Study Guide

Sekhmet

  • Profile

    Sekhmet is a woman of many talents. She's the big bad lioness of the sun. She can cause disease as well as cure it. Oh, and she can destroy evil at Ra's command and then go home to celebrate with red beer.

    Sekhmet came into being like an ancient Egyptian Hulk. See, Hathor got angry because people were picking on her dad, Ra, and she turned into Sekhmet. Now, whenever Hathor's angry, Sekhmet bares her teeth.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Sekhmet

    Nickname

    The Powerful One, Goddess of the Blood Red Garment, Mistress of Plagues, She-Ra

    Sex

    Female

    Current city

    Memphis

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Goddess of plagues, doctors, war, and breaking stuff (but only if Ra says I can)

    Education

    Memphis Medical School (I am a surgeon, you know)

    Beliefs

    Political views

    My dad is in charge. Understand?

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    My father Ra is my world

    Siblings

    Hathor (she's actually me when I'm not angry, but it's complicated)

    Children

    Nefertem

    Friends

    Horus the Elder, Isis, Thoth

    Enemies

    Bad people. Traitors. Germs.

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Ptah

    Interested in

    Men (especially when I get to kill them if they're bad)

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Xena, Warrior Princess (A warrior who can heal. Just what I like.)
    Judge Judy (I like a judge who tells it like it is.)
    Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (Girls who fight evil? Yes, please.)

    Quotations

    "The sword of justice has no scabbard."
    – Antoine de Rivarol

    "Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them?" – J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

    "We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction."
    – Aesop

    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with fools."
    – Ernest Hemingway

    Books

    Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (I actually have seven arrows, against all seven possible illnesses or dangers. And I'm not afraid to use any of them.)
    The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe (Nobody wants to invite me to parties, either. I wonder why?)
    The Plague by Albert Camus (I could cure those people.)
    The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (Fa Mu Lan is definitely my kind of lady.)
    Inside Straight (A Wild Cards novel) edited by George R.R. Martin (I got to take over a superhero kid in this book! It was fun.)
    Face to Face with Lions by Derek and Beverly Joubert (Look at how beautiful we are!)
    Warfare in Ancient Egypt by Bridget McDermott (How we used to smack down evil, desert-style.)
    Disease: the Extraordinary Stories Behind History's Deadliest Killers by Mary Dobson (Do I have my own chapter? I should have my own chapter.)

    Music

    A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke (Yeah. I'm coming, and I'm going to change everything.) 
    Anything by Rage Against the Machine
    Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears (I didn't mean to.) 
    Cat People (Putting Out Fire) by David Bowie (Pro tip: gasoline doesn't put out fire.)
    Set Fire to the Rain by Adele (I could really do that—you know, make rain burn.) 
    I'm on Fire by Bruce Springsteen (Good of him to do the right thing. Now I don't have to kill him.) 
    Like a Surgeon by Weird Al Yankovic (Hey! Did you see that lion in the ER?) 
    The Jungle (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) by The Tokens (People like it better when I'm sleeping.) 

    Movies

    The Avengers (I can't tell who I love more: Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, or Nick Fury….can I just like them all?)
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Catching a killer is my kind of job. I don't like bad men.)
    Aeon Flux (A woman with a mission. I liked the animated series, too.)
    The Incredible Hulk (Did anybody ever try giving him a beer? Works for me.)
    Rabbit-Proof Fence (Don't EVER try to hurt children. I will bite you.)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (More fighting! More!)
    Princess Mononoke (Greedy humans need to be punished.)
    The Ghost and the Darkness (Sometimes, lions go a little crazy. These two understand.)

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Children
    Extreme sports
    Energy drinks
    Sharp, pointy things

    Interests

    Justice
    Infectious diseases
    Contact sports
    Surgical techniques

    Groups

    Ancient Egyptian Gods 
    BEER
    Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. 
    Goddess Sekhmet 
    Funny Wildlife 

    • Spotter's Guide

      It's hard to miss Sekhmet because, well, she's a lion. And even when she's human, she has a lion's head. Be careful, though. You might want to cuddle this nice little feline, but she's fierce. If you want to keep your limbs, you should probably keep your distance.

