The Gentle Roar; Recognizing the Signs Bastet Is Calling You
Last Updated: September 21, 2023
Bastet, otherwise known as Bast or Ubaste, is a widely recognised Egyptian deity depicted with a feline head and feminine body. Bast is the Goddess of a multitude of areas including cats, women, motherhood, fertility, childbirth, fire, joy, partying, music, sex, secrets, women, and children.
Bast was worshipped from the Second Dynasty in lower Egypt, in an area known as Bubastis, now referred to as Tall Bastah, but was also worshipped by a cult in Memphis. Fun fact: there is evidence that her cult was taken to Italy by the Romans as traces have been found in the likes of Rome (a tombstone dedicated to Ostoria Successa the priestess), Pompeii (mosaics), Ostia (inscriptions discovered for a Bubastis priestess), and Nemi (silk garments, a marble wash basin, water vessel, golden belt and key)!
Her origins lie in the early 3rd millennium BC when she was depicted as a ferocious lioness, but it was two thousand years later when her image changed and she was depicted as the domestic cat-looking feline that we know today – but more about this later as it makes for an interesting debate with relation to the feisty goddess Sekhmet!
Signs and Symbolism
Cats, cats, and more cats
This no doubt comes as no surprise as cats were considered to be the equivalent of demi-gods in Ancient Egypt, they were seen as incredibly sacred animals, and many cat mummies and cat statues were offered up to Bastet in order to try and gain her favour. Seeing as cats have been associated with her since ancient times, and she is quite literally depicted with a domestic cat head, it should come as no surprise that Bastet frequently uses cats as her messengers in various forms, whether this is physical or figuratively!
Bastet is frequently depicted with holding this ancient percussion instrument in her right hand. It’s believed that Bastet is linked to the sistrum due to the goddess Hathor, and it was a way of linking the 2 deities together. But it also connects Bast back to celebrating, music, and partying, three aspects she is the goddess of.
Bastet’s named is linked to a translation about ointment jars and it was common practice of those in Ancient Egypt for people to use ointment as a form of protection – and remember Bastet was a deity of protection.
Signs that might be coming through in your practice
We once again go back to our point about cats, unsurprisingly! But yes, naturally, of course cats are going to be a form of messenger for Bast with her history and symbolism. Whether these cats always appear as physical cats you see out and about, or whether you just start to pick up on a lot of cat-based imagery frequently.
Do you feel more drawn to using candles recently?
Candles are a common part of most practices, but perhaps you’ve been drawn to using more or focusing more on fire-based rituals? Bastet is considered to be the daughter of the sun god, Ra, so it may be a sign of Bastet if you’ve been drawn to the flame recently, especially if you’ve been leaning towards the likes of red, yellow, and orange candles by colour.
You may feel her presence in meditation sessions or even during your dreams, whether or not you’ve previously reached out to her.
Intuitively if you feel it’s Bast, and reading this article and potentially other pieces about her is making this resonate, this could very much be Bast looking to connect with you. You could always look to deepen that connection in your meditation sessions with specifically setting out to tune in with her and her energy, or if she appears in your dreams, start paying attention to the imagery and messages that are coming across. It may take more than a single session/dream to work things out, so have patience.
What To Do When Bastet Reaches Out
It’s always a good idea to provide some sort of offering to a deity when they reach out, especially if you wish to connect with them, and Bastet is no different!
You could set up an altar for her honour and gift her with the likes of oils and perfumes, or simply perfume bottles, you could choose plants with the likes of catnip and mint, but if you wanted to go down the crystal route then it’s believed that the protective Black Tourmaline is a useful one in relation to Bast, along with Tiger’s Eye and Cat’s Eye. Another usual offering that you may hear people leaving Bastet is wine – if you don’t have the actual drink to hand then you can always opt for a wine class!
You could also look to hold a party in her honour! To dance, sing, and rejoice in her name. You could look to do this on your own, or you could arrange to have others with you as you celebrate Bast – but if you choose to do it alone, know there’s no shame in that! Don’t feel embarrassed to throw a one person party for Bastet, remember she is aaaall about that confidence and pride, carry that with you as you have fun!
Bastet, with her pride, will be very appreciative of those that put in the work and effort to do some reading about research about her and who she is. It’s always wise to do some reading around the deity you wish to work with, as it demonstrates genuine interest, and it can come across quite rude if you start making demands without ever trying to establish some sort of respect-based connection with them.
