Hathor - Cow-goddess of the sky, fertility, love, beauty, and music. - Egyptian Goddess. Hathor was a cow-goddess of ancient origin as Mistress of Heaven she was seen as the celestial cow whose four legs supported the vault of heaven and her star spangled belly was the sky itself.
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Hathor - Cow-goddess of the sky, fertility, love, beauty, and music. - Egyptian Goddess

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Hathor - Cow-goddess of the sky, fertility, love, beauty, and music.

Hathor was a cow-goddess of ancient origin, as "Mistress of Heaven", she was seen as the celestial cow, whose four legs supported the vault of heaven and her star spangled belly was the sky itself. In Predynastic Egypt, however, it is uncertain if a cult was dedicated to Hathor or Bat as the most likely candidate for the cow-heads on the Narmer Palette (approx 3000BC).

Hathor's many titles include, "The Eye Of Re", "Lady of the West", "The Mistress of Heaven", "The Lady of the Stars", "The gold that is Hathor", "Lady Of Denderah", "Lady of the Sycamore" and "The Golden One".

Hathor, was the daughter of Re, the Sun God, and was at times known as the "Eye of Re", and identified as an avenging deity in the form of a lion called Sakhmet. Sent out by Re, in the form of a large all seeing eye, to watch over mankind, When she was too fiercely aroused she could become savage and destructive. Hathor, was probably the origin of the concept of the 'evil eye'. The Ankh, is thought to have been derived from Hathor's Eye and is a symbol of good luck, keeping fortune dwelling on the inside.

She is also a mother goddess and closely associated with the kings and pharoahs, at the temple at Deir el-Bahri, she is shown as the heavenly cow suckling the pharaoh. Royal ladies often took the title 'priestess of Hathor' in her honour.

She was also the goddess who protected women during pregnancy and childbirth. As a Goddess of fertility and moisture, she was associated with the inundation of the Nile, in this aspect she is linked to the Dog-star Sothis whose rising above the horizon heralded the annual flooding of the Nile. She ruled the month of Athyr, 17th September (the birthday of Hathor) to 16th October, being the third month of the Inundation Season. As the goddess of music and dancing her symbol was the sistrum.

Hathor, on the column capitals in her shrines is often depicted with the ears of a cow and a crown formed of horns supporting the disc of the Sun. The crown symbol was later adopted by Isis. She is also depicted as the papyrus reed (a ritual of plucking up papyrus stalks was performed in her honour), a snake 'who laughs with Wadjet', or a sistrum (a type of rattle).

The sycamore was sacred to Hathor, this association was later assumed by Isis, who took over most of the associations of Hathor. The sycamore was a sacred tree that offered shade and refreshment to the dead as they undertook their journey from this world to the next.

The entry to the underworld, was thought to be on the western horizon, the place of the setting sun, and the kingdom of the dead was called the "Land of the western Ones", hence her title as "Lady of the West". In the Book of the Dead she is refered to as 'Lady of the headland of Manu' (the western mountains) and is joined by the Sun God Re as he sinks below the horizon. Her protection extends to those deceased in the Underworld, in the form of a garment known as the 'tjesten', which affords a safe path, past enemies dwelling on the Island of Fire.

Hathor as a Goddess of Love, Music and Dance

In ancient Egypt Hathor is seen as the supreme Goddess of sexual love, as a Goddess of Heavenly Charm, it is easy to see how the Greeks, linked Hathor with Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. In love poetry, she is described as 'golden' or 'Lady of Heaven'.

I built a house for the Goddess,
Made of the wood of the sycamore tree.

Under the leaves of the palm tree,
I eat bread in honour of her.

Hathor, Hawk of the Sky,
Rest in the limbs of my tree.

Hathor, House of the Sun,
Live in my house forever.

The Eye Of Re

"There came a time when the people began to drift away from the worship of the God. Re, in vengeance, sent his daughter, Hathor, in the form of a lion, to punish mankind.

After a time, Re decided that mankind had suffered enough and ordered Hathor to return, she, being sated with blood lust refused. The Sun God ordered a vast quantity of beer to be made, coloured with red ochre, which was then poured into the field where Hathor-Sakhmet lay sleeping. On waking, Hathor seeing the fields reddened with what she thought was blood, began to gorge herself, falling into an intoxicated stupor, Re was able to return her.

To mark the occasion, so that mankind would not forget their narrow escape from annihilation, Re ordered a festival to be held each year in Hathor's honour."

