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||Sa Sekhem Sahu!
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In association with
Welcome to Sekhmet's Portal!!
A Chronicle of my Personal
Search for Sekhmet
By: Aostara K
Merry Meet and Brightest Blessings
January 4, 2003: Well, it's been quite a while since I've updated these pages -- I've been off discovering interesting places (like Moonridge Zoo and Animal Rescue in Big Bear, CA), people (like the folks who run and perform at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, CA) and things (like how to become a freelance writer) -- but now Mama Sekhmet has been nudging me to get back to work. So... I've updated some of the links to other Sekhmet sites, made some of the ancillary pages easier to find, and got the WebRing back up to speed.
Who is Sekhmet?
Sekhmet, also called "Flame," is the fire of enlightenment, the fire that redeems the soul of the dead, liberating it "to become a star of heaven"
-- Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians)
The name "Sekhmet" is derived from the Ancient Egyptian word sekhem, meaning "power." Sekhmet is the great Lion Goddess, the fierce twin of Bast. She is usually depicted as a woman in red with the head of a lionness, crowned by an uraeus-encircled solar disk. She is often shown holding both the ankh and the lotus scepter. In the form of the serpent Goddess, Sekhmet took up Her position on the head of Her Father, Ra. In Her form of "the Eye of Ra burning the enemy," Sekhmet is the fire which destroys the serpent Apep. Throughout Egyptian history, Sekhmet was regarded as a power to be invoked to protect the good and annihilate the wicked. However, Sekhmet is also a great healer, and has the ability to transform, rather than destroy, the negative or dark side of any situation.
Khem us the dark chaos that gives birth to light without knowing it... Sekhem is its effective power, the destructive power from which conception arises: the male and female factors would make nothing without this pitiless force that wills the destruction of one form for the conception of another and the appearance of a new life.... The personification of sekhem is Sekhmet.
-- I. Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak, Egyptian Initiate
|Mother of the gods, the One, the Only,
Mistress of the Crowns, thou rulest all;
Sekhmet is thy name when thou are wrathful,
Bast, beloved, when thy people call.
Daughter of the sun, with flame and fury
Flashing from the prow upon the foe;
Safely sails the boat with thy protection
Passing scatheless where thy fires glow.
Daughter of the Sun, the burial chamber
Lies in the darkness til thy light appears.
|From thy Throne of Silence send us comfort,
Bast, beloved, banish all our fears.
Mother of the gods, no gods existed
Til thou camest there and gace them life.
Sekhmet of the boat, the wicked fear thee
Trampling down all evil and all strife.
Mother of the gods, the great, the loved one,
Winged and mighty, unto thee we call,
Naming thee the Comforter, the Ruler
Bast, beloved, Mother of us all.
-- Hymn to Sekhmet-Bast from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Although I was baptized Catholic (but was almost never inside a Catholic church other than that) and visited Christian churches as a teen, my current spiritual path started with Wicca -- NeoPagan Witchcraft -- around 1987. There are many sites about this Nature-based belief system (you can find many using Avatar Search), but my favorite short explanation is expressed in the song Burning Times by Charlie Murphy and Rumours of the Big Wave.
Since initiatory-path Wicca was/is not my only interest, I consider myself an "eclectic Pagan". To date, my magickal history/interests include:
I plan to add links to as many of these paths as possible to my Research (in association with Amazon.com) page as time allows. I also learn interactively online via email lists, especially from my friends at:
Here's a poem by Tamyris, priestess of Sekhmet from May 1999 that describes "Mom" purrrfectly....
|She is the fire in which i was forged,
the utter bliss from which i was brought forth,
She placed the magic in my soul,
the passion in my heart,
honed my will with Her hands.
I am Hers...She is my foundation,
the one to which i am utterly devoted.
The degree of love i feel for Her is indescribable.
On March 14, 1999 I was invited to lead the Pasadena branch of the Shinji Sumeikai of America on a guided meditation to the realm of Sekhmet as part of their monthly sampai (transmission of light), the theme for the day being "The Goddess and Spring Equinox". I was joined in the celebration by Shakti -- a priestess of Sekhmet and Ecstatic Dancer, several Sacred Drummers, Rev. James Morton of New York's Interfaith Center (who gave a wonderful speech about why simple "tolerance" of differences is not enough), and over 100 members of the community. Click here to see a copy of the meditation and the temple that inspired it.
In October of 1998, Zohara and I made a trip up to Isis Oasis in Northern California for the annual Convocation of the Fellowship of Isis, which turned out to be -- in part -- a gathering of Sekhmet priestesses. The highlights for me were meeting these priestesses and Lady Olivia, the Caduceus meditation led by Nicki Scully, the Sekhmet Mystery Play on Saturday night, and the Sekhmet Empowerment ritual led by Lady Sekhmet on Sunday morning. Click here to see pictures! Also -- we didn't get any decent pictures with her, but we also got to meet our dear online friend and "Mom", Raven Joy!
|For the 1998 Hallows Party and Costume Contest at Raven's Flight, Zohara and I dressed as CATS-era
versions of Sekhmet and Bast. We didn't win anything, but it was fun trying to eat with
And being incognito...
