The Hundred Names of Sekhmet
The below list of the Names of Sekhmet is an adaptation by Dr. Robert Masters in his landmark book, “The Goddess Sekhmet”, Llewlyn Publishing. Some of the following Names taken from Sigrid-Eike Hoenes’ book “Unterscuhungen zu Wesen und Kult der Gottin Sachmet” (1976 Ruldolf Habelt Verlag, Bonn Germany) and some taken from his personal research with other Egyptologists. In our research, my colleague and myself have found that this list below is somewhat incomplete. We have found that there are possibly well over 200 Names of Sekhmet.
Please also note that the word ‘Netjer(t) is used in place of the word God/ess, from Dr. Master’s book.
Sekhmet, Great One of Magic
Mother of the Netjeru (Gods)
One Who Was Before The Netjeru Were
Lady Of The Place Of The Beginning of Time
Beloved of Ra, Her Father
Beloved of Bast, Her Sister
Beloved of Ptah, Her Husband-Brother
At Whose Wish The Arts Were Born
Beautiful Eye Which Giveth Life To The Two Lands
Beautiful Face, Image Most Beloved By Art
Sovereign of Ra, Her Father
Protectress Of The Netjeru
Lady of the Scarlet-Colored Garment
Destroyer of Rebellions
Eye of Ra
Eye of Heru (Horus)
Pre-Eminent One In The Boat Of Millions Of Years
Roamer of Deserts
Wanderer in the Wastes
Lady of Enchantments
Opener of Ways
Lady Of Transformations
Lady Of The Many Faces
Giver Of Ecstasies
Satisfier Of Desires
Inspirer of Men
Victorious One In Battles
Overcomer Of All Enemies
Ruler Of The Desert
Ruler Of Serpents And Of Dragons
Ruler Of Lions
Great One Of Heka
Lady Of The Magic Lamp
Mother Of The Dead
Lady Of The Bloodbath
Destroyer By Plagues
Great One of Healing
Destroyer By Fire
Lady Of The Waters Of Life
Mistress And Lady Of The Tomb
Great One In The Places Of Judgement And Execution
Guide And Protectress From The Perils Of The Underworld
Great One Of The Place Of Appearances In Silence
Lady Of The Way of Five Bodies
Unrivaled And Invincible One
Ruler Of The Chamber Of Flames
She Whose Opportunity Escapeth Her Not
Powerful Of Heart
The Gleaming One
Sekhmet, Who Reduceth To Silence
Sekhmet, Who Rouseth The People
Lady Of Jubilation
Shining Of Countenance
Mother Of Images
Lady Of Intoxications
Mightier Than The Netjeru
Great One Of Laws
Protectress Of The Divine Order
The One Who Holds Back Darkness
The Beautiful Light
Warrior Netjert (Goddess)
Netjert (Goddess) of Love
Great One In Heaven
Great Serpent On The Head Of Her Father
Great One Of The Incense Of The Ennead
Great Lady of The House of Life
Queen Of The Venerable Ones
Lady Of The House Of Books
Sekhmet Of The Knives
Burner Of Evildoers
The One Before Whom Evil Trembles
Lady Of All Powers
Eternal As Her Father
Lady Of The Manifold Adornments
Most Beautiful Among The Netjeru
Sekhmet Who Gives Joys
Unwavering, Loyal One
She is Fire and passion, She is the Crone, She is the South and Watchtower over our desires. Her colour is red. She desires Blood and therefor Goddess of Menstruation or Menopause, She is of the Sun and has the sun’s power, She is energy, heat and sexual passion.
She is Healing, the Solar Plexus Chakra, Willpower, Courage and Confidence.
She is the Lioness of Ra, She is the queen of the creation, she is the daughter of the Creator Ra.
The Litany of Sekhmet
1. O Sekhmet, Eye of Ra, Great of Flame, Lady of protection who surrounds her creator!
Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Master of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, the Lord of crowns, the Living Image! Protect him and preserve him from every arrow and every impurity of this year, because it is Ra from whom you are descended.
2. O Sekhmet, You who illumine the Double Land with your flame and give the faculty of sight to all! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Free him, preserve him from all the evil contagions of this year, so that they never hold ascendancy over him.
3. O Sekhmet, Lady of Flame, Great of Flame, Great of Terror, in fear of whom the Double Land trembles! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Make him pass far from every fever, from every pestilence of the year, for you are his Sole Protectress!
