She was known as Ailuros in ancient Greek religion (Koine Greek: ailouros, "cat"). Bastet was venerated as a lioness goddess in Bubastis, Lower Egypt, a function shared by other goddesses like as Sekhmet. However, it is believed that Bastet played a role in protecting the pharaoh and his household from harm, so it is possible that she became associated with cats later on account of their likeness.
During the New Kingdom period (1550-1070 B.C.), when Bastet reached her peak as an iconoclast goddess who challenged the authority of Ra, she began to be depicted wearing the features of a cat. This may have been done to ridicule the cult of Ra, which was becoming increasingly popular during this time, or it could have been done for symbolic reasons. Whatever the case may be, Bastet's transformation into a cat-like figure helped her become more familiar to the common man.
Bastet remained popular throughout Egyptian history. Even after Christianity came to Egypt, she continued to be worshipped along with other animals such as dogs and monkeys. It is because of this reason that many ancient artists chose to depict Bastet using animal faces rather than human ones.
It is believed that the first references to Bastet as a protector deity of Egypt appear during the reign of Pharaoh Pepi I (2458-2449 B.C.).
Bastet, often known as Bast, is an ancient Egyptian goddess who was adored as a lioness and then as a cat. She is best known for being the protector of humans and animals.
Her origins date back to Ancient Egypt, where she was adopted as a protector deity by women who could not have children. She became associated with other goddesses, such as Sekhmet, Satis, and Nut.
In addition to being regarded as a goddess, Bastet was also often depicted as a woman with the body of a cat. She usually had a mane and whiskers and was often shown wearing boots and carrying a scepter.
There are many theories about how she came to be associated with cats. Some believe it began when her image was used to mark houses owned by wealthy people. Others think it started when poor people couldn't afford livestock or pets so they made do with images instead. Still others believe it began when female cats were abandoned by their families so they would not be alone during night hours. The Egyptians believed that if you left food out for them at night, then in return they would leave you with healthy kittens next morning.
Since she was regarded as a protectress, many temples were built in her honor.
Bastet, the sun god's daughter, was an ancient goddess whose violent aspect was softened with the domestication of the cat approximately 1500 BCE. She was worshipped in the city of Bubastis on the Nile near modern-day Cairo.
Bast was originally a protective spirit who guarded homes and cities but later she became associated with Egypt's upper class. As her reputation spread, so did the importance of the people who worshipped her. Through prayer and sacrifice, they sought guidance from Bast on important decisions such as marriage contracts or business deals.
She had many forms including as a lioness, woman, and cat and was often depicted along with other deities in sync with their own seasons. For example, the sun god Ra was shown to travelers during winter when it was cold and dark out by himself alone while Bastet, his daughter, came out during spring when flowers began to grow.
Bast was believed to have magical powers especially when combined with other deities. People would pray to her for assistance with problems such as illness or evil eyes. In return, they would give Bastets gifts such as cats or carpenter's tools. These gifts were intended to show respect and allow Bast to help those who prayed to her.
Bast was originally a protective spirit who guarded homes and cities. As her reputation spread, people began to associate her with other animals including cats. This association makes sense because cats were used for hunting leopards and other game, which helped protect farmers from these dangerous animals.
In addition to being a protective deity, Bast also had a role in medical practices. She was believed to have knowledge of herbs and medicine and was sometimes described as the "lady physician". It was believed that if someone was sick, it was because they had offended Bast so she sent them illness. The only way to cure someone of an offense against Bast was by making amends with them. If they refused you would be punished with more illnesses until you did accept forgiveness.
As Christianity became popular in Egypt, it was believed that Bast had been transformed into a woman named Sycamore. Her symbol was used instead of hers so people could worship her under this name. Although Christians modified many ancient gods in their own images, they didn't change Bast.