It’s like a stranger coming up to you and making demands, you wouldn’t respond very well, would you? Yet someone you’ve known for quite some time, say a dear friend? You’d be more receptive to that, wouldn’t you? It’s the exact same vibe here.
Sekhmet and Bastet
There’s a common debate that the deities Sekhmet and Bastet are either one and the same, twins, sisters, or two completely unrelated goddesses all together. Both Sekhmet and Bastet are said to share the same father, Ra, and have been married to the same god, Ptah, a god of creation and craftsmanship.
Visually, Sekhmet is depicted as being a lion-headed female, whilst Bastet is the cat-headed female, but originally it was Bast that was depicted as a lioness. Granted this changed over time and it was Sekhmet that was associated with being feisty, rageful, and aggressive, whereas it was Bastet that was calmer and gentler, yet still just as dangerous.
So, the question remains of whether they are one and the same, or if a single deity was split into two different figures, or are they just closely related either through family, or through how they are perceived? Or was the deities angry and fierce persona that of Sekhmet, and once calmed down, said deity turned into Bastet?
Sekhmet reigned over upper Egypt whilst Bastet reigned over lower Egypt, and there’s also debate surrounding them originating in different time periods, but could this be linked back to them separating the one deity into two, and thus being ‘born’ at separate times? This is usually used as ‘evidence’ to show that they are two entirely different deities, but it’s still debatable! There isn’t one ‘sure’ answer, in all honesty! It’s all about what you believe, and what makes the most sense to you. But it’s still very fun to deep dive into, so I implore you to read around this subject to see what you think! Especially if you have an interest in working with Bastet, understanding the likes of Sekhmet (and even Hathor) will very much help you in your journey with Bast.
Not to say that Bastet isn’t fierce, or a deity that you shouldn’t be fearful of, as she’s far from timid and quiet – it’s just that Sekhmet is represented in a much more powerful and feisty depiction with her war-like head-strong approach.
Understanding Bastet’s Vibe
The first point I’d like to make is that Bastet can be incredibly protective, both of herself but also of you. If you look to work with Bastet, and remain on her good side, she’ll be fiercely protective of you and yours. But she is equally as protective of herself, just because she’s looking out for you doesn’t mean for a single second that you can mistreat this deity – you’ll learn your lesson if you do. Just like a cat, Bastet can be an incredibly proud deity. The way she carries herself, to me, is always reminiscent of a cat on the prowl.
She is proud, confident, sure of her actions, watching, waiting, oozing with self-esteem, but she isn’t cocky about it. Bastet rarely will come across with a ‘showing off’ attitude as she doesn’t need to show off, she is very self-assured and very much aware of her worth and abilities. From experience, this can cause her to come across rather strong, powerful, formidable, as overall she feels very grounded as a deity.
But, at the same time, she can appear quite soft with a gentle nurturing touch. The more you tune in with Bast, the more you will come to realise that whilst she can come across calm and collected, you will find that it’s quite easy to sense the cat-like ferocity just beneath the surface. Just as cat can go from purring into biting and clawing at any given second, this is very much the way Bastet comes across in most cases.
She carries an air about her that expects respect, she doesn’t demand it, but good luck to you if you choose to not opt to act respectfully when approaching her. Much in the same way that a cat will respect you and your space so long you leave them alone until they’re willing to have you in their personal space.
So, fundamentally, the key word with Bastet is: respect. Not that you should be disrespecting any deity at all…but you may find others have an allowance on how far you can push their boundaries, depending upon how long you’ve worked with them and thus have an established bond that you understand, Bastet’s vibe will usually come across as “my terms only unless otherwise stated”, meaning that you’re always best requesting clarification on that boundary beforehand, always reading her mood and vibe, always establishing what her current terms are.
Bastet will still listen to you even if you come in calling the shots, but that doesn’t always mean she’ll act upon your request. Just as a cat does what it wants, Bastet can very much work the same, so be patient and respectful!
Traits That Bastet Favours in Devotees & Companions
Bastet is very fond of those that are all about self-love and self-care.
If this is an aspect you struggle with, she can very much assist you in learning how to appreciate yourself in your entirety. So don’t hold back on approaching her if you struggle with self-esteem, for example, look to work with her to develop this mentality and personal approach to yourself.
