When I decided to name my new Pentium PC Bast, I went looking for a URL with a picture. I didn't like what I found, so I made my own page. Now there are beaucoup Bast pages, and some of them even reference this page. :-)
BTW, my other computer is Brucilla, the server from which this page is hosted!
2005-12-27: The previous paragraphs were written in 1996. Well, the PC named Bast was replaced about 5 years ago by Zathras, which was itself replaced a few months ago by Rorschach, and Brucilla has been brain-damaged back into a Win95 machine to play legacy games that won't work with Win98 or WinXP.
2006-02-06: According to the logs and Web stats from my ISP, for the past few months this has been one of the most referenced pages on this site ... go figure! Turns out some turkey had been referencing one of the images from a message board ... sometimes 5 links on a single page!
A cat-goddess, worshiped in the Delta city of Bubastis. A protectress of cats and those who cared for cats. As a result, an important deity in the home (since cats were prized pets) and also important in the iconography (since the serpents which attack the sun god were usually represented in papyri as being killed by cats).
She was also worshiped as the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar; and is joined with Sekhmet and Ra (a very unusual combination of male and female deities) to form Sekhmet-bast-ra, also worshipped as Ptah-seker-ausar's spouse, and viewed as a deity of the destructive, purifying power of the sun.
SEE ALSO Ptah, Ra, Sekhmet.
OTHER SITES TO VISIT:
Worshipped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3000 BC), Ptah was seen as the creator of the universe in the Memphite cosmology. He fashioned the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in the afterlife. Other versions of the myths state that he worked under Thoth's orders, creating the heavens and the earth according to Thoth's specifications.
Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap, shrouded much like a mummy, with his hands emerging from the wrappings in front and holding the Uas (phoenix-headed) scepter, an Ankh, and a Djed (sign of stability). He was often worshipped in conjunction with the gods Seker and Osiris, and worshipped under the name Ptah-seker-ausar.
Ra was the god of the sun during dynastic Egypt; the name is thought to have meant "creative power", and as a proper name "Creator", similar to English Christian usage of the term "Creator" to signify the "almighty God." Very early in Egyptian history Ra was identified with Horus, who as a hawk or falcon-god represented the loftiness of the skies. Ra is represented either as a hawk-headed man or as a hawk.
Owing to the fact that the sun was a fire, the Egyptians realized that in order to travel through the waters of Heaven and the Underworld, it required a boat, and so Ra was depicted as traveling in a boat. During the day the boat was a great galley called Madjet ("becoming strong") and during the night, a small barge called Semektet ("becoming weak").
During dynastic Egypt Ra's cult center was Annu (Hebrew "On", Greek "Heliopolis", modern-day "Cairo"). In Dynasty V, the first king, Userkaf, was also Ra's high priest, and he added the term "Sa-Ra (Son of Ra)" to the titulary of the pharaohs.
Ra was father of Shu and Tefnut, grandfather of Nut and Geb, great-grandfather of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, and great-great-grandfather to Horus. In later periods (about Dynasty 18 on) Osiris and Isis superseded him in popularity, but he remained "Ra netjer-aa neb-pet" ("Ra, the great God, Lord of Heaven") whether worshiped in his own right or, in later times, as half of the Lord of the Universe, Amen-Ra.
A lioness-goddess, worshipped in Memphis as the wife of Ptah; created by Ra from the fire of his eyes as a creature of vengeance to punish mankind for his sins; later, became a peaceful protectress of the righteous. She was worshipped with Bast and Ra as a compound deity, Sekhmet-bast-ra, and was considered the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar.
Other URLs on this page point to pages about the Egyptian pantheon on Wikipedia.