- Education and Science»
- Art History
Sekhmet's divine presence stylization and idealization
Sekhmet was a primal Goddess for the Pharaohs of Egypt. She was a lioness headed woman dressed in red (representing blood). A solar deity, bearing the Solar disc & Ureaus (associated with Wadjet and royalty)) and is a daughter of Ra; she is also associated with Hathor and Bast (or Bastet depending on how you would like to spell her name). With Bast, they represented East (Bast) and West (Sekhmet). Bast wore Green while Sekhmet still wore the red; both had the heads of lionesses until the Greeks came into Egypt and Bast changed into a domestic cat.
Sekhmet protected the Pharaoh’s and joined them in warfare. The Pharaoh in war was said to be like her in her fury; and she aided him by shooting arrows at the enemy.
She is a warrior Goddess, & a Goddess of healing in Upper Egypt; also fire, vengeance and medicine were within her powers.
Sekhmet means “Power”; “the (One Who Is) Powerful”, other titles given to Her are: “Mistress of Dread”, “(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles” & “Lady of Slaughter”
A myth that shows her wrath:
“End of Ra’s rule on Earth, he sends Sekhmet to destroy the mortals who conspire against him. Her bloodlust was not quelled at the end of the battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity, so Ra poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite ( or pomegranate juice depending on the version) so it resembled blood. Mistaking the beer for blood, she became so drunk that she gave up the slaughter and returned peacefully to Ra.”
Egyptian culture was all about living a good life so they could enter the afterlife and pass Judgment to go through and have their soul pass on. There are different parts to this: there is Ka - the life force; Ba – soul & Aj – the divine inspiration of one’s life. This is shown in the hieroglyphics on the walls around ancient Egypt, in the tombs, statues, on their personal belongings, on their coffins, bodies after going through the mummification process. The Pharaoh’s wanted to stress the good deeds they did in their physical life; the wars won to bring peace to their kingdom, how they helped the kingdom, a good father and husband and much more. On the other hand, they were also shown as the physical representation of the God’s presence on earth, and they shouldn’t be questioned. Granted the word Pharaoh means “great house” but it wasn’t until the “reign of Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC) that it became to address a person who was king and a son of RA”. They went to great lengths to have themselves shown in a God like level; even the few Queens who obtained the throne went to these lengths; one as far as to take the fake beard and headdress.
Orbs in Sekhmet's Temple
© 2014 Jennifer B