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.
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
"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
More information about Het-Hert in her form of a cow is in the Symbols
and Manifestations section of this website, at Cow.
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
Many thanks to Sandy Green, for calling my attention to this goddess and
inspiring me to learn more about her.
Text and original graphics copyright ©
1999-2007 by Neferuhethert. All rights reserved. All graphics which are not original works
have been credited to their source or used with permission, and their copyright remains
the property of the source cited. No use of any original written or graphical material is
allowed in any form whatsoever without prior written permission. Questions
should be directed to neferuhethert at aol.com. This is a non-profit website for
educational purposes only. Last updated 01/27/10.