What did I just finish reading? Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet.
I don’t have a big interest in ancient Egypt and I would not have picked up Daughter of Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet, but, in full disclosure, my friend Tina Georgitsis edited this new anthology from Bibliotheca Alexandrina. I was excited for her and keen to see the result, which is very, very good.
The first section of the book is Poems, Prayers, & Hymns. I wasn’t sure if this was the best way to begin. As someone who doesn’t know much about Sekhmet, I wondered if it would have been better to start with myths. It didn’t matter. I got to know Sekhmet through the inspired poems, prayers, and hymns.
Her name means power. Searing heat of the mid-day sun. The Lady of Slaughter also protects her mortals from plagues. Patron saint to healers. Destroyer, transformer, purifier, creator. Protects the great Cosmic Order. Holder of Creative Fire. Upholder of Ma’at (truth, balance, order, harmony, justice, morality).
The next section is Rites & Recipes. This was one of my favourite sections in the book, but it’s short and left me wanting more. It includes Georgitsis’ own lists of resins, essential oils, herbs, flowers, crystals, and a couple of recipes. The rest are devotional prayers for healing and two journeying exercises (visualisations, or guided meditations, if you prefer). I would have liked the book to have included a more physical ritual and a group ritual as well.
Fiction contains four stories. Readers who enjoy fan fiction are sure to enjoy these heartfelt stories.
Myths & Musings is the final section of the anthology. It was my favourite section, reflecting my interest in mythology and historical approaches. I especially liked the contributions from Rev Dr Karen Tate, Francis Billinghurst, and Edward P. Butler.
Daughter of the Sun also contains artwork, which the black and white printing fails to do justice to. The anthology concludes with three appendices. The list of festivals is brilliant though a description of each would have been helpful. What is the Speech of Sekhmet that appears so often on the list? How do you observe it?
Appendix B tells us about the contributors. There are familiar names, such as the previously mentioned Tate and Billinghurst, Sara Croft, Louise Hutchings, Shauna Aura Knight, and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus. Others are new to me and I’m glad to discover their work.
The final appendix is about the publisher, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the books it has published or plans to. If you haven’t discovered Bibliotheca Alexandrina, I highly encourage a visit to the website. Their series of books dedicated to various gods and goddesses are a unique and fantastic effort to promote polytheistic religions.
Daughter of the Sun is more than a collection of writings by people devoted to The One Who is Powerful. It is a mature work of devotion that offers readers an opportunity to expand their learning, deepen their faith, and further their spiritual growth.