Fern & Oak


Bastet // Strength

Strength (Shown as a woman opening - or closing - a lion's mouth. Physical strength and courage, defeating hatred or overcoming illness) depicted as Bastet. I love all things Ancient Egyptian and had of course already heard much about Bastet.

Before becoming more familiarly associated in cat form, she was a lioness warrior goddess of the sun. As a protector of Lower Egypt, she was seen as defender of the pharaoh, and consequently of the later chief male deity, Ra. Along with the other lioness goddesses, she would occasionally be depicted as the embodiment of the Eye of Ra. She has been depicted as fighting the evil snake named Apep, an enemy of Ra.

I loved this wilder version of Bastet so decided she was perfect for this card. I researched some Ancient Egyptian paintings of lions, which is how this lion got his somewhat bizarre mane - I really like the style of this painting.

As well as being a goddess of the sun, Bastet was also known as a goddess of the moon, hence the split sky. I’ve got quite a few more lions to paint in this series and I’m looking forward to exploring different illustrative styles of painting them. I also managed to completely paint this in one day, which felt very satisfying!