goddess bastet aka bast

Five Ways to Connect with Bastet (with Tarot Spread)

goddess bastet aka bast

Bastet, a.k.a Bast, holds a place in Egyptian mythology as a goddess who evolved in her role and representation over time. Originating in Lower Egypt, Bastet began as a fearsome lioness warrior deity, a protector of the pharaoh and the nation. Over time, her image softened to that of a domestic cat or a woman with the head of a cat. However, she maintains a dual nature as both nurturing and fierce.

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Her transformation aligned with her role as the goddess of domesticity, women’s secrets, fertility, and childbirth. She was also associated with music, dance, and joy, portrayed often with a sistrum. The sistrum is a musical instrument that has the power to ward off evil spirits, just like cats do. Her principal cult centre was in the city of Bubastis in the Nile River Delta. Bubastis became a site of grand celebrations during her festivals.

In ancient times, the protective aspects of Bastet were, and still are, highly revered. She became known as the defender against contagions and evil spirits. This earned her a significant place in the daily lives of the Egyptian people. Families would frequently have amulets or statues of Bastet in their homes as a form of protection.

Her roles and attributes led her to be intertwined with other deities, exhibiting the complex interwoven nature of Egyptian religion. The Greeks later equated Bastet with Artemis, their goddess of the hunt and the moon, underscoring Bastet’s widespread influence across cultures and regions throughout antiquity.

Bastet Worship Today

Today, many modern pagans and followers of neopagan and revivalist traditions draw inspiration from the ancient Egyptian pantheon, including Bastet. She is often revered in contemporary rituals and spiritual practices, especially by those who feel a strong connection to cats and the feline spirit. Followers may create altars for Bastet in their homes. They may use symbols and offer gifts that reflect her historical attributes. On her altars, you may find cat figurines, incense, crystals, perfume, and food and drink offerings.

In particular, the principles of grace, femininity, and protection that Bastet embodies resonate deeply with many pagans today, who incorporate her into their meditations and personal spiritual reflections. The Feast or Festival of Bubastis, once celebrated with great merriment in ancient times, may also be observed in a modern context through feasts or fasting to pay homage to this versatile and enduring goddess.

Bastet and Sekhmet

The lion-headed Sekhmet is another powerful feline Egyptian goddess. She is a goddess of war, healing, and plagues. She wielded immense power as a fierce protector of the pharaohs and a bringer of disease, as well as its eventual cure.

Just like Bastet, Sekhmet also showed a protective side, but her approach was more direct and aggressive, She embodies the raw might and heat of the sun. In essence, Sekhmet was sometimes seen as the embodiment of the violent aspects of the natural world, while Bastet represented the nurturing and joyful life-giving aspects.

The two deities are believed to harmonise the duality found in nature and human society. Bastet’s evolution from a formidable lioness to a gentler domestic cat deity denotes a shift from aggressive warfare to domestic harmony. This reflects the adaptation of the goddess to the changing needs and beliefs of her worshippers. Both goddesses, while distinct, symbolise the multiple facets of femininity. Sekhmet does so with her untamed warrior spirit and Bastet with her protective and life-affirming nature.

Ultimately, the two goddesses underscore the intricate tapestry of Egyptian mythology where ferocity and care, destructiveness and creation, coexist in a delicate equilibrium.

5 Ways to Honour and Connect with Bastet

  1. Create an Altar for Bastet: Dedicate a small space in your home as a sacred area for Bastet. Decorate the altar with cat figurines, representations of the sistrum (a musical instrument associated with Bastet), and offerings such as incense, cool water, perfume… or, of course, catnip!
  2. Practice Felinity: Bastet is synonymous with cats and their behaviour. To honour her, you could volunteer at or make donations to a cat shelter or adopt a cat in need. Embracing and caring for feline companions is a direct way to connect with Bastet’s spirit.
  3. Engage with Music and Dance: As the goddess associated with music, dance, and joy, engage in these activities to honour her. Playing traditional Egyptian music, learning how to belly dance, or simply dancing freely at home could be seen as an enjoyable tribute to Bastet.
  4. Fasting or Feasting during her Festivals: The Feast of Bubastis was historically one of the most joyous and elaborate festivals in Egypt, dedicated to Bastet. You could observe this day by holding a feast or a fast, depending on your personal preference, to commemorate her celebrations.
  5. Meditation and Reflection: Spend time in meditation, visualising the attributes of Bastet – such as protection, femininity, and grace. Reflect on her myths and stories to deepen your connection and understanding of the goddess. Reflect on your personal growth using a cat-themed Tarot deck.

