Bastet, Goddess of Joy
Most famous of the cat goddesses, she is the Perfumed Protector who loves her children. Worshiped and worked with even today, Bast holds sway over many cat-filled households. Imagine how her temples must have looked with the priestesses, cats, and gardens for those cherished symbols.
As her feline children ate the mice and rats that ruined crops she became seen as a wise protector. She is also quite fertile, the giver of gardens and children, and the goddess of joy and sensual pleasures. And yes, she had priests as well as priestesses. Sometimes we female Wiccans gloss that over in our quest to have female or Goddess centered worshp, but 'tis true.
Bast has also had many forms including a lioness, lion-headed woman, black cat, winged cat, cat-headed woman, and even a hawk with a cat's head. Her favorite colors include gold, silver, yellow, red, and green. She can be linked with both the moon and sun.
All writing herein is original as is the photography. And as always for any additional images all image copyrights remain with the holder. Where possible links have been provided to the website. If you are the original artist and wish to have an image removed or to get proper credit, please contact me. Like the intro photo? It's one of mom's mini statues.
You can leave prayers and comments for Bastet while you are here. All comments are moderated and will take time to appear.
My Favorite Way to honor Bast
I love a good Bastet statue! On her several altars I prefer the cat statue, although I do have the cat-headed Goddess statues for her as well. I adorn mine with jewelry, scent them with perfume, light candles, and do other sweet things for her from the sheer joy of it.
This statue would look lovely on your home altar, or a way to display your adoration off Bastet anywhere you choose.
Although Egyptian historians argue that this statue would show a temple cat, I can't for the life of me see any cat letting earrings stay in. But I treat my statue like Bastet in cat form. Keep in mind I DO NOT worship the statue, it is like having a photograph of my beloved so I can speak to her.
So, any gifts given to the statue are meant for Bastet. Just like taking flowers to church for the Saints. You surely aren't giving them to the statue, but to your beloved companion.
Bastet is Mother to ALL women, children, and cats. Hurting one to further a spell will seriously anger her.
Also like all women, she can tell the difference twixt real loving offerings and bullspit. Do not toy with her heart or you will earn her wrath.
See? She does too love men and have them serve her. Lots of love to a wonderful pagan and thanks for the information. You all have to see this and give a brother some love by faving him.
Bast or Bastet?
Mine responds to either name. Some historians feel Bast is the older name, closer to when she was a fearsome lioness goddess. So it is a name a lot of people use, because they don't like Bastet. They feel the name was meant to make her seem tiny, or little, but not so.
Bastet literally means soul of Isis. We can never be sure exactly how the two were linked in the eyes of ancient Egyptians, but the name is a badge of honor, considering what a powerful and well-loved goddess Isis is.
My Bastet lifts her head up high, puffs out her chest and calls Isis mom. No I'm not kidding. So if I called her Bastet meaning child of Isis (Egyptians would love the playing with meaning) she is delighted. She will drag you right to mommy to see her.
So feel free to use Bast, or Bastet. She is also called Baast. Ubasti, and Baset. I called her Basty and Bassy. Remember she is a fun-loving goddess who would rather party then have people bow down in worship. Like the statue? That is my beautiful lady's statue from a bedroom altar.
Bastet in hieroglyphics
Name in hieroglyphics courtesy of Anubis.org
Black and Gold Bastet Cat Kitten Egyptian Stuffed Plush Doll
How couldn't you fall in love? This plush reminds me of my Bastet. Silly, young, cute, playful, cuddly to the max. I don't know if a priestess should giggle over her antics, but my Basty is a total cutie who loves to make me laugh. Goddess of joy remember?
I'm sure your Bastet (or you!) would adore this super soft plush. I just wants to hugs her and wuvs her. Um, the plush, not Bastet. I think.
A Warrior Goddess
Long before the domestic cat was her symbol, Bast was a lioness Goddess. She protected her followers in warfare and was an expert in all aspects of war. She was also the supreme cat goddess, a role which later would be given to her sister Sekhmet.
She can still be invoked as a warrior goddess, and will help you in actual physical battle. Sometimes this help is as simple as letting you share her form. Women will find that their voice will deepen and become cat-like. You will naturally make sounds of the fierce lioness and the facial features will change. Men of course wil be filled with battle courage in war, or times of danger. OK, both sexes get these benefits no fighting, OK?
