Bastet, also spelled Bast, was a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion who was worshipped as a protector of women, fertility, and childbirth. She was also associated with the sun, music, and dance. Bastet was depicted as a woman with the head of a domesticated cat, and sometimes as a lioness.

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Bastet was believed to be the daughter of the sun god Ra, and she was one of the goddesses who protected him during his nightly journey through the underworld. She was also closely associated with the goddess Sekhmet, who was depicted as a lioness.

Bastet was often depicted holding a sistrum, a type of musical instrument, and wearing a necklace with a pendant in the shape of a cat. She was also sometimes shown with kittens or nursing kittens, which emphasized her role as a goddess of fertility and motherhood.

Bastet was a popular goddess throughout ancient Egyptian history, and her cult center was located in the city of Bubastis in the Nile Delta. She was often depicted in the decorative arts of the time, such as in paintings, reliefs, and pottery.

With the rise of Christianity in Egypt, the worship of Bastet declined, and she was eventually assimilated into the cult of the Virgin Mary by Coptic Christians. Today, Bastet remains an iconic figure in popular culture, often depicted in artwork and literature as a symbol of grace, power, and independence.

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