[Mythological Female Figures 8/?]
The Egyptian Goddess of Scorpions, Healing, and Protector of the Dead
Scorpion stings lead to paralysis and Serket’s name describes this, as it means (she who) tightens the throat, however, Serket’s name also can be read as meaning (she who) causes the throat to breathe, and so, as well as being seen as stinging the unrighteous, Serket was seen as one who could cure scorpion stings and the effects of other poisons such as snake bites.
The most dangerous species of scorpion resides in North Africa, and its sting may kill, so Serket was considered a highly important goddess. She takes the form of a woman with a scorpion in her head always ready to strike, or a scorpion’s tail with the head of a woman. More often, she just takes the form of the scorpion itself. Considered as a patron for pharaohs, she has a dual role in Egyptian mythology as protector of right and punisher of the wrong. She protects pregnant mothers and children from venomous bites.
She is also believed to be a protector of the dead, preventing their bodies from stiffening caused by poisons and fluids. In the afterlife, she continues to protect the dead by helping souls adjust to life in the Underworld.She is also the patron of healers as well as magicians.