Bastet: Egyptian Cat Godess

San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.

San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.

During the ancient Egyptian history, this goddess was represented as a lioness or a woman with a lion or a desert sand cat head. Later in the New Kingdom, she was changed into a cat, so she was transformed from a lioness warrior deity into a mainly protector cat deity, exclusively associated with the domesticated cat, although she retained her war-like aspect. She personifies the fierce power of a lioness as well as the grace, playfulness, cunning and affection of the cat.

Cats were revered highly in ancient Egypt due to their hability to hunt vermin, protecting by this activity the crops. So she was considered a protective goddess, and was also regarded as a good mother, due to the protection and tenderness that the cats give to their offspring.

In Bastet temple, her priests kept sacred cats, which were considered to be incarnations of the goddess, so when they died they were mummified.

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