      Sex: Female
      Age: Adult
      Build: Attractive woman with a lioness's head (human form); lioness (cat form)
      Complexion: Light gold skin (or fur)
      Hair Color: Black or red or gold (human form), golden hair (lioness/cat form)
      Facial Hair: Lion's hair in either form
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None. She fights a lot, but nobody ever gets close enough to hit her.
      Jewelry and accessories: A necklace and bracelets, Ra's crown (a sun-disk with a cobra), a scepter in the shape of the hieroglyph for "power" (which is pronounced "sekhem," and the first sound in her name)
      Clothing: A bright red dress
      Armor: None
      Type of Weapon: In human form, sometimes she carries a khopesh (a long, curved sword). As a lioness, her weapons are her teeth and claws.

      Typical Companions

      Sekhmet's kind of a loner, unless you count the beer jars.

      Known Hangouts

      Deserts
      In the sunlight (especially on a really hot day)
      The gym
      The beer tent

    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970

      The Mennefer (Memphis) Triad

      Way back before Egypt became a country, a king named Narmer, "the striking catfish," built a town. He called it Ineb-hedj or "White Walls," and later Mennefer or "Enduring and Beautiful." The middle of the city had a huge temple, Hut-ka-Ptah, for Ptah and Sekhmet and their son Nefertem. Hut-ka-Ptah's name was spelled Aigiptos by the Greeks, and is why we call Egypt by that name today.

      Jan 1, 1970

      Like Oktoberfest… but Redder

      Mut was a lioness goddess who merged with Sekhmet during the New Kingdom. And so Sekhmet's festivals, including the very popular "Drunkenness of Sekhmet" feast, were also celebrated at Mut's temple in Karnak. During Hatshepsut's reign, a "porch of drunkenness" was added to Sekhmet-Mut's temple at Karnak so party-goers could celebrate not being eaten by Sekhmet in style, with as much red beer as they could drink.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Mysterious Karnak Sekhmet

      Thutmosis started a temple for Ptah and Sekhmet at Karnak, and other kings kept adding to it. It was never as big as Amun-Ra's temple, but there's a life-size, standing statue of Sekhmet inside the southern chapel. Modern temple guards say that she comes to life at night and prowls the ruins looking for thieves.

      Jan 1, 1970

      A Lion a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

      Pharaoh Amunhotep liked Sekhmet. He also liked her power to scare away disease. To drive a plague out of Egypt, he ordered a series of giant Sekhmet statues to be installed all along the paths of Karnak temple, one for every day of the year and then some. In all, almost 600 have been found so far. (Maybe they needed a second year's worth?) These statues are now located in Egypt and in other museums and private collections worldwide.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Lion in Bed?

      One of the beds in King Tut's tomb has lions on each side. They're made from gilded wood and glass and are as pretty as Sekhmet. Makes sense, since they are images of her.

      Ozymandias Comes to Visit

      Ramses II (or Userma'atra, whose name is spelled "Ozymandias" in Shelley's poem) built many monuments at Memphis, including giant colossal statues of himself and temples to Ptah and Sekhmet. Some of them still exist. Ramses liked to put his name on things he didn't build, but at least he didn't carve over Sekhmet's name. She liked that well enough; Ramses II's titles include "Beloved of Sekhmet."

      Dec 20, 1993

      Sekhmet in the Mojave

      Genevieve Vaughn built a temple to the goddess Sekhmet not in the Egyptian desert, but in the Nevada desert, near old nuclear testing sites. It is still open today.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Destruction of Mankind: Doodle History Edition

      Once upon a time, Ra told Sekhmet to kill evil humans. She got a little carried away, and Ra had to trick her to make her stop. We all know this story, but it'd be great as a graphic novel. Stephanie Thornton thinks so, too