Cat Headed Beings - Sekhmet - Bast

Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses wore the various masks mostly those of birds (sacension) and cats or lions. Most of the masks were archetypes for creation ---> destruction--->rebirth as our consciousness moves from one reality - experience - to another. There is only one soul behind the creation of these mythological gods and goddesses - who can be found in the creational legends of all cultures.

Bast and Sekhmet represent feminine energies as we are supposedly shifting from male energies to the feminine (higher frequencies beyond 3D) - the right side of the brain - intuition - creation - creative aspects of your personality - the esoteric - psychic gifts evolve as you move into higher frequency.

In ancient Egyptian mythology - the Lion/Cat represents Creation - the Lioness - Sphinx - her male counterpart - Leo - who has supposedly been in power since the Age of Leo - approximately 13,000 years ago. Precession of the Equinoxes

Bast and Sekhmet were the same soul - Bast primarily a Northern goddess (since Her main place of worship was in Lower Egypt), while Sekhmet (as a form of Het-hert) was a Southern goddess. There is much mythology about who they were and what they did - yet much of the characteristics attributed to their personalities may not be true and are often confusing.

All of the Gods carried rods/ staffs made out of a metal called electrum - which was linked them back to Source and enabled them to manipulate things by changing the meagnetcis on the physical planet. It is all done with rods and magnetics (magic). Thoth = Hermes = Merlin=the Magician.


She is the power that protects the good and annihilates the wicked. Sekhmet is the wrathful form of Hathor (goddess of joy, music, dance, sexual love, pregnancy and birth). With leonine head, female human body and the strength of her father, she is the noontime sun--- intense blinding heat.

In Tibet she is known as Senge Dong-ma, lion-headed dakini, "Guardian of the Secret Tantric Teachings". She is called Simhavaktra, in India where she also has a male reflection in the lion-headed incarnation of Vishnu, Narasimha. Pure shakti, she is doubtless a close relative to lion-mounted Durga, "Keeper of the Flame". Indeed, another Egyptian title for Sekhmet is Nesert, the flame. In the ancient Near East she was called Anat, Ashtoreth and Astarte.

To the Old Kingdom Egyptians, Nu was the divine father of the primordal waters from whence Ra, the sun, came forth. Ra gave birth to Shu, god of the wind, and Tefnut who was called "the spitter" because she sent the rain. Together Shu and Tefnut were the Twins of our heavenly constellations. Tefnut and Sekhmet both have human female form with a head of the lion and both are recorded as daughters of Ra by the Egyptians. Sekhmet is perhaps a later manifestation of Tefnut, but in any event they are one and the same.

Sekhmet, goddess Hathor, is the daughter he plucked from his head and sent out into the universe to avenge his anger. Nu spoke, "Let thine Eye go forth against those who are rebels in the kingdom." Then the gods spoke together, "Let thine eye go forth against these rebels. When It cometh down from heaven, no human eye can be raised against it."

Sekhmet/Hathor, in the form of a lioness, hurled herself upon the men who had rebelled against Ra. She attacked them with such fury that the sun god feared she might exterminate the entire human race and begged her to stop the carnage. She had no ears to hear it. So Ra spilled 7,000 jugs containing a magic potion composed of beer and pomegranate juice in her path. Sekhmet, mistook the red liquid for human blood, lapped it up and become too drunk to continue the slaughter.

On the feast day of Hathor/Sekhmet as many jugs of reddened beer were offered as there were priestesses of the sun.

Mistress and lady of the tomb, gracious one, destroyer of rebellion, mighty one of enchantments. Her body draped in red, Sekhmet faces West; her sister-daughter Bast in green, personification of the domestic cat, faces East.

Sekhmet is the triad goddess of Memphis with her husband Ptah, god of arts and crafts. Nefertum was their son and the third member of the triad. Ptah is the creative potter-god who shaped the world and heavens assisted by the seven wise worker-dwarfs of Khnemu.

Sekhmet is usually portrayed as a woman with the head of a lioness, but as the Daughter of the Netjer of the Sun, Ra.

Sekhmet is closely linked to the Uraeus (Buto or Wadjyt) in Her role as the fire-breathing, 'Eye of Ra'. The pyramid texts themselves mention that the King or Pharaoh was conceived by Sekhmet, Herself.

Sekhmet is one of the oldest known forms of Netjer in Egyptian history. She the 'patron' of the Physicians, Physician-Priests and Healers. Because She is one of the most powerful of all the Names of Netjer, (Her name literally translated means "Mighty One", or "Powerful One").

Her Name is derived from the Egyptian word 'Sekhem', which means "power" or "might". The word sekhem' is literally inseperable from Sekhmet and Her worship. Because of these facts, She is often times misunderstood and portrayed only in a negative way This is probably because of legends of how Sekhmet, as the destructive Eye of Ra was sent forth to punish humanity for its mockery of Her Father, Ra. The myth of Sekhmet's Creation explains how Sekhmet came into being from Het-Hert (Hathor).

But in spite of the fact that She is sometimes 'destructive', Her qualities as Healer, Mother and Protector are often overlooked. In the realm of Ancient Egyptian Medicine, almost all healers and surgeons of Ancient Kemet would most certainly have fallen under Sekhmet's jurisdiction.

