The Beautiful Cat that endures

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In some ways, Royal Bast, Great Sekhmet’s sleek, sassy, elegant Sister, has become an even more popular Deity in modern times as the Pagan cults have revived. Like Sekhmet, Bast was originally a Protectress of the Royal Family. Information about the earlier phases of Her cult is scarce due to the fact that Her worship centers were in the Nile Delta, where conditions did not favor preservation so well as they did in the hot arid South, Upper Egypt, Sekhmet’s demesne. In the Late Period Bast became a Moon Goddess and it is in this guise that E. A. St. George wrote of her in Cat worship in ancient Egypt. The wonderful volume by Storm Constantine and Eloise Coquio, Bast and Sekhmet: Eyes of Ra, gives further lore and information of the cults of both Goddesses, including a valuable section with contributions from present day devotees.

A daily ritual is to comb out my cat Chantelle’s lovely sleek fur, and that is a very calming and soothing part of the day. This poem by E. A. St. George is redolent of the same tranquil energy, and can be recited as often as needed to help foster serenity and a peaceful, focused state of mind:

Thou Beautiful Cat that Endures,
Lead us to peace, O Bast,
We wait for the sound of Thy footfall,
Grant us Thy sleep, O Bast.
Most Beautiful Cat that endures,
Guide us through night, O Bast,
We watch for Thine eyes in the dark,
Lead us to light, O Bast.

I have found that offerings pleasing to the cat-goddesses include cream, milk, honey, salmon, and white wine.

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