Karima Lachtane

Meet the Famous Bastet Secrets of an Ancient Egyptian Goddess

Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the rich story of Bastet, the cat deity, and its associations with the temple.

Let’s dive into the captivating world of Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess revered for her significance in history, protection, and her association with cats and the temple of Bubastis, where women worshipped her. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the rich story of Bastet, the cat deity, and its associations with the temple. Get ready to explore the nature of Bastet’s joyful presence at the temple of Bubastis and discover how she continues to captivate us with her enigmatic allure throughout history, especially in the ancient ville where she was worshipped as a house cat goddess.

In this article we will be discussing Bastet ancient Egyptian Goddess:

  • What was Bastet Goddess of?
  • What does her name mean?
  • The evolution of her image.
  • Her role and significance in ancient Egypt.
  • Bubastis: The Center of Bastet Worship.
  • Bubastis’ Age.
  • Celebrations: The Festival of Bastet.
  • Symbols and Depictions of the Goddess Bastet.
  • Family Ties and Mythical Lore of Bastet in Ancient Egypt.
Bastet ancient egyptian goddess

Table of Contents

What was Bastet goddess of?

What was She goddess of?Description
ProtectorThink of her as a guardian angel. She kept people safe from bad things and evil spirits. Imagine her as a powerful lioness, ready to defend.
Family GuardianShe also looked out for homes and families. People asked for her help to make sure their loved ones were okay.
Helping with BabiesSome believed she could help women during pregnancy and childbirth. She was like a good luck charm for having babies safely.
Party GoddessShe knew how to have fun! She loved music and dancing. When people celebrated her, it was like a big, joyful party with music and dancing. They even had a special musical instrument called a sistrum for her.
Sun ConnectionLater on, she became connected to the sun god Ra. This meant she brought warmth and light, like the sun itself.
CatsCats were super important to her. They were like her sidekicks. That’s why she was often shown as a lioness or a lady with a lioness head.

What Does the Name Bastet mean?

Bastet's name

The name “Bastet” or “Bast” (pronounced bahst) is the anglicized version of the ancient Egyptian name for the goddess. The exact meaning of the her name in the ancient Egyptian language is not entirely clear, but it is believed to be related to the Egyptian word “bas,” which means “to tear” or “to devour.” This connection may reflect the goddess’s earlier association with a lioness or lioness-headed deity, emphasizing her fierce and protective qualities.

Over time, her image and attributes evolved, and she became associated with more benevolent qualities, including protection, home, and family. Despite the uncertain origin of her name, Bastet is one of the well-known and beloved goddesses in ancient Egyptian mythology.

Bastet the Cat goddess

Bastet as Sekhmet

The Evolution of Bastet’s Image

In ancient Egypt, the image of the revered goddess underwent a fascinating transformation over time. Initially depicted as a fierce lioness or a woman with the head of a lioness, her portrayal gradually shifted to that of a domesticated cat or a woman with the head of a cat. This evolution coincided with the increasing veneration of cats in Egyptian society, where they were considered sacred animals and protectors against vermin.

As cats became more closely associated with her, and her worship led to the mummification and adoration of countless feline companions. The depiction of her as a cat goddess remained popular throughout ancient Egyptian history, often represented alongside a sistrum or an aegis. This transition in her image mirrored the profound reverence for cats and their role in the lives of the ancient Egyptians.

To delve into the magnificence of her evolution, we can compare and contrast the various depictions of the goddess throughout history. The following table showcases the transformation of her image, highlighting the evolution from lioness to domesticated cat:

Early Dynastic PeriodLioness or woman with the head of a lioness
New Kingdom PeriodDomesticated cat or woman with the head of a cat
Late PeriodPrimarily depicted as a domesticated cat

“The transition from lioness to domesticated cat in her imagery reflects the cultural shift in ancient Egypt, where cats became revered and worshipped as sacred animals. It is a testament to the profound influence of Bastet and her role in Egyptian society.”

Bastet’s Role and Significance in Ancient Egypt

To understand her role in ancient Egypt, we need to delve into her multifaceted significance.

Guardian of Families the House Cat

She wasn’t just about protecting individuals; She also watched over families. People asked for her help to make sure their loved ones stayed safe and healthy. Think of her as a caring family friend.

Helping with Babies

Some folks believed that the goddess could help women during pregnancy and when they gave birth. She was like a good luck charm for having babies safely. People trusted her to look after the little ones.

