Selket – The Scorpion Crowned Egyptian Goddess

According to ancient religious texts and inscriptions, the Egyptian Goddess Selket (also known as Serqet or Serket) was revered as a guardian deity, entrusted with protecting the pharaohs and nobility from the forces of evil.

Selket is often depicted as a beautiful woman, crowned with the symbolic representation of a scorpion, signifying her dominion over venomous creatures and her association with protection against their sting.

Serket Egyptian Goddess. The Tomb of Nefetari, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Selket (also known as Serqet or Serket) Egyptian Goddess. The Tomb of Nefetari, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the scorpion symbolized protection, healing, and power. However, it also represented danger, as its venomous sting could cause serious harm or even death.

Thus the scorpion had a dual nature, embodying both protection and danger. Similarly the goddess Selket was believed to be fierce yet compassionate, deadly yet life-giving. This juxtaposition mirrored the intricate balance between life and death, chaos and order, that the ancient Egyptians held sacred.

Serket. Louvre Museum, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR, via Wikimedia Commons
Serket. Louvre Museum, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR, via Wikimedia Commons

The Role of the Goddess Serket in the Afterlife

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Selket played a significant role in the afterlife, particularly in guiding and protecting the souls of the deceased as they journeyed through the treacherous underworld.

According to ancient beliefs, after death, the soul of an individual would face a perilous journey through the Duat, the realm of the dead.

The Duat was filled with various challenges and obstacles that the soul had to navigate in order to reach its final destination, typically the Hall of Judgment where the deceased’s fate would be determined by Osiris, the god of the afterlife.

Selket, as the goddess of protection and healing, was invoked to safeguard and guide the souls during this arduous journey. She was believed to possess immense magical powers and knowledge of the underworld, enabling her to fend off malevolent forces and offer solace to the souls in need.

Depictions and texts suggest that Selket appeared in the form of a scorpion and warded off evil spirits with her venomous sting, thus protecting the souls from harm.

Conclusion – The Importance of the Egyptian Goddess Selket

Selket’s presence and influence in the afterlife underscored the ancient Egyptians’ belief in the importance of protection, guidance, and healing during the transition from earthly existence to the realm of the dead.

Her role provided comfort and reassurance to the deceased and their loved ones, assuring them of her watchful presence and aid in their journey to the afterlife.

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