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A famous myth involving Het-Hert in Her vengeful aspect as Sekhmet is that of the Destruction of Mankind. There are a number of versions of it found in various royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes.  In this story, Her Father Ra dispatches Het-Hert as His Eye in order to punish the transgressions of mankind, who had become willful and rebellious. Hethert turns into the lioness Sekhmet for this task, slaying men and leaving them in pools of blood in the deserts to where they had fled. In the process She becomes overzealous and nearly wipes out humanity. In order to stop Her, Ra sends for His high priest at Iunu (Heliopolis) to obtain red ochre from Elephantine, which is ground and mixed with beer. Seven thousand jars of this mixture are spread over the land of Kemet, turning it into what looks like a sea of blood. When Het-Hert awakens in the morning and sees it, She begins drinking voraciously.  In the process, She becomes quite intoxicated and is unable to continue slaughtering. She is coaxed to return to Her benign aspect of Het-Hert, and mankind is saved.

 

Reference for Image

Sekhmet offering Menit to Seti I, in the Temple of Seti at Abydos, from an 1880 albumen photo by J.P. Sebah

Hathorlogobksm.gif (3061 bytes)

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