Bastet, also known as Bast, is a goddess from ancient Egyptian mythology who is often depicted as a fierce and powerful lioness. She is the goddess of home, fertility, and childbirth, and is often associated with the protection of the home and the family.
But don’t let her fierce lioness form fool you, Bastet is also known for her playful and mischievous side. In fact, she was often depicted in ancient Egyptian art as a woman with the head of a lioness, holding a sistrum, an ancient musical instrument, in her hand. This is because in addition to being a fierce protector, Bastet was also known as the goddess of music, dance, and joy. It’s said that the ancient Egyptians would often hold festivals in her honor, where they would play music, dance, and make offerings to her in hopes of gaining her favor and protection.
Bastet was also known as the goddess of fertility, and in ancient Egypt, she was often invoked during childbirth and other fertility rituals. She was believed to have the power to protect pregnant women and to bless them with healthy and strong children. Her association with fertility and childbirth is also the reason why she was often depicted with a lot of kittens, as a symbol of new life and abundance.
But, one of the most interesting facts about Bastet is that she was also considered the goddess of the domestic cat. Ancient Egyptians held cats in high esteem, and it was believed that owning a cat brought good luck and prosperity to a household. In fact, it was considered a crime to kill a cat, even by accident.