was the local goddess of Bubastis, a capital of a
province of Lower Egypt. She is often regarded as
a daughter of the sun god Ra, but sometimes said
to be his sister and consort. She was later to
become the wife of the creator god Ptah (but so
is Sekhmet and they are probably the same
She was originally a lioness
goddess symbolizing both the warmth of the sun
and the rage of the sun god's eye. From about
1000 BC she was represented as a cat, or
cat-headed woman but continued to posses the
qualities of Sekhmet, the lion headed goddess.
Bastet is benevolent,
protecting humanity from evil spirits and
disease. She is a goddess of fertility, sex and
love, and enjoyed music and dancing.
Her cult was centered on her
sanctuary at Bubastis and a necropolis has been
found containing mummified cats.