Bastet is appreciative of those that demonstrate the ability to be patient.
Much like a cat stalking its prey, awaiting the perfect moment to strike, Bast is fond of those that don’t jump the gun all too often. She recognises the importance of patience and waiting for opportune moments. Bastet will appreciate those that trust the process, that know having a little faith in the waiting game at times will result in a payoff.
Whilst Bastet herself can be known for being ferocious and hot-tempered.
This isn’t typically without warranted reason, so Bast typically recognises those that don’t immediately give into their emotions, that perhaps are able to stay calm, collected, and calculating, when it comes to situations that may bring a rise out of you and your anger.
With her ever-present proud-like tendencies, Bastet will favour those who too carry themselves with pride, that stand their ground and fiercely protect their own.
Bastet is not one to be messed with; if you ruffle their fur and get in their personal space, prepare to get scratched. Bastet will respect those that establish and stick to their boundaries.
My Personal Experience Starting Out With Bastet.
I always knew that I wanted to work with Bastet after a good 20 years of feeling some sort of connection to her. I have a fond memory of learning about Ancient Egypt in one of my primary school lessons, I vividly remember the teacher going over the Gods and Goddesses and I was captivated by Bast.
I recall listened to the teacher’s words and being able to visualise Bast perfectly, yet the entire time I had also found myself staring at the corner of the classroom, and I swear to this day it was like I could physically see her standing there, just looking at me.
Whether or not this was a genuine interaction, something definitely shifted in me and thus began an unwavering bond with a deity that I would spend the next 20 years appreciating, but not really knowing much about. But then came the day when I realised I wanted to dive into deity work, I started with Athena (again, another deity I had a good 20-year bond with) whilst equally acknowledging Bastet and her presence and knowing I would begin work with her when the time was right.
On the run-up to the time where I intuitively felt it was time to work with Bast, it felt like I went into autopilot with certain aspects, such as only burning chamomile incense all around the house, and one of the days I ended up choosing to leave a homemade perfume on Bastet’s side of the deity altar I had got set up in Athena’s and Bast’s honour.
Now, I never usually leave anything on the altar that isn’t a token, something to do with the deities, or an offering of some kind. So just leaving a bottle of perfume there was very out of character but I never questioned my actions. It was later that afternoon where I ended up deep diving a bit more into Bastet and who she was (I knew the basics by this point, even after having a 20 odd year long bond, I hadn’t done much research).
This is where I came to find out her connection to perfume AND chamomile. I began to realise that my actions were, in some way, being affected by my connection by Bast as she and I began to prepare to work with one another. It was an incredibly surreal experience once those puzzle pieces fit together, and not long after making said connection, her presence became ever stronger in my home, especially on her side on the deity altar. This resulted in a nosedive straight into learning all I possibly could about Bastet and how I could best honour and respect the bond.
Needless to say that everyone’s experiences with Bast will differ one way or another, and I’ve discovered that I have certain things that I do with Bast/to honour Bast that aren’t typically linked to her, but it’s very personal to our connection.
So, always remember that if something feels intuitively right to you, but you can’t find any information out there in relation to Bast, consider that perhaps this is just something significant between the two of you, if you’re certain that your connection is with Bast and no one else, then trust your gut!
And when it doubt, just ask her for clarification. But most importantly, enjoy your connection with this incredibly wonderful Egyptian deity.
A Note From BackyardBanshee.com
For most people, it is the feeling of a sudden pull or interest in learning more about Hades. It’s really that simple – there’s no hidden agenda. So if that is what you are feeling intuitively called to explore whilst on your witchcraft journey, please do so (if you are open to it).
It’s important to remember that these are all just a few examples and that everyone’s experience is unique. Some people may not experience any of these signs, while others may have a completely different experience with them that we’ve not been able to list for you.
If you feel drawn to Hades or have any questions, it is recommended to do further research and learn more about them and then respectfully reach out if you feel comfortable, and ask permission with them to start a conversation, especially to see if a relationship is what you’d both like.
Consent and respect are two very important factors, always. If you don’t want to or feel uncomfortable, then it is not necessary, and this is something that just keeps your journey interesting, to say the least! Keep safe, and until next time xox
Written by Amy G.
Outside the weird and wonderful world of my craft, I like to cosplay and fully dive into the fantasy genre across all forms, from books to video games and everything in between.