Hera, wife of Zeus, appears in Greek mythological tales as a jealous and vengeful goddess who tries to thwart her husband’s philandering and punishes his lovers and offspring. She was, however, worshiped in her own right as a protective mother goddess and patron of childbirth and marriage. No Egyptian goddess exactly corresponds with Hera, although Isis is her nearest counterpart, and Taweret also has some similarities.
Isis, the Protective Wife and Mother
Although the Egyptian pantheon had no queen of the gods, as such, Isis comes close, as wife of the beloved Osiris and daughter of the deities of earth and sky. Unlike the stormy relationship of Zeus and Hera, Isis’ love for Osiris was such that she gathered his dismembered parts and reincarnated him. She was even more fiercely protective of her son, Horus, whom she shielded from the wrath of rival god Set, as well as the hazards of the Nile, healing his scorpion stings and snakebites.
Taweret, the Frightening Guardian
One of the least humanoid goddesses of Egypt was the hippopotamus-headed Taweret, with lion paws and hair forming a crocodile tail. These features represent beasts that fiercely protect their young and combine to create an appearance that frighten away harmful demons. Taweret was the guardian of pregnancy and childbirth, an aspect she shares with Hera. Unlike Hera, however, Taweret was worshiped in homes, rather than in large-scale temples.
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images