10 Facts About Bastet Goddess In Ancient Egypt
For a long time, the cat played a very important role in humans’ life. Bastet the cat was the Egyptian goddess of the domestic sphere, women’s secrets, felines, fertility, and childbirth. She guarded the house against evil spirits and illness, particularly illnesses that affect mothers and children. So why Ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat goddess Bastet? and What is the story of Bastet? and how she died? Here we gathered all the important facts about Bastet, the virgin goddess of ancient Egypt.
The Cat Goddess History and Facts
The oldest evidence of Bastet at Bubastis comes from a later era, under Pepi I’s 6th dynasty rule (about 2270 BC). This proof is provided by the Bastet and Hathor-adorned door lintel of the king’s Ka-temple. Once more, Bastet is portrayed as an anthropomorphic woman with a lioness head.
On the other hand, the Egyptian goddess Bast, also known as Bastet, who was represented by a cat head, was sometimes the goddess of war and fertility. While there were several cat goddesses in ancient times, Bastet is arguably the one who is most known today. She has a significant influence on popular culture, and some people still revere her.
The facts about Bastet said that she was pleasant, loving, compassionate, lovely, soft, and seductive in her form as a domestic cat. Even though Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, doesn’t like men and prefers to use her skills and abilities to achieve what she needs instead of her beauty, Bastet is characterized as being a virgin like Artemis.
Because she became recognized as the goddess who protect their houses. Ancient Egyptians were always thinking of her as the home protector. On the other hand, she sometimes appears as a human, and some other times as an anthropomorphic cat. Also, she was guarding the house against evil spirits and illness, particularly illnesses that affect mothers and children. In fact, this led ancient Egyptians to call her Bastet which means the evil fighter and protector.
On the other hand, given that she was associated with defense and ointments of protection, her name probably means She of the Ointment Jar.
She was closely compared to the Greek goddess Artemis, and it was thought that Bast should have an identical twin to Artemis (Apollo). The goddess was known as Bast ba’Aset (Soul of Isis), which would be the literal translation of her name with the addition of the second “T” to represent the feminine (Aset being one of the Egyptian titles for Isis).
The Cat Goddess’s Three Powers
Ancient Egyptians were always watching animals’ powers and how they can benefit this in their life. Cats have a purpose in their movements. They move around barriers and through furnishings with what appears to be ease as if they were being guided by a sixth sense. If we take the time to look, cats can teach us a lot about who we are as people. If a cat appears in your life, it’s a sign that you should contemplate what the cat’s spirit might be attempting to tell you.
1- Life Powers
In Ancient Egyptian culture, cats were a sign of luck. On the other hand, anyone who treated them well was said to be blessed by them. They can move silently and softly because they are swift and agile. In addition, they are adamantly independent and prefer to live by their own rules. One of the most alluring characteristics of the cat’s symbolism is its independence. They prefer to live on their own terms rather than being managed or domesticated. She was connected to the Sun, Moon, and Eye of Ra. She also works as a psychopomp, a person who leads the deceased to the next life.
2- After Life Powers
Bastet, who was in charge of looking after the dead and the spirit world, was also in charge of destroying the bodies of the deceased who managed to escape from Maat’s judgment chamber. In addition, she directed the spirits to the afterlife World. She cared for the deceased and prevented them from fleeing their punishment.
3- Punishment Powers
Anyone who damages, kills, or is cruel to cats will suffer the wrath of Bastet and her devotees. Egyptians were so devoted to Bastet and their pet cats that when one died, the cats were also mummified and joined Bastet in The After World.
Ancient Egyptian symbols had been the amulets they used for many occasions. Bastet Symbols were always used at any time and during any occasion. The Symbol of the cat hanging in front of an ancient Egyptian house, or a statue of a woman with a cat head fronting a palace kept for a long time. Egyptians feared evil and the cat symbol gave them tranquility. They felt better going to their houses while a cat symbol is there.
