Creation Myth: Egyptian Goddess Bastet

If you could morph into a Kemetic Goddess, which one would empower you?
Embracing the allegory of my Ancestors…

Transform into Bastet

Bastet, also known as Bast, was an ancient Egyptian goddess who originally had the role of protecting the Pharaohs. The inhabitants of the lower Nile depicted Bastet as a savage, lion-headed deity. After 1000 BCE, the Egyptians altered her image to the body of a woman and the head of a cat. Along with her change in appearance, she was also transformed into a peaceful and approachable deity. Instead of Bastet protecting Pharaohs, she was now a nurturer and protector of all households. Families soon began to invite cats inside their homes, thinking that they brought with them the spirit of Bastet. They worshiped these cats because they also hunted mice, snakes, and other pests that ruined their crops and their perishable goods. Bastet’s role as a goddess was further altered when she acquired the trait of fertility. Women would purchase pendants with Bastet and multiple kittens to enhance their fertility.1

Statues and depictions of Bastet vary. She transforms from a beast with a female lion’s head, to a woman with the head of a cat, to a regular black cat with kittens who sometimes held a rattle. Some thought the rattle was actually a musical instrument called a sistrum. Because of this, Bastet was also associated with music and dance. Soon after the sistrum was added to Bastet’s image, the Egyptians used the instrument at festivals where they would worship Bastet. Then, Bastet was depicted wearing a decorative dress, carrying the sistrum in her right hand and a shield in her left, with a bag over her arm.2

 

The Egyptians had an explanation for why she was transformed from a savage beast to a fertility and music goddess. Bastet was the daughter of Ra, the sun god who was vengeful. From him she got her aggressiveness. Her mother is unknown, but the Egyptians suspect that Ra sent young Bastet to Nubia as a lioness in isolation. There she was able to let out her rage, and then wander back to Egypt as a docile cat. Later an unknown king proclaimed that Bastet was his mother. Egyptian women then believed worshiping her would provide them with many children, as house cats would typically have up to twelve kittens; and one of her sons became king. Experts believe that the baby rattle was mistakenly interpreted as a sistrum, which led to her being known as a music and dance goddess… this is just one story, do your own research.  

Adapting with the times, enjoying my undomesticated, domesticated life.
Peace and blessings to you.

Shila Iris