Gods of Egypt - Hathor, Horus, Heh

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A B E G H I K M N O P R S T W

Hathor

Hathor, mother goddess is associated with love, fertility, sexuality, music, dance and alcohol. Sometimes she was depicted in completely anthropomorphic form, then as a cow or a woman with cow's horns. With human body she could have the head decorated with sun disc between cow's horns or a falcon sitting on a necklace. She was sky goddess as well - she was considered a giant cow straddled over heaven, whose legs defined four basic points.

She was worshipped in different forms as "Lady of the west", "Lady of western mountains", "Lady of Byblos", "Lady of turquoise" and "Lady of faince". "West" or "Western mountains" corresponds to sunset and in analogy to realm of dead as well. Byblos was a port on Lebanese coast, which was very important for egyptian business. Especially cedar wood was imported here, because there were no proper trees for boat and big buildings building.

Alike Isis she was considered as mother of falcon god Horus and also mother of the king (who was identified with Horus). Her name means "Horus' house". It's interesting, that the signs in Horus's temple in Edfu mention Hathor and Horus marriage. Hathor in cow's form is sometimes depicted by breast-feeding the king, who likes it very much. An example is beautiful statue of 18. dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II. (approximately 1427-1400 BC) founded in Deir el-Bahari.

Hathor was sometimes identifies with "the eye of Ra", she also appeared as sun god's daughter at other opportunities. The main goddess Hathor cult centre was Dendera in Old Kingdom period. Celebrations in her honor seemed to be pretty dissolute. Her cult sign was sistrum (rattler), which was rattled by rituals. There is a well-preserved temple from Graeco-Roman period in Dendera, which is sacred to triad Hathor, Horus and Ihy - Hathor's son who rattled with sistrum in her honour.

Horus

Pharaoh was tightly connected with Horus from dynasty period beginning (approximately 3100 BC). God Horus was depicted as a falcon or man with falcon head and his omnipresent symbol was "Eye of Horus" (eye of Wadjet). Horus had both eyes gouged out in one version of Horus and Seth competing myth. In another version he only lost (and gained again) left eye. Horus in form without eyes was associated with the moon, meanwhile in form with only right eye he was associated with the sun. His eye became a symbol of treatment, because his sight was cured in both cases (wadjet, literally "entire"). The eye was used as an amulet symbolizing power and perfection, it represented waxing and waning of the moon as well.

Horus' name means "The one on high" and it came from his sky god title and the fact, that Horus was depicted as a falcon, who can fly very high. As "Horus of the horizon" he was called Horakhty and in this form he was identified with sun deity Ra - Ra-Horakhty. He appeared in a form of child Herupakhered (Greeks called him Harpokrates) on a stela known as Horus' Cippus from Late period (approximately 747 BC). He was usually depicted treading crocodiles, throttling serpents, scorpions and other dangerous animals. He should be obviously perceived as a child, because he was depicted naked and with special haircut known as "curls of childhood". Horus allegedly survived jeopardy several times in childhood, therefore a ritual with his appearance usage was perforformed to protect them from similar traps (or to heal snake or scorpion bite). Cippus (spelled by incantation) was poured over with water, water soaked up the magic power and than was drunk or put on wounds.

God Horus was worshipped as a part of divine triad in cult centre in Abydos, but usually he is associated with the temple in Edfu (ancient Džebě). There he was worshipped as a part of triad with his wife Hathor and son Hor-sema-tawy. He was also connected tightly with Hierankopolis ("City of hawks", ancient Nekhen) in the south and Behdet city in Nile delta. "Horus from Behdet" was depicted as a winged sun disc.

Heh

God Heh, frog head god, was a shapelessness and infinity personification. Goddess with serpent head Hauhet was his wife. God Heh was often depicted in anthropomorphic form, holding palm leave in each hand (hieroglyph for year).

Hathor   Horus   Eye of Horus   Heh
Hathor   Horus   Eye of Horus   Heh

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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