Thursday, May 11, 2017

#FolkloreThursday: Bastet

Welcome back to another edition of Folklore Thursday on my blog site. This week it's the Egyptian goddess Bastet.

 In Egyptian mythology Bastet was a cat-headed goddess and a solar deity until Greek influence on Egyptian society, she became a lunar goddess associated with the Greek goddess Artemis. *During the  2nd Dynasty (2890-2686), Bastet was either a wild desert cat or lioness, and only became associated with the domesticated cat around 1,000 BCE. She was commonly depicted as a woman with a head of a wildcat, lioness. or a domesticated cat.

Bastet was commonly paired with Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess of Memphis, Wadjet, and Hathor. Her title was "avenger" god sent to lay waste to Egypt's enemies as one of the "Eyes of Ra." In according to legends, Bastet was called the "Daughter of Ra", a designation that placed her in the same ranks as Maat and Tefnut.

The cult of Bastet was centered in Bubastis from the 4th Dynasty. Bubastis was the capital of Egypt for a dynasty during the Late Period, where a few kings took her name into their royal titles.

They were made famous by the traveler Herodotus in the 4th century BCE, when he described his annals one of the festivals that takes place in honor Bastet.

And that's that for this week! Be there as I explore more folklore and legends this month.

*Encyclopedia Mythica

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