Daughter of Ra, Bast was originally a lion-headed Sun Goddess of Protection before becoming a super-powered Top Cat with lunar tendencies. She has a flair for avenging wrongs and scratching enemies where it hurts. In fact she was feisty enough for the Greeks to have identified her with Artemis.
Bast also performed a vital public emergency service. In the event of fire, her cat servants would run into the flames to draw out the power. These were the original fire extinguishers. However, cats were revered in ancient Egypt and we’re sure there was no deliberate cruelty involved. After all, with nine lives, they were very likely to come back, albeit slightly singed.
Whether or not the Egyptians made much use of these fire-fighting services, there’s no denying that cats were highly revered. Dead felines were mummified and sent to join Bast in the spirit world.
Bast’s official headquarters appears to have been at Bubastis on the Nile Delta, where she had an annual festival. A lot of water has flowed down the Nile since then and festivals are few and far between. Why not hold your own cat festival? It may do you and your cats the power of good.
Over time, the nurturing instincts of mothering cats came to be associated with Bast’s protective care and she developed a reputation as a Mother Goddess. There’s also a tendency nowadays to regard Bast as the Goddess of Sex and Lesbians, but that has more to do with modern sex-kittens. Cats are very sensual animals but you don’t want to get scratched.
We feel sure it is due to Bast’s powers that we now have smoke alarms and catflaps, so never underestimate the power of the original Cat-Woman. And remember, kind to cats means tough on rats.
See also our entry on Bastet, a cat goddess who is remarkably similar...
Bast Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Ailuros, Bastet, Ubastet
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Protection
Area of expertise: Protection
Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 15865
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Article last revised on August 21, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.