Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hathor, Egyptian Cow Goddess of Love

Hathor is the Egyptian Goddess of love, childbirth, joy, music and motherhood. She was a cow Goddess and often depicted as either a woman with the head of a cow, or a woman with the ears of a cow and the horned uraeus crown on her head. Hathor is said to be a much older Goddess, her worship dates back to the Pre-dynastic period. She was a midwife Goddess and attended to all women's needs, as well a protectress to women who were pregnant. At her sacred festivals, and in her rituals of worship, dancing and music was always a big part of the celebration. Dancing was a primary component to her worship, as was music. Women would dance freely shaking their sistrums, a type of rattle, in honor of the Goddess of love and joy.

Her primary cult was located in Dendera, where there is a temple dedicated to the ancient cow Goddess. This temple has large columns that have the face of Hathor with her cow ears at the top of each one. In Hathors myth, there are many different scenarios. Some say that she is the daughter of Ra, the Sun God, and some say that she is the mother of Ra. Others say that she is the mother of Horus, which connected her with the Goddess Isis. She is also connected to the Goddess Sekhmet, as she was also seen as the The Eye of Ra. This connects her to the story of Ra sending Sekhmet to destroy mankind.

Hathor should be called upon on matters of childbirth, women's needs, love, and happiness. She can be called upon by pregnant women for protection, and she can be called on for matters of learning to love yourself and those around you. Or to help bring more happiness and joy into your life. In any ritual you decide to do for Hathor, dancing and music should be a part of it, since this was such an essential part of worship in her ancient cults. Just flow freely with your body wherever it takes you to the sounds of Egyptian music. Connection to deity through dance and song is an ancient act, and really helps you to feel the energy of that deity.

On your altar to Hathor, have colors of yellow and white, a picture or statue of Hathor, representation of a cow or a cat, a mirror, sistrum or rattle, stones of lapis lazuli or turquoise, incense made with myrrh, frankincense, rose and sandalwood and offerings of wine or perfume.

Enjoy honoring this ancient Goddess of love and joy!

Photo courtesy of Floating World
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