Tagged: Bastet

Bastet, often depicted as a lioness or a woman with the head of a lioness or domestic cat, was the ancient Egyptian goddess of home, fertility, and protector of Pharaoh.

Over time, her image transitioned from a fierce lioness warrior goddess to a more domesticated deity resembling a house cat.

Bastet was believed to protect against evil spirits and misfortune. She was also the goddess of music, dance, and joy.

Her primary cult center was the city of Bubastis, located in the Nile Delta. The city became one of the most prosperous and influential centers in Egypt due to the goddess’s popularity.

Bubastis was the site of grand annual festivals in honor of Bastet. These events included music, dancing, and river processions, attracting devotees from all over Egypt.

Bastet was often depicted holding the ankh (a symbol of life) and the papyrus wand, representing Lower Egypt.

Domestic cats were revered in ancient Egyptian households because of their association with Bastet. Killing a cat, even accidentally, was considered a grave offense.

Many mummified cats have been found in Egyptian tombs, sometimes placed there to honor Bastet.

Bastet was commonly featured on amulets and protective talismans, which were worn by her devotees. Statues of the goddess, especially in her domestic cat form, were also popular and could be found in many households.

Bastet vs. Sekhmet

Bastet is sometimes considered the gentler counterpart to Sekhmet, another lioness deity, who was more aggressive and was associated with war.

Did you know…?

The worship of Bastet dates back to around the Second Dynasty of ancient Egypt and continued for over a thousand years, illustrating her significant and enduring role in Egyptian religion and culture.