Other Names:

(G/R Sachmis) - "Powerful Female" First noted in a myth describing Ra's vengeance upon his enemies, Sekhmet, an unstoppable force from which humankind was delivered only by the timely intervention of a moment of levity (embodied in public drunkenness), is an "aggressive" form of the Name of Hethert (Sekhmet was not originally a Name in and of Herself; it is in fact more accurate to refer to Her from earlier times as Sekhmet-Hethert, or Hethert-Sekhmet.) Eventually Sekhmet would develop both a cult and a "personality" quite distinct from Hethert, as the Eye of Ra associated with divine vengeance. As a healer, Sekhmet's power to destroy things utterly would be invoked against the invisible "demons" of plague and disease; Sekhmet's priesthood in antiquity were trained surgeons of remarkable caliber, given the standards for medicine in the ancient world. Thousands of statues of Sekhmet, carved from Aswan red granite, were erected to line processional ways during the New Kingdom as a way to placate the "Red Lady" and encourage Her to turn back the plagues which came into the country at that time. Sekhmet as a destroyer is paired with Ptah the creator and Nefertem the healer at Mennefer, and Her destructive lioness-visage found echo in the images of the Names of Mut and Mertseger down-country in Uaset. Sekhmet's strongest attribute, like that of the lioness Her symbol, is that of appropriate action, especially appropriate violence/destruction.