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Your Questions About Egyptian Animal Deities

statue of the cat goddess Bastet in Istanbul M...

 

Charles asks…

Egyptian Mythology Project?

Cats and Goddess’ to Egyptians

•The first domesticated Egyptian cats in Egypt were more than likely used for warding off the common asp and other snakes, and the typical chasers of rodents. Slowly though, the cat became more to the Egyptians than just a normal animal, the cat became a god.
Ancient Egyptians took their cats on hunting excursions instead of dogs, the most popular excursions being the marshes where cats may have been trained to retrieve fowl and fish. Statues of cats were placed outside the house to protect the inhabitants and to ward off evil spirits. Mafdet was the first Egyptian feline deity, sometimes depicted as a lynx, but the most famous cat goddesses in the world, first revered by the ancient Egyptians were Bastet (also known as Bast, Pasch, Ubasti) and the lion-headed Sekhmet.
Bastet had the roles of fertility, protector of children and the protector of all cats. Bastet became so popular in fact that she became a household goddess. This goddess was called Bastet when in full cat form, and Bast when only having the head of a cat and the body of a beautiful woman.
Bastet‘s counterpart was the goddess Sekhmet who represented the cat goddess‘ destructive force. Sekhmet is known as the goddess of war and pestilence.
•Together, Bastet and Sekhmet represented the balance of the forces of nature in Egypt.
• In Bubastis, or Tell Basta, the cats lived a lavish life as the `embodiment’ of Bastet in her temples. Egyptians also mummified their cats, filling their tombs with bowls of milk and rodents.

Sekhmet was an Egyptian war goddess, usually depicted with a lioness’s head.
Sekhmet was credited with bringing death and destruction to the pharaoh’s enemies and evildoers, especially through plague.
•Conversely, she had the power to heal the righteous. Sekhmet‘s priests were regarded as magicians and healers. In later times, Sekhmet was seen as the aggressive side of the goddess Mut.

Bastet was a feline goddess of ancient Egypt who mothered the king and destroyed his enemies. As “the Eye of Ra who protects her father Ra,” she was a manifestation of the solar eye. In later times, Bastet was regarded as both the daughter and the consort of Atum-Ra.
Bastet herself was generally shown as a lion-headed woman until the end of the second millennium B.C., when her cat and cat-headed forms became prominent. From the pyramid texts onward, Bastet has a double aspect of nurturing mother and terrifying avenger.
•She also was one of the goddesses associated with the story of the “distant goddess,” the daughter of Ra who quarrels with her father and retreats into the desert.
Isis– the wife and sister of Osiris, the mother of Horus. She was worshipped as the mother, and was one of the first goddesses. She is recognized in Greco-Roman mythology as Demeter and Hera.

http://www.swan.ac.uk/egypt/events/womentext.htm
I’m doing it on female goddess, anymore I need to know about or any stories I should know?

admin answers:

If you are writing about on a Goddess you might as well go to the Queen of them all Isis. She us the magician of the Egyptian pantheon. Oringally she was the vulture (which is why she is shown with wings). The vulture was believed in many cultures to transport the souls of the dead to the Other World.

The stuff about Ra comes later. Originally all deities were female. Male deities were added later, as societies changed.

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Posted in Animal Deities, Cats, Egypt, Lions.

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