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Monday, April 15, 2013

Bastet The Great Cat Goddess

Titles: Mistress of the Oracle; Great Conjuress of the Casket, Lady of the East
Names: Bast, Bastet
Attributes: Basket and ankh (symbol of life)
Planets: Sun and moon
Color: Green
Animal: Domestic cats are her servants and sacred animals

Bastet, great cat goddess, has dominion over sex, fertility, marriage, magic, music, childbirth, prosperity, joy, dance, and healing - in short, the pleasures of life. She protects humans against infertility, dangers of childbirth, evil spirits, illness, and bodily injuries, especially those caused by venomous creatures. A tomb inscription says Bastet bestows "life, prosperity and health every day and long life and beautiful old age."

She was the Lady of the East, the mother of all cats, and wife of the god Ptah. Although she was said to be the embodiment of the living power and gentle heat of the Sun, through her sacred cats she was also connected with the Moon.

Bastet offers special protection to women and children and serves as matron of magicians and healers. Her cult began in the Nile Delta swamps. The earliest known portrait of Bastet dates to circa 3,000 BCE. By about 950 BCE she was worshipped throughout Egypt. For a while, she was the most popular goddess in the kingdom. Her veneration reached its zenith during the reign of Osorkon II (874 - 853 BCE), when a major temple was erected at her cult city, Bubastis. Devotion to Bastet officially survived until 30 BCE and the Roman conquest, the Romans having little sympathy for animal-shaped gods.

Iconography:
She is depicted as a cat, often bejeweled, or as a woman with a cat's head sometimes surrounded by kittens and fashionably dressed in a green or blue dress.

Offerings: 
Bast can be honored by establishing a woodland or garden shrine to the Nature spirits and wild animals. Put a statue of a cat in this sacred space to represent the goddess. Her name may be related to a word meaning "perfume." Ancient Egyptian perfume was typically in the form of a salve. Offer her precious cream perfumes or offerings that benefit her sacred animal, cats.

From: ;Moon Magick and Encyclopedia of Spirits
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