Hathor is the planet of the Guardians and of the hero and heroine, Jonathan Keel and Nadira. The name of the planet is a perfect fit for the theme of the story. Hathor is an Egyptian goddess who symbolizes joy, love and motherhood.
In my books, mothers play a key role in shaping the events. Both Jonathan Keel and Nadira’s mothers rebelled against the established order of society.
Their rebellion ultimately led to Jonathan and Nadira getting together and falling in love, and that relationship will help shake things up in a culture that is controlled by Novacorp, the corporation that runs the planet.
The Egyptian goddess Hathor is also known as the “cow goddess,” and her symbol is a sun disk sitting between the horns of a cow. Novacorp’s U-shaped corporate logo is based on that symbol.
Since Hathor is also known as “Mistress of the West,” I had Jonathan’s mother be from that part of the planet. Hathor is the patron goddess of miners–-and mining is at the core of the Novacorp economy.
Hathor’s mythology is similar to the goddess Isis, and over time a lot of their characteristics were merged. But Isis has her own story, and it inspired me to name the twin moons of Hathor, Isis and Osiris. This relates to the myth of Isis searching for her husband Osiris after his brother Set killed him to assume the throne.
There’s a lot more to Isis’ story that I won’t go into here, but I used the imagery to symbolize the journey that Nadira and Jon take when they’re searching for Jon’s father who’s presumed dead.
Jonathan Keel is from the planet Astarte, which is about three days away by space cruiser. Astarte is a goddess who’s also known as Ishtar. Known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, she was also associated with Aphrodite and Isis. Since she’s the goddess of love, it’s fitting that when Jon arrives on Hathor, he and Nadira are in a romantic relationship at the end of book one.
One of the moons of Astarte is Demeter (where Jon’s father is CEO of the mine). In Greek mythology, Demeter went into mourning when her daughter Persephone was taken away by Hades. This is a reference back to Nadira being taken away from her mother so that she could be made into a Guardian.
There’s a wealth of stories to be pulled from mythology, and we don’t have to limit our influences to Egyptian, Greek or Roman gods and goddesses. For instance, Nadira’s mother is named after Minona, a West African deity who protects women and the home. And in the books, Nadira’s mother takes action to protect Nadira from the forces that want to use her for their own purposes.
For the beach scene in Hathor Legacy: Burn, I referenced the deity, Yemanja when Jonathan describes seeing Nadira going into the water. Yemanja is an Orisha (a spirit reflecting a manifestation of God), originally of the Yoruba religion.
However, she’s also known as Yemayá in Santería. In Brazil, she’s “Queen of the Ocean,” and the patron deity of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks.
There are countless stories from various cultures and belief systems around the world. When you’re looking for ideas, mythological characters and themes can provide a great deal of inspiration.
Photo Credit: kairoinfo4u via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: HannahPethen via Compfight cc
Tom JohnsonDecember 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm
The mythology tie-in is very interesting, Deborah. If I remember correctly, Egypt’s Isis and Osiris were also mirrored in Babylon’s Nimrod and his wife – sorry, her name escapes me after all this time. But their stories were very similar.I enjoyed your post very much.
DeborahDecember 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm
Hi Tom! That’s interesting about the ties to Nimrod. Interesting how the mythology is connected to various cultures. Thanks for stopping by!
Hathor Legacy Worldbuiding Part 3 – Origin of the Culture | Author Deborah A BaileyDecember 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm
[…] After it’s identified in 2234, the planet is named after the Egyptian goddess, Hathor. […]