Hathor - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

Hathor is the primordial Egyptian goddess; she was ever-present from the beginning. Many of her characteristics were eventually transferred to Isis but Hathor never lost her popularity.

Hathor has dominion over love, sex, reproduction, music, dance, intoxication, cosmetics, perfume, and all the joys and pleasures of life. Matron of women, Hathor is the guardian of females of all species. She embodies the female principle and grants fertility. She is also a warrior spirit, known as the Eye of Ra: when the supreme god Ra is in trouble, Hathor is his main line of defense. She was the guardian of pharaohs too.

Hathor is a shape-shifter and takes many forms (the cat goddess Bastet may or may not be Hathor’s alter ego); however her primary and perhaps most ancient manifestation is as a horned cow.

Image Hathor wears a horned headdress that combines lunar and bovine imagery

Image Hathor is the celestial cow; the Milky Way spills from her breasts

Image Hathor, one of the very few Egyptian deities commonly depicted full-face rather than in profile, has a special distinctive hair-do that resembles a “flip”: the ends curl up sharply in imitation of horns

Image Hathor manifests as a cow. (You’ll know it’s her, not just any old cow; the clue to her identity is the impeccable eye makeup sported by the Hathor-cow.)

Hathor is often portrayed as a gold cow. Some scholars believe that the biblical Golden Calf was either Hathor or her son. Hathor has dominion over the Sinai Peninsula where the events surrounding the Golden Calf are believed to have occurred.

Hathor embodies the powers implicit in horns. She is the Horn of Plenty providing devotees with all the bounties of life, but she also embodies the power of the horn as an aggressive weapon of self-defense.

See ANIMALS: Cats; CREATIVE ARTS: Music: Drum; DIVINE WITCH: Isis; TOOLS: Horns, Mirrors.