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Sekh-mut—The Den Mother

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Sekh-mut—The Den Mother

Isis in her role as the 'Den Mother' is recognized as Sekhmet or Sekhmut. This is actually two words: Sekh and Mut—meaning 'Elder' or the 'Den Mother'.

As the Den Mother, Sekh-Mut is portrayed as a lioness in Egyptian representations. Sekhmet statues are usually made of igneous rocks, such as basalt or granite, emphasizing her passionate fiery nature.

Sekh-Mut represents the fiery aspect of the creative power.
In the Litany of Re, Re is described (in one of his 75 forms/attributes) as The One of the Cat, and as The Great Cat.

As the Divine Den Mother, Sekh-Mut is usually portrayed as a woman with exposed breasts and the head of a lioness surmounted by the sun’s disk, round which is a uraeus.

As the Divine Den mother, she projects:

a. an urge/passion/desire/will to create. To present her urge/passion/desire/will to create, Sekh-Mut is depicted with an ithyphallic male body.

b. passionate tendering loving care. Depictions show her supporting/encouraging others in tender loving gestures.

c. passionate fearless protection of her creation. To show her passionate fearless protection of her creation, Sekh-Mut statues are found at the entry point to temples—such as in Medinet Hapu in Luxor,or at the outer wall of the temple in Esna.

The lioness is the most fearless animal on earth. In our modern societies, the guts and spine are symbols of physical courage. This concept has Ancient Egyptian roots. In the Papyrus of Ani [pl.32 item 42], we read,
'my belly and my spine are Sekh-Mut'

Sekh-Mut is almost always depicted with Khonsu—she representing the female solar principle—and he—Khonsu—representing the male lunar principle.