Hathor emerges from a cave entrance in the mountain of the west (the entrance to the Underworld, where all the dead go). Before her is Tauerth the Hippopotamus goddess. Marsh reeds and papyrus are in the background. Offerings are being made to Hathor, seeking her favor in the Underworld. The righteous dead hope to be born of her each day and travel with the Sun in the solar bark or boat which crosses the sky each day. Caves are frequently encountered at her shrines, recalling her association with rebirth after death. A sacred cave was dedicated to her at the Serabit el Khadim Hathor shrine in the southern Sinai. And a cave-like cliff overhang at Har Timna in the southern Arabah was also transformed into a shrine in her honor. She is the goddess of miners, and promises rebirth to immortality to the righteous dead who honor her. Of interest is that she could manifest herself also as ferocious lioness and as a fierce spotted Solar Cat that hacked up into pieces the evil serpent Apep (Greek: Apophis) who sought to swallow the sun each day as it arose from the sacred tree (Hathor was also a Tree Goddess who gave birth to the Sun). Hathor could as the "Eye of Ra" assume the form of a Cobra to attack Ra's enemies. (cf. Fig. 13B. Geraldine Pinch. Votive Offerings to Hathor. Oxford. Griffith Institute Ashmolean Museum. 1993)
It is my understanding that aspects of the Cult of Hathor practiced in the southern Sinai and Arabah by Asiatic miners working for the Egyptians, came to be reformatted as Israel worshipping the Golden Calf at Mount Sinai.
Images of spotted cats appear as votives at Hathor shrines in the southern Sinai and Arabah. She could take the form of Solar Cat to protect the Sun-god from his enemies. Below, the Solar cat hacks up Apep the evil serpent who seeks to swallow the Sun as it is born of the sacred Tree, Hathor being the tree. Hathor could also give birth to the Sun as a cow, the sun being her Golden Calf. She was also the mother of Pharaoh who was also called The Sun and Golden Calf. As a fighter of serpents, the miners would implore her protection against serpents in the crevices where they mined copper, malachite and turquoise.
Hathor, as the mother of Pharaoh (he being called "the Sun" on earth in El Amarna times) had an association with Sphinxes. The Egyptians showed two lions back-to-back representing the mountains from which the sun rises on the horizon each day, acting like guardians of the sun. Sometimes these lions are replaced by Sphinxes in a back-to-back manner. Pharaoh was at times shown as a winged sphinx, trampling the enemies of Egypt. To the degree that Hathor ws the mother of Pharaoh, she was also the mother, in a sense, of Pharaoh as a sphinx. The below image is of Pharaoh as a winged Sphinx, trampling an enemy, ca. the late 8th century BCE from a tomb at Salamis, Cyprus.