Entity channeled through the medium Jane Roberts, the public name of Jane Butts (1929-1984). The communications from Seth began in 1963, when Jane and her husband Robert Butts first experimented with an ouija board. Later, Jane went into a trance, and when "Seth" spoke through her, Jane's voice and features changed character.
The "Seth" material comprises a mass of teachings in manuscript and on tape recordings, much of which has been edited and issued in a series of books. The philosophy presented is coherent and continuous, covering teachings on dreams, health, reincarnation, astral projection, and the relationship of human beings to their creator. The teachings are comprehensive, dealing with "aspect psychology" (different levels of awareness and grades of reality in relation to mobile consciousness), the nature of the soul, death, and after-death experiences.
In a communication titled "The Unknown Reality," "Seth" stated:
"The individual self must become aware of far more reality, it must allow its identity to expand to include previously unconscious knowledge. Your species is in a time of change—you are now poised on the threshold from which the race can go many ways. Potentials within the body's mechanisms, not as yet used, can immeasurably enrich the race and bring it to levels of spiritual, psychic, and physical fulfillment. But if some changes are not made, the race will not endure…. I am suggesting ways in which the unknown reality can become a known one."
Roberts, Jane. The God of Jane: A Psychic Manifesto. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981.
——. The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.
——. Seth, Dreams and Projection of Consciousness. Walpole, N. H., Stillpoint Publishing, 1986.
——. The Seth Material. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970.
——. Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1972.
SETH . In Egyptian mythology Seth figures prominently, usually as a villain. He was the son of Geb and brother of Osiris. Jealous of Osiris' rule of the earth, he tricked and slew him, dismembered his body, and scattered the parts. Isis, the sister of both and consort of Osiris, bore Osiris' son, Horus, who had to avenge the death of his father. According to late mythological stories, the case was judged by the tribunal of gods with some contests that showed that the cleverness of Horus was certainly more than a match for the strength of Seth. From earlier mythical allusions in mortuary texts, it is known that Horus emasculated Seth and lost his eye in the conflict. For his role in this drama, Seth became a symbol for evil, trickery, blundering, and blustering. He was identified with the Mesopotamian storm god and was a supporter of Egypt's Asian enemies.
The animal representation of Seth is readily recognizable from its tall, upright, flat-topped ears and long, upright tail divided at the top, but it is not certainly identifiable. It usually appears to be some sort of hound or jackal, but is occasionally more like a hippopotamus, a pig, or an ass. If one single animal were intended, perhaps it would be a feral hog.
From earliest times there seems to have been some connection between Seth and Ash, a Libyan deity. Even before the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt there were probably shrines to Seth in both south and north. Ombos was his principal cult center, but it has provided almost no information about the god or his cult. He is usually associated with the north, and his defeat by Horus represents the conquest of Lower Egypt (the north) by Upper Egypt (the south). The myth of the conflict between Horus and Seth may also have been associated with a struggle over the right of succession, that from father to son winning out over that from brother to brother.
Apparently Seth was not always an evil figure in Egyptian history. During the second dynasty one king identified himself with Seth rather than Horus, and another identified himself with both gods. Later the kings of the fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties were regarded as Sethian, but this is easily explained by their foreign origin. In the New Kingdom Seth was regularly shown as one of the gods accompanying the sun god, Re, on his bark sailing through the day and night skies. In this case Seth clearly assists Re, and the evil being to be opposed by spells or force is Apopis, the serpent who threatens to devour the sun. In the nineteenth dynasty, not only were divisions of the Egyptian army named for Seth, but two kings also took Sety as their throne name.
Hornung, E. "Seth, Geschichte und Bedeutung eines ägyptischen Gottes." Symbolon (Cologne), N. F. 2 (1974): 49–63.
Velde, H. te. Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion. Probleme der Ägyptologie, vol. 6. Leiden, 1967.
Leonard H. Lesko (1987)
SETH (Heb. שֵׁת), antediluvian patriarch, son of Adam and Eve. The Bible has preserved two different traditions regarding Seth. In one Seth is the third son of Adam and Eve, born to them after the murder of Abel (Gen. 4:25 (j)). His name is said to derive from the fact that God "provided" (shat) another son to replace Abel. In the genealogy of Adam, however, Cain and Abel are not mentioned, the implication being according to some exegetes that Seth was Adam's first son (5:3 (p); cf. i Chron. 1:1). This source also furnishes the information that Seth lived to the age of 912 years and that his eldest son was Enosh, who was born when Seth was 105 (Gen. 5:6–8).
In the Aggadah
Seth was born circumcised (arn2; Mid. Ps. 9:7), and he inherited the garments which God Himself had made for Adam (Num. R. 4:8). His nature is reflected in the fact that "the generations of man" end with Seth and his son, Enosh (Gen. 4:26). They were the last human beings to be created solely in the image of God; after their death centaurs began to appear (Gen. R. 23:6). Seth is also associated with the messianic era. The future generations of the righteous will be the descendants of Seth (pdre 22), who will himself be one of the "seven shepherds" counseling the Messiah after the resurrection of the dead (cf. Micah 5:4; Suk. 52b).
Seth (Arabic Shith) is not mentioned in the *Koran, but he does appear in post-Koranic literature, where the meaning of the name is given as "a present from Allah" (cf. Gen. 4:25). All the survivors of the Flood are his descendants and as a result all the Arab genealogists trace the descent of mankind from him.
See Commentaries to Genesis, ch. 5. in the aggadah: Ginzberg, Legends, index; I. Ḥasida, Ishei ha-Tanakh (1964), 429–30.
[HaÏm Z' ew Hirschberg]