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Bast, The Beloved Protector of Cats


She is the protector of cats, women and children. The ancient Egyptians celebrated her feastday on October 31 with convivial merry making, music, dancing in the streets and drinking with friends - the sort of holiday we would recognise instantly.

A great week-long festival was held in the holy city of Bubastis attracting devotees from all over the country to celebrate along the riverbanks and through the city streets. Herodotus tells of crowds swelling to 700,000. Sadly, Bast and her feast day are overlooked in modern times but you could perhaps say that Hallowe'en was originally celebrated as the Feast of Bast

She holds the mysteries of the cat in her power - those magnetic animals with a strong power to fascinate or repel. Let's face it, all of us will admit that we either love cats or we can't stand the sight of them. Historically, the cat was first endowed with archetypal power in Egypt where it came to be regarded as a Sacred animal. For the cat is identified with Bast and she is most recognised for her portrayal as a woman with the head of a cat. When a cat curls up with its head touching its tail, it forms a circle, the symbol of eternity, the symbol of the goddess in whatever form she has chosen

Bast is the Goddess of the rising sun, the moon, truth, enlightenment, sensuality, fertility, bounty, birth, plenty, the home, music and dance. She was the beloved goddess and the protectress of women, small children, and domestic cats.

Bast was the possessor of the Eye of Horus, the sacred utchat. Over time the utchat became more associated with cats and was often cat shaped. Egyptian women used these cat amulets as fertility tokens, praying to have as many children as cats have kittens

Our modern names for the cat are derived from the word utchat: cat, chat, cattus, gatus, gatous, gato, katt, katte, kitte, kitty, etc. One variation of her name was Pasht, and from this we get the remaining Indo-European words for the cat: pasht, past, pushd, pusst, and puss

The Wildcats of Egypt first lived in the swamps and marshes along the Nile. As time progressed, and the people began to grow grains and other foodstuff and keeping it for longer periods of time, rodents and other vermin began to thrive. The wild cat was venerated for its ferocity and rapacity, qualities it used to keep the rocent population under control, qualities which it also shared with the lion. What a boon was the Wildcat to the Egyptians!

The domestic cats we know today are all descended from the felix sylvesteris, the Wildcat of Africa and friend of the Egyptian farmer. And so began the long domestication process. As the cat was identified with Bast, so then Bast gained enormous popularity from 1000 BCE onward. Feline hunting instincts were honoured, but so was the cat's gentler side as a warm and loving mother to her kittens.

The ancient Egyptians must have truly appreciated the beauty of wild creatures, they took the frightening aspects of animals and turned ferocity into beneficial protection. Their gods possessed animal traits like the precision of the hawk and the strength of the bull. So then, we see in Bast the grace and elegance of a cat, the agility, strength, speed, and the deadly claws. She holds the charm, patience and affectionate nature of a domestic cat, as well as the potential for the raw brute strength of a lioness.

She also has the gift, like all cats, of looking deep into your soul.

And it's easy to see why Bast has been associated with pleasure, music and dancing for millennia. Just think of your own comfort-seeking cat who loves to be stroked and petted. Cats also love to play, with their graceful movements and purring as musical accompaniment, luxuriating in coordination of movement.

Today, ruins mark the joyful city of Bubastis, the once-proud temple is nothing but tumbled blocks. However the name of Bast endures. For at least 5000 years there have been many who praised her name. Many still do so today.

Take a moment to honour this ancient Egyptian goddess. Light a green candle, her sacred color, and be affectionate to a cat, her cherished animal. When you address a cat, remember you are speaking to a little divinity, and a creature beloved of Bast.

Susanna Duffy is a Civil Celebrant, grief counsellor and mythologist. She creates ceremonies and Rites of Passage for individual and civic functions, and specialises in celebrations inspired by the divine feminine in A goddess a day


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sat. July / 11 / 2020

Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10 - masslive.com
Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10  masslive.com

Tips to keep your pets safe during the dogs days of summer - WAFB
Tips to keep your pets safe during the dogs days of summer  WAFB

Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week  KTUL

Humane Society of South Miss offers tips for taking care of pets in the heat - WXXV News 25
Humane Society of South Miss offers tips for taking care of pets in the heat  WXXV News 25

Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Vets offer tips to keep pets safe during summer heat, activities - KHON2
Vets offer tips to keep pets safe during summer heat, activities  KHON2

Startup Spotlight: Richmond-based company creates food toppers for pets made from water soluble organic hemp - Richmond.com
Startup Spotlight: Richmond-based company creates food toppers for pets made from water soluble organic hemp  Richmond.com

Pets of the week: Have a blast with Rocket and pals - Burlington County Times
Pets of the week: Have a blast with Rocket and pals  Burlington County Times

Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer - WBOY.com
Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer  WBOY.com

Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population - SFGate
Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population  SFGate

Pets In Need Delivers Medical Aid To Stockton Animals - Capital Public Radio News
Pets In Need Delivers Medical Aid To Stockton Animals  Capital Public Radio News

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Lady - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Lady - 47abc  WMDT

