Bastet, Ubasti, Baset, Baast, Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra, Ailuros, Perfumed Protector, Pacht, Pasch
Deity: Artemis, Sekhmet
Animal: Cats, Lions
Symbol: Sistrum, Aegis
Family & Other Connections
Bast was sister to Sekhmet and their parents were Ra and Atum. Or alternatively she was sister to Horus and the daughter of Osiris and Isis. Wife of Ptah, mother of Mihos. Bast became associated with Wadjet, eventually the two becoming Wadjet-Bast.
Information & Stories
Bast may be the most well-known of all Egyptian deities; the cat-headed goddess is certainly easy to recognise and remember. She was a local deity whose worship was centered in the city of Bubastis or ‘House of Bast’. The ‘Bastet’ variant of her name has been translated to mean ‘she of the ointment jar’ and Bast was known as a goddess of perfumes. In this role she was seen as wife to Anubis, god of embalming, despite other stories giving her as his mother.
Bast was given one of the Divine Eyes in the form of Uraeus, the serpent of wisdom, by Ra as a reward for defending him against Apep. As a lion goddess, Bast was patron and protector to Lower Egypt, but when it lost in the wars against Upper Egypt Bast took on a less threatening form; that of a cat. In this guise she was recognised as a good mother, and Egyptian women wanting children would honour her.
Goddess of music, dance, pleasure and fertility, Bast was protector of women and children as well as domestic cats. Bast is also associated with qualities of the lion, such as strength, agility and loyalty.
Bast was a sun goddess for most of the time she was being worshipped, but as she became known more as a cat goddess than a lion goddess, so also did she turn into a moon goddess. Cats were particularly revered in Egypt as they would keep the grain stores free from rats. Some Egyptians even had their cats mummified and buried with them in tombs.
Her feast day was celebrated on October 31st.