Most people believed that Bastet was either the daughter of Ra and Isis or only Ra. In the sense that she was the “eye of Ra,” she was a portion of him given free will. She was the mother of Mahes, a lion-headed man or lion-like god. Later, she gained fame as the mother of Nefertum, a sun, perfume, and alchemy god.
She was Ptah’s (the deity of construction and craftsmanship’s) wife. Because of her position as the goddess of scent and his as the deity of embalming, Anubis was occasionally referred to as Bast’s son or husband, but this was not one of her most significant connections.
Bastet VS Sekhmet Goddess
Many people get confused between the two goddesses. However, it’s too easy to tell the difference if you look carefully. In truth, Ancient Egyptians were thinking of both goddesses as protectors but Bastet was closer to them, sharing the family life and special moments. On the other hand, Sekhmet was always there watching from afar, keeping them protected from real-life dangers.
In fact, Bastet stood for the North of Egypt, while the lioness Sekhmet represented the South. Sekhmet was the bloodthirsty, chaotic, and perilous goddess of war, whereas Bastet was the nice tame one.
Why Ancient Egyptians Worshiped Cats
In addition to keeping cats as pets and treating them like royalty, the Egyptians employed them to hunt and get rid of pests as a way to honor the goddess. While Sekhmet dominated the upper half of Egypt, Bast ruled the lower section of the country, just like the other Egyptian gods. The siblings Sekhmet, Hathor, and Bastet are so close that in some tales, Bastet has even been mistaken for Sekhmet. Bastet and her sisters share a lot of characteristics. Both Bastet and Sekhmet, who are battle deities, served as Ra’s eyes, guarding the sun and the sun. The goddesses of love Hathor and Bastet both existed.
After learning that Sekhmet, the goddess of war, wasn’t the ideal choice, Bastet became the Eye of Ra. In accordance with her request, Bast shielded her father and the sun from Apophis and his foes. As she grew older, her father bound her and Apophis to Duat and threatened them with eternal imprisonment if one of them won their battle with the giant snake. When Bastet finally defeated the snake, the cat goddess hoped that her father would be pleased and she would then be set free. Even after winning, she was still trapped in the cycle; if the serpent recovered, escaped, or came back, Bastet would have to face Apophis once more.
Bastaet In the AfterLife
Although Bastet was compelled to spend her entire life in the afterlife, she is occasionally permitted to visit the planet. the fact Bastet was in charge of getting the dead to join her in Duat while she was in the spirit world. In the unfortunate event that any cats perished, Bastet would bring them back to life. After beating Apophis, Bastet is happy to be able to leave the spirit world anytime she pleases, but she is not happy about having to stay there in case he makes a comeback. In order for the goddess to care for the deceased and bring them to the spirit realm, statues of her were erected in tombs.
The goddesses of love, fertility, beauty, music, and dancing were Bastet, Sekhmet, and Hathor. But Bastet and her sisters are distinct in other ways as well. Although Bastet was related to protection, she was not as violent as Sekhmet, who loved bloodshed and battle so much that when Bast was created, she replaced Sekhmet as the eye of Ra. After becoming too concerned with killing, Sekhmet was fooled into believing that the wine she was drinking was blood by her father Ra, Osiris, the king of the gods, the Pharaoh, and all the other gods. Sekhmet was dispatched by her father to punish humanity during times of conflict by drinking their blood.
The Cate Goddess In Ancient Greek Cultures
Like the Greek and Roman goddesses Artemis and Diana, Bastet was similar to them in many respects. Like them, Bastet has survived and adapted to other religions, becoming a goddess in the Wiccan religion. Bastet was given the name Ailuros when she was introduced into Greek mythology after the time of Egyptian mythology. There have been products called after the goddess Bastet because of her connections to cats. This made her one of the deities to survive the changes in religion in contemporary times. The 10 plagues of Egypt, which were used to release the slaves, also attacked the Egyptian gods in addition to the Pharaoh.
How did Bastet Die?
According to Egyptian Mythology, the cat Goddess Bastet’s facts about her death are still a mystery. However many scholars said she died when she was protecting her family and children.