She is a wise goddess and this power will only come to you if you are in serious danger. Trust me you will never have to go beyond the warning snarl, but you will have lioness power a plenty if you need to get tough.
Her warrior aspect will also protect you when you are walking in dark parking lots or any other place where danger can be hidden. For my male readers, she isn't the nasty man-hating goddess some female covens make her out to be. She loves men or she wouldn't have helped then in both war and love. A modern priest assures me she is a very loving and sweet patron to him, and he has no idea were that man-hating nonsense comes from. If you want spooky, she dumped said priest in my lap. She had told me once of having priests in the old times, and I just agreed to humor her. She then purred I'd meet one some day and sauntered away, no doubt with that smug smile she gets with me. Anyhow I need you to e-mail me at my new addy so I can give you credit honey.
I tread very carefully with her in this form. She is plenty angry and ready to lash out at me if there isn't a real target to be sent after. Now certainly I pray to her for courage, but try not to vex her by bothering her too often. In my experience you darn well better address her as ma'am and see her as out ranking you on the field of war. I don't care how many stars you wear, it is still ma'am. Better to hear it from me than from her, trust me. As you can see, she resembles her sister the lion goddess Sekhmet. Some people today believe these two goddesses are aspects of the same Lady.
My Bastet carries twin swords in this aspect. The statues were my mom's and are among some of my most precious possessions.
We call her the Lady in Red in this form, and her dress may well be dyed with blood.
My Matron Goddess ~ Bast
This aspect is possibly both her lioness and cat forms. Here she is the glamourous perfumed beauty, but more than willing to protect her children. Speaking of which, this aspect of Bast loves all people, and will protect both genders.
She adores children and of course, perfume. Annointing a statue with perfume or asking her to share the pleasure of your favorite scent will make her very happy. This Bast is more calm than the warrior aspect and very tolerant of children.
Think of Bast as you use your favorite perfume, lotions, or powders. You may want to start a daily pampering ritual. You should be using sunscreen every day at least to protect your skin, and a nice hydrating lotion to ward off dry skin. I say this with all loving respect, in ths aspect my Bastet is a silly little goofball. She wants to play, dance, be girly and hang out. Not at all the regal lady I often serve.
Or festooned with jewelry, as shown my her office statue here.
Ah, nothing like the love a mother cat has for her kittens. Here Bast can help you with conceiving and rearing your own young. She will teach women the instincts they might not have, and will watch over the children in times of danger.
Bast still expects women to devote as much care as needed to the offspring and will cuff an errant mother with her mighty paw. This aspect is also part of every woman. Just let a child cry in a restaurant and you will see every female head turn in instinct. Goddess help any man around the child at that time.
Ladies be careful as she may very well bless you with catlike fertility. You can work with her without needing children, but make it clear you don't want offspring of your own. If you do want kids, there are still reproduction necklaces with a mother cat and kittens. If you pick five kittens you get five kids. For male readers I''m sure she may well bless you too, but remember she expects good parenting out of either gender.
Like a good tom, she'll expect you to help feed, shelter, protect, and teach those young ones. If you are nice she will be more than happy to do this. I've had visions of her dancing around wearing a phallus, so I guess she's showing me she's got all the bases covered.
Hey there, sugar.
She knows all about sensual love and can teach you how to enhance what you have. Linking to this aspect of Bast will enhance your feelings and may lead to bulk purchases of body oil, incense and anything else that delights the senses.
This Bast swoons with delight when given food offerings and loves sharing your physical and sensual pleasures. These delights are her gift to the world. Without them life would dwindle into drudgery and offspring would not be born. That her priestesses and priests were the world's first strippers and sacred prostitutes should give you a good idea on how important sensual love was for her.
This Bastet laughs in the face of those who label her loose or immoral. She is love and sexuality personified and is darn well going to enjoy herself.
If you know the original artist for the artwork, please contact me. Such talent deserves a reward. OK, the only reward I can afford is proper credit and a link, but at least it is something. Plus you get the loving vibes of a priestess of Bastet thrown in for free.
Goddess of Fertility
Did you know she was and is the go-to goddess of farming? Bast controls the fertility of all living things. Crops, houseplants, animals. And of course, people. She can bless you with an overwhelming garden of delights or make your crops boom.
Bast loves to grant many offspring to plants and animals. Trust her of course to help deliver all this fertility safely. A mother and offspring are safe in her care.
