Monday, 20. June 2011 10:35
The other day at a Hafla with the Caldera Belly Dancers sisterhood we read a goddess card for each sister. Mine turned out to be Bast the Egyptian Goddess of Independence and Pleasure. The main message was to remain true to my Independence.
Translated into cat behavior for us to more easily see Basts power…
From Shamanism: Cat, Power Animal, Symbol of Wholeness, Independence, Curiosity, Many Lives, Cleverness, Love, Mystery, Magic
By Ina Woolcott
In Egypt cats were treated like royalty and were always given special privileges. The Egyptian Goddess Bastet takes the form of a cat. Due to their x-ray vision, acute hearing and high intelligence they were used throughout history as guardians and protectors. In ancient Egypt, cats guarded the temple gates and were used to fend off evil. In Scandinavia the cat was used to represent fertility. The cat is associated with the Norse Goddess of Fertility Freya, and the Hindu Goddess of Childbirth, Shasthi. It is also a symbol of childbirth in India. Witches, in days long gone, were believed to have the ability to shape shift into cats. It was also believed that cats were their familiars.
Cats are extremely independent and combine a high degree of sensuality with a deeply psychic and spiritual nature. It is impossible to own a cat.
They may allow you to take care of them and give them love, but only on their terms. Cats come and go as and when they wish to.
Cat’s medicine includes independence, unpredictability, healing, curiosity, many lives, magic, mystery, cleverness, the ability to fight when cornered, seeing the unseen.
Allows us to dream its dreams and protection. Love is represented by the cat.
Cats have more rods in the retinas of their eyes which enable them to see very well in the dark. Darkness is often associated with mankind’s fears. Since the cat is at home in the dark, it is a highly valuable ally into the world of the supernatural and the unknown. If cat is your power animal, you may have found an excellent assistant in moving through your fears.
If cat appears in your life the blending of magic and mystery is close by. Like the cat, you too are independent and a free thinker. At night you probably feel energized. You will stay with a person or situation until you are bored – and then you’re off again looking for something more interesting. Cat encourages agility in both body and mind. You will be presented with new ideas and places. The cat gives you clearer perception. You have good organizational skills. The cat teaches us that the physical and spiritual worlds are not separate, but one, and is a good assistant for meditation. A resourceful, strong and fearless spirit guide lending you courage and confidence. Examine the colors, character and behavior of the cat that has entered your life. Everything about it will be mirrored in your own life.
The energy field of a cat rotates is a counter-clockwise direction, which is the opposite of a human energy field. Thus, cats have the ability to absorb and neutralize energy that affects humans in a negative way. This is part of the cats healing medicine. If something is affecting you in a negative way, place a cat on your lap or find a cat to pet. Your energy field will be realigned immediately and inner balance will be restored.
Cat is a trustworthy teacher, guiding you into the world of self discovery and transformation.
Below are some descriptions of Bast and what she desires of us.
From Spiritual Egypt: The Goddess Bast had two facets, she was fierce, but like a mother she was nurturing, she was an ancient Egyptian Goddess a beautiful woman but portrayed with the head of a cat. Bast is subconsciously the sensuous symbol of our longing, our holy desire. Her cat feline nature entices and beckons us to give expression to our desire nature and to go in search of our holy longing. She invites us to go deeper into our own body so that the kundalini flame might be awakened, for it is only when the fire of life is strong that change can happen. When Bast comes to us, she brings with her the invitation to move through the portals of death and rebirth, so that we might open to the next incarnation of our life here on Earth.
Next Bast calls us to come play… don’t live life too seriously. WOW how much like me is that?!
From Goddess Realm: Goddess of playfulness, Bast beckons you to come play with her!
Bast’s arrival is an indication that your life has become too serious and focused. It is time to create a playful diversion to recapture the era of your youth. Bast tells you to seek out a playful amusement, for no profit or gain, simply recreational fun.
Has play become a low priority of life for you? Do you remember how to play like the child? Do you experience joy on a regular basis? Can you laugh heartily or break into a fit of giggles? Are you fearful of what others might think if you gave up your seriousness?
There is more to life than work and being serious. The Goddess reminds us that playfulness releases us from our static and rigid existence. Play opens up our hearts to joy and simplicity, the very essence of our being.
Think now, how can you recapture the fun and laughter of your childhood? Recreate play now for personal empowerment.
Now a little detail about Bast.
From Goddess Gift.com: Bast, Goddess of Protection and Pleasure
Bast Egyptian Goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters — she was the original mistress of multi-tasking!
Also called Bastet or Basthet, the goddess Bast is widely known today as the “Cat Goddess”. Legend has it that, by day, Bast would ride through the sky with her father, the sun god Ra, his boat pulling the sun through the sky.
Ever watchful, she protected Ra from his enemies. Thus she became known as the Lady of the East, the Goddess of the Rising Sun, and The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye.
But by night, she was a different creature entirely! Bast transformed herself into a cat (renown for its superb night vision) to guard her father from Apep (also known as Apophis), a serpent who was her father’s greatest enemy.
Ra’s priests burned wax models of the snake and wrote his name with green ink, trying to put a “hex” on him — but to no avail. Finally, with her cat eyes shining in the dark, she managed to kill the evil serpent.
Credited with killing the vile Apep, the goddess Bast ensured the warmth of the sun would continue to bless the delta of the Nile with fertile soil and abundant crops and was honored as a goddess of fertility.
Because of her all-seeing sacred eye (called the utchat) that magically saw through the dark, Bast is one of the few sun goddesses that is also classified as a moon goddess…with her glowing cat’s eye reminding us of the moon that it reflects.
