21 Days of Goddesses til’ Imbolc
Day 5 — Hathor ( Joy, Love, Protection, Turquoise, Miners, Motherhood )
Hathor is a goddess of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was worshiped by both royalty and the common people. She supports women in childbirth and also looked after music, dance, and fertility.
Hathor was connected with foreign places and materials. For instance, Hathor was the goddess of the desert of miners and the turquoise mines in the Sinai. The goddess was known as the Mistress of the West, Mistress of Turquoise, and Mistress of Foreign Lands.
Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she is depicted as “Mistress of the West” welcoming the dead into the next life. She is the guardian of all females and is the embodiment of joy, love, dance, alcohol and perfume. She has dominion over sex, birth, pleasure, intoxication, magick, music and death. Dance and music are the sacred arts of Hathor. A large temple was built to honor Hathor at Dendera.
Hathor was the embodiment of the Milky Way and was called the Celestial Cow. As a provider of milk, and due to cows careful tending of their calves, the cow was a universal symbol of motherhood. In art, Hathor was often depicted as a golden cow or as a woman with the ears of a cow and a headdress of horns holding the sun-disc, which represented Ra. The Milky Way spilled from Her breasts, and She was the Celestial Waterway upon which the Sun God. This association linked Her to the flooding of the Nile (also like Isis) and the breaking of the waters before birth.
Hathor is the daughter of Ra the Sun God and Nut the Sky Goddess. Ra sent Hathor, in the form of an All Seeing Eye, to watch over mankind. When angered Hathor could become destructive and may be the origin of the Evil Eye. The Ankh may also have originated from Hathor’s eye. In the Book of the Dead, Hathor is depicted as seven young women whose role is to determine the destiny of a child at birth. One by one they would announce the aspects of the child’s fate. Hathor was also connected to Ba, an aspect of the soul, Her role was to greet the newly dead as they began their journey to the afterlife.
When people began to drift away from the worship of Ra, the Sun God sent Hathor in the guise of a lion to punish them. When she nearly wiped out all of humanity, Ra took pity and decided to stop her. Unfortunately by this time Hathor was filled with blood lust and wouldn’t listen to Ra. Eventually Ra managed to get Hathor drunk which made her forget her task and obey Ra.
The Five Gifts of Hathor
A part of the initiation into her cult appears to have been a ritual known as The Five Gifts of Hathor, a poorly attested rite possibly from the period of the New Kingdom, in which a communicant would be asked to name the five things they were most grateful for while looking at the fingers of their left hand. As the poor of Egypt did not own their own land, but labored for others in the fields, their left hand was always visible to them as they reached out to harvest grain which would then be cut by the blade in their right hand.
By naming the five things one was grateful for, and identifying them with the fingers of the left hand, one was constantly reminded of the good things in one’s life and this kept one from the `gateway sin’ of ingratitude from which, it was thought, all other sins followed. For the more affluent of Egypt, considering the Five Gifts would have been a way to keep from envying those more prosperous than oneself and a means by which one was reminded to be humble in the face of the gods. This humility would show itself by one’s service to others.
Animal: Lynx, sparrow, swan, dove, cow
Colour: Emerald, turquoise
Days: August 7, Sept 17 Month : Athyr, 17th Sept — 16th Oct
Festivals: Festival of Het Heret (November 2nd)
Flower: Rose, myrtle
Gems: Emerald, turquoise
Musical Instrument — Sistrum
Offerings — Mirrors, alcohol, perfume, scarabs, statues or pictures of cats and cows
Perfume — Benzoin, rose, red sandal, sandalwood, myrtle
Planet — Moon,
Plant — Papyrus
Star — Sirius
Tree — Sycamore
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Hathor: Goddess of Joy and Motherhood Near the Nile
The shadow of Hathor is still present in many places related to the monumental history of ancient Egypt. She was one of…