Remember your manners and give back some portion of your garden or crop harvest. Or offer the meat of your stock animals not only to your family but her feline children as well. All offerings can be left in nature.
In Her cat form Bast can access all her other powers. Followers may feel a call to work with different aspects, or the cat goddess aspect. As the cat goddess, Bast is concered about all domestic cats.
She will protect them, grant fertility, or help find them when lost. She may also inspire them to be as cat-like as possible, so learn to deal with scratching to mark territory or the occasional kitty love fest.
Speaking of which, remember to spay or neuter your cat. This prevents roaming, decreases cancer risk, and lengthens life spans. Bast is wise enough to know her children need to be kept in reasonable populations
Ask her help with helping ferals, finding lost cats, and to heal cats. After death she will guide every cat across the rainbow bridge. Her love for her feline children never ends, and never does a child of hers get lost in the afterlife. That is a closer shot of my beloved altar statue.
Cat headed goddess
Music, and dancing delight our lovable Bast. He sared rattle or sitrum makes sweet music. She loves rattles, drums or anything to produce a beat. Heck even pasta in a box works if you can keep decent time.
Bast loves all music with the exception of anything negative. Unless in her warrior form. Sweet music brings out her sweetness, romantic music her romantic side and so on. Bast loves her followers to dance and be happy.
She herself may join the fun and you will sense her cavorting beside you. You may like to give a brief prayer for a playlist she would fancy at your next ritual. Be open as she delights in surprises. She sure surpised me when she showed up in a ceremony to Baron Samedi so I'd loosen up and dance like a sexy woman. All the while giggling and teasing as I can certainly dance well for her rituals. Um, no more info on how it turned out or I loose my G-rating, methinks.
Bast hates seeing people sad or worse, bored. To her the universe is a delightful place full of wonder and she will share this with you. Bast brings joy, silliness, and happiness in this form. The more laughter the better.
She also fancies dancing, parties, and any other fun events in this form. Trust Bast to show up at any event you find joy in. She may also appear to you just to bring that extra burst of joy. Trust this Bast to make housecleaning and work fun.
Thank her for her gifts by paying them forward. Write a silly e-mail, tell a friend a joke or share time with a loved one. Of course show her your thanks by cavoting with her in a way that doen't give non-pagans the heebie geebies. A mental thank you and some dancing or laughter. You don't have to roll your eyes back in your head, strip naked and whip out your sistrum. She wants spiritual fruits not religious nuts, honey.
She also has quite the sweet tooth in this form. Think chocolate or roses to win her affection. Mine will down Coke and gigle when it tickles her nose. Awwwies!
Bast as the Shopper
Bast adores all things female. She adores shopping for jewelry, shoes, clothes, perfume, anything girly. She will help you find fantastic deals, and adores sharing the energy of the hunt. She will also help you find food or anything else you need.
I begged like a three-year-old and she helped me snag an over 700 piece jewelry auction! She then got an amazing number of items from it, but nothing is too good for my sweetie bob.
Bast the Beauty Queen
Bast in this form adores sharing your pleasure in perfume, jewelry, clothing, shoes, lingerie, bedding, and so forth. She will seriously love going through your prettys, watching you try on outfits and taking naps if you willingly share the fun.
Let her feel through you the weight of a necklace or the softness of a sweater. You can also put prettys on he altar or where she can see them.
Please include your feline family safely. They remember very well how much fun their ancestors had in the temples. Nothing makes a cat strut more than a lovingly given collar or safe jewelry.
Remember to take all jewelry off your temple kittys unless you use break away strings or material. I wouldn't go for earrings as that just seems cruel to me. My Bastet is a softie in this form and agrees with me. putting a cat under for the piercing could mean one less temple kitty in your life. And please, while I'm on my soapbox, no tats. You can be covered in them, but don't put a poor animal through that kind of pain, OK?
Here you can see a longer shot of my statue decked out in her pretties.
Why so many aspects?
One thing modern witches and pagans do know is how to approach a Lady. Just like you don't bug your momma for something when she is spitting mad, you don't ask her warrior aspect to help you watch over a garden.
Bast is pretty forgiving, but think of how each aspect would respond before you pray or cast that circle. You can also just pray or cast to Bast or Bastet and the proper form will answer you.
