Akem-Shield of Sekhmet the Eye of Ra and Mistress of Heaven
Mixed Media - Watercolor, Gold, Semi-precious Stones On Panel
An original Kemetic icon By Master Iconographer Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa. 2022
5"x7" museum conservation wood panel.
Genuine mineral pigments used as watercolor: garnet, hematite, jadeite, amethyst, lapis lazuli, turquoise, amazonite.
22kt yellow gold, 23kt rose gold, platinum, copper.
Vintage blue glass (1970's, Czechoslovakia), shattuckite (Arizona), bastnasite (Pakistan), ruby (India), Mohave copper turquoise, carnelian, black spinel (India).
Lead crystal (Austria).
The akem-shield or aegis is an apotropaic image of a netjer (deity) depicting the head, crown, broad wesekh-collar, and breast pectoral of the god or goddess. Used in specific ritual contexts during which the deity becomes the protective patron of a devotee, cultic location or community, the akem-shield serves not only as a form of embodiment for the ka or spiritual essence of the deity, but also as a conduit for a specific manifestation of the deity's dynamic activities. These are always aimed at the preservation of the cult-house and religious community, the working of the deity's intimate protection via Heka (Magical Force), and maintenence of the divine order, Ma'at.
This cult image of the Goddess Sekhmet holds Her visible aspect as the flaming Eye of Ra, that aspect projected from the apex of the Sun-God to consume the enemies of the Gods. In this form, The Goddess goes out to hunt down the detractors from the divine order of Ma'at. The central sun disk nurtures a solar beetle, the Scarabaeus sacer, composed of a vintage cabochon of dark blue glass. Its golden wings burst through the coil of the protective Cobra-Goddess, providing the magic of regeneration from fiery destruction. This destructive manifestation of the Goddess is balanced by a creative, healing, and preserving nature also present in Her many fluid roles. For Sekhmet is also a patron of physicians and healer of plagues. Her Heka or Magic is that which binds together what has been severed, thus we see behind Her a rebus of Her name declaring: "Sekhmet the Mistress of Protection and Mistress of Heaven." Her epithet "Mistress of Enchantments" is also given, providing a link with other manifestations of the Solar Eye and other great goddesses (such as Aset) known for Their indomitable magical abilities.
The magic of healing against illness, diseases, and pandemics has been built into this god-image from Her inception, which took place during the Coronavirus lock down, when the Goddess Sekhmet was invoked for protection as the virus continued to spread and take lives with it. This Shield, together with Her twin sister the Akem-Shield of Sekhmet Who Incinerates the Rebels, was birthed as a repository for the terrible power of the Goddess Sekhmet that both heals and destroys, purifies, and renews the created world.
Homage to You O Sekhmet Great of Healing, Beloved of Ptah, Mistress of the Sky, the Eye of Ra!
Homage to You in Your beauty, Your power, Your terror; great are Your forms that are feared amongst the Netjeru!
O Goddess, coming forth from Your house in the sky, hear my prayer and bestow Your healing boons; for You are a hearer of prayers, a healer of all ills, and it is by Your hands that the afflicted are bestowed with new life!
Before Your hands, I place my ills; Before Your brow, I place my ills; Before Your two eyes, I place my ills; Before Your breath, I place my ills; Before Your command, I place my ills; Before Your words of power, I place my ills; Before Your arrows, I place my ills; Before Your throne of the sky, I place my ills; Before Your heart on the horizon, I place my ills; Before Your ears of mercy; I place my ills; Before Your Great Eye, I place my ills; Before Your disk of the sun, I place my ills; Before Your cobra diadem, I place my ills; Before Your terror, I place my ills!
O Goddess, O Sekhmet of the Sky, Great Lady of Life of the Two Lands! Receive my prayers, hear with justice, and grant fulfillment to my words. You are the Daughter of Ra Who leads the heavens, and by Whose command the horizons divide. Be with me now in my time of trials, and remove my sufferings as You remove what the Gods despise!
July 9th, 2023
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