ORIGIN: of Sekhmet
It was told in Egyptian Lore (Kemet), the God of the sun, Ra, became angry with the people of the land. Because they were not properly following the laws of Ma’at (Balance and Justice) which he had given to them. As punishment for their disobedience, he pulled an aspect of his daughter from his eye in the form of a Cobra (Wadjet) that transformed to a lion. He then sent her to Earth to destroy the dissidents. The Eye of Ra became Sekhmet. She ravaged the people and the land was covered with blood.
Upon witnessing the carnage, Ra began feeling sorry and tried to call off the lioness, but she was bloodthirsty and ignored his plea. Anxious to stop the killing, Ra poured thousands of jugs of beer stained with pomegranate juice into the Nile, coloring it as red as blood. Sekhmet, thinking it was blood, drank it so swiftly that she became completely intoxicated and slept for 3 days.
When Sekhmet woke up, her blood lust had diminished and humanity was saved from her wrath.
As it happened, the first thing Sekhmet saw when she opened her eyes from her drunken sleep, was the creator god, Ptah. She fell madly in love with him. Together, they had a son named Nefertum (He represented both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the Egyptian blue lotus flower. Often referred to as “He Who is Beautiful” and “Water-Lily of the Sun” it was said that his tears spawned new humans after Sekhmets devastation of the living). The family of three became the Triad of Memphis. Justice and balance existed once again.
(Ptah is believed to be the “Grand Architect” who is revered by the Order Free Masons.)
[In other telling’s of the Sekhmet myth, Ra/Re with the aid of Hekets Magick, was creating the universe by speaking everything into existence as he learned to perceive them. Sekmet was created by Uttering her name “Sekhem” which means “POWER”. In this version, once Sekhmet was subdued and had fallen asleep as a result of her drunkeness. That Ra/Re uttered a single word in her ear, it was her new name… when she awoke she transformed herself into Hathor (Goddess of Motherhood). This story was said to represent the fierce nature of the protective mother, the inner Lioness that exists in all women. Other tellings say that she was always Hathor, but when she descended onto the earth, she was so fueled by rage and vengeance at the behest of seeing the Laws of Ma’at being disrespected, that Hathor turned herself into Sekhmet to avenge Ma’at and her father Ra. and when subdued, she returned to her original form as Hathor and fell in love with Ptah.]
Sekhmet being first conjured as the Uraeus Cobra (Wadjet) and then becoming the Lioness.
In spiritual terms this is the Recipe for a dragon. It is said that it was by her breath that the deserts were formed. She is depicted dressed in red, to signify her blood lust, and wears a sun disk on her head encircled by a Ureaus cobra, which represents the story of her creation. She often holds an ankh (the symbol of life) when seated. When standing or striding, she is seen holding the papyrus specter symbolizing Lower Egypt (Maybe a reference to her Aspect as Bastet?).
She is represented as an aspect of several other Goddesses, such as Bastet, Wadjet, Mut, Hathor.
In Egypt the Gods where worshiped as personifications of various principles of nature. It is from their name for the Gods “Neter” and “Neteru” meaning divine names and principles, that we derive the word Nature in the English language. The Neters were wrongly interpreted to be Gods and Goddess by academic scholars, who viewed these concepts through a modern westernized Eurocentric lens.
It is because of the Kemetic view of these Neters as divine names and principles of both nature, human traits, and universal truths; that often Neters are represented as being both the same, and entirely separate entities all of the time. This view also made it possible for Egypt to frequently and easily syncretize Gods from other Pantheons in their magickal workings, as can be seen in the Greek Magickal Papayri (abbreviated PGM, from Latin “Papyri Graecae Magicae”). In the the PGM you’ll see hundreds of spells syncretizing Gods from Rome, Greece, Judaism, and Christianity. The true religion of Kemet (aka Egypt) was in fact Sorcery and the worship of Heka who himself gave the Gods their abilities to perform their duties, and create the universe. Which is why it is said “Ten measures of magick came down into the world; nine were taken by Egypt, and one by the rest of the world” ~Zohar~
“Heka (God of Magick) never had a temple, cult following, or formal worship for the simple reason that he was so all-pervasive he permeated every area of Egyptian life. Like the goddess Ma’at, who also never had a formal cult or temple, Heka was considered the underlying force of the visible and invisible world. Ma’at represented the central Egyptian value of balance and harmony while Heka was the power which made balance, harmony, and every other concept or aspect of life possible.” ~Joshua J. Mark~
To honor the goddess, a festival of intoxication was held every year. The Egyptians drank beer to mimic the drunkenness of the goddess that had once stopped her wrath and saved mankind from her destruction. There is historical evidence that tens of thousands of people migrated to Egypt from across the known world to attend these festivals each year. It was such a success that benches had to be installed in temples and rooftops to accommodate attendees.
“When the people are on their way to Per-Bast, they go by river, a great number in every boat, men and women together. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, others play flutes all the way, while the rest of the women, and the men, sing and clap their hands. As they travel by river to Per-Bast, whenever they come near any other town they bring their boat near the bank; then some of the women do as I have said, while some shout mockery of the women of the town; others dance, and others stand up and lift their skirts. They do this whenever they come alongside any riverside town. But when they have reached Per-Bast, they make a festival with great sacrifices, and more wine is drunk at this feast than in the whole year besides. It is customary for men and women (but not children) to assemble there to the number of seven hundred thousand, as the people of the place say.”
