Ancient Egypt / Religion / Gods /
Other spellings: Selket; Selket; Selkis; Serkhet; Selchis; Selkhit; Serket-hetyt
Her name appears to have been an abbreviation of serket hetyt, meaning "the one who causes the throat to breathe".
Serket's role was, according to the Pyramid Texts, to watch over the royal coffin together with Isis, Nephthys and Neith. She was paired with Neith, the way Isis was with Nephthys.
She is also told to have protected the gods themselves against the dangers of the snake-god, Apophis.
Over time, Serket came to be identified with Isis, eventually becoming defined as simply a dimension of her.
She was represented as a woman with a scorpion on her head. In some cases, she was represented as a lioness or a serpent.
Usually, the scorpion on her head was depicted without the sting and sometimes even without legs and claws. The reason for this appears to have been magical regulations.
While there are no indications of Serket having temples, a large number of priests served her cults. Her cults date back to at least the 1st Dynasty.
Serket could be called upon to cure venomous bites, but, surprisingly, seldom with scorpion bites. Her function with scorpions may rather have been to protect from being bitten by scorpions. Instead, it usually was Isis that was called upon when someone was stung by a scorpion.
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