One of the most ancient of the Egyptian goddesses, she is depicted as a slender woman having the head of a domestic cat. Sometimes she is shown holding a sistrum, a rattle used as a musical instrument in ancient times. Agile and lithe, Bast was recognized as the goddess of music and dance.
The worship of began around 3,500 B.C.E., before the invention of writing. In 950 B.C.E. it became the ‘national religion’ when her hometown, Baubastis, became the capitol of Egypt.
Her shrine in Baubastis, fashioned from blocks of pink granite and the lengthy entrance lined with enormous trees, was considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in the world.
The grounds of the templeheld an extensive cat cemetery, where her beloved companions after being mummified, were entombed so they could join Bast in the spirit world.
Cats were honored in the temples of Bast and many felines were in permanent residence there. If a local house caught on fire, the cats would be dispatched to run into the flames, drawing them out of the building. (History’s first record of a fire brigade!)
Undoubtedly many returned to the temple a bit singed, but as heroes of the townspeople. Any unfortunate kitty who perished in the undertaking would be restored to life by the goddess This is possibly the source of the belief that cats have nine lives.
Consistent with her cat-like image and her status as a fertility goddess, Bast was associated with childbirth, perhaps because of the mother cat’s continuous production of litters and the loving way she fiercely defends and cares for her kittens.
As a gentler, more benevolent, evolution of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, her violent and bloody sister who could bring plagues, the goddess Bast could be invoked to prevent the spread of illness.
Most households contained a small statue of Bast as a form of household protection. The All-Seeing Eye, to ward off thieves. . . as the Cat Goddess, to keep the house free of snakes. . . and as the healer to ward off infectious diseases.
An amulet with the utchat (all-seeing eye) hung over the door deterred thieves and vandals, placed over the mantel it averted illness, worn around the neck it protected you as you traveled. An amulet featuring a mother cat with several kittens suckling or playing at her feet was often given as a wedding present to a bride, invoking the help of the goddess to insure that a woman would be able to conceive and bear children.
Bast, more than any other of the Egyptian goddesses was perceived as a protector and friend of women and young children. It is hardly surprising that the ancient Greeks referred to Bast as “The Egyptian Artemis”.
Does this goddess sound like a gal that the phrase “sex kitten” would be invented for? Hardly! But, of course, there is more to the story than we’ve told so far; we saved the juicy parts for last.
For starters, one of the oldest versions of the goddess Bast was known by the name ‘Pasht’, from which our word passion was derived. (And from which the English term “Puss” may have arisen.)
Her name itself shares the hieroglyph of a bas-jar, a large pottery jar, usually filled with expensive perfume, a valuable commodity in a hot climate. Indeed, her son Nefertem, a sun god, became the Egyptian god of alchemy and perfumes.
It’s not surprising she had a reputation, since she herself had three husbands and was acknowledged as a sexual partner of every god.
The rituals performed in her temples, designed for healing, protection, and insuring fertility, were decidedly sensual, full of music and dancing The priestesses of Bast, dressed in “her color” which was red, and were the first “strippers”, famous for their erotic dancing.
Many festivals were held in her honor, and they tended to be quite rowdy affairs. During the major festival, thousands of men and women (children weren’t invited) traveled on barges down the river to Baubastis, drinking and partying mightily.
With loud music, women shaking their rattles, others gyrating in dance, and some lifting their skirts while making lewd comments to the townspeople lined up on the riverbank to watch the procession, the feasts of Bast may have been a precursor to the Mardi Gras and Carnivale. Some think that it is even the basis for the word “floats” that describe the decorated rides in a parade.
The Egyptian goddess Bast reminds us of all that is feline and feminine. Her gifts, very cat-like in nature, include the refusal to be at everyone’s beck and call and an insistence on the freedom of expression.
She teaches us to relax and never waste energy, reminding us to luxuriate in beauty, perfume, and to sway in graceful movement. Bast refuses to take anything too seriously.
But most importantly, Bast leads us to accept the true nature of things (ourselves included) and helps us remain unswayed by the opinion of others.
Curled up like a cat lying in the sun, the goddess Bast forms a complete circle . . . a symbol of the eternal.
I am very amazed at how many facets of Bast really do describe me to a T. How much of my life reflects her presence. I’m not one to get all hung up on deities, but I am truly much like this one in my life’s journey. Right down to three husbands… independence… protector… healer… sensuality is something I adore, unpredictable is my middle name. Never chose this route just ended up here. I live outside the human box. Loving every minute of it!
…and I love this…
From Her Speak: MEOW MEOW – get your BAST out!
Hello Cupcakes! I was inspired to make this Bast journal entry after a strange cat-nap dream. It was perfect since I’ve been feeling sort of feline lately: moody, stretching and yawning. Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess, is the embodiment of independence, gracefulness and ferocity. Want to tap into your Bast abilities?
 Stretch out on the sofa and nap in the sun until you’re damn well ready to wake up, and then demand someone feed you. Immediately.
 Cat eyes are the war paint of the smitten kitten world. Never worn them? Check out this tutorial.
 Bast was a warrior queen and fierce protectress. Defend what is yours! Your time, your energy, and your passions and your snacks are all valuable–safeguard them. Pull out the claws!
 Kitties are washing themselves in polite company constantly–take a bubble bath with the window open.
 Cats and Queens don’t come when they are called–they come when they’re good and ready. Don’t feel like answering the phone? Don’t feel like wasting makeup on people that bum you out and bring you down? Don’t feel like entertaining conversation that grinds your gears? Time to exercise the classic Cat Snub!
 Not getting the attention you deserve at work and home? Start the conversation by knocking everything off the counter. Or try the direct approach and start ripping up newspapers and sitting on laps. Impressions are important.
How do you get in touch with your kitten sensibilities?
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