This was a very popular religious festival and was celebrated (August 7th) at New Year, at all the shrines dedicated to Hathor, throughout the kingdom. Hathor was worshiped as the "Seven Hathors": Hathor of Thebes, Heliopolis, Aphroditopolis, Sinai, Momemphis, Herakleopolis, and Keset. Her primary shrine was at Denderah, the "Place of Intoxication", she was also worshipped as principal deity at temples in the modern cities of Atfih and Gebelein. At Edfu, she is the wife of Horus, here her name means "Mansion of Horus", signifying her role as sky Goddess and protector of Horus. At Thebes, Hathor takes on the role of Goddess of the Dead.

The Seven Hathors

In the tomb of Nefertari (Dynasty XIX) and in the Book of the Dead, the Goddess Hathor is depicted as seven cows whose role is to determine the destiny of a child at birth. Each of these different aspects of the Goddess as her own name:

i/   Lady of the universe.
ii/   Sky-storm.
iii/   You from the land of silence.
iv/   You from Khemmis.
v/    Red-hair.
vi/   Bright red.
vii/   Your name flourishes through skill.

Several alternative names for the seven Hathors has been found in papyri concerning Mythology, these are:

i   Lady of the House of Jubliation.
ii + iii   Mistress of the West.
iv + v   Mistress of the East.
vi + vii   Ladies of the sacred land.

Hathor's Mirror

Ancient Egyptian mirrors, unlike our modern counterparts, were not constructed from glass and a silver layer, but from a flat oval of polished copper or bronze, with a wooden or bone handle, the handle was often shaped into the form of a Goddess. The metal Copper is still today linked with the Goddess. This same shape can be seen in the Sun Disc symbol that represents Hathor.

Of the nine 'bodies', the Egyptians believed all animals and creatures consisted of, Hathor was associated with Sekhem - the form body, this was the representation of the form of power of a man or woman. It is the vital spark or energy contained within the individual, that can be built up and projected in Magick. Looking into Hathor's Mirror, your own individual power is reflected on one side, while the thoughts or energies of friends/enemies are reflected on the other. Used as a ward of protection, the energies of an attacker is reflected back to themselves, sensing a power from their intended victim equal to the strength that they feel they possess.

--~Attributes and Correspondences~--

Area of Influence:
Creation, Fertility, Love, Beauty, Music, Revenge, Sovereignty, Protection, Childbirth

Egyptian

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Lynx, Sparrow, Swan, Dove, Cow

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Emerald, Turquoise, Copper

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Sistrum

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Rose, Myrtle, Papyrus, Sycamore

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The Empress, Sevens

Athyr, 17th Sept - 16th Oct

Egyptian - Gods and Goddesses

NameTitleType

Aker

God of the horizon.

God

Ammit

Goddess of the Underworld.

Goddess

Amun

God of Winds.

God

Amunet

Primordial goddess

Goddess

Andjety

Patron God of Andjet.

God

Anhur

God of War.

God

Anput

Goddess of the 17th Nome.

Goddess

Anti

Hawk god of Upper Egypt.

God

Anubis

God of the dead and ruler of the underworld.

God

Anuket

Goddess of the Nile River.

Goddess

Apedemak

Lion-headed warrior God.

God

Apep

God of Evil, darkness and choas.

God

Apis

Bull God.

God

Arensnuphis

Nubian God

God

Ash

God of oases and the vineyards of the western Nile Delta.

God

Aten

Creator God and Aspect of Ra.

God

Atum

God of Creation.

God

Babi

Baboon god associated with death and virility.

God

Banebdjedet

Ram god of fertility.

God

Ba-Pef

God of the Underworld.

God

Bast

Goddess of Cats, Lower Egypt, the sun and the moon.

Goddess

Bat

Cow goddess who gave authority to the king.

Goddess

Bata

Bull God.

God

Bes

God of households.

God

Chenti-cheti

Crocodile god.

God

Dedun

God of Incense

God

Geb

God of the Earth.

God

Ha

God of the western deserts.

God

Hapi

God of the annual flooding of the Nile.

God

Hathor

Cow-goddess of the sky, fertility, love, beauty, and music.

Goddess

Hatmehit

Fish Goddess.

Goddess

Hauhet

Goddess and the female personification of infinity or eternity.

Goddess

Heka

God of magic

God

Hemsut

Goddess of fate and protection

Goddess

Heqet

Goddess of childbirth and fertility

Goddess

Heryshaf

Ram God Ruler of Riverbanks

God

Horus

God of war, sky, and protection.

God

Huh

Deification of eternity

God

Iabet

Goddess and personification of the East.

