Serket (also Selket, Selkis, short for the Egyptian Serket hetyt) was a scorpion goddess. As was often the case in Egypt, dangers were personified and deified to make it possible to approach them and to pray to them, thereby controlling the danger. In this way the scorpion was deified and became a goddess who could protect against the sting of a scorpion, as well as snake bites, and who could bring healing to anyone who was stung or bitten.
Her full name Serket Hetyt means "the one who makes the throat breathe", which refers to the fact that anyone stung will suffer from paralysis (more specifically breathing will become difficult), which was being prevented or cured by the goddess.
As a protective deity Serket was also helping other gods against the snake Apophis, the god of evil.
Another task of Serket, together with Isis, Nephthys and Neith (Serket was usually paired with the latter) was to protect the sarcophagus as well as the canopic chest, more specifically the one containing the intestines, a task in which she was helped by Qebehsenuf.
Although no temples for Serket are known there were many men who carried priestly titles containing the name Serket.
The goddess is portrayed as a scorpion or, more commonly, as a woman with a scorpion on her head (usually without the sting and sometimes even without claws and legs, possibly for magical reasons). More rarely she can be seen as a snake or a lioness.