July 2020 brings the need to balance emotions with logic, adventure with safety, rage with compassion. This month, it is the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet who roars into our lives to offer Her fierce wisdom and light.
Sekhmet (pronounced sek’ met) is one of the oldest known Egyptian (Kemetic) deities. She rules vengeance, conquest, war, divine retribution, righteous anger, and is the defender of spiritual and universal laws. As a solar goddess, She is the both the creative and destructive power of the sun, and as such holds sway of healing, the living, and the dead. Sekhmet is mentioned many times in The Egyptian Book of the Dead as this kind of dual force: the dichotomy of chaos and order, of birth and annihilation.
As a warrior Goddess, She protected the pharaohs when they went to war, and sacrifices and celebrations in Her honor were common after victories in battle.
Her name is derived from the Egyptian word ‘Sekhem’ (which means “power” or “might”)and is often translated as the “Powerful One”. She was also known as the Lady of Pestilence, Red Lady, and many other titles indicating her alignment with the desert and powers of devastation. She is the protector of balance and justice, and is referred to as ‘The One Who Loves Ma’at and Who Detests Evil’.
Sekhmet is most often identified in her role as the Eye of Ra (also referred to as the Daughter of Ra), the vengeful destroyer who sees and punishes all of humanity’s sins.
Though her popular myth shows her out of control and losing focus in her rage, a deeper study of Sekhmet’s nature reveals her defense and upholding of righteous anger – the anger that moves us into a space of assertiveness, to stand up for what we know is true and right. Righteous anger puts you in action to make a difference in your life, in the lives of others. We’ve experienced many examples of righteous anger in our culture as of late – the Black Lives Matter movement and protests are a fine example of what can be done when people embrace their anger as a healing tool and a catalyst for change.
In some Goddess traditions, Sekhmet is the Crone aspect of the threefold goddess, along with Bast (Maiden) and Hathor (Mother). With her consort Ptah (patron of artisans, lord of creation) and her son/sun Nefertum (god/pharaoh of healing), she forms the Memphite triad.
She is depicted as a lion-headed woman, sometimes with the addition of a sun and ureaus (striking cobra) crown. Her seated statues show her holding the ankh of life, but when she is shown striding or standing, she usually holds a scepter formed from papyrus.
She is an iconic divine figure, embodying the femininity of woman, the fierceness of the lioness, and the ultimate power of the Sun.
July 5th, 2020: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn
The Capricorn Full Moon Eclipse this week forms an astrological opposition to the Sun in Cancer. It’s a kind of emotion-verses-logic, chaos-verses-order energy happening. You may find yourself fluctuating between both ends of the scale, but what is needed is a balance. During this lunar phase, work to ground and center yourself in the happy medium. Don’t work too much, don’t play too much. Be generous with your time, but be sure to participate in self care. Measure your rage with compassion and wisdom.
Sekhmet can help you discover the areas of your life that are too chaotic, and bring them into order. She can find the places where you are too rigid and guide you to levity. She helps to bring all your emotions and actions into cohesive wholeness, without sacrificing your values or goals. Use the power of this Full Moon Eclipse to call to Sekhmet, so She may aid you in destroying and transforming anything which holds back your growth.
July 20th, 2020: New Moon in Cancer
The New Moon in Cancer is an emotional time, and this week you may be pulled into ruminating on past decisions and traumas. It’s one thing to delve back into the past to heal these wounds; it’s quite another to relive the drama over and over. Take care to remain in the present moment, and don’t let your feelings about events you cannot change overwhelm you. Remember, what’s done is done, and all you have is right now – so what can you do RIGHT NOW to heal, to transform, to learn?
This lunar cycle is also pouring energy into family and domestic areas, so it’s a good time to revamp these spaces and relationships. Time to deep clean, renovate, and restore!
Sekhmet is a solar goddess, using the power of the sun to heal, to strengthen, to craft a new beginning. Work with Her this week to find those past traumas which still need a bit of attention, and ask Her to help you heal. Call to Her for protection of your home, for enhancing (or severing), familial connections, and to aid you in creating a sacred, safe space. The New Moon is a time of darkness - let Sekhmet bring in Her light!
Mine is a heart of corneal, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers.
I am the broken wax seal on my lover’s letters.
I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself.
I will what I will.
Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.
Energy: war, conquest, vengeance, divine retribution, death, anger, rage, justice, balance, truth, the soul, the mind, emotional balance, menopause, healing, medicine, surgery, protection, sensuality, sexuality, authenticity
Colors: red, black, gold, yellow, orange, white
Crystals: carnelian, garnet, onyx, ruby, bloodstone, quartz, tiger’s eye, labradorite, jade, amber, red jasper, yellow jasper, obsidian, golden calcite, black agate, red quartz, hematite, sunstone, serpentine
Fragrance: frankincense, myrrh, blood orange, cinnamon, jasmine, bamboo, cedarwood, clove, pomegranate, hops
Offerings: red beer, blood, candle flame, lion figurines, sand, red henna
Symbols: the sun (noon), blood, beer, the Eye of Ra, medical tools, lions
Totems: felines, both feral and domesticated; lions, scorpions, cobras, hawks
Sekhmet Guiding Goddess Oil (limit quantities, available only during July 2020)
Righteous: The Light of Sekhmet – an online workshop with Priestess Brandi Auset
Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Normandi Ellis
Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Desert Priestess: A Memoir of Sekhmet by Anne Key
Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Coming Forth By Day by Muata Ashby