23 Hathor Facts: Details On The 'Egyptian Goddess' Revealed

Martha Martins
Oct 10, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Apr 11, 2022
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Hathor facts about the patron goddess of birth and death in Egyptian mythology.

Hathor determined the fate of newly born children and also came to represent death and the afterlife.

Hathor is linked to the primordial divine cow Mehet-Weret, a sky goddess whose name means great flood. Also, she was credited with bringing the Nile River's inundation, which fertilized the country.

Ancient Greeks identified Hathor with their own Aphrodite. The Egyptians honored Hathor as a fertility goddess by dancing, singing, and playing the sistrum. Hathor was a goddess who represented motherhood and nutrition. As a result, she was frequently described as a milking cow or a sycamore tree.

History And Origin Of Hathor

No doubt that the history of Egypt is magnificent. The land holds a lot of secrets, and religion is one of them. In Egyptian mythology, Hathor is an ancient Egyptian goddess who was subsequently identified with Isis, and initially with Sekhmet but was eventually regarded as the primal goddess from whom all others descended.

Hathor is frequently represented as a woman with a cow's head, ears, cow's horns, or simply as a cow, therefore being named the cow goddess Hathor. She is the goddess of joy and femininity and the patron saint of love and fertility.

The cow-headed or cow goddess is seen on the Narmer Palette, which dates back to the Pre-dynastic era, and is thought to be either Hathor or bat, another cow's head with whom she was associated.

According to a legend, Hathor, along with Nut, was a sky goddess. They were linked to the Milky Way, depicted as milk flowing from a heavenly cow's udders. She was one of the most significant goddesses in ancient Egypt. Both royalty and commoners worshipped her.

Goddess Hathor, in human form, was occasionally worshipped as the Seven Hathors, who were believed to know the length of each person's life and were honored in seven cities (Thebes, Aphroditopolis, Kemet, Lulu, Momemphis, Sinai, and Heracleopolis).

Hathor is generally portrayed with cow horns and sun disk and always has gorgeous painted eyes. Her body was frequently shown in crimson. Ancient Egyptians regarded Hathor as the divine mother female pharaoh.

Although Hathor's cult center was situated in Dendera, she was revered and worshipped throughout Egypt, to the point where she was revered as an afterlife goddess in The Field of Reeds.

When a person died in ancient Egypt, whether male or female, they assumed the likeness of Osiris and were rewarded with his moral integrity attributes. On the other hand, the female, who was thought fit to cross into the paradise of The Field of Reeds, took on Hathor's likeness and attributes through time.

Hathor was also considered the mother of the Sun God Radue, and she was a significant figure in his life. 

Goddess Hathor's name alludes to the 'Domain of Horus' and 'Temple of Horus'. Her name is associated with rebirth, rejuvenation, inspiration, and brightness.

The first allusion is to a portion of the sky where a king (or a deceased king) may be revived and continue to govern (or live again), while the second allusion is to the legend that Horus, as sun-god, entered her mouth each night to repose and returned with the dawn.

Power And Strength Of Hathor

Hathor was an important goddess in the ancient Egyptian pantheon who had numerous duties to play. She wielded enormous authority and influenced innumerable elements of daily life. Even though Hathor's popularity and prominence waned over time, she retained a particular place in the hearts of many Egyptians, and her legacy endured.

Hathor's ancient goddess persona was built on femininity. Despite her influence over women's difficulties such as fertility, beauty, childbirth, and love, she was venerated by men and even had male priests.

The ancient goddess was known as the Mistress of Life, among other titles.

Hathor was a mother goddess of devastation who was part of the Eye of Ra. When Ra received criticism from the Egyptians, he sent her in the shape of a bloodthirsty goddess Sekhmet to slay people.

When she drank too much and turned her back on the killing fields, she transformed from the goddess of destruction to the goddess of love and happiness.

She became connected with numerous different goddesses in Egypt over time, and the Temple of Hathor was established, absorbing the traits and taking on a variety of important deities, some of which were contradictory.

Hathor was a sky goddess associated with fertility, women, and love. She was one of Egypt's most significant goddesses, revered and worshipped in shrines and temples all around the country.

In the Sinai Desert, archaeologists discovered ancient turquoise mining sites and a temple of Hathor. She was also revered at Timna's copper mines.

In Egyptian culture, Hathor's traditional offering was two mirrors, as the primeval goddess and patron of the cosmetic arts.

Hathor's Temple, or the Temple of Hathor, is one of Egypt's most well-preserved temples. Later additions were made during the Roman era.

Abu Simbel has two famous rock-cut temples, and the smaller one is dedicated to Hathor.

Features Of Hathor

Hathor was a sky goddess related to Sirius and was known as 'Lady of Stars' and 'Sovereign of Stars' (and so the goddesses Sopdet and Isis). Her birth date coincided with the first appearance of Sirius in the sky (heralding the coming inundation).

She was known as the goddess of Heather, the third month of the Egyptian calendar, by the Ptolemaic period.

Not only in Egypt but also Nubia, Semitic West Asia, Ethiopia, and Libya, Hathor was revered.

Mistress of Heaven and Lady of Stars, Mistress of Turquoise, Lady of the House of Jubilation, and Mistress of Offers are just a few of Hathor's titles.

Aside from being a cow and a lady, Hathor also appeared as a cat, lion, geese, and sycamore fig. Hathor was identified with Aphrodite by the ancient Egyptian religion.

Hathor was a patron of numerous things, including miners, dancers, inebriation, and several sorts of art, including music. Many of her priests were musicians, dancers, and artists who improved Egyptians' quality of life.

