I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
Divine Mother & Goddess of Joy
In this article, we visit Ancient Egypt to meet the Goddess Hathor. She is depicted as a cow, a woman with a cow’s head and a woman with horns on her head that hold up a sun disk with Uraeus.
Although it is hard to point out where her worship originated, Hathor’s oldest temple stands in Deir el-Medina, on the West Bank of the Nile, opposite Luxor, which she shares with Ma’at. Two more temples of Hathor have survived; one at Philae Island in Aswan, the other is the Hathor Chapel at the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, also on the West Bank of the Nile, opposite Luxor. And there even is another in Israel at Timna Valley.
Hathor had many titles and therefore was called She with the Many Names, although her name literally means House/Abode of Horus. In tomb paintings, she was often referred to as Lady of the West who greeted the dead and accompanied them into the afterlife. She was also the patron goddess of miners and the Turquoise stone that was mined in South Sinai, which also earned her the title Lady of Turquoise.
This precious stone was used not only for royal jewellery but more importantly for divine offerings, mummy ornaments and amulets. One of the mines was named The Beauty of Hathor, which shows us how deeply ingrained the worship of the Goddess was in daily, mundane life.
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The common people of Ancient Egypt made Hathor the most revered of their deities and there were more festivals dedicated to her than to any other. She was called upon as a midwife during childbirth, helped with fertility problems and protected the weak and helpless, especially children.
Next to her qualities around fertility and motherhood, Hathor was also the Goddess of joy, the arts, like singing and dancing, love, beauty and the sky. The people of Ancient Egypt saw reality as multi-layered, and therefore, deities who merged while retaining different attributes and myths as complementary, rather than contradictory. Thus, they had no problem with worshipping Hathor as a Sky Goddess, when this role was usually ascribed to the Goddess Nut. It is no wonder the people loved her, for love and joy move the hearts of many. A vision of her was seen as a wonderful omen for blessings to come.
As Pharaoh was believed to be the God Horus incarnate, so his wife strongly associated herself with Hathor, as she was wife and mother to the God, depending on time and region when the myth was told. Her primary animal is the cow, although early myths identify her with an intoxicated Goddess Sekhmet and hence, there is the association with the Lion. Her attributes of joy and laughter she most likely came by through this legend. And later, the Greeks identified her with their own Goddess Aphrodite.
Today, Hathor is a Cow Goddess in mass consciousness and we will, therefore, take this aspect of her as the strongest one. Hathor is an unconditionally loving goddess who is very affectionate and protective over those she loves and care for. She is helpful and creates beauty and blessings where she walks. When meditating upon her energy, tune into it and feel the love and joy rise up throughout your being. Care for yourself and others and see the world’s beauty as you gaze upon it.
In my travelogue written in narrative form, A Magical Family Holiday, I describe how a simple family holiday with a few outings can be turned into something magical and full of joy.
Not only is the reader whisked away into a magical kingdom of ancient castles and fairytales but is also given the opportunity to take a very personal look into the interactions of a mother with her children and the way she combines parenting, love and joy in order to gently and lovingly guide her children through the adventure of a lifetime, childhood and adolescence.