Sekhmet, Hathor's original form, was once the “Eye of Ra”, sent by the sun god to go down to Earth in order to exact retribution on humanity for their crimes against the gods. She did as she was instructed and began a horrible slaughter, killing almost everything in her sight. When Ra looked down upon the Earth, he was horrified by the carnage and ordered Sekhmet to cease her rampage. Sekhmet, however, refused, having become overcome with bloodlust, and continued with her slaughter.
Fearing that Sekhmet's actions may lead to humanity's extinction, Ra and the other gods devised a plan to stop her. They took 7,000 jugs of beer and mixed it with pomegranate juice (which stained the wine a blood red), whereupon they poured the mixture onto Sekhmet's path. The goddess gorged herself on the "blood," becoming so drunk that she fell into a deep slumber, and she would not wake until three days later. During that time, Ra took some of Sekhmet's essence and used it to form a new goddess - Hathor. Now kind and benevolent, she would only take the form of Sekhmet when it was deemed absolutely necessary, and only at the request of her father, Ra.
One of her most important roles is that as a goddess of motherhood and protector of pregnant women. In the earliest myths, she was the mother of Horus, though Isis ultimately supplants this role. Later myths have Hathor becoming the wife of Horus after healing his eye that had been taken out - the Eye of Horus.
After she takes her appearance as Hathor, she appears as a sleeping giant cow. Later she is described as a woman with the head of a cow face.
Hathor can make people fall in love. She also created music and dancing.