4. O Sekhmet, with red heart toward him from whom she issues forth, when he brought her back after imploring her! Come to the Living Image! Protect him, save him, deliver him; protect him from the massacre of slaughtering spirits so that he will not die because of them.
5. O Sekhmet, Uraeus on the head of her master, who hides (i.e., protects)
him with her flame! Come towards the Living Image! Liberate him, put your protection around him! Protect him from every arrow and from every pestilence of the year! Preserve him from the one who plots against him, for it is he who in his name of Ra is eternally in the sky.
6. O Sekhmet, the one who makes every eye to see, without blindness happening! Come to the Living Image, the Living Falcon! For it is Ra from whom you issue forth, it is he who is the Protected One of this year so that he will go away from
. . . So that he will be preserved from every arrow, from every contagion,
from every bitterness, and from every fever, because he is Heru the Offspring.
7. O Sekhmet, when you rise, the Light appears; when you go back, darkness comes!
Grant that the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Master of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, the Lord of crowns, does not die from your arrow, and grant that your fever does not catch him, for he is the god from whom you come forth. He is Heru, the Offspring.
8. O Sekhmet, who clothes her master in her light, and who conceals him inside her pupil! Come to the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Protect him from every evil fly of this year, so that it does not cling to him, . . . .
9. O Sekhmet, Ardent Flame, who lights a fire, when she took the torch! Come to the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Preserve him from every evil . . . Because he is Ra who cannot go toward your slaughtering spirits!
10. O Sekhmet, whose flame is well-respected among mankind! Who causes her flame to rise. Preserve the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Protect him and deliver him from the pestilence of the year which reigns in the land, for he is the Unique One who is indestructible . . . .
11. O Sekhmet, for whom the two skies open at once after she shows herself in splendor! Preserve the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Free him, protect him as well as his people, his mate, and his children from every terror, from every evil arrow of this year, and from all difficulties, . . .
12. O Sekhmet, Lady of Slaughter the way you like, the one who turns her face toward the south, the north, the west, and the east, in such a way that mankind is in fear! Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Master of the Double Land, Son of Ra, the Lord of crowns, the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Protect him . . .
13. O Sekhmet, who enters in the opening of the mountains, she from which the flame fills for him (i.e., Ra) the Double Land, who inspires fear in the gods! She from which the flame fills for him the Double Land; (and which) she places among the gods. Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Preserve him, deliver him, make him to pass well away (from harm), (for) he is the Protected One of your arm of this year.
14. O Sekhmet, who fashions her Lord on herself, whose place is preeminent in front of him! Do not send your messengers against the Living Image! . . . In order that he cannot go in front of any of your evil arrows.
15. O Sekhmet, the one who spreads out your terror upon everything, the one who has been asked for life by those who rest in your hand! Preserve the Living Image, the Living Falcon, from your Slaughtering Spirits, because it is he who is the only recourse of his people, (the only recourse) of his mates and of his children . . . .
16. O Sekhmet, Eater of blood, the one who does not push away the arm’s grip, the one who establishes her domination in the house of the gods! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Deliver him from the impurity which you have spread out in this year, so that he does not go toward this impurity, because he is the one to whom the two Eyes have been sent, . . .
17. O Sekhmet, more divine than the gods, more glorious than the Ennead,
Lady of Light, whose place is preeminent on the head of her Lord! Come
toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Make him pass away from all
contagion, from every evil arrow, every pernicious fever, so that they do
not penetrate into him, for he is Atum, the night, who cannot die for all eternity.
18. O Sekhmet, Lady of Flame, the one who is in her moment (of rage),
who grasps hearts for herself! Preserve the Living Image, the Living
Falcon; deliver him from every disastrous death of this year, . . .
19. O Sekhmet, the one who presides as the Power for capturing the Wanderers, Lady of Life of the Double Land, who can be the cause of death! Make to pass far from all evil the Living Image, the Living Falcon! (Repeat) Protect him, for it is he who has the name spty.f(y) , the one who must exist on earth.
20. O Sekhmet the Great, Lady of the Uraeus, the one whom we fear around the shrine! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Protect him, place your protection around him, for he is Horus the Offspring. May he live, may he live eternally, for ever and ever!
21. O Sekhmet, the one who opens the mountains, the one for whom the desert animals have been killed on account of the fear which she inspires! Come to the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him; do not permit that your massacre is exercised on him; do not strike him, for he is the one who is protected by his eye.
