Sekhmet Picture

(This is not a part of my modern interpretation of Netjeru series. It was actually created back in 2004.) This image is my interpretation of the ancient Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet/Sakhmet. Literally translated, her name means "Mighty One" or "She who is Powerful" (sekhem means "might" or "power" and the -et is a feminine suffix). She is the daughter of the God Re/Ra and is one of the many Goddesses in Egyptian myth to be considered a manifestation of His Eye. Re's left Eye was said to represent the moon while His right Eye represented the sun, hence the particular markings around Sekhmet's right eye which also refers to her role as a predominantly solar Goddess.

In the mythic days of Egyptian history, Re Himself ruled as pharaoh for a time, and as He ruled for many years in human form, He, like humans, began to age. The people of Egypt commented on his frailty, noticed his weakening body, and some of them began to plot against Him, thinking Him no longer fit to rule in such a vulernable state. Egypt's people became corrupt with scheming, and although the people thought Re old and senile, He could not help but notice how fiendlike and greedy His people had become. Mournfully, Re decided that action had to be taken, and so He created the Goddess Sekhmet to destroy humanity. The Goddess took the form of a huge lioness and did as She was created to do. Sekhmet's bloodlust grew as She ravanged the country, devouring those who had evil intentions, Her desire for destruction growing even beyond Re's imaginings. In Her fury, She began devouring even those who were not corrupt. Re saw this and felt sorry for humanity, determined that the destruction must now come to a halt, but Re Himself was not powerful enough to stop by force what He had created. And so He devised a clever trick: He had seven thousand barrels of beer dyed the color of blood and drained on a field for Sekhmet to see. Drawn to the expanse of of blood, Sekhmet came and drank all of it from the land, leaving Her drunk and satiated. It was then that Re transformed Her into the Goddess Het-heru/Hathor, a Deity of love, merriment, joy, and sexuality.

She was primarily worshipped in the Egyptian city of Memphis along with Her consort, the God Ptah. Sekhmet's destructive capabilities are balanced out by Ptah's creative ones. She was commonly associated with both sickness and healing, protection, and ferocity in battle. Other resources on Sekhmet:
Sekhmet: an essay I wrote for Art History class relating to a sculpture of this Goddess (photographs included)
Ancient Egypt: the Mythology - Sekhmet
Names of Netjer - Sekhmet

Media: black ballpoint pen; blue ballpoint pen; pen and ink

All artwork and content is copyright Desiree Isphording 2006 and may not be copied, modified, or distributed without prior express permission. Questions about copyright?

Continue Reading: The Myths