Sekhmet Lady of the West:

I thought I’d take a different path, instead of advice on cats, how about the Ancient Egyptians and Their Cat Goddesses!

Cats were revered partially due to the ability to kill mice and rats which threatened the Egyptians food supply.  Royal cats were dressed in gold jewelry and were allowed to eat from their owners plates.

The Egyptians also worshipped cats and there are two major goddesses who played a major role in their religious beliefs. These two goddesses are Sekhmet and Bastet.

Sekhmet Goddess of warfare, representing the scorching burning heat of the sun.  She is also the fierce goddess of war and destructor of Pharaoh’s enemies.  As the solar deity and sometimes called the daughter of the sun god Ra and connected with the goddesses Hathor and Bast.  In other beliefs it is though she was the daughter of Nut a Geb and the mother or sister of Bastet.

She appears as a woman with the head of a lioness surmounted by the solar disk and the Uraeus associating her with royalty..  The name Sekhmet comes from sekhem which means “powerful one.”  She was believed to accompany Pharaoh into battle in order to protect him.

The Ancients had a habit of putting gods and goddesses in duo roles, especially as the dynasties changed.  There are some beliefs that Sekhmet and Bastet were one and the same.  Bastet being the protector and nurturer in hearth and home, then turning into the fierce Sekhmet as a lioness.

When portrayed as the lioness, she was associated with the sun.

 Bastet Lady of the East:

It does seem that at one point in time she had two sides or duo goddess roles. One being the protector of fire, cats, home and pregnant women.  The other Aggressive with a vicious nature exposed during battles. She was called the Lady of the East, as her counterpart was the Lady of the West “Sekhmet”.

Bastet was one of the daughters of the sun god Ra.  A temple was built for her at Bubastis in the Delta.  Her festivals were celebrated in April and May.    

The Egyptians created many statues to cats as well as Sekhmet and Bastet.  They believed by honoring these goddesses protected them from the wrath of Sekhmet and the promise of protection from Bastet.

When portrayed as a cat, she was associated with the moon.

As the dynasties in Egypt altered, so did the significance and purpose of these two goddesses.  Sometimes the lines blurred on the edge of single goddesses or duo goddess.

Whichever school of thought one follows, the Egyptians loved their cats.  They honored them, mummified them and worshipped them.  Harming or killing a cat had only one sentence — death!

Mummified Cat

I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit!

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