22. O Sekhmet, the sight of whom reduces all things to ashes, while humans
throw themselves down upon their faces (lit., on their forehead)! Come toward the Son of Ra, the Lord of crowns, the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him from this your terror, for he is the One protected (sheltered) from your arm.
23. O Sekhmet, woman who plays the role of the male, and whom every god fears! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! For he is possessor of your protection, and if you live, he lives; if you are in good health, he is in good health, (and) he will not be destroyed, no, not ever!
24. O Sekhmet, the one who is at the head of all things, thanks to whom what every eye sees can be contemplated! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Make him to pass well away from harm, for he is Ra, he is the Venerable Falcon, and his name is the name of Ra, each day.
25. O Sekhmet, the one who shines, on account of whom one jubilates when it is ordered that her flame advances! When you shine, one jubilates because of you; (when) you are kind, the flame is pacified. Come towards the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Push away your messengers; do not permit them to be sent against him, so that they cannot have power against him.
26. O Sekhmet, at whose setting the darkness appears, in such a way that if
someone nods his head (lit., makes a nod of the head) to his neighbor, they
will not see one another! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon!
Control every contagion, every arrow, . . . (and) all malicious things
. . . so that they cannot be sent against him, not ever.
27. O Sekhmet, Lady of Flame, Great One who causes (all) to tremble,
the power of any other god turns out to be non-existent when he is handed
over to her. Come toward the Son of Ra, the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Protect him and save him . . . . (from harmful things) issuing from you, (in order that) he does not die because of them.
28. O Sekhmet,Lady of Maat, the one who hates the thief, the one who devours him to satiation, in accordance with your desire! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, make him to pass far away from the illness wnm-ct (gnaw-limbs) of this year, for he is the ultimate protected body.
29. O Sekhmet, for whom heads are severed by her messengers, the one who is at the head of her wandering spirits. Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Keep away from him all . . . . . . For he is the one whom one does not attack, . . .
30. O Sekhmet, the one who fills the ways with blood (and) who slays to the
limit of all she sees! Come toward the Living Image, the Living Falcon!
Protect him, (and) save him from every contagion (and) from every arrow of
this year [hurled against his faculty of sight].
31. O Sekhmet, the one who opens and one lives; the one who seals, (and)
one dies; Lady of Life who awards according to her desire! Come toward the
Son of Ra, the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Grant him to live, (for)
he is the one who survives every evil arrow of this year, of this month,
of this instant.
Invocation against the Seven Arrows of the Year
32. O Sekhmet, the one who presides over the country, Lady of Vegetation,
Generous One, Sekhmet who protects the Double Land! Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Double Land, the Son of Ra,
Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him,
protect him, (and) preserve him from the First Arrow of the year!
33. O Sekhmet, the Curled One, Lady of Obscurity, Wadjet the Great! Come
toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Double Land,
the Son of Ra, Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon!
Save him, protect him, (and) preserve him from the Second Arrow of the year!
34. O Sekhmet, the one who moves in light, the one who terrifies the gods
by her massacre! Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord
of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him, (and) preserve him from the Third Arrow of the year!
35. O Sekhmet, the one who guides mankind, Lady of the (Two) Shores,
(and Lady) of humanity! Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt,
the Lord of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, Lord of crowns, [name],
the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him,(and) preserve
him from the Fourth Arrow of the year!
36. O Sekhmet, Luminous One, the Great, preeminent in the Mansion of Fire, who terrorizes the Double Land by her fear! Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him, (and) preserve him from the Fifth Arrow of the year!
37. O Sekhmet, the one who loves Maat and who detests Evil, Lady of rekhyt. Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him, (and) preserve him from the Sixth Arrow of the year!
38. O Sekhmet, Uraeus who opens the acacia*, Sovereign (One), the Great!
Come toward the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Double Land, the Son of Ra, the Lord of crowns, [name], the Living Image, the Living Falcon! Save him, protect him, (and) preserve him from the Seventh Arrow of the year!
* Possibly in the sense of “who causes the acacia to bloom” as the wamth
of the sun brings forth the blossoms on a tree.
(Translated and adapted into English by Richard Reidy from the French
text “Sekhmet Et La Protection Du Monde” by Phillippe Germond)
Lioness Of The Sun
Sekhmet is the most well-known of the lioness deities. Her name, , sxmt “The Powerful One,” has it its origin’s in the distant past before man appeared, referring to the manifestations of power diffused throughout the universe as defined at the first time. This power is a complimentary and necessary duality – the creation and development of life as well as life’s destruction and death.
