BUBASTIS, CITY OF THE CAT GODDESS BAST (Part II)

Within the temple of Bubastis, priests cared for cats with donations from pilgrims, and eventually killed and mummified them to be sold as votive offerings to Bast.  Cat amulets and statues made of bronze and gold were also sold to enthusiastic pilgrims especially during the annual festival of Bast.  The Decree of Canopus, a stele […]

BUBASTIS, CITY OF CAT GODDESS BAST

BUBASTIS, PART I Bubastis, a city that had flourished for more than 4,000 years, is today nothing more than piles of scattered red granite blocks and a few empty graves and tombs overgrown by grass.  Bubastis now lies within a fenced area near the modern day city of Zagazig, where 20thcentury apartments look down in […]

THEBAN TOMBS HOME TO FANTASTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF CATS

Surprisingly, there were no sanctuaries or temples built to Bast at Thebes.  Instead, Thebes was built in honor of Amon, Mut and Khonsu.  Amon, the Father of all, Mut the Mother of all and Khonsu their son, were a trinity so to speak.  This is the reason that fewer cat mummies have been found at […]

CAT GODDESS BAST IN SAQQARA PYRAMID TEXTS

Saqqara has not only offered archeologists a treasure trove of tombs and mummies, but also the pyramid texts; texts that are written in limestone which contain thousands of lines of hieroglyphs describing myths and religious rituals.  Gaston Maspero, in 1894, was the first to discover and then translate these texts in which we find a […]

THE CAT GODDESS BAST IS WORSHIPPED

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat goddess Bast at four main sites.  Bast, the cat goddess, was a very important deity to the ancient Egyptians confirmed by their unfailing devotion to her not only in one part of the kingdom, but also at various locations in both Upper and Lower Egypt.   Saqqara, Thebes, Beni […]

SEKHMET, THE LION GODDESS, BAST’S EVIL SISTER

Sekhmet the lion goddess, who had her own cult, was Bast’s evil sister or alter ego.  She is often portrayed as a woman with the head of a lion above which a solar disk with a uraeus sits.  Sometimes she holds a scepter and sometimes a knife.  Likewise, Bast often has the head of a […]