Apophis dio antico Egitto

Una delle più famose rappresentazioni è quella del “Grande Gatto” che taglia la testa del serpente mentre con le sue spire minaccia il sacro albero di persea. L’immagine è tratta dal capitolo 17 del Libro dei Morti, e che spesso appare nelle tombe del Nuovo Regno.

Nel suo viaggio celeste, il dio sole, doveva affrontare due volte al giorno un grave pericolo, Apophis (in egizio Aapep,Aapef) il serpente primordiale, il caos che odiernamente minacciava l’entità solare all’alba e al tramonto mettendo in pericolo l’ordine dell’universo.

Tuttavia, l’esistenza di Apophis era necessaria proprio per l’equilibrio del mondo stesso.

Le sue spire circondavano il mondo lungo la linea dell’orizzonte, questa posizione era il punto giusto per i suoi attacchi al sole nel momento in cui si avvicinava all’orizzonte.

Qual’ era la tecnica del grande serpente?
Era quella di tentare con le sue spire di stringere il sole, spire rappresentate da banchi di sabbia.
Il sole rispondeva agli attacchi di Apophis e dalle ferite dell’astro colava il sangue che colorava di rosso il cielo dell’alba e del tramonto.

Apophis, incarnazione del Nemico Divino, simbolo dei poteri dell’oscurità a volte veniva identificato con Seth, nemico degli dei. Anche per i defunti era pericoloso il viaggio nell’aldilà, tuttavia i testi funerari assicuravano la sconfitta del serpente (“capovolgimento di Apophis”) con la formula magica “esso realmente la salva da tutti i mali”, che proteggeva il defunto nel suo viaggio.

Un’altra raffigurazione, molto importante, è quella rappresentata da Seth ( in origine divinità benefica e protettrice delle oasi) con la testa di falco e alato, nell’atto di trafiggere con una lancia il serpente Apophis.
Proprio da questa raffigurazione e da altre analoghe, i primi cristiani trassero l’iconografia di San Giorgio e del drago.

Il concetto di bene e male nell’Antico Egitto
I serpenti

Simbologia: il serpente
Quetzalcoatl il Serpente Piumato

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