Sekhmet was worshiped throughout Egypt, particularly wherever a wadi opened out at the desert edges. This is the type of terrain that lions are often found. Many of them having come from the desert in order to drink and to prey upon cattle in the area.

It is said that Her worship was possibly introduced into Egypt from the Sudan, because lions are more plentiful there. Sekhmet's main cult center was located in Memphis (Men-nefer)and was part of the Divine Triad there, which was made up of Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertum. Sekhmet is the wife of Ptah, the 'Creator' Netjer of the Ancient Egyptians and their son is called Nefertum, who is also closely associated with healers and healing.

Because of the shift in power from Memphis to Thebes during the New Kingdom (1550- 1069 BC) the Theban Triad, made up of Amun, Mut (Amaunet), and Khons, Sekhmet's attributes were absorbed into that of Mut.

Sekhmet was increasingly represented as an aggressive manifestation of Mut and the Two Goddesses, along with HetHert and Bast were often synchretized. Mut-Sekhmet was the protectoress, Wife of the King of the Gods, Who also was incarnate through the person of the Pharaoh. Within the Mut Precinct were found large numbers of statues of the lioness-goddess which wereerected by Amenhotep III (1390 - 1352 BC) both in the Temple of Mut at Karnak and also at his mortuary temple which was located in Western Thebes.

As with the Goddess Isis, Sekhmet seems to have been reinvented in the twentieth century. Although she is still regarded as a powerful force, to be approached with respect and caution, we can perceive a 'watering down' of her aspects. In Ancient Egypt she was dangerous and ferocious, the bringer of plagues and retribution, the fire of the sun God's eye. This was no benign figure, who could be adored and worshipped as a gentle mother.

Nowadays, many women view Sekhmet as a source of strength, independence and assertiveness, and commune with her frequency when these attributes need to be augmented or instilled.

To some people Sekhmet has become the symbol of the modern woman. She is still approached as a healer, bringer of justice and as a guardian or protector, but the emphasis has shifted. It seems a natural progression that Sekhmet has transformed from what was almost a force of chaos into an icon of immanent female power.

Ellie at the Temple of Sekhmet in Karnak - December 2000


Bast has been dated to at least the Second Dynasty (c. 2890-2686 Before Common Era [B.C.E.]).

Bast is most commonly depicted as a woman with the head of either a cat, a lion, or a large desert cat. She is never shown fully human.

She was depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum. She wears the royal headdress of a sun disk and cobra.

Bast was not depicted with the domesticated cat imagery that has now become synonymous with Her until 1000 BCE -- nearly two thousand years after her worship began. Previous to that, the cat was considered "beneath" representation except in rare cases involving Mafdet and Ra.

Images of Bast as a lion-headed figure holding a was-scepter (from the Hall of Osorkon at Bubastis ) or with a lion's mane and holding the Eye of Ra can be found throughout Egyptian art from the Late Period on. Bast is even shown in one particular Late Period depiction as wearing the Double Crown (the red and the white "nested" together) and suckling the Pharaoh - perhaps an allusion to the rise of popularity with Per-Bast or Bubastis, the Domain of Bast.

Bast is often shown holding the ankh or the papyrus wand, and sometimes the was-scepter (usually only in connection to Bubastis, which was the home of Her cult - in the delta region, where a necropolis has been found containing mummified cats. ). The papyrus wand is a significant and slightly baffling item for Her to be holding, as this item usually signifies a "first" or primordial god such as Ma'at and Tefnut (both of whom are daughters of Ra and Tem, respectively). This may provide a tantalizing clue as to Bast's suspicious lack of representation in common Egyptian mythology, and may connect Her to Tefnut, Who, like Bast, is also the Eye of Tem-Ra and depicted with a feline head.

In ancient Egypt the cat was worshipped as a sacred animal - the mother - creation.

Bast is considered a goddess of the home and of the domestic cat.

She was the mother of Mahes the Lion-headed son of Bast, reputedly a God of healing. His main temple was at Leontopolis, although he did have a shrine at Bubastis.

Bast/ Sekhmet was also the mother Nefertum - the father being Ptah.

She is depicted as both human and lion headed.

Herodotus visited the city during the 5th century BC. He equated Bast - or Bubastis - with the Greek Goddess Artemis - as they are in truth one and the same.

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote:

"None of the Egyptian cities , I think, was raised so much as Bubastis, where there is a Temple of Bubastis (the Greek Artemis) which is well worth describing. Other temples may be larger, or have cost more to build, but none is a greater pleasure to look at. The site of the building is almost an island, for two canals have been led from the Nile and sweep around it, one on each side, as far as the entrance, where they stop short without meeting; each canal is a hundred feet wide and shaded with trees.

The gateway is sixty feet high and is decorated with remarkable carved figures some nine feet in height. The temple stands in the centre of the city, and, since the level of the buildings everywhere else has been raised, but the temple itself allowed to remain in its original position, the result is that one can look down and get a fine view of it from all round. It is surrounded by a low wall with carved figures, and within the enclosure stands a grove of very tall trees about the actual shrine, which is large and contains the statue of the Goddess.

