6/21/11

Goddess of the Week: Hathor

Hathor showing her sacred eye inherited from W...Image via WikipediaChieftess wants to know if there is a muse for photography. Funny enough, there isn't a muse for fine art. There's no muse for painting, ceramics, or anything like that. Maybe it's because the goddess Athena had a lock on handicrafts and the muses were too smart to encroach on her turf. The last gal who did that was turned into a spider, which is why I'm not giving The Chieftess Athena. Instead, I'm giving her the Egyptian goddess Hathor.

Hathor was a sacred cow goddess, but don't think she was some shluby hamburger. Hathor was the goddess of love, beauty, music and joy. Photography fits right in there, Chieftess, and let me tell you why. Hathor was sometimes called "the eye of Ra," Ra being the great creator god, and what is a photographer if not the eye of Ra in microcosm. Your eye composes, your eye frames everyday life in new and novel ways that reveal the beauty that has become invisible to us.

As for joy and love, well that's the ultimate payoff isn't it? Most of us don't pursue art because it turns a profit. Most of us pursue it because we love it and, at least some of the time, it provides as much joy as we're likely to find in this world. If you can find a way to make some money, I say go for it, but don't get too wrapped up in that end goal. Goddesses don't usually like that. They're kind of hippie-like in their love of process over product. Instead, remember that it is a privilege to have been given the eye of Ra. Focus on what you gain from seeing, not on what it will get you in the end.

Now, there is still music to contend with. You're thinking, what can a photographer do with a goddess of music? Well, bonus points for you, that's just a totally free prize. Score! So crank up whatever you're listening too. Have fun. Sing out. It'll make you happy.

Channel this goddess: When you need the eye of Ra to keep you from chopping off grandma's forehead, when you are loving the act of creation, when singing in the shower, when, generally, having a fun and joyful time.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found for you. It's fun! It's free! What's stopping you?


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13 comments:

altadenahiker said...

I know this is true, I know this is true, it's just hard to remember sometimes. Well done, Maggie.

Joanne said...

Hippie-like, hm? I like that, valuing the process over product. That's when good things happen, when we take that attitude and embrace purely the craft. And may I add, far-out post ;)

Tony Van Helsing said...

Great point about people pursuing an artistic form bcause they enjoy it rather than as a means to make money. That's what I hate about shows like X Factor, the contestants always reckon that musci is important to them so why aren't they forming their own bands instead of just wanting fame? Sorry, I've got a bit carried away.

TheChieftess said...

I LOVE Hathor!!! What could be better than to do photography than for the sheer joy of doing it?!!! And I love music too!!! Yay!!! Hathor and I are going to be great friends!!! Thank you Margaret!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

It's a fine line for a cow goddess to walk. You do it for love, and your passion can make you money. The money can twist your passion away from you and if that happens, your work isn't as good. You've got to find a way to keep the love as top priority in order to make the money.

Skewed, but true, in my experience. More brilliance from you, Margaret. Thank you.

Shell Sherree said...

It all sounds very joyful. Another fine choice, Margaret.

Susan Campisi said...

I think Chieftess has had Hathor inside her all along. She just needed your wise words to remind her. I needed it too. Thanks, Margaret.

... daisy... said...

Oh I love it! You managed to fit something "modern" like photography into the ancient world! GREAT Margaret! :-)

Star said...

Lovely. Thank you, again. And again. And again....

Pasadena Adjacent said...

What Petrea said.

I'm going to add that to "purity and idealism are for the uninitiated" and "sometimes good enough is good enough"

Daisy said...

My thanks to all the artists, of whatever medium, who spread beauty over the earth for the sheer love of their art. May Hathor bless you.

Margaret said...

PA: I agree. I am certainly neither pure nor idealistic. I think because of that, however, that I'm even more committed to the work for work's sake , because, really, it is so hard to make any money following artistic pursuits. So if you can't count on making money, you sure as hell better be doing it for the love of it.

Petrea Burchard said...

You got that right, Margaret.