Sekhat-Heru (also written "Sekhathor" or "Sechat-Hor") is a Kemetic goddess whose worship goes back at least to the time of the Pyramid Texts. She was revered as a guardian of the sacred herds and calves and became associated with Het-Hert and Aset as a cow goddess.  She acquired a following of her own and had a center of worship at Kom el-Hisn (Momemphis).

Her name in Kemetic means "She who remembers Heru," and in the Pyramid Texts, she suckles him, emphasizing the importance of a mother cow towards her calf. The hieroglyphs of her name begin with the symbol for Heru. It is placed first because of the practice of "honorific transposition" of the god's name, giving it a place of honor in the writing. The t-loaf and egg of the glyphs signify that this is the name of a goddess.

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Sekhat-Heru is usually represented as a cow, either standing or lying. A feather decoration often appears between her horns, as well as a sun disk in New Kingdom depictions. She is renowned for her milk production. She is the provider of milk offered by the king in rituals. She is also listed as one of the four sacred cows that accompanies Het-Hert. The following text from the Temple of Dendera mentions Her role as nourisher of the King:

"Life to the Good God, the replica of Shu, raised by Tefnut on his knees, nourished by the Goddess of the Countryside, created by Renenutet, suckled by Sekhat-Heru, the one with the beautiful face, master of joy, master of offerings, the son of Ra." (Dendera I, 101, 12, my translation)

Late Period texts state that she is a form of Aset (Isis) and Het-Hert ("Het-Hert Nebet Imau"). Besides Heru, the sacred Apis bull is also considered her divine offspring. Sekhat-Heru was worshipped along with Het-Hert Nebet Imau in the 3rd Lower Egyptian Nome at Kom el-Hisn. In the same nome was a sanctuary sacred to Wesir, called Hut-Sekhat-Heru ("Mansion of Sekhat-Heru," or "Mansion of the Cow of Horus"). Het-Hert was honored there as the "Noble Lady."

More information about Het-Hert in her form of a cow is in the Symbols and Manifestations section of this website, at Cow.

References

Chassinat, Émile. Le Temple de Dendara, 1934.
Wilson, Penelope."sxAt-Hr," "Hwt-sxAt-Hr" Ptolemaic Lexikon, 1997.
Rössler-Köhler, Ursula, "Sechat-Hor." Lexikon der Ägyptologie, Band V, 1984.

Many thanks to Sandy Green, for calling my attention to this goddess and inspiring me to learn more about her.

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