Every year around Lammas (August 1), my extended Family and I attend a Pagan Festival called Lammas Fair. This is a 3-day, 2-night camping trip in the local mountains and always includes plenty of wonderful rituals, food, games, workshops, drumming and fellowship. Some years we even remember to take pictures!
Lammas Fair 1995 and 1996
During 1998 I had the opportunity to visit The Sekhmet Temple at Cactus Springs, Nevada twice -- once in June and once in September. My September visit included an overnight stay at the Temple guesthouse, an all-too-short visit with the Temple Priestess, Patricia, and a wonderful early New Moon/Fall Equinox ritual performed with my sister, Zohara. You'll find pictures of my June visit and a description of our ritual on my Sekhmet Temple page. Since then, I have made it a point to return to the Temple each Fall Equinox, and have been overjoyed to see how the local community -- both women and men! -- have come to embrace both Sekhmet Herself and Goddess energy in general. My trip for 2000 included not only the main ritual at the Temple, but also a Lakota pipe ceremony at Patricia's house and a community drum circle in nearby Red Rocks, a state park just to the west of Las Vegas proper (yes - both hippy and rave culture are alive and well in Nevada!)
Here's my response to a question on The Oasis mailing list that described my "current" (circa 10/3/98) relationship with Her (and Her sister Bast) pretty well:
>Ok, so I read some (most) of the sites on Bast and Sekhmet
>(pronunciations would be nice) and they sound wonderful but it only
>gave a small bit of the story. How do you "summons" her and what
>can she bring to your life?
Bast I'll leave mostly to Catmom and my sister Zohara -- they feel Her call stronger than I do, but I do experience Her as my gentle Auntie. I'm sure She has an angry streak (She is Sekhmet's sister after all and I've heard stories about Her anger when one of Her feline children is mistreated), but She is primarily a Goddess of Love and Pleasure and Sensuality, a Dancer with a loud Purrrr....
My personal matron Goddess is Sekhmet. Unfortunately, the story most often told about Her is the time Ra sent Her to destroy "evil" humans and the Gods had to trick Her into drinking beer that looked like blood to stop Her before She destroyed *everyone* (She got a little carried away in Her 'righteous anger' -- one of the things that drew me to Her). After that, She exhibited Her other side - Goddess of Healing. Paradoxically, She was also known as the Goddess who brought pestilence and plague. I've also experienced Her 'Mother' side (She was married to the God Ptah, the Master Craftsman, and was the mother of Nefertum, God of Physicians) -- it's a very comforting feeling to be lion cub once in a while -- and Her kundalini side (both Tantric and via the Sacred Prostitute archetype). As a mirror to what I said about Bast, I'd say Sekhmet is more Lust (or Rage), Passion and (Sacred) Sexuality, a Drummer with a load Roar.
I also experience a masculine side/version of Her that I call Sekhem. 'Sekhem' means Strength or Power; adding the 't' makes it feminine. I also see Her in the Strength card in the Tarot, both as the woman and the lion. He 'speaks' to me more often that She does -- with Her it's usually pictures or sensations.
She has brought a sense of direction and purpose to my life. I may not always know exactly where I'm going, but I know (in the grok sense, not just intellectually) that as long as I'm following Her, I'm on the right path (i.e., working towards enlightenment rather than the mundane). I imagine that this is similar to how most people feel about their own matron/patron God/desses. She's definitely not the only face of the Divine I work with (yes - down deep I believe that They are all The One, or more accurately, The All), but many of the other Gods and Goddesses I feel closest to are either related to Her or similar to Her.
As for 'summoning' Her... at this point I feel Her with me most of the time, similar to what Catmom said about Bast, but I do also contact Her during ritual/meditation. There is a mantra from Robert Masters book on Sekhmet that I like to use -- "Sa Sekhem Sahu" (the a's are soft, like 'Ma' or 'Pa' or 'Ra'; the 'hu' is 'who', like an owl -- another one of my Guides; 'sek' is like 'heck'; 'hem' is just like in English, like the 'hem' on your clothes). I use myrrh as a fragrance/incense, but that's just personal preference. I often use 'desert' music -- Peter Gabriel's 'Passion' (Music from the Last Temptation of Christ) is one of my favorites since that time period is when my last incarnation as a priestess of Sekhmet took place). And when I get really into my drumming (Doumbek), I feel Her very close by. It's become one of my favorite magical tools... I use to to raise and send energy as well as to ground and center. I've also been able to "aspect" Her a few times (have Her inside me and in control of what I did and said), but that was never on purpose - it just happened!
Great One of Healing
Force against whom none can prevail
Lady of Enchantments
Mother of the God of physicians
Bring the Strength of your divine Fire
To bear on the ills that destroy the Ma'at of our bodies
And of those for whom we work this rite
Protectress of the Divine Order
Join us, Bless us, Work though us
So mote it be!
Text of a Sekhmet Invocation written by Aostara K
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