Who Is Sekhmet?


Who is Sekhmet? What is She about? What are Her lessons?

Golden Queen with bloodied claws
Raging Flame in the desert
An eternal paradox,
Light so bright it fades into sharp-edged darkness…

Sekhmet, The Powerful Female, defies classification into any one of the Neo-Pagan Goddess categories of Maiden, Mother and Crone. She is the mother of Nefertem in Memphite theology, yet is not about biological motherhood the way Mother Goddesses usually are. You never see Her depicted with a baby on Her lap, or even with a litter of kittens the way Bast occasionally is. Not motherly in that sense, no… and yet, when She reigns as Queen, She takes on the crown of uraei and the Name of Mut, which means nothing but Mother. If anything, She is light, the blazing heat of noonday sun… but a Wiccan or Pagan would take one look at Her “job designation” and deem Her a Crone, a Dark One, a Bringer-in of Death. After all, She does kill. She does rule over the seven arrows of illness.

But herein lies the secret…

The Bringer-in of Death can turn Her wrath on that which eats upon Life. The One with the power over pestilence can also turn it away, soothe the fevered foreheads and give health, beauty and strength in abundance. No, Sekhmet is not just a furious creature to be feared. She is also a great healer, guardian, fighter for justice, and yes, even a mother – the kind of mother Kipling was thinking of when he wrote The Female of the Species.

Sekhmet says: “Enough is enough.” There are times when pats on the head and all the sympathy in the world will not rectify the situation. Sometimes drastic action is needed; sometimes things that hurt are necessary to avoid a lot of needless, prolonged pain; sometimes even violence is justified. She is not, however, about disgusting revelries in blood and needless pain. Torture or abuse someone in Her name, and She will turn upon you in a heartbeat and deliver you personally to Ma’at in a bag. It also works the other way round, Her justice; the fiercest fury is not always the answer, either, and uncontrolled kicking and screaming will do no good to anyone. Appropriate action is Her key phrase. Appropriate, that which is right, and action, actually doing something instead of just sitting on your butt and complaining that the world is crap. She is a poster Lady of “Do your Will.”

She is all that, and more…

When logic and doubts fail and melt in the flood of Her power,
When you give yourself up like a kitten to mother cat’s jaws,
When you taste from the cup of fear and drink down love,
Then you have met Sekhmet. Then Sekhmet has spoken to you.


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