Hathor was one of the best loved goddesses. This was because she was associated with love, festivities, music and happiness.
Hathor was shown in three different ways:
- as woman wearing a head-dress of a sun disk with two cow horns either side of it;
- as a woman with little cow ears set in a curving wig which ends with two big curls on the shoulders;
- as a cow
She was the divine mother of the pharaoh and one of the ruler’s royal titles was “Son of Hathor”.
Hathor also fulfilled other roles. For those who were dying, she was the goddess who would protect them on their way to the underworld.
As the ‘lady of turquoise’ she was worshipped by those working in the turquoise mines of Sinai, in the desert.
However, as the daughter of the sun-god Ra, she could assume the form of a lioness and would pounce of Ra’s enemies and devour their bodies.
In one Egyptian myth, she was sent to destroy all mankind.
Sometimes Hathor was shown a cow. Her head-dress was a sun disk with horns of either side.
It is said that when she took this form, there would be a pharaoh kneeling beneath her belly, suckling from her udder.
In this way, he was drinking her divine milk, providing him with long life and great power.
In temples dedicated to Hathor, there were herds of cows considered to be sacred – their mild was kept for the pharaoh.