More thoughts on Sekhmet

Sekhmet shrine

My small bookshelf shrine for Sekhmet. The print is by artist Jeffrey I. Shaw.

I am amazed at how good of a “fit” Sekhmet is for me, and also incredulous that I never saw that before. I’m guessing the reasons were that I was too spiritually closed due to energy blockages and past depression, and also that my tendency to over-intellectualize everything got in the way. As a Wiccan, I felt free to pick and choose my deities, and I was enamored of Bastet and Anubis (and more recently Agassou), and for some strange reason did not feel compelled to serve Sekhmet. Although that is in some ways regrettable and embarrassing at this moment, it is also validating. It makes me less likely to dismiss her recent appearance as wishful thinking.

Sekhmet is associated with healing, creativity, destruction and blood. She is known as an avenger of wrongs. I am an artist whose work sometimes portrays “dark” characters and blood. I am an avid horror movie fan, obsessed with exploring our fears and the darker regions of the human soul. Some people have told me I have a very spiteful streak. I’ve toned this down over the years, but I don’t forget past wrongs, whether the wrongs were committed against me, those I love, or the innocent and helpless (no, Michael Vick, your public remorse is not convincing). I have an equally strong compassionate streak and am interested in various areas of the healing arts. In some ways Sekhmet reminds me of Ogoun Balindjo, whom I have in my Rada shrine–another entity who can be fiercely destructive or healing.

Thinking about Sekhmet and reading Linda Tucker’s book about the white lions is helping me to attune to her energy, which I believe I can feel coursing through me, particularly in my spine (which is where I tend to feel Ogoun as well).

Even though it was not my intent to diversify my faith at this time, perhaps the division between the entities is, to some degree, an artificial and intellectual construct in my own mind. I still feel that Legba had a hand in this, opening my head to Sekhmet. And, like Legba, Sekhmet’s roots are in Africa so, although they belong to different belief systems, they both are tied to the homeland of my theriotype (the leopard).

And on the topic of therians, I had to smile when I ran across the word “therianthropic” on page 20 of Tucker’s book. The author was discussing cave paintings and how therianthropic half-human, half-animal images represented shamans who were deeply connected with the land and its non-human residents. She thought the depictions might symbolize a shaman’s part human, part animal consciousness (as good a definition of therianthropy as any, I think). Mambo C has told me I likely have shamanic ancestors, and Shannon told me my energy is deeply rooted in the earth. One of the beliefs of the Shangaan people of Africa is that if you kill the white lions you kill the earth. I’ve long felt that I would lose the will to live if the day came when most of the wild creatures are gone (especially the big cats) and the world’s sole inhabitants are humans.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start donating regularly to big cat causes (and I’ve mostly kept to this, save for a month and a half when I was barely keeping afloat financially). I’d planned to petition the lwa Agassou for his help with this cause, even though I have little information on him compared to many of the other lwa. I suspect that Sekhmet is offering her help in this area, for which I am very grateful. I plan to postpone setting up Agassou’s shrine for now, and focus on Sekhmet along with the lwa who currently have shrines in my home and the ancestors.

Back in March Puck told me that things would start moving much faster soon, and that there were surprises in store. The lesson? Always listen to Puck.

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4 Responses to “More thoughts on Sekhmet”

  1. A lot of my teachings still come from african religion and spiritism. I learned a great deal about true contact with spirit beings from that area of belief system. Wicca is based on a lot of freemasonic and ceremonial magick principles, and while they are not bad persay, their approach to tackling the subject of spirits is completely different than the african approach. While in african religion, one serves the spirits, in magick, one controls the spirits. I have thought a lot about this over the years, and I am not sure one can “control” the spirits, and I do not think one’s life would be very blessed if they tried. But that is the main difference my friend, Wicca and Magick is all about control, true spirituality is about communion. We love and accept the spirits because they are our family, we do not serve them out of guilt, but out of love. We give to them, prepare a shrine for them, honor them and give them offering just like we would any of our family members, we have a relationship of love with them, and that is so different than how magick tends to view spirit entities.

    In some ways, I look at the spirits as raw forces of nature, old natural forces that have been repressed and forgotten, but in some ways that is too simplistic of an explanation, because the spirits do exist, and each manifestation is unique.

    Sometimes spirits move into our lives for a reason, we serve them for a time, they bring us their gifts, and we bring them ours, and then they leave our lives, and we remember them, and we are transformed. I try to think of their presence more like a ship passing in the night rather than a vessel at the dock. They drift in and out, constantly moving and evolving, always teaching us about who we are, and our place in the universe. Sometimes they take different forms, yet are the same being, and they take different forms to bring us new awareness, new lessons.

    Sometimes the form that they current inhabit in our lives is not longer teaching us, we serve them, but we do not grow. Remember always that the spirits wear many masks, but the essence of the teaching is always true. Find the essence in all that you experience, and you will know the true meaning in the communication.

    Thanks for the post. So inspiring. πŸ™‚ And by the way, I love your altar!

  2. cheshirecatman Says:

    Thank you for the compliment on my altar, and also the in-depth comments. I agree with many of your beliefs. One person I used to communicate with kept telling people all the things that the lwa don’t do (such as appear to people) and I wasn’t sure if I agreed with her on that. They seem to have a lot of ability to appear however they want to people.

    And yes, I do find it preferable to serve spirits and deities that I love rather than simply coercing them to do things for me. As for controlling them, I find it presumptuous for people to believe they can control what they do not fully understand. We can’t even fully control electricity, and we understand that a bit better than the lwa or the gods.

  3. Hail to Thee, cheshirecatman

    I’ve been Sekhmet’s priestess for 20 years. Through me, The Great Goddess Sekhmet bestows upon you Her Bright Bountiful Blessings. The message I am to give you is that She is “well pleased” with your efforts.

    On a personal note, I’d like to repost your “Thoughts” on All Things Sekhmet (http://allthingssekhmet.com) Thank you for your consideration.

    Lady Sekhmet

  4. cheshirecatman Says:

    Thank you for your comment and for passing along her blessing. I would be honored if you would include my post on your site (and I’ll add your site to my links).

    I think I ran across your site when I was researching Sekhmet recently for an art project πŸ™‚

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