Bastet: Lion, Cat

Bastet: Lion, Cat
3 records
Bastet: daughter of the sun god, gooddess of motherhood and fertility (Lion, Cat)

The cat goddess Bastet, compared with the fierce lioness goddess Sekhmet, was a goddess of a much gentler nature. She was known as a daughter of Re, eventually becoming the Great Cat of Re, who murdered the great serpent Apophis, chief enemy of the sun god, by cutting off his head with a huge knife. Despite this aggressiveness associated with her role as daughter of the sun god, Bastet’s reputation was that of a more nurturing goddess. Particularly in later periods, she was closely associated with motherhood and fertility and was believed to offer special protection to pregnant women. Representations of her from these later periods often show her with kittens lounging between her paws.

From the Middle Kingdom onwards, Bastet was represented in feline form or as a woman with the head of a cat. In her anthropomorphic form she’s often shown holding a sistrum, a musical instrument that was played by shaking it like a rattle.