Life of the Party

She knew how to have a good time! She loved music and dancing. When people celebrated her, it was like a big, joyful party with music and dancing. They even had a special musical instrument called a sistrum for her. So, she was both a protector and a party lover.

Bringing Sunshine

Later on, Bastet got connected to the sun god Ra. This made her kind of like the sunshine itself. She brought warmth and light, making life better for everyone.

Cats Were Her Thing

Cats were super important to Bastet. They were like her sidekicks. That’s why she was often shown as a lioness or a lady with a lioness head. People even thought harming a cat was a big no-no because of her.

So, she was a big deal in ancient Egypt. She had many roles – a protector, a family guardian, a baby helper, a party queen, a sunbeam, and a cat lover. People really admired and respected her, and they asked for her help in many parts of their lives.

Bubastis artist view

Bubastis: The Center Bastet was Worshipped

Let’s dive into how the worship of her, the goddess of Bubastis, made a big impact on ancient Egyptian society, including their temples.

Description of Bubastis

Bubastis, also known as Per-Bast, Pa-Bast or Tell-Basta was an ancient Egyptian city with great historical and religious significance. It was the capital of the Am-Khent, the seventh nome of Lower Egypt.

The temple is mentioned in the Bible under the name Pibeseth (Ezekiel XXX. 17)

Bubastis was located in the Nile Delta region of Egypt, in the eastern part of the country. It was situated in what is now the modern town of Zagazig. The city’s name, “Bubastis,” is derived from the goddess Bastet, who was the primary deity venerated there.

Temple Complex: At the heart of Bubastis was a grand temple complex dedicated to Bastet. This temple was renowned for its beauty and grandeur. It featured magnificent statues, intricate carvings, and impressive structures, making it a significant religious center in ancient Egypt.

It was excavated by M. Naville, whom made some very interesting discoveries regarding the great antiquity of the city of Bubastis, he published the inscriptions, which are still to be found on the ruins of the great buildings which stood there once.

Bubastis’ Age

It is evident by the inscriptions on the ruuins, that this is a very ancient temple, dating back to the Pyramid builders time.

Significance of Bubastis

Bubastis held immense religious and cultural significance as it served as the epicenter of devotion to Bastet. The city was revered for its role in fostering spiritual connections with the goddess and preserving her legacy. Bast was a crucial part of the city’s cultural heritage.

Hosting Grand Festivals

Bubastis played une pivotal role in hosting the grand festivals dedicated to this cat goddess, attracting pilgrims from far and wide. These vibrant celebrations were a testament to the deep reverence and adoration for the feline deity.

Celebrations: The Festival of Bastet

Overview of the Annual Festival

Imagine you’re in ancient Egypt, and it’s a sunny day along the Nile River. The Festival of Bastet is about to kick off. People are super excited because it’s a big deal.

At the start of the festival, as the sun comes up, the whole city of Bubastis comes alive. People dress up in fancy clothes with lots of bright colors like blue, black, and gold. These colors represent the grace and protection of the goddess, who was like a cat.

Vibrant Processions, Music, and Dancing

The main event is a big parade through the city. There’s a giant statue of her made from ebony and covered in jewels. It’s carried by priests and priestesses, and they chant prayers to ask for the goddess’s blessings.

As the parade moves along, there are dancers twirling and jumping to the beat of drums. They wear costumes that look like leopard spots because she was both a protector and a fierce warrior.

The city is filled with music from flutes and harps, and it feels like a big party. People bring gifts like flowers, fruits, and wine as offerings to her. They hope for her help with things like having babies or staying safe.

When night falls, the city lights up with lanterns and torches. It’s like a magical scene with shadows dancing on the temple walls. People tell stories about Bastet and watch acrobats doing cool tricks in the moonlight.

The Festival of Bastet isn’t just a party; it’s a way for people to feel close to their goddess and their history. It’s a mix of fun and spirituality, and it’s a special memory from ancient Egypt that’s been passed down through time.

Pilgrimage, Trade, and Merrymaking

The festival serves as a time for pilgrimage, trade, and merrymaking et les. Pilgrims travel from distant lands to seek blessings from her while traders set up bustling market stalls offering an array of goods. It’s a time for us to immerse ourselves in the rich tapestry of Egyptian culture while enjoying the festive atmosphere filled with laughter and excitement.

