January 2020 brings a breath of fresh air, and the purification we need in order to fulfill our wildest dreams. This month, it is the Egyptian Goddess Bast who guides us to joyful attainment.
Bast, or Bastet, is the popular cat-headed Goddess of ancient Egypt (Kemet). Originally, she was a warrior depicted to have the head of a lion, carrying a sistrum and/or perfume jar, and to be associated with large and wild cats. However, as time and her worship progressed, She became almost exclusively associated with domesticated cats. Cats are sacred to Bast, and she embodies the characteristics of a feline: grace, cunning, playfulness, and a hunter’s spirit. Her name can be translated as “she of the ointment jar” and as such she rules perfumes and scents, as well as the funerary rites involved with Egyptian mummification.
There is some confusion concerning Bast within modern Egyptian study. Though originally seen as a Solar Goddess, in later times She became associated with the moon, possibly due to the Greeks erroneously equating her with their goddess Artemis. She is often seen as interchangeable with Sekhmet, and both are considered to be the Eye of Ra, the utchat, as well as the mate of Ptah and the mother of Nefertum (who is considered to be a duality of Mihos). The addition of Hathor transforming into Sekhmet adds to this confusion. While these three goddesses can be seen as aspects of one another (three faces of one whole) it is important to note they were worshiped as and considered to be three separate Goddesses. Bast and Sekhmet are a duality of sorts: Bast was worshiped in and protected Lower Egypt, while Sekhmet sheltered and was honored in Upper Egypt.
I find viewing Bast as a combination of Hathor’s and Sekhmet’s energies a pathway to understanding Her: she is the celebration, sex and sensual desires of Hathor, along with the protective/destructive power of Sekhmet.
The magick of Bast lies in her element of mystery; the inner workings of this Goddess are secretive and sly. At her core, the Goddess Bast is feline – the cunning huntress, the graceful companion, the fierce protector. She teaches the practitioner how to seek out life experiences and “hunt” as a cat would: watching, waiting, then striking when the time is right.
Within this, She teaches the focus and patience to achieve predetermined goals. However, she also shakes up routine, opening your journey to newness and the excitement of unpredictability. When you travel with Bast to achieve your goals, the path will be full of adventurous twists, turns, and the occasional detour to examine shiny objects. But the end result is always in sight, never forgotten.
Her most ancient role is that of protector, of both divine and human lives. She is the guardian of the throne of the pharaoh, alluding to her strength and power being depended upon to keep the royal household safe from harm. With Bast, we see that a best defense is a good offense. She is not afraid to strike first in the face of danger, whether the threat is emotional or physical. She teaches the power of discernment, and how to best defend yourself while keeping a sane, level head in the mist of chaos.
Over the centuries, worship of Bast has transformed and evolved her into a Goddess of pleasure, sensuality, and sex. She embodies the playfulness of the sexual act; the experimentation of dating, the joy of flirting, and the pleasure of touch. Though the honoring of Bast as a sex kitten is a more modern interpretation, this does not make her less powerful in dealing in these areas. She can be evoked for one to experience the joys of the body and the frolicking excitement of new romance, as well as to discover the orgasmic secrets of self pleasure and companionship. This Goddess loves to have fun, and sees no distinction between male and female when it comes to attraction (distinctly connecting Her with the LGTBQ+ communities). As long as there are pretty, shiny people and activities involved, it’s an experience she wants to be a part of.
Bast can also teach the practitioner ingenuity in the art of seduction, particularly when dealing with scent as an aphrodisiac. Within the realm of the ointment jar, Bast rules perfumes and the power of scent, making her a modern patroness of essential oils and aromatherapy.
January 10th, 2020: Full Moon Eclipse in Cancer
This lunar cycle offers an emotional purging, clearing out clutter in the heart, solar plexus, and sacral chakras. The eclipse adds an extra kick, so you may find yourself needing a good shout or cry to get those unpleasant, stagnant energies moving out of your sphere. Grieve your losses. Mourn your upsets. Drop those coulda-shoulda-woulda thoughts. A good detox bath, and imbibing detox herbal teas will add to this purge, cleansing out your spiritual and physical bodies as well.
With this renewed mind-body-spirit connection, you’ll be ready to start envisioning and calling in the vibration you want to carry in the New Year.
Bast is an excellent companion for developing future objectives, as She brings in the fun, the luscious, the playful into your planning. Sometimes we get too caught up in attaining our goals, and too accepting of the struggles the world throws at us. We forget that life, and the activities and loves we fill the time with, are supposed to be pleasurable, smile-inducing. If everything you are working towards has more valleys than hilltops, perhaps its time to rethink the journey. Use this Full Moon to work with Bast to prepare this year for your joy instead of your tolerance.
January 24th 2020: New Moon in Aquarius
Now that the Full Moon has your emotion in balance, the New Moon moves to activate your intellect in the forms of your root, throat, and crown chakras. Aquarius energy brings in the ‘new’: new wisdom, new ideas, a new attitude.
This lunar cycle is a good time to review and start implementing your plans for the New Year. Consider your goals and look at them from a logical point of view. How are you literally going to put your plans into action? What skills do you need to learn? Do you need supplies? Who do you need to talk to, to meet, to hang out with? Let go of the fear, the anxiety, and get moving.
The New Moon offers a sturdy foundation to begin this process, and Bast is the perfect Goddess to help. Her energy is all about celebration, exploring creativity, and socializing – then using those experiences to expand your wisdom and achieve your goals. Remember: She teaches the practitioner how to seek out life experiences and “hunt” as a cat would: watching, waiting, then striking when the time is right.
Metaphysical properties/rules over: the sun, the moon, cats, perfume, pleasure, happiness, protection, hunting, sensuality, sexuality, homosexuality+, playfulness, retribution, destruction, guardianship
Colors: green, gold, red, purple
Crystals and minerals: emerald, tiger’s eye, hematite, green jasper, red jasper, garnet, snowflake obsidian, malachite, lapis lazuli, ruby zoisite, ruby fuchsite, ruby corundum
Fragrance: lotus, ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, catnip, sweet orange, benzoin, patchouli
Symbols and Offerings: perfume, cats, milk, decorated jars and vases, any scent you find attractive
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
The Queen of the Sky Who Rules Over All the Gods: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Bast by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Sekhmet & Bastet: The Feline Powers of Egypt by Lesley Jackson
Song of Bast: Journey of a Princess by Judith Page