Bast is an Egyptian Goddess with the head of a cat and the body of a woman. Her name is also spelled Bastet. She is the Goddess of warfare, protection, cats, home, healing and sensuality. Bast is connected to both the Sun and the Moon. Bast is the sister to Sekhmet and is a protector of the Sun God Ra who happens to also be her father and consort. Her son is the Lion God Maahes. Her symbols are the lioness, domesticated cat and sistrum.
Bast is one of the many deities that have been enjoying resurgence in popular culture. Bast is a featured character in Rick Riordan book series The Kane Chronicles. She is also a playable character in the video game Smite and in the card game Force of Will. I personally haven’t seen her in movies or TV yet but there is time.
Bast is credited with killing the Chaos God Apophis as she is a fierce warrior. In doing this she ensured the survival of the Egyptian people and the fertility of the land. She is a protector and has dominion over keeping disease and poisonous creatures at bay. She has a softer side though. Bast is a protector of women and children. Necklaces with depictions of cats and kittens were often given to new bride as a charm for fertility. This very likely comes from her association with cats. She is very much in touch with her femininity and sensuality. The festival in Bubastis was full of drunkenness and sex.
Today not only is Bast associated with protection, healing, warfare and sensuality but she is also associated with lesbianism and bisexuality. She continues to be a Sun Goddess as well as a Moon Goddess. This is very rare in any deity. More often than not Sun deities are men and Moon deities are women. However her father being Ra and Bast possessing the All-Seeing eye (Utchat) and riding with him through the sky on his boat she became known as the Lady of the East, Goddess of the Rising Sun. In her cat form she becomes a creature of the night and therefore associated with the Moon.
Who is your favorite Egyptian deity? Let me know in the comments below. Till next week…