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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the places in Azerbaijan, see Şəkər.
For the Stargate SG-1 character, see Sokar (Stargate)
in hieroglyphs

In Egyptian mythology, Seker (also spelled Sokar and Sokaris, and in Greek, Socharis) was originally, during the Old Kingdom, the deification of the act of separating the Ba and Ka from the Ha, roughly the separation of soul from the body, after death. This was said to be enabled by the funerary ceremony of opening the mouth, and thus Seker was given his name, meaning cleaning of the mouth. The Ba and Ka, or the "personality" and the "life force" would be reunited as a kind of "enlightened" entity, or Akh.

The Ba, roughly equivalent to the soul, was shown in art, as a human-headed bird fluttering above the Ka, roughly equivalent to the now-mummified empty shell of the body. Consequently, Seker became depicted as a mummified human who was falcon-headed, and had green skin, symbolising rebirth. The usual depiction of the Ba in this form led to Seker gaining the epithet great lord with two wings opened. A statue of Seker was often placed in tombs, the bottom of it containing the deceased's Book of the Dead, to encourage the successful separation and release of the Ba.

In Memphis, Seker was worshipped as the patron god of the necropolis, and so was known as (one who is) on the sand; the necropolis itself, then became known as Sakkara after his name. In Thebes he had a dedicated festival, known as the Henu Festival, in which an image of Seker was carried in a barque, representing the ferry that carried the deceased through Aaru.

His name could also be decomposed to mean adorned one, and so Seker gradually also became associated with the secondary function of being the patron god of jewellers, armourers, and other metal workers. Consequently, during the Middle Kingdom when Ptah became viewed as a god of craftsmen, and a god of reincarnation, Seker, as a god of a class of craftsmen, and a god involved in starting the process of reincarnation, became closely associated with Ptah. Eventually, Seker's identity was subsumed into that of Ptah, becoming Ptah-Seker. By the start of the New Kingdom, Ptah-Seker, as a funerary god, had become subsumed into the now much more important god of death, Osiris, becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris.

Egyptian legends say that Seker's domain resided in the ever-shifting sands outside of Memphis. Unlike Osiris' kingdom (which was reserved for the blessed, consisted of fields and flowing water), Seker's domain was reserved for the wicked, and was shrouded in impenetrable blackness. It was populated with terrible serpents and other reptiles of "terrifying aspect". These creatures sometimes had two, or even three heads. They were meant to keep order in Seker's domain and keep his image. This was because Seker did not reside necessarily in his own domain, but in his hidden chambers deep into the earth. He rarely came up, so there was little desire for his cult members to want to reside there.

There is also a company of eight more minor gods in Seker's kingdom. Their job is to consummate the final destruction of the bodies of the damned. They emitted liquid fire from their mouths (destruction by fire was only used for the blessed or important) in order to get rid of the bodies.

Seker's domain could be harbored only in the fourth and fifth hours of night.

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