Goddess Mut, cat in ancient Egyptian art

Goddess Mut

Bast continued to be associated with other goddesses that were protectors of motherhood and children, such as the ancient Egyptian mother or creator goddess Mut.

“In the temple of Koptos the goddess Mut of Thebes was called …. Bast…..”(Erman, 1907, p.59)  Mut’s sacred animal was the cat, as jars and vases used in rituals for Mut found at the temple of Luxor at Thebes were decorated with cats (Lesko, 1999).  Mut was at one point assimilated into Hathor when the power of Thebes was in decline.  Then Mut, Hathor and Isis merged.  However, during the reign of Hatshepsut in the 18th dynasty, Mut once again found her rightful place amongst the gods and goddesses.  During this dynasty, Hatshepsut identified herself with Mut and rebuilt Mut’s temples only to have her worship later banned by Akhenaton. However, under the reign of Tutankhamen the creator goddess was brought to life once again and worshipped until the end of the 3rd century AD.  Farther down the Nile from Thebes, at Beni Hasan, Hatshepsut also built temples to another minor cat goddess, Pakhet, meaning she who scratches.


Temple of Pakhet speoartemidos, cat goddess bast and the goddess mut

Temple of Pakhet Speoartemidos


Goddess Pakhet, cat goddess bast and the goddess mut

Goddess Pakhet



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Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats



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