STORY BEHIND THE PIECE
Sekhmet is the face of transformation and new beginnings. Even though that is not how she is usually perceived, it remains her essence.
If you were ever interested in Egyptology or Ancient Egypt, you have likely come across Sekhmet as the bloody goddess of vengeance. There is some truth to that but to complete that truth, a story must be told, and the full context has to be set. And that is how the myth of Sekhmet goes…Back in a time when Harmony was queen and the hearts of humans were filled with gratitude towards their creator, justice and mercy towards all his creatures and a fine balance of all life elements, Love ruled. Ra, the sun god, loved his creation and its creation loved him back. He trusted their hearts and they trusted his wisdom and protection. Love cheered, enveloping every beating heart in a symphony of beauty, trust and compassion.
But then mankind got weary, as it does, of whatever lasts for too long, even if it is heaven. They started forgetting then they started losing respect. They said Ra was too old, that he was no longer any good. Ra looked upon mankind in sadness and wondered where all their gratitude had gone. That man-made rudeness would eventually bring misery and chaos, thus distorting the golden rule of creation: Maat, the earthly and cosmic order, the balance, Ra is divine signature. Ra preserved Maat through different principles and these manifested in different ways. He always picked the right manifestation for each situation. Sometimes it was love, other times wrath or knowledge. The roads to Maat could be very diverse. And so Ra summoned his fierce spirit, his daughter Sekhmet the lioness, the majestic, the powerful. “You can hear what they say about me, you can see through their hearts. Their oblivion is killing Maat. Unfortunately, this time the reminder will have to be a tough one, all other ways have been exhausted.Teach them a lesson, my fierce lady. Bring them back to their senses, let them recover the memory of who they truly are. You know what to do.” Sekhmet did not need to be asked twice. She was offended for her father and she knew she had the right nature for the task. She would give them back their life spirit by devouring it first. For if you can, you should be able to give. And so the carnage started. Sekhmet stroke with murder and plague. She killed and tortured and destroyed with a rightful vengeance. She had a knack for blood and she made sure to try different kinds. Humanity had started to recover its memory of its source Ra but it seemed like Sekhmet had gotten contaminated with men is oblivion from all the blood she drank, forgetting that vengeance had limits too. She forgot the idea and now only remembered herself.
Had she fallen in the same trap?
Mankind remembered and kneeled. They asked Ra for mercy for they knew only he could stop that curse. Ra waited for Sekhmet to stop but she didn’t. Then he explicitly asked her to stop but still she would not. Time after time after time. Oblivion, the devil, the most contagious of evils, was unleashed again and with a cruelty unheard of before.
Ra frowned again. “Nothing will stop her, except getting drunk but on something else but blood.” And so Ra turned to the goddess of beer. ” Please mix your beer with red hue and pour a river of that red potion for Sekhmet to drink” The beer goddess obliged. The plan worked. Sekhmet drank, thinking it was a blood river, her ultimate satisfaction! When she woke up, she was no longer Sekhmet. Through her intoxication she had lost her bloody memory and transformed into pure compassion again. And thus, she woke up as Hathor, the gentle cow, goddess of love, joy, music and gratitude. Sekhmet and Hathor sat with their father, facing each other and smiling. Maat was sitting right in between them, keeping each at an equal distance from her. ” I am you and you are me and the way between us is life is journey. Sekhmet and Hathor chanted in unison. Ra was happy. Everything was in its right place again: Maat ruled, gratitude filled the hearts, celebration was in the air, wrath was standing at the gate of heaven just in case and the solar barque between the shores of human consciousness was in motion and never ending.
In ancient Egypt, if you were saved from death or if you became “a new person” after some tumultuous life experience, that was Sekhmet’s touch. And so it was when Life forced you to kneel for doing Her wrong. Whenever you didn’t respect Mother Nature, Sekhmet would surely strike with plague and destruction. Medics in ancient Egypt, among the finest scientists to this day, were Sekhmet priests. Because if she could take life, then she could give it too. For if you are death then you are also the remedy.