Day 3 of playing catch up. I'm kinda doing these in alphabetical order. I had first had the idea to make this post about the benu bird, but then my other B blog post was going to obviously be Bast. Well Bast would come first in the alphabet so I guess this goddess will come first.
Bast, one of the number of feline deities in Egypt, has been around since at least the Second Dynasty. Most people know Her as being depicted as a house cat or being the goddess of domesticated cats. But that didn't come around until thousands of years after the Egyptians started worshipping Her. Her earlier depictions are that of a women with either a lion or desert cat head.
Because of the foreign influance during the New Kingdom, people started leaving off the "-t" at the end of words when they talked. So to try to stop that from happening scribes started adding an extra "-t" on the end of words. This is where the name Bastet comes from. It was the scribes trying to tell the people that its "Bast" and not "Bas".
Bast started out as a protector of the king and was one of the goddesses that held the title of "Eye of Ra". Later her image started softening and she became known as the protector of children and pregnant women and She became associated with Het Hert, Mut, and Aset. She also started becoming invoked to bestow fertility making Her even more associated with Het Hert. Because of Her close relationship with Her, Bast started picking up some of Het Hert's associations, such as music and art. Another one of Bast's associations was with perfume.
Now notice how I didn't say she was a lunar goddess? That's because that association came about after the Greeks came to Egypt and associated Bast with Artemis. When the Greeks started associating Egyptian deities with their own many of the deities it started giving the Egyptian deities relations that They didn't have before. As such, Bast became Aset's daughter and Heru's twin sister.
I think there was more I wanted to say. But system files got corrupted on my computer. Thats the reason I'm getting this after midnight. I'll post Day 4 of catch up between classes when I have my friend's laptop.
Source: Per Bast