Bast (Ubasti; G/R Bastet, Bubastis) - "Devouring Lady" (from bas, to devour, with feminine ending); One of the earliest-documented Names with an appearance in Dynasty II, Bast is first and foremost a protectress; specifically of the royal house and the Two Lands. During Dynasty IV, She was a patron-Name of Lower Kemet, paired with Hethert as a patron-Name of Upper Kemet, as Wadjet and Nekhbet are often depicted in later times; the Valley Temple of the Pyramid of Khafra at modern-day Giza next to the Sphinx had a "Portal of Bast" as well as statues of Bast in the company of the king. Over time, Bast's image metamorphosed to become more similar to that of Hethert; eventually, into the Greek period, She would be equated with the virgin huntress Artemis and considered the protectress of children and pregnant mothers, musicians and a goddess of all sorts of excess, especially sexual excess. However, Bast's original visage did not include the "cat as sex symbol" archetype. (Incidentally, it is also from the Greeks that the erroneous belief in Bast as a daughter of Aset and Wesir derives; Bast as Artemis had to have a twin brother, Apollo (equated with Heru-sa-Aset by the Greeks).) A play on words in Bast's name resulted in Her being equated in Greco-Roman times with the "soul of Isis" (ba-Aset), probably in keeping with Aset's gradual syncretism into the Roman Isis of Ten Thousand Names.

Symbols: cat, lioness, sistrum, Udjat (Eye of Horus)
Cult Center: Bubastis

The goddess Bastet was usually represented as a woman with the head of a domesticated cat. However, up until 1000 BC she was portrayed as a lioness. Bastet was the daughter of Re, the sun god. It may have been through him that she acquired her feline characteristics. When Re destroyed his enemy Apep, he was usually depicted as a cat. As portrayed as a cat, she was connected with the moon (her son Khonsu was the god of the moon). When shown as a lioness, she is associated with sunlight.
Bastet was the goddess of fire, cats, of the home and pregnant women. According to one myth, she was the personification of the soul of Isis. She was also called the "Lady of the East". As such, her counterpart as "Lady of the West" was Sekhmet.

Bastet seemed to have two sides to her personality, docile and aggressive. Her docile and gentle side was displayed in her duties as a protector of the home, and pregnant women. Her aggressive and vicious nature was exposed in the accounts of battles in which the pharaoh was said to have slaughtered the enemy as Bastet slaughtered her victims.

Her center of worship was in Bubastis (Per-Bast, Pa-Bast, Pibeseth, Tell-Basta), in the eastern Delta. Her chief festivals were celebrated in April and May. Herodotus, the famous Greek historian, provides the following description of one of the festivals:

"When the Egyptians travel to Bubastis, they do so in this manner: men and women sail together, and in each boat there are many persons of both sexes. Some of the women shake their rattles and some of the men blow their pipes during the whole journey, while others sing and clap their hands. If they pass a town on the way, some of the women land and shout and jeer at the local women, while others dance and create a disturbance. They do this at every town on the Nile. When they arrive at Bubastis, they begin the festival with great sacrifices, and on this occasion, more wine is consumed than during the whole of the rest of the year."

From: here
Bastet was originally a lion, later a cat goddess, a protective deity of the home and of the domestic cat, although she sometimes took on the war-like aspect of a lioness which was the domain of the more violent and destructive Sekhmet. Daughter of the sun god Re, she was sometimes regarded as the daughter of Amen. Wife of Ptah and mother of the lion-god Mihos.

Her cult was centered on her sanctuary at Bubastis in the delta region, where a necropolis has been found containing mummified cats.
During the feast of Bastet the goddess was brought out of her sanctuary as is recorded on the statue of Hor, a military commander under Psammetic I
I brought out Bast in procession to her barge, at her beautiful feast of the fourth month of the second season, the fifth day until [///]
J. H. Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, § 973
From: here
Bast (known as "Bastet" in later times to emphasise that the "t" was to be pronounced) was one of the most popular goddesses of Ancient Egypt. She is generally thought of as a cat goddess. However, she originally had the head of a lion or a desert sand-cat and it was not until the New Kingdom that she became exclusively associated with the domesticated cat. However, even then she remained true to her origins and retained her war-like aspect. She personified the playfulness, grace, affection, and cunning of a cat as well as the fierce power of a lioness. She was also worshiped all over Lower Egypt, but her cult was centred on her temple at Bubastis in the 18th Nome of Lower Egypt (which is now in ruins). Bubastis was the capital of Egypt for a time during the Late Period, and a number of pharaohs included the goddess in their throne names.

