Sekhmet (“The Mighty One”), the lion-headed goddess of ancient Egypt, was dreaded for her bloody rampages. Yet she became the protector of kings and a favorite personal goddess of millions of Egyptians.
Why did Egyptians have a goddess who required such assiduous and even obsessive propitiation? Why did other Egyptian goddesses play roles similar to Sekhmet’s? What explains Sekhmet’s dual nature as destroyer and protector? Why was she called the Eye of Ra? Why was she originally depicted with an oval disk on her head?
We now have good answers to these questions. But in order to understand them, we need to see why we should think that Sekhmet was Planet Venus. And that requires us to investigate a major case of scientific rejectionism. Continue reading »