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.
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Hathor - Eye of Ra - The Goddess - The White Goddess

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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Hathor - Eye of Ra

Hathor - Eye of Ra

Hathor - Eye Of Re

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.

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).

She is also a mother goddess and closely associated with the kings and pharaohs, 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 Magic. 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.

Correspondences

Animal: Lynx, sparrow, swan, dove, cow
Astral Body: Sekhem - the form body
Body: Eye
Colour: Emerald, turquoise
Day:
Festivals: Aug 7th, Sept 17th, Festival of Het Heret - November 2nd
Flower: rose, myrtle
Gems: emerald, turquoise
Minerals: Copper
Month: Athyr, 17th Sept - 16th Oct
Musical Instrument: Sistrum
Perfume: benzoin, rose, red sandal, sandalwood, myrtle
Plant: Papyrus
Tarot: The Empress, Sevens
Tree: Sycamore
Weapon: Lamp, Girdle

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