~Herodotus~ Histories Book II Chapter 60
In Lower Egypt she was represented as “Bast” or “Bastet” who was at times depicted as a Lioness, and other times as a House-Cat. Sekhmet was a goddess of Upper Egypt. They are both sometimes the same deity, while other times they are entirely separate beings. They are both refered to as the Eye of Ra, along with Hathor and the other aspects of the Archetype of the “Great Protective Mother” much like the Goddess “Kali” of Tantra.
She is the Defender of Ma’at and the enemy of evil, Protector of Ra, and protector of the Pharaohs. She is the Protector of Mothers and children, and Goddess of War, Fertility, Destruction, Plagues and Healing. Sekhmets fierce personality as a sun goddess, might have derived inspiration from the scorching, searing and burning heat of the desert sun. She is given another name “Nesert” that literally means “flame” this is probably also where we derive the word “Desert” in the English Language today. As stated earlier it was said that the Desert was born out of the breath of Sekhmet.
As Sekhmet she is represented by the Color Red in the West
As Bastet she is represented by the Color Green in the East
Marriages of the mother goddess?
When Horus was born Sekhmet or Hathor and sometimes Wadjet was said to have helped Nurse him.
As Sekhmet she was the Wife of Ptah
As Bastet she was wife of Anubis (connected by the fact that he was the God of mummification, and she the goddess of ointments and perfumes. Their professions brought them together. and they are both Protectors, and initiatory deities.)
As Hathor she was wife of Horus.
As Mut she was wife to Amun-Ra.
As Wadjet she was always transform into different goddesses throughout the history of Egypt. Sometimes she’s married to “Hapi” the God of Floods, “Lord of the Fish and Birds of the Marshes”. Other Times she is married to Ptah as she is also Sekhmet, she is sometimes married to Horus as she is also Hathor, Sometimes shes Married to Amun-Ra, as she is also Mut.
The Many Aspects of the Goddess:
As SEKHMET: is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing. She is depicted as a lioness. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Upon death, Sekhmet continued to protect them, bearing them to the afterlife.
As Hathor: she represented music, dance, joy, love, sexuality, and maternal care, and she acted as the consort of several male deities and the mother of their sons. These two aspects of the goddess exemplified the Egyptian conception of femininity. Hathor crossed boundaries between worlds, helping deceased souls in the transition to the afterlife.
As MUT: Mut was considered a primal deity, associated with the primordial waters of Nu from which everything in the world was born. Her name literally means “mother” in the ancient Egyptian language. Mut was sometimes said to have given birth to the world through parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction, without a mate), but more often she was said to have a husband, the solar creator god Amun-Ra. Although Mut was believed by her followers to be the mother of everything in the world, she was particularly associated as the mother of the lunar child god Khonsu (The Traveler). Mut is sometimes depicted as a cobra, a cat, a cow, or as a lioness as well as the vulture.
As BASTET: Goddess of protection, cats, perfume/ointments, fertility, pregnancy, children, music, the arts, and warfare. Her name derives from expensive jars of Egyptian perfumes which were thought to be sacred, which is why she is associated with perfumes and ointments. As protector of Lower Egypt, she was seen as defender of the king, and consequently of the sun god, Ra. Along with other deities such as Hathor, Sekhmet, and Isis, Bastet was associated with the Eye of Ra. She has been depicted as fighting the evil snake named Apep (aka Apophis), an enemy of Ra. In addition to her solar connections, sometimes she was called “eye of the moon”. Bastet was also a goddess of pregnancy and childbirth, possibly because of the fertility of the domestic cat. and was depicted as the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits.
As Wadjet: She was the protector of kings and of women in childbirth. Wadjet was said to be the nurse of the infant god Horus. With the help of his mother Isis, they protected Horus from his treacherous uncle, Set, when they took refuge in the swamps of the Nile Delta. Wadjet was said to be the matron and protector of Lower Egypt, and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt. The image of Wadjet with the sun disk is called the uraeus, and it was the emblem on the crown of the rulers of Lower Egypt.
(While Wadjet as a coiled snake protected Deities and Kings in life. Mehen is a protective deity who is depicted as a snake which coils around the sun God Ra during his journey through the night, and into the Duat/Underworld/afterlife to meet Osiris. The Origin of the Sacred Ouroborus. Wadjet represents the protective Eye of Ra, which evolves into today’s famous Amulet of protection the Blue Evil Eye talisman. Mehen represents the protective Ourobouros, which is symbolic of cyclical natures of time, life death and renewal, the unified harmony of masculine and feminine powers, and self-sustainability. etc… as well as protection from surrounding enemies, hiding in the dark.)
Its similarities between the Neters of Egypt and the concepts of Egyptian belief structures compared to those of Hinduism and Tantra… That makes me believe that India is the New-Egypt. To truly learn how to understand and appreciate the Neteru, you should really look into the deeper philosophical concepts within Hinduism.
Sekhmet is akin to the Goddess Kali, as Mut and Hathor are Akin to Durga & Parvati.
Kali is just ONE of the TEN aspects of the Goddess Parvati/Shakti. Some aspects are fearsome, while others are pure love, motherhood, ecstasy, and surrender. I really can’t wait to work on the Kali section of this site!!