By Ajna DreamsAwake

A Level II Final Project for The Sacred Three Goddess School


Oh Heart of my Mother, Oh Heart of my Mother, Oh Heart of my Life upon Earth

Chapter 30 (b) -  the Egyptian Book of the Dead

Hathor relief from Temple of Kom Ombo 

Image courtesy of  Dreamstime

Het Hert is one of the oldest Goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon. Her worship may date as far back as the Neolithic Age when She was worshipped as the Celestial Cow who gives birth to all that is.  She is the Universe and the Milky Way is the nourishing milk that flows from Her udders. The Egyptians believed the Milky Way was the celestial reflection of their own Nile River and so, Het Hert became associated with the Nile River as well.  This Primordial Goddess’ earliest depictions may well have been the famous Winged Nile River Goddess known as Nathor: the All-Encompassing Mother who Gives Birth to the Universe and enfolds it in Her Arms .



Dale Broadhurst offers some intriguing ideas that support the idea that She is a very ancient Goddess. Although paired with Horus, She never fully evolved as the God’s Wife in the same way Isis is paired with Osiris.  The implication is that not only was She more ancient than many in the Pantheon, but She may well have originated in matriarchal or matrilineal clans where the presence of a husband was not necessary. Another interesting idea posited by Broadhurst is the way she is often depicted.  Whereas most Deities were depicted in profile, the Gods deemed too magnificent to be looked upon directly, She was one of only a few depicted frontally. This allowed Her followers to make face to face contact with their Goddess creating an intimate connection between them.  Broadhurst suggests that this frontal depiction may have been due to the fact that the Stone Age hunters, who relied on wild cattle for nourishment, may have worshiped their Goddess in the form of a cattle skull placed upon their altars.   As the culture evolved, so too did the representation of the Goddess from bovine face to the human face with cow ears we are familiar with today.*

Pewter pendant from the author’s personal collection

Photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

Broadhurst goes on to suggest another intriguing idea regarding this ancient Deity. She has thousands of titles but no actual name. A few of Her epithets include The Distant Goddess, The Gold That is Hathor, Queen of the Earth and Mistress of Jubilation.  As well, She represents a wide range of different aspects or roles, many in opposition to each other.  This also seems to support Broadhurst’s theory that Het Hert is much older than some Egyptologists believe.  Although it is mere speculation at this time, Broadhurst makes some interesting points that merit further exploration.

Hathor columns  Image courtesy of   Dreamstime

The Nile River Goddess was also connected to the ancient Snake Goddess and in this respect, Het Hert takes on the aspects of the raised cobra that eventually rested upon the brows of Pharaohs. Het Hert was honoured as the Heavenly Mother of the rightful tribal leader in pre-dynastic Egypt. Leaders were dependent upon Her (and Her priestesses) for strength and the ability to rule, much like the Hierodule performed the Sacred Marriage (Hieros Gamos) to provide kings  the power to rule in other early patriarchal cultures.  By 3000 BCE, Patriarchy in the form of Pharaonic dynasties was well-established with the rise of the dominant male Sun God Ra-Amun.

Hathor and Horus Image courtesy of  Dreamstime

By the 2nd Dynasty, the Deity known as Het Hert makes Her first appearance as Hathor, the Goddess we are familiar with today. Her original title, Het Hert, meant “House of the Face” (an allusion to Her frontal depictions perhaps?).  But as Hathor, She was now referred to as “House of Horus”. She became subordinate to the Sun God, alternately depicted as His Mother (at dawn), His Daughter (at mid day) and Consort (at dusk).  And so, just as the Sun God Re usurped Her role as Creator of all that is, so too did the king (Pharaoh) take on the attraction/dread Serpent Power of the Goddess in the form of the Uraeus upon His brow. In both cases, the male is dominant but must rely on the vital energy of the Divine Feminine in order to command. As Roberts states in Hathor Rising “Pharaohs, by putting on the physical signs of ruler ship (eg. Uraeus) take upon themselves the dread and attraction of the feminine power” (p. 47).


