Queen of the dance, mistress of music,
Ruler of ecstasy, queen of flirtation,
You, oh Hathor! Intoxication!
Intoxication! Oh Hathor! You!
Over three thousand years ago, when these invocations were written in Egypt, one goddess was the most beloved. Other goddesses brought wealth, fertility and power but it was Hathor who brought love. From the moment we were born, she was one of the midwife goddesses, til we met Her at the sycamore tree in the west, where souls go after death, Hathor was intimately connected with our most treasured joys.
Hathor was beloved by the common people who sang songs and wrote poetry to her.
Dancing was one of her primary forms of worship. People danced together in gender-segregated groups, expressing themselves in free form dance.
In ancient texts Hathor appears to have been a co-ruler of the Sun with Ra. But returning upon a journey she discovers she's been replaced. Demanding the sun back Ra changes her into a snake and places her on the crown of Egypt's pharaoh.
Hathor was connected to the gentle cat goddess Bast and to the raging lion goddess Sekmet suggesting that she had a dual identity; as a gentle protector and as a fierce force of purification.
Her primary symbol is the mirror due to her ancient connection to the sun. Mirrors bring the sun's light right down to us, making them magical implements allowing her worshipers to connect directly with the solar goddess. Golden jewelry pleased her as did the color yellow in robes and other clothing.
Hathor also appeared in two animal forms, the winged cow of creation symbolizing protection and maternal love and the cat. Many depictions of Hathor in Egyptian art shows her having ears like the cow.
Hathor's cat identity, like the cow, connects her as a vital protector of the stored grain, keeping it safe from destructive rodents.
Many festivals are tied to Hathor but one of the most important is celebrated on her birthday, September 17th.
The desire for love and affection is most associated with Hathor. She is the goddess of infatuation, the wonderful period when the lover's every action seems charming, joy bubbles up and one seems giddy and effervescent. Hathor is the goddess of beginnings.
The basic framework of a Hathor ritual deals with pleasant company, flowers, attractive settings, music and dance.
An altar to Hathor should contain bright pleasing colors, flowers and jewels. There should be wonderful fragrances, incenses and scented candles. One should have a mirror to represent the goddess's solar identity and her connection to making oneself beautiful for love.