The Goddess Sekhmet
The Goddess of war and battles. Sekhmut is usually portrayed as a woman with the head of a lioness, sometimes with a knife in an upraised hand. She represents the scorching, burning, destructive heat of the sun. She was a fierce goddess of war, the destroyer of the enemies of Re and Osiris. Her temper was uncontrollable. In the legend of Re and Hathor, Sekhmet's anger became so great, she would have destroyed all of mankind if Re had not taken pity on us and made her drunk.

In the legend, during the night Re, trying to avert a total massacre of the human race by the goddess who clearly has become unstoppable in her bloodlust, orders his high priest at Heliopolis to obtain red ochre from Elephantine and grind it with beer mash. Seven thousand jars of red beer are spread over the land of Egypt. In the morning Sekhmet returns to finish her task of destroying the human race, drinks what she assumes is blood and goes away intoxicated, unable to complete her slaughter.

Spells exist that regard plagues as brought by the 'messengers' of Sekhmet. On the assumption that the goddess could ward off pestilence as well as bring it, the Egyptians adopted Sekhmet 'lady of life' as a beneficial force in their attempts to counteract illness. Her priesthood had a role in medicine.
Statue of Sekhmet, Egyptian Lion Goddess
Original caption: Sekhmet, the lion Goddess. She was considered carrier of plague, and patron of surgery (priest of Sekhmet seems to have been synonymous with surgeon). From temple of Karnak.

Date Created:  1503-1450 B.C. 
Nubian Lion-god Apedemek

click on photo