Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The Netjer goddess of vengeance and war
Sekhmet is the bloodthirsty and implacable goddess of vengeance, the hand of Ra himself who hunts down the deserving and dispenses justice with claw and tooth. Savage and ruthless as the lion she is so closely associated with, she is also a goddess of the sun, a daughter of Ra and expression of his light in its most searing, blinding form. She is the ancient protector of the pharaohs, leading them in war and defending their borders against invasions and incursions, and an especial patron of women, who become blood-soaked warriors once a month in her honor. She holds the power of disease and plague in her hands and may inflict them without mercy, but she is also the source of all cures should she feel benevolently toward a supplicant. She is the Scarlet Goddess, the Mistress of Dread and the Lady of Slaughter, who washes away crimes in an unending flood of the blood of their perpetrators.
Sekhmet and Ra
Mankind one day plotted against Ra, who saw their doings from his omniscient position as the sun. Angered by their presumption and lack of gratitude, he sent his daughter, born out of the flame of his all-seeing eye, to punish them. Sekhmet rampaged throughout the land for days, killing every human she met and destroying the landscape, until the very Nile itself ran red with blood; seeing the rampant destruction, Ra attempted to call her off but found that she would no longer listen to him, her mind clouded and crazed with bloodlust. When he saw that she drank the blood from the Nile’s waters, he sent his servants to pour beer that had been dyed red with pomegranate juice into the river near where she was stalking; when she saw that the river ran heavily with what she thought was blood, she drank so much of it that she was rendered too drunk to continue her killing spree and slept for three days on the bank of the river.
Sekhmet and Ptah
After Sekhmet had been calmed and fallen asleep, Ra saw that she would need a calming influence or resume her rampage upon awakening. He appealed to the other gods, asking one of them to volunteer to take charge of her and control her violent urges, but none stepped forward, all of them fearing her savagery and might. Finally, Ra turned to his brother Ptah and he agreed to take on the responsibility; he descended to the earth and waited patiently beside Sekhmet as she slept, and upon waking he was the first thing she saw. Still slightly drunk and impressed by his godly demeanor, Sekhmet immediately fell in love with him and consented to become his wife, and his wise and calming counsel henceforth kept her rage barely in check.