Articles

Being your Personal Best through the Magick of Bast
by Lorraine Henrich

Working with the Gods and Goddesses is one of the most powerful and effective ways to connect with the Archetypal world, a place where all original life comes from, a place where the divine sparks of creation are in their purest form.  In fact it is the Gods and Goddesses who embody that which is divine and they can help us to not only remember our divinity but also manifest our goals into reality. They reach out to us through the world of spirit and assist us with their energy and sometimes their appearance in our lives.

 So let us explore the great beauty and strength of the Egyptian Goddess Bast as well as her magick.

The worship of Bast dates back to approximately 2890 BCE and until about 1000BCE she was depicted as a Lion Headed Goddess. Known as  the eye of Ra, Bast was a personal hit man for Ma'at the Goddess of Truth and Justice.  In fact transgressors of Maat would be forced to deal with this Lion Headed goddess as she would rip out their hearts and deliver them to the feet of the Pharaoh and Maat.  (1)

Bast, goddess of the dawn, was often depicted holding a sistrum (sacred rattle used by both priests and priestess of Bast to evoke and banish spirits) and/or her protective aegis (shield).  She would sometimes be shown wearing green and The hieroglyphs for Bast are --the jar-like symbol representing "bas" and the half-circle (a loaf of bread) standing for the feminine "-t" ending.  The bas-jars themselves are heavy vessels used to store perfume--and Bast Herself has relations to perfumery (a second translation of Her name is "Lady of the Ointments").   (2)

Because of her guardian nature not only did she protect the Pharaoh, but she was Lady of the east  protecting the lower part of Egypt, East of the Nile, and her patron city was Bubastis,which later became the capitol of Egypt. Her shrine existed surrounded by a red granite square.  within that square was a Temple to bast and within that shrine was a sacred grove of Persea trees, a tree sacred  in Egypt with avocado as the variation in the US.  The shrine of Bast is the only known Temple to contain a sacred grove within the center.  In this Temple, cats were found everywhere, both as statue gifts to Bast and actual felines invited to the  sacred shrine  (3)

As time passed Bast became more domestic, depicted with a cat head and taking on more earthy qualities as protector of children and fertility goddess.  The Greeks embraced Bast as Artemis and she then took on the lunar qualities of the moon.  (4)

However it is the original qualities of the solar Bast that we work on when calling upon the Lady of the East.  It is Bast who helps us to become stronger to protect that which we hold sacred  to be mindful of the balance of life and protect our own truth and integrity.  It is the Solar Bast who guards new beginnings.  Work with Bast to create a strong self image and new foundations based on the cosmic and Universal balance.  

Suggestions for Working Magick with Bast - Please note you may vary this according to your associations with the Goddess:

If possible create your altar outdoors.

Drape your altar in Green and place it in the East:

Represent the elements -

Earth: A sun stone or Tiger's eye

Water: a red bowl or container (preferably  granite or stone)  filled with water, 

Air: Wear these oils and burn any one of these incenses - orange, catnip, frankincense, patchouli, or Egyptian Musk

Fire: A Golden candle to represent the dawn

A small cat statue or similar offering to Bast

Optional

A bowl of avocados

Sun flowers

The Strength Card of the Tarot preferably the Ryder Waite or Thoth Deck

Meditation:

Breathe deeply in and out while visualizing the light of the sun puring through your crown chakra and entering your body.  exhale all stagnant Chi as this takes place. Bathe yourself in the the Golden light of the Sun.  Feel it surrounding you and entering you as you inhale and exhale.  Allow this solar light to relax and soothe your body as your chakras are energized and opened.  Your are safe and relaxed with the strength and protective energy of the Sun. 

Now see the beautiful city of Bubastis in its original state.  See the Red granite wall and enter through the East Gate.  As you enter the gate there is a Feline guardian who asks that you state your intent. Give her your intent of creation and then enter the Gate.  Step though the gate and find yourself walking towards a beautiful white Temple, the inner Temple.  Again there is a guardian and this time the Guardian will ask you for an offering to the Goddess.  Give her the gift you had placed on the altar and enter the sacred Grove. Spend as much time as you need here, clarifying and healing your intents.

Enter the shrine and meet Bast in whatever form she chooses to appear to you.  Spend as much time as you need and let her Goddess energy inspire you with her blessings and messages to you.  Be sure to thank this Majestic Goddess before you leave the Temple.

Bibliography:

1. The Book of Goddesses and Heroines  Patricia Monaghan
2.  "All About Bast" SD Cass 
3. "Sacred Texts - Bast" Chris Olmstrach
4. "Egyptian Gods and Goddesses" Ellie Crystal

Reference Material:

A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism Gareth Knight

 


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