Women's Goddess Retreat
September 10 - 12, 2010

 
 

Cybele

Bast

Bastet is the name commonly used by scholars today to refer to a feline goddess of ancient Egyptian religion who was worshipped at least since the Second Dynasty. Her name is also spelled Bast, Baast, Ubasti and Baset.

Originally she was viewed as the protector goddess of Lower Egypt. As protector, she was seen as defender of the pharaoh, and consequently of the later chief male deity, Ra, who was also a solar deity, gaining her the titles Lady of Flame and Eye of Ra.

In the first millennium BC, when domesticated cats were popularly kept as pets, Bastet began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat and ultimately emerged as the Egyptian cat-goddess par excellence.

In the Middle Kingdom, the domestic cat appeared as Bastet’s sacred animal and after the New Kingdom she was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat or a lioness, carrying a sacred rattle and a box or basket.

Herodotus also relates that of the many solemn festivals held in Egypt, the most important and most popular one was that celebrated in Bubastis in honour of the goddess, whom he calls Bubastis and equates with the Greek goddess Artemis.[6][7] Each year on the day of her festival, the town is said to have attracted some 700,000 visitors ("as the people of the place say"), both men and women (but not children), who arrived in numerous crowded ships. The women engaged in music, song and dance on their way to the place, great sacrifices were made and prodigious amounts of wine were drunk, more than was the case throughout the year. This accords well with Egyptian sources which prescribe that leonine goddesses are to be appeased with the "feasts of drunkenness".

The goddess Bast was sometimes depicted holding a ceremonial sistrum in one hand and an aegis in the other—the aegis usually resembling a collar or gorget embellished with a lioness head.

Bast was a goddess of the sun throughout most of Ancient Egyptian history, but later when she was changed into a cat goddess rather than a lioness, she was changed to a goddess of the moon by Greeks occupying Ancient Egypt toward the end of its civilization.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

   
   
 

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