Day 11 — Bastet (Goddess of Sorcery, women’s secrets, cats, fertility and childbirth, )
Bastet is the Egyptian goddess protector of the household, women’s secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth. Bastet is the protector of cats, women and children. She protects the home from evil spirits and disease, especially diseases associated with women and children. She is a daughter of the Sun God, Ra, sister of Sekhmet, wife of Anubis and one of the most ancient of the Egyptian Goddesses,
By being a cat in nature, Bastet teaches us to land on our feet in any situation, using a positive, playful attitude as our best ally. Bast and Her minions were so revered in Egypt that to kill cats was a crime punishable by death. Archaeologists uncovered mummified cats there, whose owners wanted the companionship of cats even in the afterlife. May is one of Bast’s traditional festival months.
She is venerated for singing, dancing, and childbirth suggesting ritualistic ceremonies. Above all, She is concerned with the enjoyment of life and the joy of music, dance, and bright colors. Her shrine in Bubastis was fashioned with blocks of pink granite with an entrance lined with trees. It was once one of the most beautifu temples in the world, but, alas, today, no shrines or temples remain of Bast in Egypt; even Bubastis is mostly in ruins.
Bastet was also sometimes linked with the god of perfume and sweet smells, Nefertum, who was thought to be her son and this further links the meaning of her name to the ointment jar.
She was first represented as a woman with the head of a lioness and closely associated with the goddess Sekhmet but, as that deity’s iconography depicted her as increasingly aggressive, Bastet’s images softened over time to present more of a daily companion and helper than her earlier forms as savage avenger. To invoke Bastet, you call upon her protection of your home and family. Or if you don’t think you need protection, you can call on her to bring passion into your life and relationships.
Sacred animal: Domestic cats, lions
Sacred plants: Catnip, vervain, cinnamon, cannabis, Cattails and other reeds, yew, cypress, mint (especially catmint), barley, and hemp
Sacred symbols: Sistrum, perfume jar, ankh, cats
General: Cats, rising sun, utchat (the “All-Seeing Eye”), pottery jars as perfume holders, parades (and floats), castanets and rattles (as musical instruments), beer, music and dance.
Perfumes/Scents: Musk, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, hemp, catnip, vervain, sandalwood, geranium, and lavender
Gems and Metals: Cat’s eye, sunstone, agate [esp. fire agate], jasper, lapis lazuli, pyrite, and jasper
Colors: Black, gold, red, turquoise, clay and silver