The Goddess Bast

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Goddess of life, family, and the domestic cat, Bast is depicted enthroned as the cat-headed incarnation of Isis or, alternately, as the seated Sacred Cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum.

Related to Neith, the Night Goddess, Bast symbolized the moon in its function of making a woman fruitful, with swelling womb. She was also the Egyptian Goddess of pleasure, music, dancing and joy, and associated with the Eye of Ra, acting as the instrument of the Sun God's vengeance.

The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem and the penalties for injuring or killing one was severe. A protectress of cats and those who cared for cats, Bast was an important deity in the home and also important in the iconography since the serpents which attack the Sun God were usually represented in papyri as being killed by cats.

For more information, and to learn how cats became demi-gods, visit The Temple of Bast.

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