Goddess

Iah

God of the moon

God

Iat

Goddess of milk, nurturing and childbirth

Goddess

Ihy

God of Sistrum Playing.

God

Imentet

Goddess of the necropolis west of the Nile.

Goddess

Imhotep

God of medicine and healing.

God

Ipy

Mother Goddess.

Goddess

Isis

Goddess of magic, motherhood and fertility.

Goddess

Iusaaset

Primal goddess, the grandmother of all of the deities.

Goddess

Kauket

Goddess of Darkness.

Goddess

Kebechet

Goddess of embalming liquid and purification.

Goddess

Khepri

God of rebirth and the sunrise.

God

Kherty

Earth God and a God of the underworld

God

Khnum

God of creation and the waters.

God

Khonsu

God of youth and the moon.

God

Kneph

A creator deity

God

Kuk

Male personification of darkness.

God

Maahes

God of war and weather.

God

Ma'at

Goddess who personified the order and balance of the universe.

Goddess

Mafdet

Goddess who protected against snakes and scorpions

Goddess

Mandulis

Sun God of Lower Nubia

God

Menhit

Goddess of War.

Goddess

Meret

Goddess associated with rejoicing, singing, and dancing

Goddess

Meretseger

Cobra-goddess of tomb builders and protector of royal tombs.

Goddess

Meskhenet

Goddess of childbirth.

Goddess

Min

God of procreation and fertility

God

Mnevis

The sacred bull of Heliopolis

God

Monthu

Falcon god of war.

God

Mut

Mother goddess

Goddess

Nefertem

God of healing and beauty

God

Nehebkau

Guardian of the Duat.

God

Neith

Goddess of creation, war, and hunting.

Goddess

Nekhbet

Vulture goddess, patron of pharaohs and Upper Egypt

Goddess

Neper

God of grain

God

Nephthys

Goddess of death, night, and lamentation.

Goddess

Nu

God of the promordial waters.

God

Nut

Goddess of the sky and heavens

Goddess

Osiris

God of Vegetation, Fertily and the afterlife.

God

Pakhet

Goddess of War

Goddess

Petbe

God of revenge.

God

Ptah

Creator God.

God

Ra

God of the Sun.

God

Rem

Fish God

God

Renenutet

Goddess of nourishment and the harvest.

Goddess

Satet

Goddess of war, hunting, fertility, and the flooding of the Nile River.

Goddess

Sekhmet

Goddess of the sun, destruction, pestilence, and war

Goddess

Serket

Scorpion Goddess of healing.

Goddess

Seshat

Goddess of writing, astronomy, astrology, architecture, and mathematics.

Goddess

Set

God of the Desert and Storms.

God

Shed

Protective and Saviour deity

God

Shezmu

God of execution, slaughter, blood, oil, and wine.

God

Shu

God of the Wind and Air.

God

Sobek

Crocodile God of the Nile.

God

Sopdet

Goddess of Fertility and the personification of Sothis

Goddess

Taweret

Hippopotamus Goddess of pregnant women.

Goddess

Tefnut

Goddess of moisture, moist air, dew, and rain.

Goddess

Tenenet

Goddess of beer.

Goddess

Thoth

God of Magic, Learning and Scribes.

God

Unut

Snake Goddess

Goddess

Wadjet

Snake goddess and protector of Lower Egypt.

Goddess

Wadj-wer

Fertility God

God

Weneg

Sky and Death God

God

Wepwawet

Jackal god of warfare and hunting.

God

Werethekau

Goddess of supernatural powers.

Goddess

Wosret

Guardian Goddess of Thebes.

Goddess

Bibliography

  • The Witches God - Janet and Stewart Farrar
  • The Witches Goddess - Janet and Stewart Farrar
  • A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - George Hart
  • Celtic Goddesses - Miranda Green
  • Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia - Jeremy Black and Anthony Green
  • Maori Religion and Mythology - Edward Shortland
  • The Greek Myths - Robert Graves
  • Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, 2-Volume Set - Patricia Monaghan
  • Asgard and the Gods: The Tales and Traditions of Our Northern Ancestors - Wilhelm Wägner Macdovvall
  • The Mythology of all Races - Vol 1-12 - Louis H Gray
  • The Ancient Gods Speak - Edited by Donald B Redford
  • The Pyramid Texts - Faulkner
  • Aradia, Gospel of the Witches - Charles G. Leland
  • Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas - H. A. Guerber
  • The Theogony of Hesiod - translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White 1914
  • Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities, 2-Volume Set - Charles Russell Coulter and Patricia Turner
  • Wikipedia

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