Pagan Paths

Out of the deeps rises the mysterious lotus. Stop in for refreshment, heka, and reflections from the sacred waters of ancient Egypt.

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Eye of Ra

b2ap3_thumbnail_sekhmet.gifSekhmet dropped in on me again the other day.  For me, she’s not been one for words, turning up on rare occasion in startling, stark gestures (I tell about the most dramatic encounter in my book, Pool of Lotus).  But during a meditation with my group the Eye of Ra reached out to me, touching my third eye with a cool sizzle that arced instantly through all of me like lightning.  “You must be hard,” she said.  Strong and unyielding like stone.  Durable as a mountain.  In fact, for you Francophones, what I heard was, “You must be dur.” 

Not what I was looking for at the end of an intensely-stressful week.  I’d just learned of the death of a close friend, finished up a tough semester of studies, juggled two jobs and conducted two weddings.  All of it was happy stuff, but somehow the current holding me steady faltered, leaving me like jelly inside, tearful and anxious on the outside.  But there was more; the next day my friend’s husband would call to ask me to lead her memorial service in a few days.  Sekhmet’s admonition began to make more sense. 

Still, the anxiety crackled in an out like a bad speaker for another week.  I kept thinking of the Eye charging out at me—no judgment, no mercy, no gender, no sentiment, just pure power.  I wanted to simply channel that power through me and feel better.  But sekhem (power) is a god’s-tool best wielded by one able to hold up through significant difficulties.  Sekhmet is endlessly patient with my emotions, fatigue and questions, but she rightly reminded me that self-care was not just to make me feel better, but to make me able to carry the sekhem scepter. 

So, I’ve been in mountain mode for a couple of weeks, being relatively still while the tremors inside settle down.  The neighborhood is quiet, the agitation of early spring mellowed into the hot lushness of early summer.  I walk outside frequently just to observe what is blooming, what needs attention (we have six baby tomatoes, already).  I’ve taken long naps, shopped for a new desk, listened to music, and generally slowed down.  As the stillness returns, I feel my solid core again, feel the rock-hard base that allows the rest of me to race like a lioness.

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Holli Emore is Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, the premiere educational resource for Pagan and other nature-based religions (, founder of Osireion (, editor/writer for Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape at, and serves on the board of directors for Interfaith Partners of S.C. (  She is co-founder of the original Pagan Round Table,, and author of "Pool of Lotus," available in print, or for Kindle or Nook, at


  • Ilyssa Silfen
    Ilyssa Silfen Monday, 26 May 2014

    Sekhmet is my Matron Goddess, and I was performing a ritual for Her once upon a time during a particularly stressful time in my life when She told me, "Even lionesses need to rest once in a while." I was so busy taking care of everything and everyone else that I forgot to take care of myself. I shivered when I read your description of the Eye of Ra charging at you...that's absolutely Sekhmet's MO, for lack of a better term. haha She certainly doesn't beat around the bush with Her advice, but it works!

  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore Friday, 30 May 2014

    Thanks for sharing this Ilyssa! It is her MO, indeed, isn't it :) Sekhmet is such a paradox of toughness and compassion.

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