Featured pets — July 11 | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Featured pets — July 11 | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Feeding Pets of the Homeless gets COVID-19 grant from Humane Society - Nevada Appeal
Feeding Pets of the Homeless gets COVID-19 grant from Humane Society  Nevada Appeal

Interactions with pets can benefit seniors - Cleveland Jewish News
Interactions with pets can benefit seniors  Cleveland Jewish News

More pets being fed homemade raw diets - Feedstuffs
More pets being fed homemade raw diets  Feedstuffs

Local animal shelter provides tips to keep pets safe this summer - WVNS-TV
Local animal shelter provides tips to keep pets safe this summer  WVNS-TV

Pets of the Week - Elko Daily Free Press
Pets of the Week  Elko Daily Free Press

Pets and People: Buyer beware | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Buyer beware | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Pets of the Week: Achilles, Joey, Calcetin and Kiwi are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Achilles, Joey, Calcetin and Kiwi are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

ARL extreme heat safety tips for pets - Newton Daily News
ARL extreme heat safety tips for pets  Newton Daily News

Pets of the week: Chihuahuas looking for a home together - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: Chihuahuas looking for a home together  Duluth News Tribune

Goob and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Goob and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend - KPRC Click2Houston
This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend  KPRC Click2Houston

Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the Week - The Florida Times-Union
Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the Week  The Florida Times-Union

Silk Road discovery suggests cats were pets 1,000 years ago - UPI News
Silk Road discovery suggests cats were pets 1,000 years ago  UPI News

Seeing Pets as Human - Psychology Today
Seeing Pets as Human  Psychology Today

A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider - INSIDER
A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider  INSIDER

Animal Control Concerned About Pets During COVID-19 Pandemic - Santa Barbara Edhat
Animal Control Concerned About Pets During COVID-19 Pandemic  Santa Barbara Edhat

CCAPS works to find homes for pets amidst struggles for donations - Magnolia Banner News
CCAPS works to find homes for pets amidst struggles for donations  Magnolia Banner News

Auburn Valley Humane Society’s online tool helps people find homes for... - Auburn Reporter
Auburn Valley Humane Society’s online tool helps people find homes for...  Auburn Reporter

Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home - CNN
Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home  CNN

Good Day Pets – Meet “Posty!” - KCAU 9
Good Day Pets – Meet “Posty!”  KCAU 9

Cheer up those feeling isolated, even pets - Red Bluff Daily News
Cheer up those feeling isolated, even pets  Red Bluff Daily News

Meet 75+ fetching pets in Lakeland, FL - AVLtoday
Meet 75+ fetching pets in Lakeland, FL  AVLtoday

CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19 - KYTV
CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19  KYTV

Visiting Pets of South Mississippi brings joy to the community - WXXV News 25
Visiting Pets of South Mississippi brings joy to the community  WXXV News 25

Angie's List Report: Pet-friendly flooring - 41 NBC News
Angie's List Report: Pet-friendly flooring  41 NBC News

A Paws for Pets - York News-Times
A Paws for Pets  York News-Times

23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer - Cincinnati CityBeat
23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer  Cincinnati CityBeat

Public Health Column: To help prevent rabies, love your pets but leave wildlife and feral cats alone - The Batavian
Public Health Column: To help prevent rabies, love your pets but leave wildlife and feral cats alone  The Batavian

Two pets looking for new home after owners test positive for COVID-19 - KEYT
Two pets looking for new home after owners test positive for COVID-19  KEYT

Wolves continue to impact Wisconsin livestock, pets, & people - brownfieldagnews.com
Wolves continue to impact Wisconsin livestock, pets, & people  brownfieldagnews.com

Study Suggests Cats Accompanied Kazakh Pastoralists as Pets 1,000 Years Ago - HeritageDaily
Study Suggests Cats Accompanied Kazakh Pastoralists as Pets 1,000 Years Ago  HeritageDaily

For Pet's Sake | Should you feed your pet human food? - fox56.com
For Pet's Sake | Should you feed your pet human food?  fox56.com

SAFD rescues six pets from burning home on North Side - mySA
SAFD rescues six pets from burning home on North Side  mySA

Safety tips for pets outdoors in the summer heat - khqa.com
Safety tips for pets outdoors in the summer heat  khqa.com

OUR VIEW: Don't leave children, pets in hot cars - Winchester Sun - Winchester Sun
OUR VIEW: Don't leave children, pets in hot cars - Winchester Sun  Winchester Sun

It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend - KSAT San Antonio
It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend  KSAT San Antonio

Invisible Fence donates pet oxygen masks to Toledo Fire & Rescue - WNWO NBC 24
Invisible Fence donates pet oxygen masks to Toledo Fire & Rescue  WNWO NBC 24

Pet Adoption Fees Reduced Through Sunday At SPCA, LA City Shelters - CBS Los Angeles
Pet Adoption Fees Reduced Through Sunday At SPCA, LA City Shelters  CBS Los Angeles

After two dogs died, Kansas City groups offer help on keeping pets cool in summer heat - Manhattan Mercury
After two dogs died, Kansas City groups offer help on keeping pets cool in summer heat  Manhattan Mercury

