Egyptian Goddess of War, Destruction, Plague and Healing
Often pictured as a woman with the head of a lioness, Sekhmet was known as a fierce huntress. Though known to be a violent goddess, she was also a remarkably skilled healer. She could issue pestilence to those who wronged her, but also provided cures and healing.
She was closely associated with Hathor and Bast, and said to be a daughter of Ra. Her husband was the creator god Ptah and her son Nefertum, god of sunrise.
Sekhmet was dedicated to the teachings of Ma’at, and was an arbiter of justice for Osiris. She is closely associated with the pharaoh and his kingship, and protected him in times of war.
She acted as the vengeful manifestation of Ra’s power, one of a group of other goddesses known collectively as the Eye of Ra. Sekhmet was said to breathe fire, and the hot winds of the desert were likened to her breath. She was also believed to cause plagues (which were called as her servants or messengers) although she was also called upon to ward off disease.
Her most enduring myth is a prime example of why the Atharim rose up against the gods. It goes as follows: Ra, angry at the waywardness of man, ripped out his eye and threw it down to earth. Thus was Sekhmet born to exact justice upon mankind. But her bloodlust was great, and Ra realised his mistake; soon there would be no men left. But none could calm her. So Ra filled a lake with beer and pomegranate juice, tricking her into believing it blood. Sekhmet drank the lake and fell asleep, the next morning awaking docile once more.