I wove another reading of her myth based on the events described in Sekhmet’s ancient Egyptian myths. This new myth I created was not a translation or revisioning; it was the myth of Sekhmet in her temple in Nevada, which was purposefully placed here in the desert between a bombing range and a nuclear weapons testing facility. This is ancient understanding combined with a new myth for the twenty-first century.
There was a time when all the world lived in beautiful harmony. This was a time when animals and plants and earth and humans recognized their bonds and ties. It was a time when the web was woven tightly, without loose ends and rents. It was a time when the spirits were honored, when the Divine was recognized, and peace prevailed.
That time did pass and the people forgot their place in the web. They forgot the time when death and life were balanced. They forgot the time when none had power over the other, when all gave their lives for the greater good, and all lived for the continuation and perpetuation of all. They forgot when the strong used their power to maintain the balance. They forgot when harmony prevailed. They forgot when Maat was served and her laws were abided. They forgot that there was a time when the small prevailed alongside the strong, when cubs were fed and the old were protected.
The people used the land’s abundance to feed their desires. They used without thought and wasted the gifts of the land. They put themselves higher than the Great Spirits; they believed that they were the architects of the Divine Order, which changed at their whim in service of their desires. Their companions—the plants, stones, and animals—all became simply implements to quench their unabated craving. Everything was in the service of the people. Then their own young and old—the infirm, the
weakest, the oddest, the least of all—became the means to support the convoluted structures that evolved to satisfy their desires. The strong survived on the resources of the weak. The Divine Order had become hideously inverted.
Sekhmet’s heart roared at seeing the injustice. She was sickened at this perversion. The hubris of the people had gone too far. They were beyond the point of comprehending the consequences of their actions. The fragile and beautiful must be protected and the strong must be challenged. Fiery Sekhmet came to reestablish Maat. She came because she loved the land. She came to reestablish the divine connection. She came as a human animal, as a woman lion. She came as the birth, the death, the mother and destroyer and healer. She came as the sun.
She prowled the Earth as the lioness, devouring all in her sight, devouring all who forgot the Divine Order. She tasted the blood of those who dared forget the Great Spirits. She prowled the desert, and the hot wind was her breath blowing destruction. Her breath dried up the life. Her wrath flared at what had been wrought, at the injustice on Earth. Her wrath was indiscriminate. There was no individual judgment for those acts that had been more egregious than others.
The people began to understand. They began to see themselves as part of their great, rent web. They could comprehend the grand connections, the tremendous responsibilities, and the exquisite beauty. In the unyielding light of the tremendous destruction, they began to see clearly, for it was a time when everyone viscerally understood the web, they understood their connection to all. As destruction hailed from all corners, none were left untouched.
The people who could remember the time of harmony went to the plants to ask for guidance for an offering, an offering that would show the deep understanding of the relationship between humans and Earth. Those who remembered went to their deities and asked what they could offer to show their understanding of the Divine Order, what could they offer Sekhmet to express their comprehension of the sacred web and their place within and their sacred pact to uphold it. The plants and the deities spoke to those who would listen, and the people painstakingly prepared a sacred brew as an offering.
The sacred brew was made in the color of blood to remind all of the substance of life. They offered this brew to Sekhmet as a gift to honor their sacred connection with all and their deep understanding of the splendor and responsibilities of life. Sekhmet lapped up the brew, finally able to be at peace, knowing that all had returned to a sense of common stewardship. Peace and harmony once again saturated the land as the strong cared for the weak and the gifts of life were shared.
Can you remember? Can you remember when we would give freely for the good of all? When we could feel and know the web? When sacred holy connections were honored? When beauty was abundant and love was the binding cord? When statues gleamed and offerings were piled high? When we sang to the land and danced for the Divine?
This is my myth for the twenty-first century that calls me to live a life in recognition and honor of the sacred connections in the Divine Order. To understand Sekhmet is to understand the sun, the literal life-force of this planet. That force, so great, could also easily destroy this planet. To hold the twin powers of life and death in the understanding that each is a force that does not adhere to mere human judgments of good and evil is to understand Sekhmet. This myth moves me to remember what has been broken apart. It compels me to confront the pain of what has been rent and to find my part in the repair.
To learn more about Sekhmet:
Join In the Lap of the Lioness – Goddess Sekhmet Online Activation Course with Anne Key at Mystery School of the Goddess