June 15, 2024
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Throughout history, in modern times, and across cultures, gods and goddesses have played key roles in people’s beliefs. They have been and are invoked in prayer and meditation to help a person receive wisdom and grace in the area overseen by the deity. This article, and ones that follow, will look at various deities, their roles, and how to invoke them as guides and benefactors. The deity for this article is Bastet, an Egyptian warrior goddess, who later became a goddess of pregnancy and fertility.

Who is Bastet?

Bastet or Bast is one of the major deities of the Egyptian pantheon, whose role changed over the course of her worship. In the earliest references, she was known as a fierce lioness goddess, who was a warrior for the Sun god Ra. She protected lower Egypt and was a defender of the throne, and a favorite of kings.

In her earliest incarnations, around the third millennium BC, she was depicted with the head of lioness. Some two thousand years later, between 1070 and 700 BC, she was shown with the head of a domestic cat. This time period shifted her from the warrior goddess role to that of pregnancy and childbirth. Scribes during this period began to refer to her as Bastet.

Source: Metmuseum.org

As a cat deity, she was revered because cats were highly valued in Egyptian society since they killed vermin and helped protect the food supplies that mice and rats threatened. Cats were held in high esteem, and female domestic cats were considered good mothers, so Bastet would often be depicted with kittens around her.

Bastet Goddess

A Modern Take

Here is her card in the oracle deck, Goddesses and Sirens by Stacey DeMarco:

Bastet Goddess Tarot

From the companion book:

Bast comes into your life as any cat does – powerfully yet playfully. She is wonderful to call upon when you feel depressed or low, as she helps you find what will make you feel happier. In our busy lives it is easy to forget how to play, and with this comes an unnatural seriousness. As the saying suggests – all work and no play makes us very dull! You may indeed have forgotten how to play!

Other attributes include:

  • Patience
  • Independence
  • Curiosity
  • Sensuality
  • Attitude
  • Detachment
  • Secretive
  • Stealthy

If you want to enhance any of these qualities in yourself, then you can ask Bast for help. Cats are unique, but loyal companions. They exhibit far more independence than dogs and can be much more unpredictable. They are among the world’s best hunters and only exert themselves when hunting; otherwise, they know how to relax almost as well as the koala or sloth.

Why Invoke Bastet?

You would choose to invoke Bast/Bastet when you need to assert your independence in a situation or relationship. Keep in mind that invoking Bast/Bastet means asking for a feline solution to a problem. It could involve a sneak attack or a friendly “rubbing around the ankles”. You may want to purr or use your claws. If your invocation is successful, Bast/Bastet will grant you the insight to know which cat behavior will help you the most with your current problem or relationship conundrum. She will show you how helpful it can be to keep others off balance while keeping your plans close to your heart until the perfect moment to strike!

She can also be called upon when you need to act secretively. This can help you leave an unhealthy relationship or figure out how to get out of a difficult situation. When you know that you must do what is best for yourself, Bast/Bastet will provide you with the wisdom and courage to act in your own self-interest without any malicious feelings towards the situation or the other person. She can also be called upon when you need to invite someone into your life who can be a companion without smothering you. She can also help you locate a friend with benefits if you are not ready for a long-term commitment.

Specific Request

All deities are available to us. Some may prove to be spiritual council members for us, while others serve as temporary guides, or best fulfill a specific request.

You can ask Bast/Bastet’s guidance for a specific request, such as:

  • “How do I find a way to be more playful without feeling guilty about doing something I love that other will think is strange?”
  • Or “Help me find the energy to take more risks so I do not feel stuck in a dull and routine life.”

If you decide to ask for a specific request and she is not a member of your council, then be sure to make a proper sacrifice or payment ahead of or during your request. You may honor her by donating money or food to a cat shelter, ritually pouring milk into a bowl on your altar, or buying a “cat gift” for someone you care about.

Temporary Guide

You can ask her to be a temporary guide through a relationship, at the beginning or the end. She is adept at enhancing attractiveness and increasing the curiosity between you and another person when starting up a flirtation. Or she can help you tap into catlike detachment when you know a relationship needs to end. The greater is the request, the greater is the honor. So, instead of donating to a cat shelter, you might need to adopt a cat, or help someone else adopt a cat. Be aware that Bast/Bastet will expect you to show respect and love to her chosen animal form, the cat.

Council Member

If you recognize that Bast/Bastet is a member of your council, she will be fine as member, but not the leader, so long as you give her the proper attention when she wants it so you can get help from her when you want her attention. One of the best attributes she can bestow is good luck. However, this quality is something you can only enjoy if you welcome her into your spiritual home in such a way that she can come and go as she pleases.