Friday, April 22, 2011

Sekhmet


     The all powerful lionheaded goddess of Egypt. Sekhmet is one of the oldest known Deities in Egypt and it depicted as a lionheaded woman, sometimes with the addition of a sun disc on her head. Her seated statues show her holding the ankh of life, but when she is standing or striding she usually holds a sceptre formed from papyrus suggesting that she was associated primarily with the North. Sekhmet was represented by the searing heat of the mid day sun and was a terrifying goddess. However, for her friends she could avert plague and cure disease. She was the patron of physicians, and healers and her priests became known as skilled doctors. 
    She is the protector of Ma'at(Balance or Justice) named "The one who loves Ma'at and who detests evil." She was often closely associated with Hathor (the goddess of joy, music, dance, sexual love, pregnancy and birth) In this partnership, she was seen as the harsh aspect of the friendly Hathor. A temple was constructed by Amenemhet II to Sekhmet-Hathor at Komel-Hisn( Imau in the Western Delta) in which she and Hathor are referred to as the mistress of Imau. 
   Sekhmet's main cult center was in Memphis (Men Nefer) where she was worshipped as the destroyer along side her consort Ptah (The Creator) and Nefertum (The HEaler). she was associated with the goddesses given the title "Eye of Ra". According to Myth, Ra became angry because mankind was not following his laws and preserving Ma'at/ So he decided to punish mankind by sending an aspect of his daughter, the "Eye of Ra". He plucked Hathor from Ureas on his brow, and sent her to earth in the form of a lion. She became Sekhmet, the Eye of Ra" and began his rampage. The fields ran with human blood. Ra was not a cruel deity and the sight of all the blood and gore caused him to repent. He ordered her to stop, but she was so far in a bloodlust, she couldn't stop and would not listen. So Ra poured 7000 jugs of beer and pomegranate juice (which stained the beer red, so it looked like blood) in her path. She drank the so called blood and became so drunk, she slept for three days when she awoke, the blood lust was gone and humanity was saved. THe saving of mankind was commemorated every year on the feast day of Hathor/Sekhmet. Everyone drank beer stained with Pomegranate juice and worshipped "the mistress and lady of the tomb, gracious one destroyer of rebellion, mighty one of enchantments. 
   A statue of Sekhmet was dressed in Red facing west, while Bast was dressed in Green and faced East. Bast was sometimes considered to be Sekmet's counterpart(or twin depending on the legend) and in the festival of Hathor they embodied the duality central to Egyptian Mythology. Sekhmet represented Upper Egypt, While Bast Represented Lower Egypt. There are many reasons to work with Sekhmet and her energies and powers. THese are to name a few; Protection, banishing, dealing with anger, fury and rage, Depression, working through menopause, developing willpower, strength, and courage, increasing assertive behavior, and sexual energy.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't know this- thanks for the lesson! Fascinating stuff!

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