Her name could be translated as "Devouring Lady". However, the phonetic elements "bas" are written with an oil jar (the "t" is the feminine ending) which is not used when writing the word "devour". The oil jar gives an association with perfume which is strengthened by the fact that she was thought to be the mother of Nefertum (who was a god of perfume). Thus her name implies that she is sweet and precious, but that under the surface lay the heart of a predator. Bast was depicted as a cat, or as a woman with the head of a cat, a sand cat or a lion. She is often shown holding the ankh (representing the breath of life) or the papyrus wand (representing Lower Egypt). She occasionally bears a was-scepter (signifying strength) and is often accompanied by a litter of kittens.

Other Names: Bastet, Ailuros

Patron of: the sun (originally), the moon (after the Greeks), cats, women, and secrets.

Appearance: A desert cat, or a woman with the head of a cat (this form possibly dates after the domestication of the Egyptian wild cat).

Description: Probably the most famous Egyptian goddess after Isis, Bast was said to be the daughter of Ra, though long after he created the primal gods. She was originally a sun goddess, but after contact with the Greeks, she changed to a moon goddess, probably due to the Greeks associating her with Artemis.

Like Artemis, Bast was a wild goddess. To those who were in her favor, she gave great blessings, but her wrath was legendary and she was sometimes listed as one of Ra's avenging deities who punish the sinful and the enemies of Egypt. This is of course in keeping with her totem animal, the cat. Cats were sacred to Bast, and to harm one was deemed a great transgression. Bast's importance in the Egyptian pantheon might be due to the great value placed on the domesticated cat by the Egyptians. Cats curtailed the spread of disease by killing vermin, and though the idea of microbes was unknown to the ancient Egyptians, they must have noticed the connection between rats and disease.

Her worship was widespread, and her cult apparently had a great deal of power. Bubastis was even the capital of Egypt for a time during the Late Period, and some pharaohs took her name in their king-names. Herodotus' description of her temple at Bubastis is that of a place of great splendor and beauty, rivaled only by the temples to Ra and Horus.

Worship: Worshiped widely throughout Egypt, her cult center was at Bubastis.

From: here

* Devouring Lady [2]
* Lady of the East
* The Light Bearer
* Lady of Truth
* Goddess of the Birth Chamber
* Tearer
* Mistress of Bubastis
* Lady of the Life of the Two Lands
* She Who protects the Two Lands and the Akhu
* Invisible Paw [3]
* Northern Hethert
* Goddess of Family and Home
* Lady of Perfumes
* The Great
* Giving all life
* Who creates the Transformation in the Field
* The One who is over the secrets of Atum
* Lady of the shrine
* Pre-eminent in the Field-of-the-God
* Lady of heaven
* Mistress of all the gods
* Mistress of the Two Lands
* Mistress of Pr-ns(r)t
* W't (the unique) who has no peer
* Mehnet who is over..[text lost]..
* The Goddess Wnet
* Giver of Valor
* The Goddess Wsert
* The Daughter of Re
* Bast, the Nurse
* Eye of Ra
* The Fiery One

From: Wepwawet Wiki
Also see:
News article: Cat Goddess Temple: Egypt Announces Find Of Ancient Temple
Per-Bast -- goes into history, her name, attributes, etc
Bast article
Bast "shrine"
Article: Bast, Perfumed Protector, Cat Goddess...
Neos Alexandria's profile -- has some modern hymns, etc
Wiki: Bubastis

MW threads:

Can Someone Tell me About Bast?
The Goddess Bast
Bast and The Morrigan?
Stones associated with Bast?
Artemis and Bast
Bastet & my cat
Suitable offering for Bast?
anointing Bast?