The whole enclosure is a furlong square. The entrance to it is approached by a stone-paved road about four hundred feet wide and about two thousand feet long, running eastward through the market-place and joining the Temple of Bubastis to the Temple of Hermes. The road is lined on both sides with immense trees - so tall that they seem to touch the sky."

Hermes - we know was the same soul as Thoth - another connection between the souls who played the roles of the Gods of ancient Egypt and ancient Greece.

Bast was worshipped from the most ancient times, when her early form was lioness-headed.

In the first millennium BC she was worshipped in the form of a lissom domestic cat or as a cat-headed woman.

No life-size -or greater - representations of Bast, in any form, have survived intact, although a great many smaller bronzes and statues have been recovered and can now be seen in museums around the world. But this does not necessarily mean that larger statues didn't exist. In his 'Histories', Herodotus wrote that a statue of the Goddess existed in the main temple shrine at Bubastis, but gives no detailed description of her.

Her main temple was at Memphis in the south. Bast's sacred city in Kemet was Per-Bast

Cities in which festivals of Bast were celebrated included Thebes, Memphis, Bubastis, and Esna.

Today, no shrines or temples remain of Bast in Egypt; even Bubastis was mostly ruins by the time Naville got around to it. There is a "Portal of Bast" on the Giza Plateau (fittingly, near the Sphinx), and statues have been discovered showing Khaefre accompanied by Her. A painting of Bast is present within the tomb of Nefertari at Abu Simbel, and dozens of bronze statues dating from the Late Period have been discovered amidst the cat cemetery found at Per-Bast. A Bast shrine on display is located in the Field Museum of Chicago; benches flank a small enclosure within which stands a statue of the seated cat and the cat-headed woman (both behind glass). This is perhaps as close as we can currently get in the modern day to a public shrine unto Her.

Statue: 600 B.C.E.


  • God Bes - Dwarf lion God of luck and fortune, Bes was much favoured by women in Ancient Egypt. He was associated with childbirth and the home. Bes is most often shown as a dancing grotesque, with his tongue protruding and a strange half lion, half mask-like face. He wears a lion skin with the tail dangling down behind him, and often a tall crown of feathers.

  • The Goddess Mafdet -

    Image - Kristy Wood

    This Goddess prevails over snakes and scorpions. She is probably one of the earliest feline deities and was either a cheetah, a lynx or a leopard. She was described as having plaited hair, which was said to represent the linked bodies of the scorpions she killed. As of yet, we know little of Mafdet, other than what we've learned subjectively through visualisations. Her name has been said to mean 'runner', which does suggest a link with the cheetah, the fastest of felines.

  • The Goddess Mut - A widely-worshipped mother Goddess, Mut is yet another deity who can have a fully human or lioness-headed form. She was the consort of Amun-Ra and the mother of the moon god, Khonsu. Apart from the cat and the lion, her other sacred animal was the vulture.

  • The Goddess Neith - A mother of the Gods, Neith was most often seen as a fully human woman, sometimes holding a bow and arrows. However, she did have a lioness-headed aspect. Neith is unusual in that she has a androgynous aspect, in that she was supposed to have self-generated and to have both male and female elements in her nature.

  • The Goddess Pakhet - A lioness-headed goddess, Pakhet is virtually unknown in comparison to Bast and Sekhmet, but she was a major goddess in her own right. As Bast's region was Lower Egypt and Sekhmet's Upper Egypt, Pakhet was worshipped in Middle Egypt, and had a temple which was cut out of the solid rock near the modern day village of Beni Hasan in the eastern desert. Like Sekhmet, she was seen as something of a ferocious Goddess, for her name means 'the tearer' or 'she who snatches'.

    The Goddess Tefnut - Tefnut, along with her twin brother Shu, were the first Gods to be created by Atum or Ra. Tefnut personified moisture, and Shu personified the sky. They had two children, Geb, the earth, and Nut, the sky. In this way, air and moisture, earth and sky were created in sequence. Once these elements came together the physical world came into being. Tefnut is often depicted in human form but also has a lioness-headed aspect. Like Sekhmet, Bast and Hathor, she is known as an Eye of Ra.

    The Ennead - All the same soul

    Human and semihuman forms of some of the chief Egyptian deities: 1) Horus, son of Osiris, a sky god closely connected with the king. 2) Set, enemy of Horus and Osiris, god of storms and disorder. 3) Thoth, a moon deity and god of writing, counting and wisdom. 4) Khnum, a ram god who shapes men and their kas on his potter's wheel. 5) Hathor, goddess of love birth and death. 6) Sobek, the crocodile god, Lord of the Faiyum. 7) Ra, the sun god in his many forms. 8) Amon, a creator god often linked with Ra. 9) Ptah, another creator god and the patron of craftsmen. 1O) Anubis, god of mummification. 11) Osiris, god of agriculture and ruler of the dead. 12) Isis, wife of Osiris, mother of Horus and Mistress of Magic.
    ~THE GODDESS SEKHMET ~ The Return of the Feminine Ray