- 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
Bast grew out from the ancient Egyptians' devotion to their domestic cats: they kept the rodent population low, ensuring the grain diet of humans, and 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.
Devotees sailed in boats from her main temple on an island of the Nile. As they passed the villages, the women undressed and shouted suggestively at those on the shores, a tradition straight from the Goddess's exposition, who smiled at Ra whenever he saw her.
During the day, it is believed that Ra and Bast travel through the sky in a boat, protecting the land and her father from enemies. At night she turns completely into a cat to see in the dark, protect everyone against Apophis, the Snake God, an enemy of the Sun God.
Nine lives familyIn 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.
There are no rules or ready-to-use recipes to summon any Goddess in Wicca. The summoning rite comes from within the self. When we study each Goddesses' myth and symbols we can have suggested some ways to summoning them.Rituals for 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 at Bast that 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.
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