Ancient Egyptian gods “S”
Sakhmet: She is depicted as the lion-headed goddess and her cult center was at Memphis. Her celestial family was with Ptah and their son Nefertem. She is also associated with the goddess Mut in Thebes. In Karnak, Amenophis III has several hundred granite statues of Sakhmet. Her name means “the mighty one”. She is recognized as the destroyer of the enemies of the sun-god Re or of Osiris. She is the goddess who supports the kings while they fight their enemies. In addition to her warlike qualities, she is seen as a patroness of the art of healing and of doctors who are often her priests.
Satet: Her religious group center was most likely from the island of Elephantine in the early Old Kingdom. She also produced a triad with Khnum and Anuket. Her temple was extended on many occasions up to the Greco-Roman Period. She is recognized as the goddess who provided the cool waters that came from Elephantine and also protected the southern border of Egypt. She is depicted wearing the crown of Upper Egypt with gazelle horns rising erect at the sides.
Selket: She is depicted with a scorpion above her head and with a human body. She is worshiped in the form of a scorpion and was a very significant figure in the religious group of the dead. Along with Isis, Nephthys, and Neith she protected the dead’s entrails and also their mummified bodies.
Seshat: She is depicted in coronation scenes listing the king’s years of rule and his jubilees. She is shown overseeing the arts of writing and calculation. She is shown as being part of the early rituals that were done during the construction of temple foundations and those specifically associated with establishing a temple’s ground plan.
Seth: This god dates back to the Early Dynastic Period. In the Pyramid Texts he is shown as a friend and an enemy of the god Horus. Sometimes he is associated with the liking of Apophis, the wicked serpent who tried to destroy the god Re. In the Ramessid era he was viewed as the god of foreign lands and that he married the goddess Nephthys. Because he was considered a love god, people often invoked him by using amulets and charms. He is also known as the god of storms and bad weather. There are several tales about Seth and the most notable one is that he kills his brother Osiris and then fights Horus (Osiris’ successor) for domination. Later on he is shown as being on equal footing with Horus as a divine protector of the king. The king is depicted as receiving the crowns of the country from both gods. It appears that this representation of both crowns is a symbolic unification of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt. It is said that Seth also represented the more wild and chaotic elements of nature. It appears that cult centers existed along caravan routes and in the western oases.
Shu: It is said that Shu was born from the mouth of the ancient deity Atum along with his sister Tefnut. He is known as the god of air. This was the god who separated the earth and the sky. Because both gods and human beings needed air the temple lofts were left open so that air was able to stream in and this action was often referred to as opening the “windows of Shu.” He was sometimes depicted with a solar disk on his head. It was said that he and his sister Tefnut formed the space between heaven and the earth.
Sobek: He is depicted in two ways; either in a pure animal form of a crocodile or in a hybrid form of a human with a crocodile’s head. The cult center where he was worshipped was in the old town of Shedyet in Faiyum which was later called Crocodilopolis and Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt during the Greco-Roman Period. He is known as the god of fertility and sometimes even took on the role of an ancient creator god. In the Pyramid Texts he was mentioned as the son of Neith. The ancient Egyptians believed that he arose from the watery chaos at the instant that the world began. A temple in his honor was erected along the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt during the later eras. In some instances he was associated with Seth, and also the legendary king Aha.
Sokar: He was a god known in the predynastic times. This god is depicted as a hawk or with the head of a hawk. He was originally the death god of the Memphite necropolis. During the Late Period, he was worshiped alongside Osiris and Ptah. All three were known in the context of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Sokar was considered an earthbound deity and as a result he was also known as the lord of the kingdom of the dead. In the beginning he was known as a spirit guardian of the tombs but then his status was elevated after 3000 B.C. He eventually was united with Ptah. He was then depicted as having come from the heart and mind of Ptah. Sometimes he is also shown as a pygmy with a large head and heavy limbs, sometimes wearing a beetle on this head, standing on a cabinet, and with hawks in attendance.
Sons of Horus: These gods were known as the sons of Horus. They were: Amset depicted with a head of a man, Hapi depicted with a head of a baboon, Duamutef depicted with a head of a jackal, and Qebehsenuf depicted with a head of a falcon. Their objective was to protect the internal organs of the dead. In the New Kingdom, the canopic jar lids began to take on the shape of these heads. Their aim was also to regenerate the dead and also to protect them against any danger in the afterlife. As part of their function in defending the dead, they also coupled forces with the sun god in opposition to the enemy of creation which was known as Apophis.