Bastet was an ancient Egyptian goddess who was worshipped from at least the Second Dynasty (2890-2686 BCE) until the Graeco-Roman period (332 BCE-395 CE). She was originally depicted as a lioness, but later took on the form of a domesticated cat.
Bastet was considered to be the goddess of fertility, love, and joy, and was often associated with the sun and the moon. She was also believed to have the power to protect against evil spirits and disease.
One of the most important roles of Bastet was as the protector of the home and family. It was believed that she would ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the household. She was often depicted with kittens, emphasizing her role as a nurturing and protective mother figure.
Bastet was also associated with music and dance, and was often depicted holding a sistrum, a type of musical instrument. Her worship was popular throughout ancient Egypt, and many temples were dedicated to her.
As Egyptian religion evolved over time, Bastet's role changed as well. In the Late Period (664-332 BCE), she became associated with the goddess Hathor and was often depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness or a domesticated cat. During this time, her worship became more closely associated with the city of Bubastis, where a major temple was located.
Overall, Bastet played an important role in ancient Egyptian religion and culture, and was seen as a powerful and benevolent goddess who protected and nurtured her followers.