Keeper of the Dead
Bastet has three claims on all dead souls. She is wife to Anubis and as the owner of the ground and its fertility all things in it belong to her. Also, she was a Mother Goddess, who would take her dead children back into her womb (the earth) to renew them.This may be the reason many cultures have a legend of a gigantic cat that protects graveyards.
Never heard the story? Certain graveyards will have a gaurdian cat. Sometimes it is a ghostly panther, a gigantic cat statue, or a normal (seemingly) black cat. This cat will defend the graveyard and all the souls in it. Many legends end with the people who committed the desecration being found mauled to death the next morning.
It helps to know that Egyptians loved their dead. The dead were part of life and included in meals and more. So having a loving Lady to take care of them helped. Plus if you believed she was your mother, you wanted your mama to care for you forever.
She can also lead you to those you wish to find in meditation or dreams.
Yes, in some legends Bast created everything and was the original Mother Goddess. So it makes sense that she is seen as protecting all things. Just like any Lady, this aspect can help you understand nature and your special connection to it.
Yup, that means it is perfectly valid to see her as the One who made you.
Slayer of Apep
Apep, the serpent god destroyed, or tried to destroy Ra, the Sun God. This so enraged Bast that she killed Apep, and thus saved the world. The moral being that Apep (some call him Set) had a nasty habit of swallowing the sun literaly as well, and could not do this if he was dead. Somehow Apep never truly dies though, and this historic battle is repeated every solar eclipse. Should Bastet ever loose, the sun, Ra, would shine no more.
This brawl brought her the honor of saving the sun and earned her the title Eye of Ra. In this form she avenges Ra on all of mankind's evil as well. Please note this does not make Apep aka Set evil. The night has to swallow the day. Brothers fight, and at one time Set was the big boy before he got demoted. It helps to know that in one legend Set swallows the boat to save his brother.
Ra then travels the underworld safely in big bro's belly, as Set gives demons and other nasties a good whupping. When a new king rises the old king's gods are often turned into demons.
Breathtaking! Remember that all temples had pool of clean water, flowers, and abundant plantings. Also she is associated with other animals through her family. She is the soul of Isis, to connect her to birds, and married to Anubis to connect her to dogs. My Bastet loves all animals equally.
Being a creature of the night, cats seem made for the moon. The glowing eyes had the Egyptians bedazzled. They seemed to hold the light of the moon in them. So Bastet became the goddess of the moon as well, and all lunar powers belong to her. Yes, she'd love a night festival. Matter of fact the biggest night festival of all is hers.
Halloween just happens to be her old fest day. Ah, now it makes sense why you see so many black cats on that night right? It is also why magic works so well and the viel is the thinnest between the worlds. Do keep all black cats, or any cats for that manner in on this sacred night. Sick, twisted people like to hurt animals for some fool reason on this night.
Happy Feast Day
Halloween is now the day for feasting Bast. Some theorists say that Halloween really is her holiday. Remember she creates and destroys, rules the night, and works with the dead. Her magic is potent, and black cats abound on this holy day.
You could also argue that two other holidays borrow from her. She had floats and barges on the Nile filled with wild revelers long before Mardi Gras. Children were not included at her festivals as the crowd was free to indulge every desire.
Hmm, fertility babies, spring. Sounds like another festival doesn't it? Considering our pretty Bastet also carried a basket and prosided over fertility she'd look fetching in a pair of bunny ears.
Remember this was a holy sacrament. They people delighted in the party, but never forgot it was a sacred gift from Bast.
Goddess supreme of magic. There is no magical art Bast cannot master. Her magical forces are potent, and any magic inspired by her is very effective. She can also block all magic, and her mere presence destroys evil spells.
She has granted this hex-smashing energy to all felines as well. Maybe that's why truly evil people like Hitler were and are scared spitless of cats.
This is a good place to answer the question about dreams. I think T, she lives in you and you are meant to serve her in a holy capacity. Become her priest or priestess, make her an altar, or use your talents to honor her. She is very vocal and will let you know what she desires.
For other folks a Bastet dream may mean she is watching over you, giving you a blessing, or asking to be served by you. My Bastet uses a dream about a basketful of black kittens to show me she's sending extra magical blessings my way. She uses stray kttens to remind me to nuture all cats and so on. Once she used a panteress to tell me to get my witchy tail in gear and pay her homage. She has also used a dying cat to remind me that I am to pray to her to cross my little ones over.