Het Hert remained a Goddess of considerable power within the Pantheon until the reign of  Akhenaten (18th Dynasty, approx. 1349-1334 BCE).  This heretic Pharaoh not only attempted to destroy the Goddess, but was determined to wipe out the entire Pantheon, deeming his God, the Aten (yet another of Egypt’s Male Solar Deities)  the one true God.


But even here, Het Hert, as Serpent Goddess, remains firmly ensconced upon the king’s brow. The worship of the Aten waned quickly with the death of Akhenaten and future dynasties returned the Pantheon to their former glory. However, the death cult of Osiris rose to prominence at this time and Isis was elevated to the role of dominant Goddess, taking on many of the attributes formally associated with Het Hert,  such as the solar headdress, sistrum and menat. Despite Her subordinate role, Het Hert remained a very complex Goddess,  beloved by Her people. Though the masses were not allowed in the inner shrines, they were able to gaze into the faces of their Goddess which adorned the columns of Her temples. In this way, they could continue to beseech the Goddess directly for supplications, prayers and healing.

Isis-Horus-Hahor Image courtesy of  Dreamstime

Hathor Image courtesy of   Dreamstime

Het Hert appealed to just about every facet of Egyptian life. She was a sponsor of miners (malachite, turquoise, copper, gold and galena were sacred to Her), of perfumers (myrrh, cinnamon and frankincense are often associated with Her), and of brewers (beer is Her sacred beverage).  She is associated with all things pleasurable, music, dance, drunkenness, sexuality, prosperity, joy, beauty, abundance.  She also represents healing, childbirth, death and destruction.  Het Hert was a Goddess who encompassed so many different qualities and roles that it is almost impossible to list them all. She is referred to as a Sky Goddess, Sun Goddess and Moon Goddess; a Goddess of the East and of the West; a Goddess of Moisture and Agriculture;  of Fertility and Motherhood. She is also known as a Goddess of the Underworld and of the Dead; a Goddess of Love and Beauty, of Drinking, Dancing and Joy. ** She is a true Goddess of the people, reflecting whichever aspect is required by Her devotees.


Her importance is further emphasized by the fact that in hieroglyphics and pictograms,   She is depicted in more ways than any other Deity in the Pantheon. Most Gods are illustrated in only one or two forms. Het Hert may be depicted as a beautiful young woman, a goose, falcon or hawk, a lion, lynx or cat, a cow or hippopotamus, sycamore tree or papyrus reed, the wadjet (sun eye),  uraeus,  menat or sistrum.  Het Hert once again demonstrates her primordial age by the sheer number of vastly different images with which She is portrayed.

If we liken the Nile River to the Goddess, Het Hert is the benevolent Mother nourishing the fields, the colour of the beneficent river is a soothing turquoise. However, when the Nile floods, its turbulent waters lift up the sediments at the river bottom, causing the river to turn red, the colour of blood. This is the  raging Sekhmet, bringing death and destruction, and as She recedes, disease becomes prevalent. It is no wonder this raging Goddess was so feared by the Egyptians. 


This violent and destructive power can be harnessed,  however, channeled into creative and vital energy that can become an agent of change, a vanquisher of inertia (ibid  p. 66). This power can be used to activate kundalini energy (the coiled serpent at the base of the spine) or to work healing magic.  In the Hathor Temples, the Priestess-Healers of Sekhmet specialized in blood complaints and healing by touch  (My Heart My Mother  p. 168). 

Replica of a statue found in the tomb of Tutankhamen  from the author’s personal collection 

photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

We cannot look at Het Hert without also exploring Her darker aspect in the form of Sekhmet.  Sekhmet emanates a wild, destructive force, She is Het Hert in the role of fierce destroyer. Sekhmet is known as "The Powerful One" and this aspect is clearly a force to be reckoned with.  In the Magical Texts (a book of ancient Egyptian spells),  the epidemics of Sekhmet, including disease, pollution and fevers, come from Her demons shooting arrows from their mouths, bringing strife and suffering to all (Hathor Rising  p. 12). The Seven Arrows brought evil fortune, infectious diseases and death but could also be called upon as a defense against these same woes.

