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Sekhmet Story

Sekhmet Story before the
          Sekhmet Mid Summer Ritual 
July 30, 2000 - August 4, 2001 - August 4, 2002 - August 3, 2003 - July 31, 2004
July 30, 2005 - July 29, 2006  - August 04, 2007  Modified and inproved each year.

        Sekhmet's Mid Summer Ritual
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft Lauderdale
                    3970 NW 21st Avenue,
               Oakland Park, Florida  33309
Tonight we celebrate the halfway point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. 

I call it ‘Mid Summer’ because the start of summer is the Summer Solstice and the
 start of Autumn is the Autumn Equinox and this is the mid point between the two, hence ‘Mid Summer‘. 

In the northern hemisphere the ‘first harvest‘ is celebrated at this midpoint. 
 It is common ritual to bake special ceremonial breads to honor the Goddesses and Gods. 

The grinding of the grain represents the harvest and death (or transition),
 adding sprouted wheat and yeast represents resurrection, and the consumption of the
  bread represents the cycles of nature and new life.

In Ancient Egypt, the harvesting was over. 
 This was the time for the flooding of the Nile, the inundation, which fertilized the land. 
  A great transition in their lives.

The heliacal rise of Sirius just before dawn, which is now August 1st, 
 was an extremely important event for the Ancient Egyptians. 

It  coincided with the  flooding of the Nile, the inundation. 

It was also the start of the Ancient Egyptian solar calendar. 
 Which consisted of twelve, 30 day, months plus a five day celebration to honor the birth of the Goddesses and Gods. 
  An additional day would be added as needed.

June 27th to July 26th is the twelfth solar month; the last month of crop harvest.

July 27th  to July 31st  is 'Heriu-renpet', a five day celebration of the birth of Goddesses and Gods 
 (Wesir, Heru-Wer, Set, Aset and Nebthet).

August 1st is New Year and the Wep Renpet celebration.

August 1st  to August 30th is the first solar month when the Nile started flooding. 

So at this time for the Ancient Egyptian the harvest was over,
 and in anticipation of the inundation of the Nile, the celebrations had began.  
     Yea!!!  Yea!!

The Ancient Egyptians had both a solar and lunar calendar. 
 The first new moon after the solar New Year was the beginning of the lunar year. 

The Ancient Egyptian first lunar month Tekhy is sacred to
 Thoth the ibis-headed moon God of truth, writing, and figuring things. 

So there is cause for a lot of celebration.  And that we shall do.   Yea!!!!!   Yea!!!!!!

Now for some more on the Goddess Sekhmet.

Her Name is derived from the Egyptian word 'Sekhem', which means "power" or "might".
 The word 'sekhem' is literally inseparable from Sekhmet.

Her name has also been spelled as Sakhmet and Sekhet.

Sekhmet is shown as a woman with the face of a Lioness surmounted by the solar disk encircled by an uraeus. 
 She is called the Lady of the place of the beginning of time. 
  One who was before the Gods were. 
   She holds an Ankh in one hand and a Lotus Wand in the other; She wears a red dress.  

Sekhmet is the Eye of Ra, the Sun Goddess of protection, medicine, child birth, destruction, death, and rebirth. 

She is a protector for those who call on Her for help. 
 She removes threats and punishes those who do wrong against Ma'at. 

Sekhmet is also associated with war and divine vengeance. 
 When She destroys it is an appropriate destruction or vengeance. 
  It is never chaotic or random.  It is always what is needed at the time. 
   As a destroying element she plays the part of a power which protects the good and annihilates the wicked.  

On many of the pyramid and temple walls, Sekhmet and Hathor are referenced as being one and the same Goddess. 

Isis is the Greek name for the Egyptian Goddess Hathor. 

Sekhmet is also referenced with the Goddess Bast who is sometimes portrayed as a black cat. 
 Bast wears a green dress.  Sekhmet wears a red dress. 

The three Goddesses Sekhmet, Hathor, and Bast are sometimes considered as
 different aspects of the same Goddess and all three Goddesses
  have been portrayed with the face of a lioness.

The first lunar month of Tekhy is Holy to Sekhmet/Hathor 
 when the Festival of the Feast of Lights of Hathor was celebrated.