You may use shed fur, claws, or whiskers in magic with her. But never, ever hurt a cat for a spell item. My Bastet screams in terror if you bring up all the kitties mutilated and killed in Egypt to gain her favor. She hated the pain they went through then and doesn't like it any better now. Keep in mind back then just as now religion was largely what those in power wanted it to be. What poor Bastet might have to say was unheeded.
Soul of Isis
Her name literally means soul of Isis. The two are extremely close, some honoring them as Isis-Bastet. So you could see her as the very soul of Isis. This doesn't mean you just push Bastet aside and only honor Isis, but where one is, the other is sure to follow.
What can I offer her?
Now there are endless sects, pagans, and texts that argue this point. But most agree she loves meats, cheeses, cream, beer, wine, milk, or pure water. I also offer catnip, deli meats, and anything else my 'temple' cats like to eat.
Think tuna, all sorts of seafood, humus, or whatever you felines love.
Just never ever feed chocolate to a cat or dog. Even small doses can kill both.
She likes crystals, candles, perfume, and of course cat-shaped anything if you wish to add a gift.
Bastet will drink all sodas as well as wine or beer. She loves anything given to her willingly.
Here's a quick tuna speard I created that drives all human and cats I know wild.
1 can tuna, drained
soul food seasoning
Mix the above, adding the amount of mayo and spices you prefer. If you add onion and garlic avoid giving this to cats. Click here to read how toxic they can be for cats.
What does Her altar look like?
Today a modern witch or anyone who loves her can set up an altar. A simple cloth in her favorite color of green would be nice. Some people use black or silver and those colors work too.
A candle in the color of your intent or one of her sacred colors helps add energy to your prayers.
Incense in any romantic scent will please her.
You can finish by printing any picture from this site, using your own cat picture or figure, or even cat fabric.
You may rest ritual offerings of food and drink here as well.
The rest of the items would depend on the magical path you follow.
Just respect the altar and don't put anything on it you don't mean to. Bast will happy bless anything on the altar, but she will be annoyed if you just drop junk on it.
If you have cats make sure the altar is stable. Keep candles in glass or other containers and watch when you burn things. To my absolute horror a temple cat of mine devoured the burnt catnip, charcol and all, from an earlier ritual. Luckily he was fine, but be aware cats eat the strangest things.
Never refuse a cat food safe for her while doing your ritual or spell work. Bast can share the pleasure of her furry children, and is angry with stingy folks.
That is part of my office altar with a chalice full of water and candle nestled in some catnip. For the love of Goddess mind your pet cats if doing this. We don't want singed whiskers.
Among other things, Bast was seen as the virgin goddess. This sounds strange as she was a fertility deity as well but makes sense. Virgin can mean pure, or simply untouched by man. Yes, this means she could have been seen as a lesbian deity at one point. Apparently adult contact between women was not considered enough to take away a woman's virginity.
Also, if she had consorts among the pantheon this wouldn't take away her virginity. Many virginal goddesses also presided over sexuality but the virginity could be renewed every day. Are any other women cringing in sympathy?
Perhaps this was a gift from Ra himself. It is said that the glowing warmth of the sun would come from Bast's eyes every morning, nursing the newly born god before his trek across the sky
This form is also where Bastet is seen as the gaurdian of women and children. Keep in mind virgin also used to mean any woman who was not attached to a man. It meant whole in her own self, not needing a constant male companion. It did not always indicate a virginal life as we'd mean it today.
Below are some temples, pages on Bast, and other things to help you connect to her.
Bast, the Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) Goddess of cats, dawn, the rising sun, the arts, creation, civilization, dance, music, truth, lesbians, sexuality, drugs, physical pleasures, bounty, and plenty.
- Bastet - Cat Goddess
Back to Moggies Bast (Bastet, Pasch, Ubasti, Ba en Aset) - Daughter of the sun god Ra, wife of Ptah, and mother of Mihos, Bast is an ancient Egyptian goddess who is still greatly revered by many today. Her worship began around the year 3200 BCE duri
- Bastet Ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess
This is the entrance site to a shrine of Bast, which contains information and images of this Egyptian Cat Goddess Wonderful site, includes an online temple!
- The New House of Bastet
Houseofbastet Beauty ritual.
Leave prayers and thanks here. As a priestess I will offer your prayers to her, but Bastet already knows your needs before I do.
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