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The Seven Hathors from a wall relief in the Temple of Dendera

The Seven Hathors can appear as either cows or as beautiful women.  The cows are usually seen in a funerary context, where they are accompanied by the sky-bull, the "Bull of the West." In Queen Nefertari's beautifully decorated tomb, they have the following names: Lady of the Universe, Sky-Storm, You from the Land of Silence, You from Khemmis, Red-Hair, Bright Red, and Your Name Flourishes Through Skill.  They also appear in the Mythological Papyrii, where their names are Lady of the House of Jubilation, Mistresses of the West, Mistresses of the East, and Ladies of the Sacred Land, as well as in The Book of the Dead, tomb paintings and temple reliefs.  Some of the depictions show them wearing a patterened "saddle-cloth," a sun-disk, a double curved plume, and a menit necklace.   Their function is to nourish and protect the deceased from harm.

In their human form, the Seven Hathors are present at the birth of a child, when they pronounce its fate.  They are also called upon for help in matters of love, as well as protection from evil spirits.  The power of the red hair-ribbons of the Seven Hathors is used to bind dangerous spirits and render them harmless.

Hymn of the Seven Hathors

References for Images

Chassinat, Emile, and Fr. Daumas, Le Temple de Dendera, vol. 6, pls. DXLVII and DXLVIII, combined in Photoshop by Neferuhethert

References

Hart, George, A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Pinch, Geraldine, Magic in Ancient Egypt
Pinch, Geraldine, Votive Offerings to Hathor

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