Symbols and Depictions of the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Bastet

Common Symbols Associated with her

  1. The Lioness: she is often depicted as a lioness or with the head of a lioness. This symbolizes her fierce and protective qualities, as lions were seen as powerful and nurturing animals. This is her connection with Sekhmet.
  2. The Sistrum: This musical instrument resembles a rattle and is often shown in the hands of Bastet or her worshippers. It was used in religious ceremonies and symbolized music, dance, and joy.
  3. The Ankh: The ankh is a cross-like symbol with a loop at the top. She is sometimes depicted holding an ankh, representing her association with life and fertility.
  4. The Uraeus: This is a stylized cobra, usually seen on the headdresses of pharaohs and deities. Bastet, as a protective goddess, was sometimes linked to the uraeus, showing her role in guarding against danger.
  5. The Cat: Cats were considered sacred animals in ancient Egypt and were closely associated with Bastet. Images of domestic cats and lionesses often symbolize her presence and protection.
  6. The Eye of Ra: She was sometimes connected with the Eye of Ra, a powerful symbol representing the sun god Ra’s protective and destructive aspects. This symbolizes her role in defending against evil forces.
  7. The Hathor Crown: In some depictions, she is shown wearing the crown of Hathor, another Egyptian goddess associated with motherhood and music. This may highlight her nurturing qualities.
  8. The Green and Blue Colors: She is often associated with the colors green and blue, which represent fertility, nature, and the Nile River. These colors are commonly used in her imagery.

Family Ties and Mythical Lore of Bastet in Ancient Egypt

Bastet’s Family Ties

This ancient Egyptian Feline goddess, had some interesting family connections.

1. Daughter of Ra

In some myths, she was considered the daughter of the powerful sun god Ra. This made her even more special, like having a famous parent.

Mythical Stories About Bastet

Now, let’s explore some of the cool stories and myths about this beautiful feline goddess.

1. The Eye of Ra

She had a link to the sun god Ra. Sometimes, she was called the “Eye of Ra.” when she was in the form of Sekhmet. This wasn’t a regular eye but a symbol of Ra’s protective and fiery power. It’s like she was Ra’s secret weapon, always ready to defend.

2. Lioness to Housecat

She started as a lioness goddess of war. She was fierce! But over time, she turned into a kinder, friendlier goddess who protected homes and families. Think of her as going from a fierce lioness to a loving housecat.

3. The Festivals of Bastet

She was famous for her awesome parties. Her festivals were a blast with music, dancing, and celebrations. Imagine the best party you’ve been to – that’s what it was like. People danced and had fun to honor her.

4. Cat Connection

Cats were super important to her. They were like her best friends. People believed that cats had her qualities, both gentle and fierce. Harming a cat was a big no-no because it upset Bastet.

In a nutshell, she had some interesting family ties, and her myths are filled with cool stories – from being the daughter of Ra to changing from a fierce lioness to a friendly protector. Her festivals were legendary, and cats were her special buddies. Bastet’s stories show how she evolved over time and became a beloved goddess in ancient Egypt.

Egyptian Religion and mummified cats

The ancient Egyptians mummified cats for several reasons, reflecting their deep cultural and religious beliefs:

  1. Sacred Animals: Cats, particularly domestic cats and lions, were highly regarded and considered sacred in ancient Egypt. They were associated with the goddess, who represented protection, home, and fertility. She was often depicted with the head of a lioness, emphasizing her connection to these animals.
  2. Protection: Cats were believed to possess protective qualities. They were seen as guardians of homes and families, keeping them safe from harm and evil spirits. Mummifying cats was a way to invoke this protective power, ensuring that it would continue even in the afterlife.
  3. Offerings to the Gods: Egyptians offered mummified cats to the gods, especially to Bastet. These offerings were a sign of devotion and a way to seek the goddess’s favor and protection. They believed that by presenting mummified cats to the gods, they could ensure blessings and safety for themselves and their loved ones.
  4. Religious Significance: The act of mummification itself had religious significance. It was a way to preserve the body for the afterlife, as the ancient Egyptians believed in the concept of an eternal life after death. Mummifying cats demonstrated the importance of these animals in the journey to the afterlife.
  5. Symbolic Representation: Cats were seen as symbols of grace, agility, and both maternal and warrior-like qualities. By mummifying them, Egyptians honored these qualities and ensured that they would be present in the next life.
  6. Fulfilling Vows: Some individuals made vows to the goddess or other deities, promising to offer mummified cats if their prayers were answered. When their wishes were granted, they fulfilled their vows by mummifying cats as an expression of gratitude.

