The Goddess Bast or Goddess Bastet is considered to be a conterpart of the Lion Goddess Sekhmet in some legends. In other, they are twin sisters. Bast is a Cat Goddess, dauguthter of the Sun God Ra.
The Goddess Bast is related to the ancient Egyptians’ devotion to their domestic cats. The felines kept the rodent population low, ensuring the grain diet of humans. They they also controlled the snake population, providing security for the families. Bast reigned with pride and happiness and throughout Egypt many celebrations were held in her temples with plenty of food, drink, dancing and singing.
Her devotees sailed on boats from her main temple on an island of the Nile. As they passed through villages, women undressed and shouted suggestively at those on the shores. It is said this tradition comes from the Goddess happily reaction everytime she saw her father, Ra.
- Attributes: Goddess of cats, protection, perfumes, music and family, protective against fire
- Symbols: Sun rising, cats, the all-seeing eye, jars, chestnuts, beer and dance
- Place: Egypt
During the day, it is believed that Ra and Bast travel through the sky on a boat, protecting the land from enemies. At night she turns completely into a cat to see in the dark and to protect everyone against Apophis, the Snake God, an enemy of the Sun God.
Goddess Bast and the Nine lives
In her temple located in Bubastis there is a large cemetery of mummified cats, many buried close to their owners. When a cat died there was commotion within the families since felines were seen as members of them.
Many cats made temples their home and people say that if a house caught fire, these cats would run toward the flames to aid in removing people from the place. If any of them would perish through the fire, Goddess Bast would bring them back to life. That is where the myth that cats have got nine lives probably originate from.
Goddess Bast – Summoning
Rituals for the Goddess Bast were made in her temples in Egypt and involved a lot of dance, music and sensuality. The priestesses, who wore red clothes to symbolize Bast, danced an extremely sensual dance and these were probably the earliest records of strippers. The celebrations dedicated to the Goddess also involved men, but the children were excluded. At the biggest parties, women and men went to Bubastis where they feasted with lots of drink and sex. It is even said that it was these celebrations gave rise to the current Carnival.
These rituals, in addition to pleasing the Goddess, called for her protection and fertility for both women and the earth.
So today, one way to summon Bast for attracting fertility and/or protection is to recreate this party atmosphere with lots of dance and music. You can do this alone or with a group of friends. Always remember to ask for the presence of the Goddess and thank her after the end.
Read about other Egyptian Goddess
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