. The two figures are not related, but have homonymous names. Some Setians might also identify as Gnostics by one definition or another, but I personally do not.
“Does your religion have anything to do with ‘The Seth Materials’ by Jane Roberts?”
No, that is an entirely unrelated spirituality that is very different, and which has nothing to do with Set.
“If you aren’t a Satanist, why do you use the inverted pentagram so much? Isn’t that a Satanic symbol?”
The pentagram is older than pretty much any religion you might care to mention, and it has been drawn in any number of ways by lots of different people. It does not exclusively belong to Satanists, Wiccans, or anyone else. As far as I’m concerned, a pentagram with two points up is not “inverted,” but is actually right-side up. I prefer to call this the horned pentagram because I think it evokes Set’s affinity for such animals as the oryx. When a pentagram is drawn with only one point up, I like to call it a “standing pentagram.”
“Why do you write such hateful things about Christianity? Are you anti-Christian?”
Nothing I write about Christianity is intended to be “hateful” or “anti-Christian.” It is unfortunately quite accurate, however, due to the various societal problems that Christianity has created, and which even most kind-hearted, non-hypocritical Christians continue to ignore (at their own peril). If my criticisms against Christianity make you upset, I suggest you take it up with your fellow Christians, because my views on this subject will only change when you people start behaving more like your divine Namesake en masse.
“But not all Christians…”
I already know good and well that “not all Christians” are Christofascists who want to tyrannize others. That doesn’t matter when even most good Christians refuse to acknowledge the dark side of their own community. If you walk into a room full of domestic abuse survivors and say, “But not all men,” you will receive nothing but anger and vitriol for your trouble, and you will absolutely deserve it. The same principle applies here; don’t EVER walk into a non-Christian space and say, “But not all Christians,” because it won’t end very well for you at all.
“Your content is way too political. Can’t you keep your politics out of your religion?”
No. I revere autonomy and hold it sacred, just like Set does. And whenever I see someone else’s autonomy being violated, it brings out the wrath of Set in me. I therefore feel compelled to speak out on social and political issues that pertain to Setian values. Since other religions are free to infiltrate the world of politics and impose their values on public policy, I see no reason why I shouldn’t do the same thing. We are also living in an age where people can no longer afford to be “apolitical.” If your answer to all the problems in this world is simply to ignore them and hope they will go away, you seriously need to re-evaluate your interest in Set, because He is not going to help you keep your head in the sand.
“How would you describe yourself politically, then?”
I generally don’t; I prefer to let my political beliefs and actions speak for themselves. Let’s just say I want to live in a world where everybody is free to determine themselves without being tyrannized by others; where kids can go to school without being shot or indoctrinated into state-endorsed cults; where nobody is poor, no one ever gets denied the very best medical care, and nobody idolizes the rich; and where people aren’t constantly marching toward our own extinction with all of our pollution, climate change, and nuclear weapons.
“Okay, how do I join this LV-426 Tradition of yours, and what do I get when I join?”
LV-426 is not a “church” that people can “join,” and no one really needs to join us anyway. Pretty much everything we believe and do is shared throughout this entire website at no cost to anyone, so that other Setians may freely take from our adventures as they will. Whenever I mention LV-426, I’m mostly just trying to contextualize that I’m a Pagan, a Kemetic polytheist, and a Setian who holds such-and-such beliefs, and who engages in such-and-such theological shenanigans. There are no special benefits to be gained from actually meeting us or becoming one of us.
“I really like what you do; is there a way I can help support your unique ministry?”
I am truly grateful for such feedback! Please feel free to share anything on this website that you might find helpful with others. As mentioned previously, there is a podcast, as well as various prayer cards, YouTube videos, and an electronic brochure about Setianism in general, all of which are free. Additionally, my albums (all 12 of them so far) are currently available on most online music platforms, and you can find them for dirt cheap at gbmarian.bandcamp.com as well. Apart from all that, I just hope the stuff I cook up will inspire other people to cook up even better stuff, and that all the stuff we cook up together will help make our world a better place to live somehow.
“You need Jesus…”
And you clearly need Set, but you don’t see me trying to force Him down your throat. This website is not for you.