Overall, mummifying cats in ancient Egypt was a practice deeply rooted in their religious and cultural beliefs. It served as a way to honor the sacredness of these animals, seek divine protection, and express devotion to their gods, especially the goddess Bastet.


1. Who is Bastet and what role did she play in ancient Egypt?

Bastet, also known as Goddess Bast, is an Ancient Egyptian deity and was worshipped as the goddess of home, fertility, and protector of Lower Egypt. She was often depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness or a cat, and was associated with the sun god Ra.

2. What is the significance of Bastet in Egyptian mythology?

She was a revered goddess in Egyptian mythology, often invoked for her protective powers, particularly against evil spirits. She was also associated with the Eye of Ra and was considered a powerful and nurturing fertility goddess.

3. Where was the cult of Bastet centered in Ancient Egypt?

The cult center of Bastet was primarily located in the city of Bubastis, also known as Temple of Bastet, where lavish celebrations and festivals were held in honor of the goddess. The festival of Bastet was a major event in Ancient Egyptian religious calendar.

4. Is there a connection between Bastet and other Egyptian deities?

During different periods of Ancient Egyptian history, Bastet was also associated with the goddess Sekhmet and was considered the daughter of the god Ra. Notably, Sekhmet and Bastet

What zodiac is Bastet?

Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess, is not associated with any zodiac sign as we commonly think of in Western astrology. The Egyptian civilization had its own system of astrology and zodiac, which was different from the familiar Western zodiac signs like Aries, Taurus, etc.

In Egyptian astrology, the signs were typically represented by different animals, but these are not directly equivalent to the Western zodiac signs. Instead, they had a unique set of symbols and interpretations. Bastet, being a goddess, was not specifically linked to any of these signs in Egyptian astrology. She was more closely associated with her roles as a protective deity, a guardian, and a symbol of various aspects of life in ancient Egypt. We will dig deeper into the ancient Egyptian Astrology in a later article.

Is Bastet the mother of Anubis?

In ancient Egyptian mythology, she is not typically portrayed as the mother of Anubis. Anubis is more commonly associated with different parentage. Anubis is usually considered to be the child of the goddess Nephthys and either Osiris or Set, depending on the specific Egyptian myth or belief system.

Bastet and Anubis are both important deities in Egyptian mythology, but their roles and family connections are distinct. Bastet is primarily associated with protection, home, and family, while Anubis is known as the god of embalming and the afterlife. Their myths and roles within Egyptian mythology are separate, and Bastet is not commonly depicted as the mother of Anubis in traditional Egyptian mythology.


What an incredible journey exploring the captivating world of the ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet. From unraveling her multifaceted roles and significance in ancient Egypt to delving into the historical evolution of her cult, we’ve uncovered a treasure trove of knowledge about the ancient goddess Bastet. The festival of Bastet at Bubastis and the intricate symbols and depictions of this feline deity have truly left us in awe of her. We’ve marveled at the rich mythical lore surrounding Bastet and witnessed the changes in her attributes through time. This adventure has not only deepened our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture but also sparked a newfound appreciation for the enduring legacy of this enigmatic goddess.

As we conclude our exploration, let’s carry forward this newfound fascination with her, perhaps by delving into related topics or visiting museums with artifacts dedicated to her. Let’s keep the spirit of curiosity alive and continue uncovering the mysteries of ancient Egyptian civilization together!


  1. Sparkle

    Thank you for running an article on my goddess. Purrrrssss…

  2. Claudel GFX

    so you like history ic 🙂
    ty for stoppin by & follow 😛
    btw try and find some ancient poetry 😀

  3. WindBlowerTM

    Dear Sparkle,

    No need to thank me, but I hope you liked it 🙂
    Have such a lovely evening,

  4. Gail Heather

    Here's a little poem about another goddess:
    Mother Nuit, holy Nuit
    Lovely Lady in the sky
    Look down on us tonight
    Our protectress from high.
    Mother Nuit, holy Nuit
    All Goodness comes from you.
    Gods dance upon your shining jewels:
    You are their mother too.

  5. Inner Personal

    I really love reading your blog, I find it very informative and quite beautifully written! I would love to read more about the special markings, It interest me greatly! Have a wonderful week ahead!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *