Power of Love: Golden One Hathor
One of most powerful and famous goddesses of the ancient world are the goddesses of nature, fertility, and sex. One of my favorite goddess is the Goddess Hathor
You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
Goddess of Love and Beauty
Goddess of Fertility and Children
Goddess of Joy, Celebration, Music and Art
Hathor (Het-Heru), meaning "House of Horus the Elder", was a goddess of many things, from the celestial to the alcoholic! Hathor is one of the most beloved of Egypt's goddesses, a benevolent, understanding and stunningly beautiful figure responsible for all artistic endeavor and happiness in the world. Hathor brings happiness, romance and an appreciation for musical arts into our lives. Hathor was worshipped by both men and women in ancient Egypt. She presides over festivals whose sole purpose is to bring joy to the participants. Devotees of the Goddess were mostly dancers, musicians, and artisans. Dance and music were the sacred arts of Hathor and Hathor was thought to be the inventor of dance. Hathor was often invoked in much the same manner as the Greek Muses were, to inspire the artist. Her favorite musical instrument, the sistrum (a kind of rattle), was said to banish evil wherever it was played.
Hathor was essentially the body in which the soul resides. As such, She was Patron of bodily pleasures: the pleasures of sound, in music and song; the joys of the eye, in art, cosmetics, the weaving of garlands; the delight of motion in dance and in love; and all the pleasures of touch (in a nutshell all of life’s pleasure). In Her temples, priests and priestesses danced and played their tinkling tambourines and enjoying other sensual pleasures with the worshipers as well. Sacred or erotic dances are a welcome offering for Hathor, as is any effort to beautify the body. And yes her priests and priestesses were prostitutes for the goddess of pleasure.
Ra is irritated or exhausted by the ongoing squabble over kingship between Horus and Seth and refuses to participate in the proceedings, grinding the trial to decide between them to a halt. They called upon Hathor to cheer him up, which she did by entering his chambers and performing a seductive dance for him, ending by flashing him a full view of her genitals. Ra laughed heartily and declared that he could never abandon a world that had something that beautiful in it, and returned to the other gods along with Hathor, who was thereafter sometimes referred to by the excellent title Great Lady of the Vulva.
She was the Goddess of women, fertility, children and childbirth. She had power over anything having to do with women from problems with conception or childbirth, to health and beauty and matters of the heart. She is also a goddess of the family, and is known to protect children, provide their mothers with new siblings and to heal their small ills with infinite care.
Hathor's relationships with other gods are more complicated than anybody's need to be, again because the ancient Egyptians were so deeply in love with her that they felt the need to constantly attach her to all parts of their religious life and find ways to insert her into cults even when she had nothing to do with a particular deity or worship prior to that point. Most of her oldest myths revolve around her status as the first goddess created by Ra, the primordial sun god who brought much of the world into being, and retell how Ra was lonely in the beginning of time and therefore created Hathor from his own seed in order to have a companion. She was born as the Golden One, the most beautiful among goddesses who accompanies Ra on his journeys and serves as his devoted daughter.
In addition to being Ra's first daughter, she was also widely regarded as his wife, which was understood as an expression of her personification of undying and sensual love and Ra's requirement of such a person to support him. Her second husband is Horus the elder was associated with the pharaoh, so Hathor was associated with the Queen. Her name is translated as ‘The House of Horus’, which refers both to the sky (where Horus lived as a Hawk) and to the royal family.
It's interesting that Hathor was the first Eye of Ra, because while the Eye serves an important function as a representative of Ra and reporter of information to him, she also becomes a warrior and champion of Ra at some point and destroy his enemies. In later Eyes of Ra - including the notoriously bloodthirsty Sekhmet - this is par for the course, but Hathor is so firmly associated with ideas of joy, beauty and feminine gentleness that the story of her rampage across the world is a surprising one that doesn't match up with most of her other stories. In that myth, humanity begins to disrespect Ra and plot to overthrow his worship, so he sends Hathor to lay waste to the offenders. Hathor asked her sister Sekhmet to do the deed. Sekhmet does so thoroughly that the world is in danger of being entirely depopulated, and the gods are forced to then corral her and prevent her from overzealously wiping all of humanity off the face of the earth in her desire to please the sun god.
It's not surprising that a lot of what we end up talking about in regards to Hathor is who she's associated with and what relationships she has with other deities; she's the closest thing among the Egyptian gods to the classical idea of a love goddess, and all her powers and most of her stories revolve around her great beauty, artistic skills and ability to support, entertain and please the other gods and humanity by being generally too awesome to ignore.
Hathor is no passive and meek goddess to be bossed around by the male gods around her, in spite of how much she is beloved, and in the very rare case that anyone attempts to abuse her, retaliation is swift and brutal. In another myth; the dark god Set saw Hathor bathing in the river, and smitten by her great beauty, he attacked her. However, Hathor was more powerful in matters of sexual procreation than Set and did not appreciate his assault, and she inflicted a debilitating disease on him for daring to touch her, declaring that as the wife of the sun and sky she could only be impregnated by holy king. It illustrates Hathor as the boss of all sexual matters very clearly.
Hathor was the personification of power and success and did not experience doubts. Hathor was single minded in pursuit of her goals.