Pet Cremation Owner Shares How It's More Than Just Business To Her - WGLT News
Pet Cremation Owner Shares How It's More Than Just Business To Her  WGLT News

Pets are stressed out, too - Jill Lopez
Pets are stressed out, too  Jill Lopez

Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4 - CNN
Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4  CNN

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Franklin - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Franklin  KCBD

Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic - NPR
Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic  NPR

Uncontained rabbit disease may pose threat to domestic pets - Alpine Sun
Uncontained rabbit disease may pose threat to domestic pets  Alpine Sun

How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months - Block Club Chicago
How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months  Block Club Chicago

What you need to do before bringing home a new pet - The Washington Post
What you need to do before bringing home a new pet  The Washington Post

Volunteers make prayer blankets for pets - latrobebulletinnews.com
Volunteers make prayer blankets for pets  latrobebulletinnews.com

Craven-Pamlico pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Craven-Pamlico pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies - Delish
This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies  Delish

Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products - Forbes
Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products  Forbes

Pet of the Week | Chevy - WHP Harrisburg
Pet of the Week | Chevy  WHP Harrisburg

Marion County Pets: Diamond, Hercules, and Oreo - WCJB
Marion County Pets: Diamond, Hercules, and Oreo  WCJB

The Animal Foundation takes in more than 270 lost pets in first six days of July - News3LV
The Animal Foundation takes in more than 270 lost pets in first six days of July  News3LV

Pet DNA tests growing in popularity | News | westernmassnews.com - WESTERNMASSNEWS.com
Pet DNA tests growing in popularity | News | westernmassnews.com  WESTERNMASSNEWS.com

Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital - WILX
Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital  WILX

'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19 - AZCentral
'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19  AZCentral

Make a Difference in a Adoptive Pet's Life - NBC 10 Philadelphia
Make a Difference in a Adoptive Pet's Life  NBC 10 Philadelphia

This Dog Water Bottle Has a Hidden Feature That Makes It Easy to Keep Pets Hydrated on Long Walks - PEOPLE
This Dog Water Bottle Has a Hidden Feature That Makes It Easy to Keep Pets Hydrated on Long Walks  PEOPLE

Adopt a Pet | Marmee - Napa Valley Register
Adopt a Pet | Marmee  Napa Valley Register

As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk - Carolinacoastonline
As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk  Carolinacoastonline

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance - New York Magazine
Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance  New York Magazine

ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization - Science Advances
ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization  Science Advances

LAIKA raises US$5M seed investment to expand platform for pets - Contxto
LAIKA raises US$5M seed investment to expand platform for pets  Contxto

Pooches Love Pet Stores - Flathead Beacon
Pooches Love Pet Stores  Flathead Beacon

Pets: Rx for a happier life - The County
Pets: Rx for a happier life  The County

Safehouse Crisis Center makes improvements to pet shelter - The Ottawa Herald
Safehouse Crisis Center makes improvements to pet shelter  The Ottawa Herald

Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life - KOLO
Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life  KOLO

Pets of the week: Ziggy and Merlot want to move in with you - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Ziggy and Merlot want to move in with you  MLive.com

Oshkosh Northwestern Pet of the Week: Meet Nikola - Oshkosh Northwestern
Oshkosh Northwestern Pet of the Week: Meet Nikola  Oshkosh Northwestern

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

Multiple pets turned in to the Humane Society after the 4th of July weekend - FOX21News.com
Multiple pets turned in to the Humane Society after the 4th of July weekend  FOX21News.com

Pet of the Day: Samuel - FOX 4 Dallas
Pet of the Day: Samuel  FOX 4 Dallas

N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020  nj.com

Cello is a 10-year-old lap cat with special care needs [Pet of the Week] - LancasterOnline
Cello is a 10-year-old lap cat with special care needs [Pet of the Week]  LancasterOnline

Chris Lane Has Cooked Up a Way for You to Enjoy BBQ and Help Pets Too! - PEOPLE
Chris Lane Has Cooked Up a Way for You to Enjoy BBQ and Help Pets Too!  PEOPLE

Animal lovers flock to annual Taipei Pet Show - 台北時報
Animal lovers flock to annual Taipei Pet Show  台北時報

‘Pets in Need Project’ delivering free veterinary care, food and supplies to the homeless during COVID-19 - KTLA
‘Pets in Need Project’ delivering free veterinary care, food and supplies to the homeless during COVID-19  KTLA

Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks - KABC-TV
Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks  KABC-TV

Is pet insurance worth it? - Financial Times
Is pet insurance worth it?  Financial Times

Placer SPCA in Roseville offers Pet Food for Families in Need - Rocklin and Roseville Today
Placer SPCA in Roseville offers Pet Food for Families in Need  Rocklin and Roseville Today

Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com  Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

How to de-stress your pets for 4th of July fireworks - WABC-TV
How to de-stress your pets for 4th of July fireworks  WABC-TV

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

Watch passionate performances while supporting your local arts venue - Berkeleyside
Watch passionate performances while supporting your local arts venue  Berkeleyside

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