Although traditionally depicted as a goddess of war and destruction, Sekhmet, solar deity par excellence, as “Lady of Ma’at,” symbolizes the visible manifestation of the original cosmic order. In this aspect she deploys all her war-like resources to maintain the universal harmony defined at the first time.
xp xrjw wjA.sn mi nn sxmt nw ra m zp-tpj m rn.T pfy n sxmt
prevail over the enemies of Re in the First Time in this your name of Sekhmet.
-Edfu Temple inscription
Sekhmet symbolizes the struggle of the positive and negative elements of the
universe. By appeasing her, victory of Harmony over Disorder, and Life over
Death is assured. As with the powerful, little understood forces of nature,
Sekhmet is feared.
wnnw snD.f xt xAswt mi sxmt rnpt jdw
Whose fear permeated the hill lands like Sekhmet in a year of plague.
-Tale of Sinuhe
The passage of one year to another is a time of imbalance. The ceremonies of the New Year could only assure the inheritor of Horus the continuation of the original work if Sekhmet was properly appeased. Without the appeasement, the king and the land were in peril.
xw.j Hm.k r xt nbt Dwt awt r Ssr
I protect Your Incarnation from every evil thing and (I protect) your limbs from the arrows (of pestilence).
mj.t(w) n axm bjk [sfxt] sw.t dj mk.t HA (sw) Hw.t m Ssr nb jAdw rnpt nb
Come to the Living Image of the Falcon! Protect him, put your protection around him! Protect him from all arrows and from pestilence every year.
As Stephen Quirke so eloquently put it in “the Cult of Re,” “The incantations to appease the Furious Goddess Sekhmet at the end of the year became the greatest litany every sung: a chorus of perhaps 730 images of the goddess.”
As “Eye of Re,” Sekhmet is designated as a solar goddess. She protects the sun, therefore protecting the order of the first time. The Eye, a feminine word in Ancient Egyptian, is also identified with Tefnut, Hathor and Mut. syncretized with Sekhmet.
united with Mut
-from a Statue of Amenemhat II and Sekhmet
j sxmt jrt rA aA nsr nb(t) nrw Ha jt.s
Oh! Sekhmet, Eye of Re, Great of Flame, Lady of Terror, who surrounds her
-Temple of Edfu
sxm jrt.f jm.tn jm.s tn swnw.s tn
His eye is powerful over you(Aphophis). It devours you. It punishes you
m rn.s pwy n jmy wnmyt.(t) sxm.s n jm.tn m rn.s
in this Her name of “Devouring Flame.” Her power is over you in this Her name
pwy n sxmt xr.tn n hh.s
of Sekhmet. You fall because of Her blast (fiery breath).
P. Bremner-Rhind 25,3.
The king was the final beneficiary of Atum’s evolution. Cycling through
formation from Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Isis, Osiris, Nepthys and Seth, the
“becoming’s” culmination was Horus, the personification Kingship itself. As the sun manifest its dominion over all nature, the King, the living Horus,
officiated over the earth. To assure Sekhmet’s protection, the king took as one of his epithets the name ‘son of Sekhmet.’ One of the first instances known is from a relief now in the Staaltiche Museum in Berlin depicting the 5th dynasty king, Niussere, suckling from Sekhmet’s breast.
pA mAiw Hsjw sA sxmt
Look at the fierce looking lion, son of Sekhmet.
-Thotmose III in the Taking of Joppa
Hnk Hn mwt.f sxmt
Jn nswt maat-mn-re
offering the temple vase to his mother, Sekhmet, by the King, Ma’at Men Re (Seti I)
In the hymn “The Destruction of Mankind,” Re sends his Eye, in the name of
Hathor, forth to destroy, with the burning solar rays, the rebellious humans who have fled to the desert. To the Ancient Egyptians, the word had creative power and by Re proclaiming the goddess to be ‘powerful,’ Hathor could henceforth manifest as the fearful aspect of the sun’s rays in the form of rageful Sekhmet. The sun’s rays gave life, but also could sear life away.
Dd.jn nTrt tn anx.k n.j Then is Goddess said: You live because of me.
jw sxm.n.i m r(m)T jw nDm Hr jb.j
I have power over the people. It is sweet upon my heart.