There is evidence that indicates that this Festival is the true "Festival of Intoxication." 
 Strong evidence points to the myth recounting the destruction of mankind by Sekhmet as the basis for this festival.
  According to this story, in order to end the bloody rampage, Re tricked Sekhmet into drinking beer laced with mandrake
   and red ocher. He flooded Egypt with this drugged beer. Sekhmet, thinking it was blood, consumed so much of it that she
    became drunk and passed out, and she lost interest in destroying humanity. The yearly Inundation by the Nile,
     with its rich, red silt, is the earthly re-enactment of this flood of beer.
      This feast of intoxication is the ancient Egyptian's "October fest."

In this ritual we will be using Barley Bread and Red Beer for Cakes and Ale. 
 Non Alcoholic: The Red Beer consists of a Red Soda and Root Beer.

This Mid Summer ritual will honor three very powerful Ancient Egyptian deities. 
 Sekhmet, her consort Ptah, and their son Nefertem.  They will be invited to join us for our ritual. 
  We honor them because this is near the time for Sekhmet’s celebration.   

Ptah, the consort of Sekhmet, is shown as a man with a punt beard, wrapped up like a mummy,
 but with his hands free which grip a great staff made up of the symbols for life, stability, and power.
  Sometimes he wears a skullcap crown and stands on the hieroglyph for  Ma’at. 
The second lunar month Paopi is scared to Ptah. 
 "Egypt" is a Greek corruption of the phrase "Het-Ka-Ptah," which means: "House of the Spirit of Ptah.".

Nefertem, the son of Sekhmet and Ptah, is shown being born in a Lotus Blossom. 
 Sometimes he is shown  as a man with the face of a Lion and as a warrior. 
  He is also closely associated with healers and healing.

The main temples of the Divine Triad, Sekhmet - Ptah - and Nefertem, were in the city of Memphis. 
 The creation story of Memphis has Sekhmet creating everything that Ptah thinks and then speaks. 
  All other Goddesses and Gods as well as the world and everything in it are created by Ptah and Sekhmet.

There were also temples for Sekhmet in Luxor and Abydos. 

In this ritual the Goddesses invited from the four directions will be: 
 Goddess Uatchet -from the North and the element earth .,
  Goddess Bast -from the East and the  element fire.
   Goddess Nekhebet - from the South and the element air.
    Goddess Sekhet - from the West and the element water.

In  late dynastic times Sekhet  and Bast were  regarded as the Goddesses of the West and the East. 
 Nekhe-bet and Uatchet were the Goddesses of the South and the North. 

Each Goddess has been portrayed or shown as a woman with the face of a lioness.

So now on with the Ritual in Celebration of Sekhmet and the Mid Summer transformation.

The mantra
         Sa Sekhem Sahu
 can be chanted to balance and increase your inner power. 

Sa Sekhem Sahu is pronounced
       Sa (Sah)
       Sekhem (Say-Kem)
       Sahu (Sah-Hoo); 

Sa means the breath of life;
 Sekhem means power or might;
  Sahu is the realized human.

There is a story that has the God Ra sending forth Sekhmet to punish mankind for disrespecting Him and
 repeatedly breaking the laws of the Goddess Ma'at.  Sekhmet is sent because there is no other Goddess or
  God that can right the wrong of mankind against Ra and Ma‘at..  Sekhmet's punishment of mankind becomes
  lethal and she goes on a feeding frenzy of blood.  She is devouring mankind. 
   The other Goddesses and Gods were unable to stop her so the God Thoth created a mixture with
     pomegranate juice, beer, and perhaps some psychedelic substance that looked like human blood.  

When Sekhmet goes to sleep they pour the mixture on the ground all around her. 

When she wakes up,  thinking that this is blood, she drinks the mixture and falls into a stupor and passes out.  
 When she awakes she is transformed back into the peaceful Hathor. 
  Some stories have her transform into the Goddess Bast.

Another tale has Sekhmet becoming angry with the God Ra and discouraged with the people of Egypt,
 she goes south to Nubia taking all her abundance with her.  Leaving only the hot scorching sun. 
  Nothing can grow and the heat starts to devour everything.  The God Ra sends the God Thoth to convince
   Sekhmet to come back home and when she does things turn back to normal, the inundation begins and there
    are again abundant harvests.

Here in the United States there is a  Temple in Cactus Springs, Nevada devoted to the Goddess Sekhmet. 
 It was constructed by Genevieve Vaughn to fulfill a twenty-seven year-old promise made to the
  Goddess Sekhmet when she touched Her statue in a Temple in Egypt. 

She promised that if she got pregnant she would build a temple for Sekhmet.  And so she did.
Sophialinus - The Drum Lioness