What is the name of the Egyptian cat god?

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Truth be told, the Egyptian cat god is actually a cat and is about the Egyptian goddess Bastet o Bast, protector of humans and home, and goddess of happiness and harmony. This Egyptian deity had its cult temple in the city of Bubastis, in the eastern region of the Nile Delta, and it is there that a multitude of mummified felines were found in tombs to suit them because they were considered to be reincarnations of Bastet on Earth. , so they could live in the temples, they were sacred cats and when they died, they were mummified as if they were a pharaoh or an Egyptian nobleman.

If you want to know what's the name of the god cat Egyptian really, how the Egyptian goddess lioness became the Egyptian cat goddess and how cats were considered in Ancient Egypt, keep reading this AnimalWised article and solve all your doubts.

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  1. The myth of Sekhmet, the lioness goddess
  2. The Egyptian cat goddess: Bastet
  3. Cats in Ancient Egypt

The myth of Sekhmet, the lioness goddess

As in all religions, there are a series of myths that serve to explain things that a priori are difficult to understand, and this is the case of the myth of Sekhmet or Sehkmet, the Egyptian goddess embodied in a lioness headed human and alter-ego of the Egyptian cat goddess.

According to legend, one day the father of Sekhmet, the great Egyptian god Ra (creator of the world, humans and gods), when he was old, sent one of his eyes to see what was happening on earth. When he saw that after creating them, humans showed him disrespect and made fun of him disobeying the laws that he had created, Ra became very angry and decided to punish them by sending his beloved and powerful daughter Sekhmet to Earth..

When he came down, Sekhmet was transformed into a lioness with a untold bloodlust, so it began to devour every human it saw. And the more blood he drank, the more thirsty he was. It was then that his father Ra and his brothers began to worry because what they wanted was to humble humans but not extinguish them. So the god Ra spoke with Sekhmet but she ignored him and continued to devour all the humans that crossed his path.

Since Sekhmet could not see reason, the god Ra came up with a good idea to tame her, and one afternoon when the lioness goddess was taking a nap, he ordered some humans to pour a pile of pomegranate wine (famous for get drunk very fast) so that when he woke up he would drink it thinking it was a pool of blood, and it was. When the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet woke up and saw that pool of wine, thinking it was blood, she drank it all and got drunk very quickly, which made her realize the catastrophe she was causing on Earth and came to his senses, transforming into the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet. That is why they say that the two goddesses, Bastet and Sehkmet, are opposite and represent the balance of the forces of nature, Sekhmet being the destructive part and Bastet the pacifying part..

The Egyptian cat goddess: Bastet

Thus, the Egyptian goddess Bastet, represented as a cat-headed human Or simply as a domestic black cat, she became a protector of humans, home and magic. It is said that it protected mortals from plagues, diseases, evil spirits and evil eyes and that it symbolized the joy of living. Likewise, it also protected both families and domestic animals that lived in the houses, especially cats, which were considered their representations on Earth..

Every year the Egyptian cat goddess wanted a festival to be held in her honor in which they drank a lot of pomegranate wine, so humans got drunk without restraint and made great bacchanalia. Thus the Egyptian cat goddess also became symbol of fertility and motherhood and as a protector of pregnant women. Normally she was represented with a musical instrument called sistrum, since she loved to see how humans played music and danced in her honor, that is why she is also considered as the goddess of music and dance.

But be careful, because if the humans did not comply with their wishes, Bastet could enrage and be as bad as Sekhmet. Hence the duality between the tender and peaceful kitten and the fierce and violent lioness what it could become. As his father Ra was a solar god, Bastet personified the warm rays of the Sun and all the beneficial powers they brought, unlike the scorching heat represented by Sekhmet. Likewise, the Egyptian cat goddess was also considered the "Lady of the East " which is where the Sun is born, as opposed to the lioness goddess also known as "Lady of the West ", which is where the King Star.

Cats in Ancient Egypt

The first evidence that shows the coexistence of cats with the Egyptians dates back to the seventh millennium BC, in a tomb in the predynastic cemetery of Mostaggeda in which a human and a cat were found together inside. According to experts, the Egyptians tried to domesticate all the animals they found but it was not until the third millennium BC. that they only succeeded with cats. Yes OK they managed to tame them, humans admired the character and independence of kittens, so they treated them as companions and not as an inferior race, knowing that they could not be their owners but their friends.

Thus, cats helped the Egyptians to kill rats and other rodents that entered their homes in search of harvested food, so that thanks to them, humans had food throughout the year. Years later, cats in Ancient Egypt were also used to hunt mostly birds, so they replaced the dog in these tasks.

Humans admired cats for their mysterious, calm and tender but sometimes fierce and defiant character, and the ability to hunt their prey with extreme agility and grace. Also according to the Sacred Book of the Dead, the Egyptians believed that Ra, the sun god creator of all things, took the defensive form of a cat to destroy with a knife the serpent Apophis, god of absolute evil, in the tree Ished of Heliopolis "the night the enemies of the Lord of the Universe were shattered ", so they were not only considered the reincarnations of the goddess Bastet but also of her father Ra (the egyptian cat god) and therefore cats in Ancient Egypt they were sacred.

Consequently, the Miw or Mau ( "cat " in Egyptian) were worshiped and highly appreciated by the ancient Egyptians, who preferred to starve to death rather than eat them. In addition to being buried with their owners, mummified so that they would be reborn in the afterlife like them and buried with their corresponding funeral rite, the laws of Egypt were very protective and killing a cat was punishable by death.

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