Gods and Goddesses


Role: Goddess of beauty, love, women, the sky, fertility, music and dance

Appearance: Woman with a head dress of cow horns, or a cow-headed woman, or a woman with cow ears, or as a cow

Center of worship: Dendera

Relations with other gods: wife of Horus (in early times she was supposedly his mother until that role was given to Isis), daughter of Re

Hathor had been an important goddess even in very early Egyptian history. Hathor is connected to many other goddesses, and it can be said that all the goddesses were different forms of her. As goddess of the sky, Hathor was believed to be a cow standing over the earth, with each of her four legs positioned at one of the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west). One myth tells that she used her horns to lift the sun up to the heavens. As goddess of dancing and music, it was Hathor's job to dance for Re to cheer up him whenever he was down. Hathor's role as the goddess of beauty is shown by her appearance on many items used for personal appearance. It was common to see mirrors with carved handles that were in the shape of Hathor. Make-up grinding palettes usually had the face of Hathor carved on them as well.

Temples dedicated to Hathor were built all over Egypt. One was built in Dendera, the center of her cult, by Greek pharaohs during Ptolemaic times. The capitals (top piece) of the pillars inside have Hathor's cow-eared, human face carved on four sides.

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