As our Dahabiya Nile Cruise goes on, we are Visiting Another Goddess in the Mansion of Hathor
As we ascend again from the depths of the crypt of beautiful Dendera Temple where the Goddess of Joy, Love and Beauty, Hathor, was worshiped, we pay a visit to another goddess who has her own special little chapel in this magnificent Mansion of Hathor, as she also does in the temple of Hathor’s husband Horus at Edfu – the Sky Goddess Nut. You should really just go and lie down on your back, right there on the floor, to see the full depiction of this lady of the starry vaults above us properly, as she spans the edges of the whole ceiling of the chapel.
Her hands touch the ground on one side, and her feet on the opposite one. The Goddess Nut swallows the Sun God Ra every evening. During the night, he journeys through her starry body, and then each morning she gives birth to him again, something which is truly spectacularly depicted in this small separate temple inside the grand temple, with Hathor’s face shining right in the middle of the reborn sun disk. The Egyptians did not take this daily rebirth for granted, they knew there was deep magic involved in every sunrise.
From around the corner of this small chapel, staircases start. If we are lucky and the roof is open to visitors, we can move from underground crypts and mysterious rebirths right up to the sky. On the steps, you can follow the path of the priests all the way up to the roof, watching the portrayals of their ancient procession beside you as you literally walk in the footsteps they wore out over centuries, for instance by carrying up Hathor’s statue every year to celebrate the new year right under the blue-vaulted sky that is mimicked so vividly in that first, amazing hall…
Hathor – Experience the Deep Magic of Egypt While Sailing The Nile on our Dahabiya
What a view you have from up there! You can see the whole temple grounds, the vast mudbrick walls, the sacred lake, the smaller temples. So much more to see in this temple compound! And isn’t it interesting that the sacred lake is full of towering palm trees? That means that even though it seems dried up, thousands of years after its use, the underground water source that used to fill it is still available to roots of these magnificent trees.
You want to go down immediately and explore more, but wait! There is something very interesting to see here: the Dendera Zodiac. Reproduced on millions of items from beach towels to porcelain tea cups, the gorgeous ceiling relief here is unfortunately also a reproduction – the original was taken by the French and now resides in the Louvre; it is commonly dated to about the first century BCE, a time when Egypt had been under the Greek Ptolemaic rulers for quite a while, and blends and overlaps with Greek lore are starting to show. So the reproduction is very interesting to look at, as you can clearly see the well-known constellations of Taurus and Libra in there. What else can you discover in this perfectly round depiction of the night sky held up by four beautiful sky goddesses?
Surprises Awaiting you on our Dahabiya Nile cruise to Minya
Then it IS time to descend again and explore the surrounding areas. We have an interesting surprise waiting for you behind the temple – let’s go! Because the magic of our Dahabiya Nile cruise to Minya, is that you have the time to do go and see everything you like… We are in no rush. We simply want to share these unbelievable places to sightsee in Egypt with you.
Stay Tuned for Dendera Part Three – Dreams and Destinies