One of Egypt’s most revered and familiar symbols is the wadjet.  The Sun Eye is a vehicle to allow the darker parts of Het Hert to come forward: terror, uncontrollable rage and vengeance. However, without this untamed aspect, life could not exist.  The Eye is linked to the Serpent Goddess, and the Uraeus is known by the epithets "Lady of Fear" and The Raging One",  which are also titles of Wadjet.  The eye is a symbol of the Divine Feminine and has been linked to the vulva (the Nag Hammadi texts refer to the womb as the “staring eye”).  Ancient Egyptians believed that humans were created from the tears of the Sun Eye. Hathor was known as the Right Eye (Sun Eye) and Her consort, Horus, was the Left Eye (Moon Eye).  Ashby refers to the Right Eye as the Dynamic aspect of Consciousness (The Goddess Path p. 47).  Egyptian women embellished their eyes with Malachite, a turquoise semi-precious stone, ground into make up. In this way, they could both beautify their bodies while also taking on the essence of the Goddess. ***

Wadjet painted by the author    

photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

Het Hert held a special place in the hearts of Egyptian women. As a Goddess of sexuality and childbirth, women beseeched Her in order to become pregnant (shrines were filled with votive offerings of phalluses) ,  to carry and deliver the child safely and to ensure the child had an abundant and successful life.   Another of Her traditional votive offerings were two mirrors, the better to see both Her beauty and one’s own.  Several of Her ritual dances involved the dancer holding a mirror in one hand in order to reflect both the Goddess incarnate in the dancer as well as the dancer’s own beauty. Het Hert, as a Goddess of Beauty appealed to a woman’s sense of her own inner and outer beauty. Besides the eye make up, women could adorn their bodies with jewelry made from gold and copper, lapis lazuli and turquoise stones,  all sacred to Het Hert. In this way, the wearer took on the attributes of the Goddess. The temple Priestesses, by donning the regalia of the Goddess, such as the menat and playing the sistrum, actually became the living embodiment of Het hert. Eager devotees would line up to receive the blessings offered by these living Hathors. W

Menat created by the author            

photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

Het Hert is often depicted with the familiar braided hairstyle common in ancient Egypt. However, She is also portrayed with a very unique style archaeologists have dubbed the “Hathor hair-do”, a simple flip that would not look out of place in our modern fashions. This hairstyle was an easily-maintained,  functional way for any women to care for her own hair rather than relying on the wigs and servants required for the more elaborate braided style. ***

Het Hert mask created by the author               

 photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

Het Hert remained popular by the very fact that many of Her rituals involved the simple things in life, music, dance, sex. Anything that brought pleasure was said to be “of Hathor”.  No other Deity had as many festivals devoted to them as She did. Dance was especially important to Her, She was often referred to the living embodiment of dance. To Het Hert, dance was “food for the heart”. WW


It is a tantalizing notion to think that our modern belly dance class at the local rec center may have originated with the Temple Priestesses of Het Hert thousands of years ago. In fact, one of the poses is known as the Hathor Stance. The dancer stands with her arms raised, elbows bent, back of the hands touching, palms outward, emulating the horned solar disc of Hathor’s headdress.

Dancers were accompanied by musicians playing the instruments sacred to Het Hert, including the menat and the sistrum. The sistrum was a type of rattle used to cleanse sacred space by driving away negative forces as well as being used to keep the beat while dancing or chanting. The sistrum represented life, pleasure and rebirth.


The menat, another percussion instrument, was in the form of a beaded necklace with counterweight. It was not typically used as a piece of jewelry but was held in the hand, held out to confer blessings upon the crowds or to convey power and vitality. By holding the counterweight and shaking the beads, one could imitate the sounds of an animal passing through brush.

