Hathor, a nourishing great mother goddess, is the Egyptian mother of all gods and goddesses. Usually portrayed as a cow, she is a sky goddess, the queen of the heavens: the sun emerges from her womb and the moon from her breast. She is the goddess of love, mirth, beauty, and sensual pleasure, as well as the protectress of all women. In her other guise, shown here, she is lady of the night and queen of the underworld. With her lion's head, Hathor assumes the role of destroyer and giver of death. In her leopard skin she is the goddess of fate and fortune and typifies the ferocity and swiftness of this animal, a night prowler and watcher. Hathor is a strong embodiment of the many sides of existence. Creator, sustainer, destroyer, she encompasses all parts of ourselves, that what we might call destructive is sometimes necessary to allow our creativity and compassion to flourish.