Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The Netjer goddess of cats and the moon
I am Bastet, the divine guardian of the pharaohs. You will grovel.
Goddess who guarded the Pharaohs and their soft-footed pets alike, Bastet is one of the most well-known of the Netjer deities; her cult, which encouraged all Egyptians to revere cats above all other creatures, was widespread and enormously influential, leading both to joyous revels and even to death penalties for those who might dare to kill a feline. She is also a moon goddess and serves as the opposite number of her sun god father, reigning over the cool, secretive silences of the night.
Bastet and Ra
Though Bastet was a daughter of Ra, she quarreled with her father, and rather than accept his wishes she exiled herself to wander in the desert. However, in spite of her disobedience, Ra still cared for his daughter’s well-being. When Bastet, while walking among the desert dunes, was stung by a vicious and enormous scorpion, she cried out to Ra to save her as the poison coursed through her veins. Taking pity on his daughter, Ra descended to earth in the middle of the day, bringing the sun to the ground for a few moments, and burned the poison out of her, rendering her well again.
Bastet and the Priest
It happened that a priest of Bastet had become corrupted, using the temple’s worshipers for his own ends instead of serving his goddess. Disguised as a beautiful woman named Taboubu, Bastet descended to the earth, and the priest was struck immediately by her allure so that he could think of nothing but her. He begged her to become his love, but she demanded first that he sign a deed giving her all his possessions and allow her to kill his children and feed them to her cats. Blinded by his greedy infatuation, he agreed to everything she asked, but as he leaped at her to take her in his arms found himself suddenly alone in the midst of a public highway. The goddess had returned to heaven, and the priest, disgraced and deprived of his family and belongings, died a beggar.