Bastet

statue of the Goddess Bastet from the necropolis of Memphis, ca. 600 BC; British Museum

 

statue of the Cat-Goddess Bastet, daughter of Ra, the Goddess of Bubastis from the necropolis of Memphis, ca. 600 BC; now in the British Museum

 

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, detail of the V hour (from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip east, V scene):
Thoth (at right), Isis and Bastet (at left) making adorations to Ra; Ra is represented inside the Sun, falcon-headed, wearing the Solar Crown with the Uraeus, and holding the Uas-Scepter of Power and Dominion. On the stern is represented a God steering the Sacred Bark.

 

Bastet is one of the daughters of Ra (like Hathor, Tefnut, Sekhmet, Mekhyt, and many other Goddesses) and hence one of the various forms of manifestation of the Eye of Ra. She is “the Cat of Ra”, and in this form the Goddess slaughter, destroy, and annihilate the enemies of Maat, of Ra, and of all the Gods(and hence Bastet, like all the other Daughters of Ra, exterminate also all the evil/unrighteous spirits). Bastet is identified with the Goddess Raet, the divine wife of Ra, and with Atumet, the female counterpart of Atum: indeed She is often called “Eye of Ra” and “Eye of Atum”.
The main centre of worship of the Goddess Bastet is Bubastis, the capital of the seventh nome of Lower Egypt. The Goddess Bastet (like the Goddess Sekhmet) is identified with the Greek Goddess Artemis.

 
prince Montuherkhepeshef (son of King Ramses IX) making adorations to the Goddess Bastet and offering to Her a length of red linen and a vase containing ointment. The Goddess wears a long wig with the Solar Crown surrounded by the Uraeus (wearing the Solar disk with Cow’s horns), and a red dress; in Her left hand She holds the Ankh (the symbol of Life), and in Her right a papyriform sceptre. From the “House of Eternity” of Prince Montuherkhepeshef, Valley of the Kings, KV19, West Uaset (Diospolis Megale/Thebes)
bronze statuette of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat nurturing and protecting Her kittens (symbolizing Her devotees);
from the necropolis of Memphis, 664-30 BCE; now in the Brooklyn Museum…

 

statuettes of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her forms of sacred cat and cat-headed woman;
now in the Neues Museum of Berlin…

 

statuettes of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her forms of cat-headed woman and sacred cat,
664–330 BCE; now in the Louvre Museum…

 

statuettes of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat;
now in the Ashmolean Museum…
 

 

the Goddess Bastet,
relief from the Great Temple of Bastet at Bubastis, Lower Egypt

 

the Goddess Bastet (represented in Her form of cat) in a Sacred Boat, 404-30 bc, now in the Louvre Museum

 

statue of the Goddess Bastet with the name of the Glorious King Piye (ca. 752–721 bc, the founder of the XXV Dynasty); now in the Louvre Museum…

 

bronze statuette of the Goddess Bastet in Her form of cat-headed woman,
400-250 BCE, from Memphis; now in the Walters Art Museum…

 

bronze sculpture of the Goddess Bastet represented as a cat-headed woman (wearing gold earrings), holding a lion-headed aegis in Her left and playing the sistrum with Her right.
664/525 BCE (Saite Dynasty); now in the Barakat Gallery…
 

 

two bronze statuettes of the Goddess Bastet represented as a cat-headed woman holding a sistrum, a lion-headed aegis, and a basket;
664-332 BCE, now in the Louvre Museum…

 

detail of a sistrum with the Hathor-head, Bastet, and Bes:
the Hathor-head is flanked by the Two Urai;
above, the cat-headed Goddess Bastet inside a naos playing the sistrum; on the top of the naos, two recumbent lions;
the handle is in the form of Bes standing on an open lily bloom, flanked by two sphinxes.
Dated to the Graeco-Roman period; now in the Oriental Institute Museum of Chicago…

 

amulet of the Goddess Bastet enthroned, holding an Hathoric sistrum on Her lap; each side of the throne is decorated with twin figues of Nehebkau.
ca. 1070-664 BCE; now in the Houston Museum …

 

 amulet of the Goddess Bastet enthroned, holding an Hathoric sistrum on Her lap; each side of the throne is decorated with twin figues of Nehebkau;
ca. 1070-712 BCE; now in a private collection…

 

green faience amulet of the Goddess Bastet wearing the uraeus on Her head and holding the Eye of Ra(the right Eye), the Eye of the Sun, in Her left hand, close to Her heart; the back-pillar bears a hieroglyphic inscription which reads “Bastet”; ca. 760/720 BC, from Lower Egypt

