Sekhmet is one of the oldest and most worshiped Goddesses in the Egyptian Pantheon. Her name (which is also spelled as Sakmet, Sakhet, Sekmet, Sakhmet and Sekhet) derives from the word “sekhem” which means power, thus most scholars often refer to the Goddess Sekhmet as the “Powerful One” or “the one who is Powerful”.
Sekhmet the Lioness
Sekhmet is depicted mostly a woman with the head of a lioness and generally most refer to Her as the Lioness of the Egyptian Pantheon. The legend sais that Sekhmet’s fiery breath created the Sahara Desert. Also the great Pharaoh Ramses the Second claimed to have the help of Sekhmet in his Reign.
Sekhmet is a solar deity, something we could clearly guess looking at her bearing the Solar disk on her head and the Ureus, the Royal Combra on her crown. Although she is not considered a part of the Ennead (the nine children of Ra) there are references calling Sekhmet the daughter of Ra.
Sekhmet was considered a warrior Goddess, fierce and powerful, protectress of everything that is sacred, of the Egyptian borders and the Reign of Pharaohs. For these attributes she is worshipped as “the One before Whom Evil trembles” and as “the One who mauls” underlining her aspects as the Divine Retribution. Sekhmet is believed to stand and defend Ra from his great enemy, Apophis the great evil serpent.
According to the Egyptians, while humanity was created by the tears of Ra, Sekhmet was sent by Ra to punish the rebellious ones, slaughtering every one of them. The scripts refer to Sekhmet for this action as “She who dances on blood”. Sekhmet’s fury was so intense that Ra made her stop in order not to kill everyone. Somehow her story looks much as the story of Kali, the Hindu Goddess.
Although Sekhmet is called and praised majorly as a Protectress, she is also praised as a Healer Goddess!
Sekhmet the Protectress
The centre of her Worshiping was in ancient Memphis along with Ptah (her husband) and Nefertem (her son) also known as the Triad of Memphis.
Sekhmet is found in the “Book of the Dead” a woman with three heads, a phallus and wings. Phallus is the profound masculine power of her father, Ra. She is invoked to destroy the evil and protect the souls.
Sekhmet’s worship is associated with Hathor’s. But when it does Sekhmet is the most fierce one and Hathor the most kind.
Sekhmet as a solar deity has the power for both Healing and Destruction (of the Evil). This is the power most Solar/Fiery deities possess. Sun and Fire can cause both harm but let’s not forget the life-giving aspects of both. The ancient Egyptians bear amulets of Sekhmet to prolong their health and be protected. Sekhmet could bring diseases but also heal. Interestingly Sekhmet is the patron of Medicine in Ancient Egypt (mainly because of her power to control demons of plague and diseases). This is why the Priests and Priestesses of Sekhmet prayed to Sekhmet in order to please the Goddess and not unleash a plague. The Priesthood of Sekhmet specialized in Healing and Protecting the believers.
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