A Video in Honour of Bastet and Moggy Who She Sent to Us

@angelictarotguide Five ways to honour and connect with #bastet #goddessbastet #cats #felinity ♬ Egyptian Music – Dian Fadli

The Goddess Bastet Tarot Spread for Protection and Creativity

goddess bastet tarot spread

This 5-card Tarot spread invokes the spirit of Bastet. Use this spread when seeking guidance on how to shield yourself from negativity while nurturing a joyful, creative spirit.

  1. The Shield of Bastet:
    Here we seek insight into the current state of your protection. This card represents how well-guarded you are against external negative influences and what you need to be mindful of to strengthen your defences.
  2. The Sistrum’s Song:
    Drawing connections to music and dance, this card symbolizes the joy and creativity present in your life. It suggests how you can best express your creative impulses and unlock the joy of your inner child.
  3. Feline Grace:
    Like the graceful movements of a cat, this card reflects the balance and harmony within your personal life. It shows how you can remain agile and balanced amidst life’s uncertainties while maintaining your protective barriers.
  4. Amulet of Bastet:
    This card advises you on spiritual or emotional amulets—practices or beliefs that may work as sources of comfort and protection. It points to inner strengths or external tokens that can serve as a ward against misfortune.
  5. The Playful Paw:
    Tapping into the energy of the domesticated cat aspect of Bastet, this card explores how to foster playfulness and curiosity in your day-to-day life. It reveals pathways to reawaken the spirited inner child within you.

Sample Reading with the White Cats Tarot

The Shield of Bastet: 10 of Swords

This card indicates that you may currently be feeling overwhelmed or that you’ve recently experienced a significant setback or betrayal. The 10 of Swords serves as a reminder that while you may have hit a low point, you have an opportunity to acknowledge the pain and begin the process of healing and fortifying your defences. Bastet’s protection may be beckoning you to leave behind what no longer serves you and look forward to a renewal that lies ahead.

The Sistrum’s Song: 2 of Pentacles

The 2 of Pentacles reflects your ability to dance in the rhythm of life’s ups and downs, much like the joyous jingling of a sistrum. You might be managing multiple responsibilities or searching for balance in your creative endeavours. To honour Bastet’s playful spirit, incorporate flexibility and adaptability as you harmonise your dance through life.

Feline Grace: 8 of Swords

The 8 of Swords suggests you could be feeling trapped or restricted, perhaps by your own self-limiting beliefs or an external situation. Bastet’s feline grace is an invitation to navigate through challenges with agility and to consider how perceptive awareness can help you find balance and freedom. Assess your surroundings with cat-like poise and seek ways to escape any mental constraints holding you back.

Amulet of Bastet: 2 of Cups

Bastet offers you the 2 of Cups as a powerful amulet, symbolising harmony in relationships and emotional connections that provide you with strength. Partnerships marked by mutual respect and understanding can be your emotional shield in challenging times. This card guides you to nurture such unions, as they can be your bastion against life’s tumults.

The Playful Paw: The World

Embrace the universality of The World, also known as the ‘World Dancer’ in some interpretations. This card represents completion, success, and celebration—aptly capturing a cat’s playfulness combined with the grandeur of Bastet’s domain. Life invites you to partake in its vastness, to explore its endless possibilities, and to dance with joy in its cyclical nature. Rejoice in your achievements and allow innate curiosity to lead you into new, fulfilling chapters.

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