 

statuette of the Goddess Bastet holding a sistrum, a basket, and a lioness-headed aegis;
600-300 bc, now in the Barakat collection…

ivory Aegis of the Goddess Bastet Neo-Assyrian, from Nimrud, Mesopotamia, ca. IX/VIII century BC; now in the Metropolitan Museum

 

amulets of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat;
now in the Ashmolean Museum…

 

Amulets of Bastet and Sekhmet, from the Ashmolean Museum

 

detail of a statuette of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat, with inlaid colored glass eyes, a scarab (sacred to Khepry) engraved on the forehead, wearing a necklace of cylindrical beads and a breastplate pendant decorated with the head of a feline crowned with the Sun disk.
Dated to the reign of King Psammetichos I, 664-610 BCE; now in the Louvre Museum…

 

statuettes of the Goddess Bastet, Neues Museum, Berlin

 

statue of the Goddess Bastet in Her form of sacred cat, with a golden scarab (sacred to Khepry) inlaid on the forehead, wearing golden earrings and a necklace with a pendant; on the pendant is represented a standing Goddess (wearing the Double Crown) suckling a Child God.
664-350 BCE, now in the Walters Art Museum…

 

statue of the Goddess Bastet in Her most beautiful and very sacred manifestation/form of cat, with the Eye of Ra (the right Eye) depicted on Her chest; bronze, inlaid gold, dated to the XXI-XXVI Dynasty (1081 – 525 bc); now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art..

 

statuette of the Goddess Bastet,
715-343 bc, now in the Ashmolean Museum

 

statuette of the Goddess Bastet in Her form of sacred cat,
664–30 BCE; now in the Metropolitan Museum…
 

 

 

the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat, on a lotus column, protecting and playing with Her kittens;
bronze, 664-332 BCE; now in the Louvre Museum…

 

the Goddess Bastet in Her form of sacred cat, nurturing and protecting Her kittens,
664-332 BCE; now in the Louvre Museum …

 

statuettes of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat;
now in the Louvre Museum…

 

limestone statue of the Goddess Bastet represented in Her form of sacred cat with a small cat seated in the front;
663-525 BCE, now in a private collection…
 

 

bronze statue of the Goddess Bastet as a cat-headed woman shaking a sistrum and holding an aegis, and with kittens at Her feet.  ca. 664-30 BC, now in the british Museum

 

bronze statuette of Bastet represented as a cat-headed woman, holding a lion-headed aegis in Her left, and playing an Hathoric Sistrum with Her right; below, two of Her kittens.
332-30 BCE, now in the British Museum…
 

 

bronze statuettes of Thoth (at left), Anubis (in the middle), and Bastet (at right); dated to the VII/I bc, now in the Hermitage Museum…

-Assimilations with other Goddesses-

Bastet-Menhyt:

King Ramses III pouring a libation and censing before Khnum (wearing an Uraeus between His ram’s horns) and Bastet-Menhyt;
scene from the east wall of the I Hypostyle Hall of the “Temple of Millions of Years” of King Ramses III, West Uaset (Diospolis Megale-Thebes)

 

– Sacred Cats –

cat catching birds among the papyrus stems,
detail from the hunting scene in the “House of Eternity” of NebAmon, “scribe and grain accountant in the granary of the divine offerings in the Temple of Amon at Ipet-Sut” during the reign of King Amenhotep III (ca. 1390-1352 BCE); now in the British Museum…

 

gold spacer bars with cats (sacred to the Goddess Bastet), from a pair of bracelets belonging to Queen Sobekemsaf, wife of King Antef;
probably from Behdet (Upper Egypt), XVII Dynasty, ca. 1650 BCE; now in the British Museum…

 

bracelet decorated with cats (sacred to the Goddess Bastet),
(gold, carnelian, lapis-lazuli, turquoise glass), dated to the reign of King Thutmose III (ca. 1479–1425 BCE). Now in the Metropolitan Museum…
 

 

marsh scene: cat (the sacred animal of Bastet) hunting birds in a great papyrus swamp; above, a crane and a crested lapwing (or perhaps an hoopoe bird); probably at left there was a mongoose (the sacred animal of Outo/’Uadjet’) attacking another nest.
From Uaset-Thebes, ca. 667-647 BCE; now in the Cleveland Museum of Art…

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