Bastet (also known as Bast) was highly honored in all of ancient Egypt, but her base of worship was in the city of Bubastis, located in Lower Egypt. There she was called the “Mother of All Cats” and was revered as a goddess of cats, fertility, the moon, motherhood, sexuality, protection from evil and she was known as both a protector and a healer. The Greeks and Romans associated her with Artemis/Diana.
According to Ellen Dugan, “Bast was a very popular figure in Egyptian mythology… Today Bast is a traditional goddess for cat-loving Witches and other magick users”. Her magickal correspondences include: cats, kittens, woven baskets, sistrums, the moon, kohl eyeliner, and catnip. She can be called on for assistance for any of the areas she over saw, but she is especially good to call on for matters involving fertility, protection of children, and anything related to cats.
Egyptian woman used to hang Bastet plaques in their homes to promote fertility, successful pregnancies, and safe deliveries. If they wanted a certain number of children, they would wear “cat family” amulets which were necklaces depicting a mother cat with the number of kittens matching the number of children the woman desired to have.
Bastet often appears as a woman with dark skin dressed in a long green dress with a headdress similar to that of Hathor with a litter of kittens at her feet. Sometimes she also appears with the head of a black cat with gold hoops piercing her ears and thus black cats are especially sacred to her. And while she has never appeared to me in this way, she occasionally is depicted with wings. Dugan says, “Sometimes Bast was depicted as a hawk with the head of a cat, or a regal feline with outspread wings.”
Some especially powerful nights to call on her include: full moons, the Egyptian days (last monday in April, second monday in August, and third monday in December), November 16 and 24, December 14, February 20 (cat magick specifically), May 16, the month of june and June 4 (especially for cat magick), and August 27.
Some other interesting information is that in Egyptian the word for cat is “mau” which means “to see” and the Egyptians believed cats to be messengers to the gods as well as psychic. And the term for a female cat is “queen”.
Now from my personal experience of working with Bastet I have learned that Anubis was indeed her official consort and they did have children. Some scholars list Ptah as her consort and Nefertum as her son, but they belonged to her sister Sekhmet. I do not know the names of any of her legitimate children; she has yet to reveal that information with me. Also, while many claim that she was either the twin of Sekhmet or just one of the faces of the Hathor-Bastet-Sekhmet trio, neither of these views is correct. All three goddesses are very separate individuals, and both Sekhmet and Basted have made it very clear that Bastet is the youngest sister and the “baby” of the family. She greatly prefers the colors blue and green, and she often just wants people to adore and worship her. She’s also rather vain at times, and Sekhmet rarely hesitates to remind her of this. She’s also revealed that she’s very protective and loving of pregnant woman. “I just like to watch them and care for them,” is what she told me, and she’s definitely the goddess to call on for healing if you’ve had a miscarriage. And for some reason she’s told me often that she hates cold weather, and the ocean (oh, and swimming pools). I clearly understand the cold weather thing, but I don’t understand the ocean hatred. She has no problem with fresh water. I have a fairly odd relationship with Bastet, Sekhmet, and Nefertum.
I named my cats long before getting The Enchanted Cat (which has lists of names for magickal cats). I didn’t get the book till this summer. And my cats are 2 and 3 years of age. Morgan is 2 years old and is a people cat. She loves people and is definitely a little flirt. She’s also my familiar and is super attracted to all magickal energies and is very attuned to the lunar and seasonal cycles. She was named for Morgan Le Fay and also for Morgan Rowlands form the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. And I’m not exactly sure she’s not a demon or fae in disguise trying to take over the world. She’s very mischievous and always seems to be up to something. In fact her nickname is “The Pesky One”. Phoebe is 3, and will be 4 in July. She has the most beautiful eyes; pale green on the edges that fades into sky blue near the pupil. She’s stubborn, determined, and rebellious – a typical Leo! She actually came into my life in a quite odd way. She just appeared in my aunt and uncle’s basement one day at the age of about 6 weeks. My father brought her home so my uncle wouldn’t throw her in the woods where she would have been devoured by the coyotes that live there. She’s still quite close with my dad. Morgan has instinctively aligned herself with Bastet, and Phoebe with Sekhmet. Ironically they symbolize them as well. Morgan is the sleek, graceful, and extremely fertile (she goes into heat every month the week before my moon time) little sister, and Phoebe is the stocky, survivalist, no-nonsense older sister who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Unlike her very vocal baby sister, she doesn’t say much, so when she does you take note.
Now here’s what their names mean according to Ms Dugan and you’ll see why I’m so surprised at the meanings!
“Morgan: Morgan Le Fay was the enchantress of Camelot. An appropriate name for a queen who is sensual, mysterious, and seems to have an agenda of her own.”
“Phoebe: This is the name of the goddess of the pale and rising moon. And enchanting title for a witchy cate with pale-colored eyes”.
My own head/ relationship with Baster/ prior knowledge
Solitary Witch by Silver RavenWolf
The Enchanted Cat by Ellen Dugan
“Divine Cat” by Ellen Steiber found in Nyx in the House of Night