Bast The Goddess of The One and The ManyShe originated in the Nile delta, but by 930 B.C., the power of Bast wasacknowledged by all Egyptians, even those a thousand miles south of her originalhome. At first she was a lion-goddess of sunset, symbolizing the fertilizing force of the sun's rays. Later her image grew tamer: she became a cat carrying the sun, or acat-headed woman who bore on her breast plate the lion of her former self.Egyptian Goddess Bast, ruled pleasure and dancing, music and joy. At the city of Bubastis ("house of Bast"), the center of her worship, great celebrations were held.Boatloads of worshipers--hundreds of thousands of them, Herodotus said--weregreeted by pleasant flute melodies as they debarked for a worship service combinedwith a vast trade fair. Bast's followers believed that in return for this reverentcelebration Bast bestowed both mental and physical health. As part of Bast's worship,Egyptians honored live cats. Domesticated (if cats can ever be truly said to bedomesticated) during the early period of agriculture, cats were useful to keep downthe rodent population and therefore to assure a stable diet for humans. Egyptianscherished their cats, often decking them with golden earrings or other jewelry. Whenthey died, the cats were mummified and buried in the vast cat cemetary at Bubastis.The Goddess of The One and The ManyBast (Bastet, Pasch, Ubasti, Ba en Aset) - Daughter of the sun god Ra, wife of Ptah,and mother of Mihos, Bast is an ancient Egyptian goddess who is still greatly reveredby many today. Her worship began around the year 3200 BCE during the seconddynasty in northern Egypt and her city is Bubastis. There, and in many other ancient
cities, Egyptians celebrated Bast’s feast day, October 31st, with great joy and
enthusiasm honouring their goddess, their protectress. Related to Neith, the NightGoddess, Bast symbolized the moon in its function of making a woman fruitful, withswelling womb. She was also the Egyptian Goddess of pleasure, music, dancing and joy, and associated with the Eye of Ra, acting as the instrument of the Sun God'svengeance.Bast is the Sacred Cat and her name means devouring lady. She is depicted as havingthe body of a woman and the head of a domestic cat. She holds the sacred rattle,Sistrum, and she possesses Utchat, the divine, all-seeing eye of Ra.Indeed, the people of ancient Egypt turned to Bast for protection and for blessing, asshe was a renowned and beloved goddess. She was the protectress of women,children, and domestic cats. She was the goddess of sunrise, music, dance, andpleasure as well as family, fertility, and birth.Cats were very sacred animals to the ancient Egyptians. They held a high, honouredposition in many households and were more important even than humans. Cats weredemigods in ancient Egypt. Anyone caught harming or killing a cat, even by accident,was punished by death, for cats guarded the royal granaries keeping them relativelyfree from vermin which threatened the food supplies.