BASTET was the most popular goddess in the eastern part of the Delta in Bubastis, the
capital of Lower Egypt. The form in which the goddess was worshipped in the earliest
times was that of a cat. As a feline goddess Bastet was known as the daughter of the sun god Ra,
the goddess of plenty and the mistress of pleasure. Bastet was also
associated with the moon and in myth became the eye of the moon. The
Greeks associated her with the goddess Artemis.According to one legend, Bastet was the personification of the soul
of Isis. She represented the gentle, life-giving rays of the sun which helped the crops. Like
a cat, she was admired for her agility and strength.
Bastet is first and foremost a
protectress, she later was deified as being the life-preserving goddess of joy and protector
of women. To please her, her devotees consecrated statues of the cat in large numbers.
When a cat died it was considered to be an act of great merit to provide for its funeral.
The chief festivals of the goddess Bastet were celebrated in the months of April and May.