Updated: Jun 12
“We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.”
From Skye Alexander’s “Your Goddess Year” book:
Dates for inviting her: May 15-21
We honor the beloved cat goddess Bast this week. She was, and still is, one of the most popular Egyptian goddesses. Early legends and art, depict Bast as a lioness or as woman with the head of a lioness. Over time however, her fierce nature softened, her temperament became more playful and her image shifted to that of a domestic cat. Like our feline friends today, she personifies grace, beauty, and independence. Not only did Bast provide protection in the home; she also accompanied the souls of the deceased into the afterlife.
The early Egyptians considered cats sacred. Some people theorize that her name means “she of the ointment jar” perhaps connecting her with healing salves. She also loves jewelry.
When royalty and other notable died, they had their favorite felines mummified and placed in their tombs to join them in the next world. Visitors to Bast’s festivals at Bubastis brought the bodies of their dead cats with them to be buried in her city, and her devotees kept cats as honored companions.
A playful, fun loving goddess, Bast, encourages to let go of your inhibitions and fears, and to enjoy life. She’s considered the goddess of song and dance, let her show you how to express yourself and find pleasure through music and movement. The Egyptians also revered her as a protector deity who guarded women and children against illnesses (perhaps by killing rodents that carried disease) so you can call Bast to keep you and your loved ones safe from health threats. Cats know how to relax, and if you’ve been working too hard or feel stressed out, the cat goddess reminds you that rest and play are important too.
Bast’s followers celebrated her with singing, dancing, and merrymaking. Many of them traveled by boat to Bubastis, playing rattles known as sistrums, drums, and tambourines along the way. Marked with wine and feasting, her holiday was a joyful and liberating event during which inhibitions were temporarily relaxed.
You can too, invite the goddess as the ancient Egyptians did:
Anoint yourself with your favorite perfume or essential oil.
Put a pretty necklace and earrings, or other jewelry. You may want to wear a charm or other image of a cat.
If you’re a musician play upbeat tunes, if you’re not put on lively music and join in, shake a rattle, beat a drum, shake a tambourine or clap your hands.
Dance and sing. Shrug off your inhibitions, don’t worry about how you look or sound, just feel the pleasurable sensation of moving with the music. Sense the goddess dancing beside you. Emulate her flowing, graceful motions: spin, jump, dip, arch your back.
When you’ve dance enough pour yourself a glass of wine or juice and toast Bast. Feel yourself relaxing, opening up, shedding self restraint and judgment.
Ask the goddess to bring you happiness and good health, then drink the wine or juice.
If you have a cat companion, give it extra attention and some treats this week.
Cat by Kseniia Lindeman