Sistrum image courtesy  Sacred Source

Ritual to Enhance Inner and Outer Beauty


items needed:

candles- gold, red or turquoise to represent Het Hert

ribbons-1 gold, 1 red, 1 turquoise


dish of milk as an offering to Het Hert

incense: myrrh, favoured by Het hert and embodies the finest qualities of the feminine

belly dance music or your favourite dancing tunes


Cast your circle

Face the North and visualize the Uraeus, the raised Serpent. Call upon the Serpent to guard you and protect you, to keep you safe from harm. Call upon the Uraeii of the three remaining directions to guard you and protect you.

You may call upon Het Hert in each of the directions by Her titles associated with those directions.

North- “Great of Magic”  “Lady of Amenta”  “Lady to the Limit”

East- “Mother of Light”   “Mother of Mothers”  “The One Whose Face Shines Without Anger”

South- “Gold”  “Eye of Ra”   “The One Who Fills the Sanctuary With Joy”

West- “Lady of the Sycamore”  “Queen of the Underworld”

                “Beautiful Face in the Boat of Millions of Years”


Light the incense and purify the sacred space. Light the Het Hert candle and request Her Divine Presence within your circle. Take a moment to ground and meditate on the Hathorian qualities you would like to enhance within your life. Think of three words that reflect the nourishing, benevolent Goddess, three words that describe the dynamic aspect of the Goddess, and three words that describe the unity between the Goddess and yourself.

For example, I would select compassion, humour and mercy for the benevolent aspect (turquoise), creativity, passion and spontaneity for the dynamic aspect (red) and grace, radiance and attraction in the Unity aspect (gold).

Take your three ribbons and imbue each colour with those qualities reflecting each aspect. Braid the ribbons together, chanting the qualities into the ribbons that you wish to nurture in yourself. When you are finished braiding, hold onto both ends and turn the music on. Dance with the braid to raise energy, continue chanting the qualities into the braid. When you feel ready, charge the braid with your intent and tie both ends off to keep the qualities within the ribbons.  You can tie the braid into your hair or upon your wrist to walk with these qualities daily, or tie it to a mirror, that you may see these qualities reflected in yourself.

Pour the milk onto the Earth or offer to a feline companion, an animal sacred to Het Hert.

Give thanks to the Goddess and the Uraeii and close the circle.

Hathor relief from Dendera  Image courtesy of  Dreamstime

Het Hert was known by the epithet “Great of Magic” and was associated with several styles of divination.  The Dendera Zodiac, carved into the ceiling of Hathor’s temple, shows constellations remarkably similar to those we still use today and also includes astronomical information. We can surmise that Hathor’s clergy were adept astronomers as well as astrologers.


The clergy in Hathor’s temples were oracles, using a scrying mirror as well as dream interpretation to relate the fortunes of devotees. Many Egyptian texts refer to the Seven Hathors, young maidens, adorned in red linens,  who were considered to be holy midwives, present at every child’s birth. Not only could they foretell a child’s destiny, they also knew the precise moment of the child’s death.


Devotees could also beseech Het Hert for healing dreams,  many of Her temple complexes contained sanitoria for this purpose.


She could be called upon as a muse to provide inspiration for artisans and musicians.

Song for Hathor


Lady of Stars

Queen of the Night

Gift me with Visions

That I may see the Light


Lady of Stars

Limitless in scope

Guide me with Your Wisdom

Fill my Heart with Hope


Lady of Stars

Let the Eye of Ra Entice

Gaze into the Mirror

May the Vision be precise

Het Hert mask created by the author               

photo by Ajna DreamsAwake

Het Hert is a transformative Goddess and can be called upon for assistance in matters relating to the Greater Mysteries, initiations or self-realization. Her title Lady of Amenta implies She is the Mistress of the astral plane (that which is hidden or unknown). As a Serpent Goddess, Het Hert as the Uraeus can be likened to raising kundalini energy.  She rests upon the Brow Chakra and may be a suitable deity to call upon while working with this Chakra. 


