My birth sign, Leo, is the seat of the great star Regulus, one of the Four Royal Stars of ancient Mesopotamia and already known to Sumerian astronomers as “the heart of the Lion.” It was said that portents that were seen when Regulus was in ascendancy had a particularly grave and potentially destructive significance, and therefore it was a time to take extra care, particularly for travellers. In mediaeval times, Regulus was regarded by some as the ruler of the herb mugwort, a powerful ally for visionary trance and dreamwork.
Regulus is associated with the cult of Sekhmet, Mistress of Dread, Lady of Slaughter, She Who Mauls, Protectress of the Royal Family. Yet She was also a great healing Goddess and the Matron of Surgeons. The knife that kills can also save in the hands of a skilled physician. An evil growth must be removed from the body with a certain measure of ruthlessness. There must be no hesitation, no respite, no tremor of doubt. Sekhmet had seven daughters She could send forth, known as the Seven Arrows of Sekhmet. In modern times, Sekhmet has been invoked as a Healing Power with great efficacy, particularly in healing and protecting battered women. Her fierce Justice and Her slashing paw mete out retribution to those who deliberately nurture evil in their hearts, especially evil directed against women and children.
One of my favorite modern Craft bards is the late E. A. St. George, who composed an entire chaplet of hymns in honor of Sekhmet. In her exquisitely written pamphlet, Cat Worship in Ancient Egypt, Elizabeth encouraged those who love the Goddesses Bast and Sekhmet to devote time to the care and protection of both domestic cats and the many threatened species of wild felines. Bast, Sovereign Lady of the East, and Her Royal Sister Sekhmet would no doubt have approved.
O Star of the Lion’s Heart, I behold Thee in the heavens.
O Star of the Lion’s Heart, I behold Thee.
Embolden my heart, O Sekhmet. Embolden my soul, O Flame, O Lion Star.
Send forth Thy fire from the east as I wield this Sword.
Send forth Thy Power as I raise my Sword on high.
Thou Star of Sekhmet, kindle my Sword with Thy Flame.
Let it shine with the light of Thy red dawn.
O Star of the Lion Goddess, shine Thou upon my path.
Shine Thou upon me, for I am true unto the Goddess.
Shine Thou upon my Sword, for I am true unto Sekhmet.
Shine Thou upon my way for I am true to Thee.