Egyptian Gods: Seker

Seker was the Memphite god of the dead since the Old Kingdom. The name Seker also spelled as Sokar, Sokaris or Socharis in Greek. Although the meaning of the name was unclear, it derived from the word “skr” which means “cleaning the mouth”, the act of separating the Ba (the soul) from the Ka (the body) mentioned in the Coffin Texts. This was said to be enabled by the funerary ceremony after death.

Another theory suggest that the name comes from one of the Pyramid Texts phrase “Sy-k-ri” or “hurry to me”, which was the cry for help uttered by Osiris to Isis. It was also suggested that it means, “the adorned one”. Sokar was given many titles such as “he of Rosetau”, “lord of the mysterious region” and “great god with his two wings opened”.

His appearance portrayed as a mummified man with head of hawk or falcon wearing white crown and held a scepter and whip. He also depicted in many various ways. Very often his statute can be seen on royal tomb walls.

Seker was the patron of the workers who built the necropolis and the craftsmen who made tomb artifacts and of those who made ritual objects and substances used in mummification.

By the start of the New Kingdom he was united with Ptah and Osiris became one deity, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. In this form he represents as a creation, stability, and death, which were the three aspects of the universe.

Seker was the important funerary god throughout the Egyptian history and worshipped throughout Upper Egypt. His cult centers were built at Memphis and Thebes. There was a Henu Festival held every year in Thebes to celebrated Osiris’ resurrection as Seker. Huge processions with the image of Sokar were carried in a gilded boat, during this festival.