The dead were said to be greeted by Hathor's motherly character, who aided them on their final trip to a realm called Duat. From the shade of a sycamore tree, she even offered them refreshments.

The number of minor deities who shared Hathor's qualities and were regarded as aspects of the Mother Goddess attests to her popularity. The Seven Hathors, who decreed fate and were present at the birth of a human being, were the most significant of these.

Hathor was mainly worshipped in the form of a cow or a cow with stars above her in ancient times. She was later depicted as a lady with a cow's head and as a woman with a human face, but occasionally with cow's ears or horns.

The Seven Hathors shared characteristics and a scarlet ribbon with which they bound evil spirits and dark demons. In life, the Seven Hathors were revered for their ability to aid in matters of love and protection from danger, and after death, for their power to defend against the forces of darkness.

The flood was brought back by the Distant Goddess, who had to be appeased with music, dancing, feasting, and drinking. This was the legendary basis for Hathor's cult's wild, euphoric components. When Hathor reappeared in all her radiant glory and joined forces with her father, it was fitting for all of creation to exult.

What does Hathor represent?

Hathor, the goddess, is depicted in various tombs and burial chambers. In devotion to Goddess Hathor, there are also pictures of many women shaking a papyrus stalk. Hathor etchings can also be found on coffins. The following are some of Hathor's symbols:

Cows are associated with Hathor because they represent food and motherhood.

The milky sap of the sycamore tree was once thought to be a sign of life and fertility.

In ancient Egypt, mirrors were associated with beauty, femininity, and the Sun.

Menat necklaces were made up of many beads and were thought to represent Hathor.

Cobras were frequently used to depict Hathor. This reflects Hathor's nefarious side. When Ra's eye (Hathor) was sent out against humanity, she took the appearance of a snake.

Another prominent image of Hathor is the lioness, which is a sign of power, protection, ferocity, and strength. All of these are attributes linked with Hathor.

Hathor was a goddess who represented motherhood and nutrition. As a result, she was frequently described as a milking cow or a sycamore tree.

Hathor was a symbol of appreciation for Egyptians, and the legend surrounds her. The importance of being appreciative was represented in Hathor's seven gifts.

Hathor, as a solar goddess, represented new life and creation. Hathor gave birth to Ra, the sun deity, at every sunrise.

Hathor was linked to Isis, another well-known Egyptian goddess who was Horus' mother. Isis inherited many of Hathor's abilities but was thought to be more forgiving.

Hathor's marriage to Horus is somewhat unsurprising given her connection to Isis. They had a son named Ihy, the god of music and dancing when he took the form of Horus-Behdety.

Hathor's interactions and manifestations grew more complicated and perplexing as time went by. Apart from her marriage to Horus, she is also thought to be Ra's wife and daughter at one point, as well as the mother of Ra-Horakhty, the composite deity made up of Ra and Horus.

Hathor was known to the gods as Hesat, the wet nurse, and has long been connected with motherhood, maternal impulses, and caring for others.

Milk was known as heat's beer, and the Milky Way seen in the night sky was thought to be the heavenly Nile River. Thus, the giver and sustainer of all life became connected with her.

Hathor embodied mainly in the heavenly Nile in all ways, bringing the best gifts of the gods to the inhabitants of Earth as mistress of song and dance, celebration and thankfulness, bringer of life.

The Egyptian calendar's third month was dedicated to Hathor. The Festival of Drunkenness commemorated the temple's return and the reappearance of the Eye of Ra. People sang, danced, and strove to connect with the goddess by entering a different state of mind.

During the Egyptian New Year, Hathor was likewise honored and adored. A goddess statue was put in the temple's most unique chamber as a sign of a new start and new beginnings. A picture of Hathor would be placed in the Sun on New Year's Day to commemorate her reunification with Ra.

Hathor's celebrations were popular, but the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion was the most popular. Hathor's images and statues were transported to several temples, and she was welcomed at Horus' shrine at the end of the journey.

The images of Hathor and Horus were subsequently carried to the temple of Ra, where ceremonies for the Sun deity were performed. This celebration could have been a wedding ceremony to commemorate Hathor and Horus' marriage or just a ceremonial thing at Theban Necropolis.

FAQs

Who killed Hathor?

Hathor's death is still a mystery as there are several theories surrounding the same.

Who is Hathor in ancient Egypt?

Together with Nut, goddess Hathor was a sky goddess.

What is the meaning of Hathor?

Goddess Hathor is the Egyptian goddess of pleasure and fertility. She is also the goddess of happiness and femininity.

What did Hathor look like?

Goddess Hathor was frequently represented as a cow or a woman with cow ears. A sun disc was usually placed between her horns when she was human.

How did Hathor die?

The legend about Hathor's death is still a mystery, and there is not much information about the same.

Which Egyptian god is the most powerful?

Amun, often known as 'King of the Gods', was the most powerful god in ancient Egypt.

How was Hathor born?

Goddess Hathor was born in ancient Greece and was established as the daughter of the Sun god Ra.

Who are the Seven Hathors?

Lulu, Thebes, Sinai, Momemphis, Aphroditopolis, Kemet, and Heracleopolis were the Seven Hathors.

What is the story of Hathor?

Hathor was the goddess personifying the sky, fertility, women, and love in Egyptian mythology. She was one of Egypt's most significant goddesses, revered and worshipped in shrines and temples all around the country.

Hathor was recognized for a variety of functions and traits, but she was most adored for her caring and feminine features. In Egyptian mythology, Hathor was later commonly identified with Ra, the God of Creation.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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