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Pakhet: Mythical Creature

Pakhet is a mythical creature that has been a significant figure in ancient Egyptian mythology. She is a lioness goddess of war, hunting, and storms, and is often associated with Sekhmet and Bastet, two other lioness deities. According to Egyptian mythology, Pakhet was believed to have the ability to scratch or tear apart her enemies, which made her a fearsome warrior.

In ancient Egyptian religion, Pakhet was considered a synthesis of Bastet and Sekhmet, two ancient deities in the two Egypts who were similar lioness war deities, one for Upper Egypt and the other for Lower Egypt. The range of the two cults met at the border between north and south, near al Minya. Pakhet was also linked to rapid flooding taking place in the region and desert storms, in the same way as Sekhmet. Amulets of Pakhet were believed to protect those who wore them.

Pakhet’s divine qualities and the symbolism behind her titles have been a subject of fascination for scholars and enthusiasts of ancient Egyptian mythology. Her connection to the realms of war, hunting, and storms has made her an intriguing figure in mythology. In the following sections, we will explore Pakhet’s persona as the divine lioness and her role in ancient Egyptian religion.

Origins of Pakhet

Historical Context

Pakhet is a lioness goddess of war in Egyptian mythology. She was first worshipped during the Middle Kingdom, between 2134 and 1782 BCE. Pakhet was likely a regional lioness deity, associated with those that hunted in the wadi, near water at the boundary of the desert. Her cult center was located in the city of Speos Artemidos, near the modern town of al-Minya in Upper Egypt.


The name Pakhet, also spelled Pachet, Pehkhet, Phastet, and Pasht, means “she who scratches.” This name is fitting for a goddess of war, as scratching is a common behavior of lions during fights. Pakhet’s name is also associated with the Egyptian word “Pekh,” which means “to tear” or “to rip.” This further emphasizes her ferocity and strength as a warrior goddess.

Overall, Pakhet’s origins can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt, where she was worshipped as a powerful and fierce goddess of war. Her name, meaning “she who scratches,” is fitting for a lioness deity associated with hunting and combat.

Pakhet in Egyptian Mythology

Depictions and Symbols

Pakhet, also known as Pḫ.t, is a lioness goddess of war in Egyptian mythology. She is often depicted with the head of a lioness and the body of a woman, wearing a sun disk and uraeus on her head. Pakhet is also associated with the cobra and the lotus flower. Her symbols include the lioness, the sun disk, the uraeus, and the lotus flower.

Associations with Other Deities

Pakhet is often associated with other deities in Egyptian mythology. She is sometimes identified with Bastet, another feline goddess, and with Sekhmet, a lioness goddess of war and destruction. Pakhet is also associated with the god Ptah, who was worshipped in Memphis, and with the goddess Hathor, who was worshipped in Dendera.

Worship and Cult Centers

Pakhet was worshipped in several cult centers in ancient Egypt, including Speos Artemidos, which was also known as the Cave of Pakhet. This temple was located in the desert near Beni Hasan and was dedicated to Pakhet and several other deities. Pakhet was also worshipped in Memphis, where she was associated with Ptah, and in Dendera, where she was associated with Hathor.

Overall, Pakhet was a powerful and revered goddess in ancient Egyptian mythology. Her depictions and symbols, associations with other deities, and worship in cult centers all attest to her importance in the religion and culture of ancient Egypt.

Pakhet in Popular Culture


Pakhet is a popular figure in various works of literature. The goddess has been mentioned in several books, including “The Eye of Ra” by Michael Asher, which features Pakhet as one of the main characters. In the book, Pakhet is portrayed as a fierce warrior who fights for justice and protects her people. She is also depicted as a symbol of power and strength.

Media and Entertainment

Pakhet has also been featured in various forms of media and entertainment. The goddess has appeared in several video games, including “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” and “Age of Mythology.” In these games, Pakhet is portrayed as a powerful warrior who possesses incredible strength and agility.

Pakhet has also been featured in various TV shows and movies. In the TV series “Stargate SG-1,” Pakhet is portrayed as a Goa’uld, a parasitic alien race that takes over human hosts. In the show, Pakhet is depicted as a ruthless and cunning villain who seeks to conquer the galaxy.

Overall, Pakhet’s portrayal in popular culture has helped to keep her mythology alive and relevant in modern times. Her depiction as a powerful and fearless warrior has made her a popular figure in various forms of media and entertainment.

Archaeological Findings

Temples and Artifacts

Archaeological findings have been instrumental in uncovering the history and mythology of Pakhet. Many ancient temples dedicated to the goddess have been discovered in Egypt, including the Temple of Pakhet at Beni Hasan. This temple was built during the Middle Kingdom period and features many depictions of Pakhet as a fierce lioness goddess.

In addition to temples, various artifacts have been discovered that depict Pakhet. These include statues, amulets, and reliefs. One notable artifact is the Pakhet amulet, which was believed to protect the wearer from harm. These artifacts provide valuable insight into the role that Pakhet played in ancient Egyptian society.

Inscriptions and Texts

Inscriptions and texts have also been important in understanding Pakhet’s mythology. One such text is the “Book of the Dead,” which contains spells and incantations that were used to guide the deceased through the afterlife. Pakhet is mentioned in several of these spells, where she is described as a protector of the deceased.

Another important text is the “Coffin Texts,” which were inscribed on the coffins of the deceased. These texts contain many references to Pakhet, including her role as a goddess of war and hunting. Inscriptions found in the tombs of the pharaohs also mention Pakhet, further emphasizing her importance in Egyptian mythology.

Overall, archaeological findings and inscriptions have been crucial in understanding the mythology and significance of Pakhet in ancient Egyptian society.

Comparative Mythology

Similarities with Other Goddesses

Pakhet shares some similarities with other goddesses in Egyptian mythology, particularly Bastet and Sekhmet. All three goddesses were associated with feline animals and were often depicted as lionesses. They were also considered protectors of the pharaohs and their kingdoms. However, Pakhet was primarily revered as a goddess of war, while Bastet was associated with fertility and Sekhmet was known as a goddess of destruction.

Differences from Other Deities

While Pakhet shared some similarities with other goddesses in Egyptian mythology, she also had distinct differences. Unlike Bastet and Sekhmet, Pakhet was not associated with domesticity or fertility. Instead, she was primarily revered as a huntress and protector against vermin and venomous creatures. Moreover, Pakhet was also associated with the night and was believed to hunt under the cover of darkness.

Comparative mythology is the study of similarities and differences between myths from different cultures. Through this lens, it is possible to see how Pakhet shares similarities with other goddesses in Egyptian mythology, while also having distinct differences. This can help us to better understand the role that Pakhet played in ancient Egyptian society and how she was perceived by those who worshipped her.