- things the Hades and Persephone myth is about: life and death, balance between them, light and darkness, the origin of the seasons, the cycle of the seasons, marriage in ancient greece, metaphors for marriage and weddings, the passage from child to woman, the different stages in the life of a woman, /persephone/....
- things that tumblr focuses on: buT haDES RapED PerSEPhonE!11!! tEH myTH is LITERallY CAlled 'the RApe of PErsephonY'
Where dark woods hide secrets,
And mountains are fierce and bold,
Deep waters hold reflections,
Of times lost long ago.
I will hear their every story,”
Take hold of my own dream,
Be as strong as the seas are stormy,
And proud as an eagle’s scream.
“This is how nature, our mother, acts toward us.
First, she gives us life. And then, as though
she were not miracle enough, she revives us
daily, bringing us back to life each dawn, just as
she brought us into life that first time.
Then she gives us food, enough to sustain
ourselves throughout our days. And finally,
when we have filled our days with her kindness,
she takes us back into herself, we fall back
into her deep womb, safe in her sacred darkness.”
Roman prayer to the Earth, 3rd century C.E. (via thedruidsteaparty)
Hail to the Lady of amber.
Hail to the Lady of steel.
Hail to the Lady of passion,
Bringer of luck,
Bestower of wealth.
You are the envy of all the Gods,
the treasure of the nine sacred worlds.
Freya, mighty and magnificent,
We praise Your name this Beltane.
Ignite within us an awareness
of our own creative fire.
Ignite within us a passion,
to burn through the pale shadows of our lives
and find integrity:
in all we do, in all we dream, in all we are.
Bless us, Freya, Lady of the Vanir,
and we shall hail You, always. (source)
Freya, Goddess of gold,
inspire me today.
Teach me to walk through my day
with pride in my own being,
Goddess of fiery passion,
bless me with the insight
to the marrow of my bones
that I am a person of worth
in the eyes of the Gods (source)
“Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”
Honestly, the people of ancient Egypt were actually pretty scared of Sekhmet. She was one of those deities who needed to be propitiated so that she wouldn’t attempt to destroy humanity (again). Her first and primary focus was to destroy humanity, at the direction of Re, because humanity was starting to rebel. The only way to placate her, after Re had a change of heart, was to get her drunk as all get-out so that she couldn’t continue on her blood-soaked rampage.
Another reason why they wanted to propitiate her stems from her Seven Arrows. These Arrows were netjeri who did the bidding of the goddess. They could, and would, wreak chaos against others at Sekhmet’s direction. To appease Sekhmet, the people would leave her offerings, especially at the chaotic time of Wep Ronpet and the Epagomenal days to keep her netjeri from attacking them so that her chaos-inducing netjeri would leave them alone.
Her epithets, alone, should indicate just how frightening she could be to the people and to the gods: “The Devouring One,” “The Terrible* One,” “The One Who Terrifies the Gods by Her Massacre,” “The One Who Terrorizes the Two Lands with Her Fear,” “Lady of the Bloodbath,” and “Unrivaled And Invincible One.”
* “Terrible” doesn’t necessarily mean something that inspires horror, but it can also mean “formidably great,” which is possibly the case here.
Sekhmet was a goddess who was not to be fucked with. The gods and the ancient Egyptians, themselves, knew and understood this. If the power from whence she was born was to continue to behave in line with ma’at and not lose it, then she needed to be appeased with any and all means necessary. Just in case.
So, she was awe-inspiring and fear-inspiring even in antiquity, but she did punish those who were not in line with ma’at. Some of her epithets show that she was very, very fond of justice, “Great One of Laws,” “Burner of Evildoers,” “Protectress of the Divine Order,” “Smiter of the Nubians*,” “Destroyer of Rebellions,” “The One For Whom Evil Trembles,” and “The One Who Loves Ma’at and Detests Evil.”
* The Nubians were considered to have lived outside of ma’at because they were foreigners. It was only when they were ruled by the ancient Egyptians that they became a united part of the country and began to live within ma’at.
Another reason why people tend to view her as evil is because, unfortunately, early Egyptologists weren’t very good at keeping their own prejudices out of their work. Unfortunately for us, many of the books regarding our deities were written back at the turn of the century where remaining neutral on the subject at hand was not very well practiced. Wallis Budge is a very clear example. He tended to view the ancient Egyptian religion through his own Protestant lens and utilized his pet theories in an effort to gain more funding for his work.
Since there is a plethora of easily accessible information in this age of the Internet that comes from the turn of the century, we are, unfortunately, finding the prejudices within those texts. I know that, sadly, Sekhmet was often equated with Set, who was viewed as a sort of ancient Egyptian devil as opposed to the mercurial deity he actually is.
Scholarship in Egyptology is much better about refraining from using personal beliefs in the writing - unless they are, of course, expounding on a theory they have - but there has been no new scholarship specific to Sekhmet in a very long time. It is up to us parsing together information from various anthologies to provide a better picture of her for those people who have subscribed to the old pet theories out there.