by Mirjam Nebet

Serket's name means 'She who causes to breathe' and refers to her power of protecting from or curing poisonous stings of scorpions and serpents. The reason for this might lie in the fact that those who have been bitten tend to breathe too fast and too shallow because of the poison. She is depicted with a scorpion ready to strike above her head. In ancient Egypt her priesthood was connected to the healing of poisonous bites.

She is mentioned already in the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts as one of the four goddesses Aset (Isis), Nit (Neith), Nebt-Het (Nephthys) and Serket who protects the canopic jars. Sometimes she is thought to be an aspect of Aset (Isis) as a protector of the child Heru (Horus)and thereby also to all children and even the king. She is also sometimes associated with the sunīs scorching heat.