LV Sekhmet

And the Near Destruction of Mankind

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There was a time in ancient Egypt where humans entered into a conspiracy to overthrow the Gods.  They blasphemed against Ra, king of Gods and men, and heretical priests and magicians plotted ways to turn against the Gods for their destruction, using those very powers the Gods had given to men that they might flourish and grow great upon the earth.  Ra, hearing of this plan, called to meet with him the most ancient and potent Deities, those who had been with him in the primeval waters before the time when with his eye, the sun, he had made life.  The Gods counseled together and it was decided that Sekhmet, the force against which no other force avails, would appear on the earth and quell the rebellion.  Sekhmet would manifest and punish all those who had held in their minds evil images and imagined wicked plots.

Then Sekhmet walked among men and destroyed them and drank their blood.  Night after night Sekhmet waded in blood, slaughtering humans, tearing and rending their bodies, and drinking their blood.  The other Gods decided that the slaughter was enough and should stop, but they could find no way to stop Sekhmet, who was drunk on human blood.  As the carnage went on, the Gods recognized that Sekhmet, Her rage sustained by intoxication, would implacably proceed with the killing until the last human life had been extinguished.

Then Ra had brought to him from Elephantine certain plants which have been said to be the Solanaceae family and which can be brewed as powerful mind-altering drugs. Those plants, and possibly also opium or hemp, were sent to the God Sekti at Heliopolis.  Sekti added these drugs to a mixture of beer and also human blood, until seven thousand great jugs of the substance had been made.  The jars were taken to a place where Sekhmet would pass and there were poured out onto the ground, inundating the fields for a great distance.  And when Sekhmet came to these fields and perceived what She thought to be blood, She rejoiced and drank all of the liquid.  Then "Her heart was filled with joy," Her mind was changed, and She thought no more of destroying mankind.

"After that, Ra addressed Sekhmet as the One Who Comes in Peace, praising the beauty and charm of the Goddess."  Sekhmet is the goddess most often depicted with the head of a lioness, occasionally with the sun disk.  There are more large statues of Sekhmet than of any other deity.  Like many deities, the Goddess Sekhmet manifested in many different aspects.  She is the bringer of disease and the Great One of Healing.  She is the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love. She is also an underworld deity, known for her destructive tendencies.  She has the power to completely destroy not only human bodies, but also their souls - total destruction.  She, additionally, is the protector of the dead in the underworld.  Some authors have suggested a connection between Sekhmet and kundalini energy.

To become an initiate in the temple of Sekhmet, candidates were actually put to a ritualised "death" where they had to deal with its horrors. These horrors included facing "fiends and vampires".  Those who did not succeed in overcoming their fears, if they survived, were disqualified.  Her priests and priestesses were considered to be extremely powerful - both as physicians and as practitioners of magick who had the power to destroy and command demons.

The demons of Egypt were divided into two categories: those that serve Sekhmet and those that are of the underworld.  Sekhmet’s demons were dispatched to send disease, chaos and pestilence.  The demons of the underworld were considered to be worse as they stole body parts from the dead and would eat the hearts of the unworthy.  Sekhmet was named the Avenger of Wrongs, and the Scarlet Lady, a reference to blood, and thus also seen as ruling over menstruation.  Celebrations for Sekhmet included wild orgies, which earned her the additional titles of Great Harlot and Lady of the Scarlet-Coloured Garments.  Those celebrations also included the drinking of the exact substance given to Sekhmet to quench her thirst - sans the blood according to several authors.

This telling of the myth was taken from the walls of the tomb of Seti and unfortunately is the only known version that discusses the blood lust of Sekhmet.  Much information has been lost.  Of the goddess' four thousand names only a few hundred have survived.  In those names that have come down to us, there are a few interesting hints of a connection between Sekhmet and vampirism: Lady of Transformations, Enrapturing One, Giver of Ecstasies, Mother of the Dead, Lady of the Bloodbath, Devouring One, and Terrible One.

A Hymn of Sekhmet

Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day.
Mine is a heart of corneal, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers.
I am the broken wax seal on my lover's letters.
I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself.
I will what I will.
Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.



Sources: "The Goddess Sekhmet, Psycho-Spiritual Exercises of the Fifth Way" by Robert Masters
Wikipedia contributors, "Sekhmet," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sekhmet&oldid=49961637
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