On her gentle side, she appears as a protector of homes and pregnant women. In some early Egyptian texts she was also the protector of the dead. Coinciding with the domestication of the cat, Bastet’s image changed to become less intimidating, even as her powers increased. It was here that the remains of over 300 000 cats mummies were discovered. Eventually becoming domesticated, the household cat was very useful to early Egyptians as they would keep away mice and snakes. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Initially, Bastet protected her father from harm. She was seen as The Sacred Cat and Egyptians placed a high regard for cats because of her. Select a subject to preview related courses: Amulets with the image of a cat were often worn by the ancient Egyptians to guard the wearer against misfortune. The goddess was born out of Bubastis, and over time her power and influence spread to other regions of Egypt. These special rattles were used to celebrate her festivals. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. The Egyptians refused to fight for fear of harming the animals and offending Bastet and so surrendered. She was also honored through jewelry, especially amulets, made of gold molded into the shape of cats. Just one of the many gods worshiped by the ancient Egyptians, this particular goddess is closely associated with the cat. How Do I Use Study.com's Assign Lesson Feature? By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. What remains today are just ruins to remind us of its one-time glory and splendor. She has been teaching for over a decade in subjects such as history, philosophy and anthropology. The shadow aspect is obsessive passion that completely takes over and negatively impacts on your health and self esteem. There was a ceremonial procession, and the image of Bastet would be paraded around for everyone to see. She was represented as a cat who served as the major protector deity in the 22nd Dynasty. She had at least two children, the gods Mahes and Nefertem. This role symbolized both her growing power and influence and high fertility levels associated with the domestic cat. - Definition, Temple & Facts, Ancient Egyptian God Khepri: Mythology, Symbol & Facts, Ancient Egyptian God Shu: Myth, Symbol & Facts, Ancient Egyptian God Khnum: Temple, Symbol & Facts, Ancient Egyptian God Atum: Creation Myth, Appearance & Facts, Egyptian God Khonsu: Mythology, Hieroglyphs & Facts, Ancient Egyptian God Tefnut: Mythology, Symbol & Facts, Biological and Biomedical She was considered as the goddess of warfare. Let’s find out the meaning of Bastet. Perhaps this is why she was also said to give protection against contagious diseases as many of the perfume ingredients were plant materials with healing properties. Learn about the elemental Goddesses of Earth, Air, Wind and Fire. Baste was the daughter of Re. In some Egyptian tales, she is the wife of Anubis, who helped with mummification, but in others she is married to Ptah, the god of learning. Archaeologists have also found images of Bastet with kittens at her feet showing her protective and nurturing side. Her powers were said to rule over the realm of love, joy, motherhood, and celebration; however, she was also believed to be the goddess of warfare and the protector of the pharaohs. The name Bastet could possibly be translated as ''she of the ointment jar'' because of the hieroglyphs used in writing her name. She is often depicted with a litter of kittens, and women sometimes wore amulets depicting Bastet with her offspring. The name Pasht is the root of our word passion, linking this Goddess to physical pleasure. However, of all the cities, none could surpass the reverence she received in the city of Busbastis near the Delta, which was named after her. However, Stephen Quirke believed that the word Bastet means “she of the ointment jar”. Then she was called Bastet. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. The links to fertility and childbirth were further strengthened by the Greeks. In the Book of the Dead she is mentioned as destroying the bodies of the deceased, with the royal flame, if they failed the judgement hall of Maat. Kathleen Halecki possesses a B.A. Moreover, she was called as the eye of Ra. As a mother cat figure she is fierce in the protection of her young. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Cats are revered because of their protective nature by virtue of killing varmints that destroys crops. This comes from a myth about a distant Goddess as the daughter of Ra quarrels with her father and retreats to the desert. The representation of Bastet was in the form of a cat when she was changed from a lioness warrior deity. Her litter of kittens was associated with fertility. Represents passion and selfless devotion to another person. Thousands of people would come to celebrate. She granted their wishes, Sometimes shown with multiple body piercings, including the ears and nose, Her name changed during the New Kingdom to add an extra “t,” which is more feminine, Honored by worshipers with golden jewelry, as cats were associated with riches and royalty, Considered a good mother and had two children of her own, Had a yearly festival in her honor that attracted over 700,000 people from across Egypt, Festival activities included drinking copious amounts of wine, which is a divine drink associated with the goddess, Wore a necklace with a Wedjat eye, which symbolizes wholeness and provides protection, Holds a sistrum in her right hand, which is a percussion instrument popular in ancient Egypt, Holds an aegis with a lion’s head in her left hand, which is a protective shield made of armor, Sometimes called the goddess of dancing and singing, Has a temple in her honor.