Ancient Egyptian gods “H”
Hapi: This god is depicted as a well-nourished (fat) man with women’s breasts and a crown of papyrus reeds. This was the god of the Nile and personified the fertility of the country and the land; thereby holding the symbols of abundance. He showed his ability to nourish the Nile through floods which brought wealth and life. He was mostly considered the god of the northern Nile and therefore is mostly seen wearing the papyrus plant which was a symbol of Lower Egypt. In some sections he was depicted as a god of the entire Nile whereby he was then portrayed as holding both the lotus and papyrus plants in his hands. The lotus was the symbol of Upper Egypt. Hapi’s wife in the south was Nekhbet (depicted as a vulture) and his wife in the north was Buto (depicted as a cobra). Hapi also became associated with Osiris and Nun throughout various eras of Egyptian history.
Hathor: She was called the “Golden One” and proceeded to be a favorite goddess for many centuries. She was also the female consort of the “Bull of Amenti,” the first god of the necropolis. There are early links to Horus (god of the sky and of kingship). Her name means “house of Horus” or “temple of Horus” and is usually depicted in human form or sometimes as a cow with a disk of the sun between the horns which indicates the solar aspect. Sometimes she is depicted as a cow with stars in her belly. She was known as a goddess of several things such as love, maternity, protecting the deity of birth regeneration, and also as the goddess of the eye of the sun and the moon. She was a patron of joy and love, and a mistress of song and dance. Because of all these qualities, she was associated with many other goddesses and this allowed her to appear in several disguises. Her main cult following was at the center of Dendara where she was associated with the god of the sky and Horus of Edfu. She was also honored at Thebes, Memphis, Abu Simbel, and various other sites. In later times she would become associated with other cults and sometimes called the daughter of Re and the wife of Horus. It is said that her favorite instrument was the Sistrum (musical instrument) and that she played it to drive evil from the land. In some of the ancient reliefs she is shown as nursing the king or his priestly representative from her breasts. This nursing act provided the king with supernatural powers to protect Egypt and his kingdom.
She also earned the title of Queen of the West and many new shrines were erected on her behalf. Many of the inscriptions provided details on Hathor’s role going all the way to the late Periods. Two titles given to her were “Lady of the turquoise” and the “Lady of the sycamore.” A yearly festival was held in her honor to commemorate the myth whereby Re supposedly became disenchanted with mankind and sent Hathor to slay all of mankind. Hathor followed orders, but in the interim, Re had a change of heart and tainted the ground with blood-colored beer. Hathor became intoxicated and thus this ended the murderous rampage.
Heket: This was a female deity that was depicted as a frog-headed goddess. This goddess presided over pregnancy and childbirth. Women wore various amulets during childbirth to protect them from this trying ordeal. Along with Khnum and Osiris, she stood for the creations and regeneration of life. She was said to be the wife of Khmum.
Horus: This name means “the distant one.” This name was also used to designate various sky gods or gods of kingship who took the form of a hawk. It is also the Greek name for the Egyptian “Hor” which is one of the oldest gods known to them. Horus was considered a solar deity and one that was manifested of a living king. Some early depictions of Horus show him with his outstretched wings whereby this signifies that he is protecting the king. He is depicted in many reliefs throughout ancient Egyptian history. Some of the first kings were regarded as the divine Horus and thereby became part of this overall cosmic process. In Osirian mythology he was the son of Isis and Osiris; therefore he was the rightful successor to Osiris. He stood for world order while Seth represented the wild and disorderly tendencies that existed. Going forward, in Greco-Roman period, Horus assumes yet another role and becomes the all mythical and magical god that supersedes any ruler. It appears that Horus takes on many roles throughout time; however, he is much respected as the protector of kings.