Sunday, November 27, 2011

Feast of Hathor as Sekhmet, ancient Egypt

HathorIn Egyptian mythology, Hathor is the mother goddess and goddess of love of ancient Egypt. She was worshipped c. 2700 BCE or possibly earlier, to c. 400 CE, in a cult that flourished in Ta-Netjer (‘Land of God’ – modern day Dendera, or Dendara) in Upper Egypt, as well as Thebes and Giza, and her priests included both men and women.

Other names for Hathor are Het-Hert, Athyr and Hetheru. Her name appears to mean ‘house of
Horus’, a reference to her role as a sky goddess, the ‘house’ denoting the heavens depicted as a great cow. (At the temple of Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel, Nefertari is shown as Hathor, and her husband Ramses II is shown in one sanctuary receiving milk from Hathor the cow.) Hathor was often regarded as the mother of the Egyptian pharaoh, who styled himself the ‘son of Hathor’. During the Old Kingdom she assumed the properties of an earlier bovine goddess, Bat. She is an ancient goddess and appears to have been mentioned as early as the 2nd Dynasty.  

Read on at
Hathor: Egyptian goddess of sky – and terror


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