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The Goddess Bastet
Goddess of the Rising Sun
ancient Egyptian goddess, was playful and friendly. She was
also known for her fierce protective nature. Bastet (also known as
Basthet, or simply as Bast) was
one of the earliest of the Egyptian goddesses but was
worshipped for several centuries.
Her association with cats is apparent in the images
of her that survive. Early statues of the Egyptian goddess Bastet
reveal her either as a woman accompanied by
a cat or in actually taking on the form of
a cat ... as a slender woman who is half-cat or as a totally
Bastet, as a sun goddess was charged
with protecting her aged father, the powerful Sun God Ra.
She rode with him through the sky during the day, but in the
darkness of the night, he was defenseless, so Bastet turned
herself into a cat so that she could see into the dark a watch
for Ra's enemy, Apep, a snake that wanted to usurp Ra's
The goddess Bastet's followers kept
domesticated cats in her honor and treated them with great
As well as being the 'Cat Goddess',
Bastet was also the goddess of all things pleasurable in nature.
This included music and dance and everything feminine or
sensual, especially perfume.
So it's not surprising that the annual celebration honoring the goddess was a
rather riotous affair that was characterized by a multitude of
intoxicated revelers taking trips on barges down the Nile River, dancing, gyrating, and shouting to
the townspeople on the bank as they passed by.
No matter how soft and playful she seemed, Bastet, like any
self-respecting kitten, could bare
her teeth and claws to ward off a threat if the situation called
for it. She was also a healer and as was worshipped as the
goddess you would call upon to help protect your home. Statues of
the goddess were placed around the house to ward off snakes, evil
spirits, robbers, illness, and even fire.
More than any other of the Egyptian goddesses,
the goddess Bastet, teaches us to not waste our energy by
taking things too seriously, and reminds us to treat ourselves
with a bit gaiety and luxury in our lives.
Learn more about the Egyptian Goddess Bastet
See the symbols of the Egyptian Goddess Bastet
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