Sekhmet is the Egyptian Goddess of destruction
. She is the daughter of Ra
, and one of her titles is the "Eye of Ra" along with Bast
and a few other Egyptian goddesses. In this function, Sekhmet is said to sit upon the head of her father, Ra, in the form of a Uraeus
, and spat fire unto his enemies.
Some of her other titles are Nesert (Lady of Flame), Greatly Beloved One of Ptah and Lady of Pestilience. In Egypt, her priests were also physicians, owing to the belief that since Sekhmet gave pestilience she could also take it away, which in turn associated her with healing.
Her most famous legend was that of the Destruction, or rather near destruction, of mankind. Once Ra had grown old the people thought to blaspheme against him, and in some tellings of the myth overthrow him. Ra, growing enraged, sought to punish mankind, tore out his eye and flung it toward the earth. The Eye became Sekhmet, and she began wreaking havoc upon the earth. Ra became appalled at the destruction and pleaded with her to stop, to which she replied, "The death of men brings pleasure unto my heart."
Ra ordered vats of beer to be brewed with crushed mandrakes, sometimes it varies in telling: sometimes the beer is brewed with pomegranate juice, and others with ochre. Nevertheless, the idea was to bring on the color and texture of human blood. Sekhmet came upon it and thinking it blood, drank it down and became drunken. She fell asleep, and when she awoke her bloodrage was gone.
In a variant of this tale, Ra, rather than tearing out his eye, sent Hathor down in the form of Sekhmet. Once Sekhmet became drunken, she reverted back to Hathor.
Sekhmet a solar goddess, personifying the destructive, scorching rays of the sun. She is also considered the personification of heat-stroke. Another one of her titles is "The Feminine Solar Disk".
Sekhmet's most commonly known marriages are to Ptah and Horus of Edfu. Sekhmet who is married to Ptah was worhip predominantly in Memphis, and her sons were Nefertum and Imhotep. Sekhmet of Edfu/Leto is married to Horus of Edfu/Leto, and they have several sons.
Sekhmet is also known as the guardian of Ma'at, who punishes those who violate Ma'at. She is the upholder of cosmic law and punisher of the rebels (which gives the god Set a run for his money. In some myths, she castrates Set).
The meaning of Sekhmet's names is "The Powerful" or "THe Mighty One".
More information can be found on Sekhmet by reading "The Gods of Egypt", books I and II, by Budge.