Sekhmet was associated with the wadis near the desert’s edge. The hot desert winds were likened to her fiery breath. Lions were most frequently seen at the water holes and this iconography was brought into the temples as the Asheru, the sacred lakes that were primarily associated with lioness goddesses.
The tale of The Distant Goddess, describes how, in a rage, Sekhmet leaves Egypt and travels south to Nubia. She remains there until appeased and coaxed into returning, stopping to rest in Mut’s temple in Karnak. The Eye’s distant journey could be a metaphor for the sun’s passage southward in winter and return in spring.
jrt ra jj.n.Hmt st m wDat Axt jr r Tz tA jm st Hna
Her Majesty, the Eye of Re, has returned as the beneficent Udjat Eye. Uniting the land together with
kA Htp tj xnw.tj m ASrw xprw.s tn sxmt Hnwt tAwy.
the divine Ka. She has rested and stopped in Asheru in this her form of Sekhmet, Mistress of the Two Lands.
-Leiden I 350
Sekhmet was ‘Lady of the Messengers of Death,’ but as forcefully as she could loose her arrows of plague and pestilence throughout the Two Lands, with precise, accurate litanies she could be persuaded to remove them. These rites were the domain of the Priests of Sekhmet, the wabw sxmt. . By knowing the formulas and proper practices to appease the irascible goddess, they could also use this power, as well as their growing medical knowledge, for healing. The papyroid wAD scepter, ,Sekhmet carries is a symbol of the ‘greening’ or life-giving power she possesses when appeased.
In her dual aspects, both benevolent and malevolent, Sekhmet worked to maintain Ma’at, the universal order. She protected the sun, thereby maintaining cyclical time. She protected the king, assuring the inheritance of the creator to his created. She protected the Two Lands, assuring harmony between its people. The name of one of Sekhmet’s priests in the reign of Sahure summarizes the above themes perfectly:
-Life belongs to Sekhmet.
Sekhmet is the creative fire, the energizing the life force within the creation. In her name of Eye of Re, she wears the solar serpent, symbol of regeneration and life-giving current, upon her brow. She is the materialization of universal force manifested in immanently tangible for. In her name of Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time, she is the receptacle of the potentiality of positive and negative forces revealed at zp-tpy, The First Time, the Creation of the World.
In the cosmic sphere, Sekhmet energized Ptah’s inert form, giving force to his power of creative speech. Together with Ptah she represents the desire of Netjer to know matter and the desire of substance to know divine spirit. Through alternating currents, the divine pair transpose impulse and idea into function and form.
manifesting within the office of Kingship itself. If properly appeased, through litany and offerings, She protects the king in all times of transition such as the changing of one year to another and the changing of one monarchy to another.
Ancient Egyptians, fear and power. Thus Sekhmet represents the awe and force of the original Cosmic Power. Her double nature, both malevolent and beneficent was apparent. At the same time that she worked to maintain the universal order, effectively supported the king, and with proper litany and appeasement would remove disease and help the poor and sick, she was responsible for annual scourges, sent her destructive messengers against the land and spread terror and desolation across the country.
One of the names of the Lioness is Nesert, the royal serpent. Understanding the relationship between similar words with a common root allows one to appreciate the characteristics that are the force of nature inherent in Sekhmet as the Eye of Re, the Uraus upon the brow of her creator.
nsrt, the royal serpent.
nsry, flame of the Uraeus
to flame against (the king’s enemies)
Allan, James P., Middle Egyptian, Cambridge University Press,2000.
Assmann, Jan, The Mind of Egypt, Metropolitan Books, 2002
Budge, E.A. Wallis, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Dover Publications, NY 1967
Falulkner, Dr. Raymond, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Chronicle Books, 1994
Germond, Phillip, Sekhmet et la Protection du Monde, Aegyptiaca Helvetica, 1981
KMT, A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Volume 12, Number 4
Lesko, Barbara S., The Great Goddesses of Egypt, University of Oklahoma Press
Rizzoli, The Pharoahs, 2002
Roberts, Alison, Hathor Rising, Northgate, 1995
Schwaller de Lubicz, R.A,, The Temples of Karnak, Inner Traditions,1999
Tartasky, Lorraine, Lioness of the Sun, PublishAmerica, 2002
Quirke, Stephen, The Cult of Ra, Thames & Hudson 2001
Zandee, Jan, Hieroglyphs of the “Hymns to Amun” of Papyrus Leiden I 350,
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