By Karima Lachtane

The Lion Goddess Sekhmet

Who is the ancient Sekhmet


Every God and goddess from our ancient past, has two sides to their nature. On one hand they were protective, but on the other hand they were also destructive

The Lion headed goddess Sekhmet was as destructive as the Sun itself, and through his fire she would almost destroy mankind.

She was also known as the Great Lady beloved of Ptah holy one powerful one, Eye of Ra. 


Sekhmet’s name means ‘powerful’ or ‘the female powerful one’ 

She was razor sharp like the Sun’s rays, in her most destructive nature she would breathe fire unto mankind.


The hot desert winds were said to be the breath of Sekhmet.

Karima standing between two Sekhmet statues
Please do note, that I am not standing on the ancient monument 
(Sekhmet Statue's at Karnak), but actually behind it.
I would never be so disrespectful.

The Destruction of mankind.

She was a vital character in one of the ‘Eye’ myths, known as the destruction of mankind. When Ra became an old man, humans started to plot against him. 

Ra then sent Sekhmet forth to teach humans a lesson, but She became so intoxicated by human blood, that she was unable to stop her rage. 

It was actually Hathor that was sent out in the form of Sekhmet, to teach mankind a lesson. Ra could not bear to see his child in such a blood rush and he took pity on mankind. But Ra had granted her so much divine power, that not even he could stop her.

Ra would have to trick Sekhmet. He sent a messenger that was as quick as the wind itself, to Elephantine Island in Aswan. 

The messenger was instructed to bring Ra a very large quantity of the fruit called Mandrake, because its juice was as red as blood. 

And in large quantities the fruit caused great sleepiness. Over one night this fruit was turned into thick wine that would trick the eye of anyone. 

Ra had mankind help in spreading the wine every where they could, the task was done shortly before dawn. Sekhmet had been sleeping all night, her ruthless hunts each day made her sleep deeply at night. 

When she awoke, she was again hungry for a fight and for the taste of the mortal’s blood. As she walked into a field she saw the land bathing in what she thought was blood. 

She happily thought it was her doing, and she smiled. She bent down to drink of it, and the more she drank the more she wanted. 

What Sekhmet did not know, was that she was actually drinking the Mandrake fruit that had been mixed with barely (beer). 

She finally fell into a deep sleep, and her father called a whisper into the air “Come, come in peace, O fair and gracious goddess.” And so did the killing spree end. 

Ra ruled on, but created a celebration of this event in the city of Amen.

Sekhmet is a very old goddess, she is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts as being the one that conceived the king. She could protect against plagues, as she could cause them, she was also a healing deity. She was the consort of Ptah and the mother of Nefertem.

Recourses:
Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt, by Robert A. Armour ISBN 977-424-669-1
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson
ISBN 977 424 781 7


Personal note:
There are several lioness goddesses in ancient Egyptian mythology. Animals played a key role in their beliefs, very often reflecting both the nature of man and animal. The ancient Egyptians were masters of the duality in nature, and everything they did was meticulous and reflected nature’s perfect duality between man and animal.
(When is the man an animal? And when is the animal a man?)
Bookmark and Share


5 comments :

  1. I've never heard of Sekhmet In my entire life,Thanks for the great article.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A girl who knows who Sekhmet is, I am in love!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Padrino Dot Com,

    Sekhmet is a very important goddess in ancient Egyptian history/belief system, but yes she is rarely mentioned by people. And thank you for taking time to read it and commenting upon it :)

    Sincerely,
    Karima

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Quark Observer,
    Ohh my, is that all it takes to make you fall in love? ;)
    I hope you enjoy reading this blog.

    Sincerely,
    Karima

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sekhmet was my mother in law O.O

    ReplyDelete