Het Hert expresses the polarities we encounter within our own psyches, as we struggle between our highest selves and our egos. One story relates how She transformed into a lynx and left Egypt. Thoth was sent to persuade Her to return but She had forgotten Her true Nature and was engaged in terrorizing and killing those who came near. She took delight in all manner of abhorrent behaviours. Thoth related several tales and gently guided Hathor to remember Her Divine Self.  (The Goddess Path p. 29-35) 


The tale of Het Hert and Thoth represents the path we humans must also undertake in order to achieve unity with the Divine. Het Hert engages in violent and crude acts, feeding Her ego with Her own self-importance.  Separated from Her Divine Self, She has forgotten who She is. We humans also experience this sense of separation from our true Divine Nature.  We deny who we truly are.  Thoth acts as a guru, a mentor, a guide for Hathor, helping Her to remember by way of tales and parables.  In doing so, He stimulates in Her the desire to seek to learn more about Herself.  Those of us on a seeker’s path go through similar experiences, forgetting who we are, our gurus and teachers offer us guideposts within which we strive to rediscover our Divine Selves (ibid, p 46-54) .


Call upon Het Hert for guidance when you find yourself struggling upon your own spiritual path. She has had similar experiences and can offer insights and support.

Uraeus image courtesy

The Thymic or High Heart Chakra is located behind the sternum, between the Heart and Throat Chakras. When activated, this Chakra allows us to receive and give love freely and joyfully. This Chakra is all about Empowerment, having the courage to be who you are.  The colour associated with this Chakra is Turquoise, a blend of Green (Heart) and Blue (Throat). The element associated with this Chakra is Water.   These properties are associated with Het Hert, making Her an ideal Goddess to call upon when working with the High Heart.


In the Egyptian Book of Night, this part of the body is under Het hert’s domain as She Who Frees the Throat When it is Constricted. The symbol for this area is the nefer.  


Nefer can be translated as beauty,  goodness and vitality.   It is the place of dynamic feminine energy (My Heart, My Mother p. 122-123 ).   Compromised of the trachea and heart,  this is the region of the thymus gland and the Thymic Chakra.  When we  focus on this area, the High Heart reminds us to pause, take a breath and speak with love and our highest intent.

Nefer Symbol

Ritual to activate the High Heart Chakra


Items needed:

Turquoise candle

athame or carving tool

Turquoise stone

Incense (optional)

Quiet music (optional)

Loose clothing


Take a ritual bath and cleanse yourself from the cares of the day.

Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

Take 7 deep breaths (7 is a number sacred to Het Hert).

Imagine you are surrounded by white light. You are safe and protected by this light. You may also wish to call upon the Uraeii to stand guard in the four directions.


Breathe gold light from the sun into your Crown Chakra.

Breathe red light from the fiery core of the Earth up through your Root Chakra.

Sense both the gold and red light purifying your body and clearing it of blocks.

Take your turquoise candle, place your intent to activate your Thymic Chakra into the candle as you carve a nefer symbol into the wax. Light the candle. Hold the turquoise stone or place it upon your sternum.

Tap the area between your heart and throat chakras 7 times. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.  Bring your focus to the area directly behind your sternum, the seat of the High Heart.

Imagine a turquoise flame emanating from the High Heart area. Expand the flame, feel your High Heart opening and feeding the flame with loving intent. Continue to expand the flame until you are completely surrounded in turquoise fire. Sit within the flame for as long as you wish, when you feel ready, draw the flame back into your body and slowly return to your surroundings. Draw on High Heart energy whenever you feel the need to speak from the heart.

Hathor Public Domain  Image courtesy Wikimedia                      






Dr. Muata Abhaya Ashby----The Goddess Path of the Ancient Egyptian Mysteries

Alison Roberts ---Hathor Rising: The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt

Alison Roberts---- My Heart My Mother; Death and Rebirth in Ancient Egypt







Nefer symbol courtesy of Ancient Egypt: The Mythology


My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to  RadioBastet  for providing hours of music that inspired

and motivated me through my work on this project.