In Egypt she is known as Bast, Bastet, Pasch, Ubasti, Ba en, Aset, Ishtar and many other magycal names. She is the Goddess of Protection, Fire, Passion, Birth, Dance, Music, and the Home. She is the Lady of the East. Call upon her when in danger and need of protection or when you would bring passion into your life.
We as Wiccan Pagans, like our ancestors since the dawn of creation, have worshiped the Goddesses personified by the feline for their great beauty, cunning, and high awareness of the ethereal elements of our divine existence. In addition, all cats are highly sensual creatures that invoke our own sexuality—that which is scorned in Abrahamic religions and embraced in Wicca.
The sect of Bast centered in the city of Bubastis in the Egyptian Delta near the modern city of Zagazig*. Here in April or May as many as 700,000 pilgrims would visit her splendid temple where they would drink, feast, sing, dance and make love capriciously in what were likely the largest orgies ever known.
In the Nubian manner
In her splendid temple: "Other temple s are greater and more costly, but none more pleasing to the eye than this." - Herodotus, Histories Book II, Chap. 137
Bast is Qunayir in the Hindu tradition
Cath Palug in the Celtic Tradition
Raiju in the Japanese Tradition
In many lands cats are revered as divine
Stones: Agate, Fire Agate, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Pyrite, Sunstone
Animals: Felines of all species
Correspondences are often used in formulating spells intended to invoke a desired God/dess
From a hymn to Ishtar from the Second Millennia: " Sixty then sixty satisfy themselves upon her nakedness. Young men have tired. Ishtar shall not tire."
Mau is the name of her male counterpart often atributed to Ra.
In Etruscany (ancient Roman) she is Aradia of the Stregan Witchcraft Tradition
Aradia is the daughter of the Goddess Diana and Lucifer God of Light. As the story goes, Diana lusted after Lucifer and so changed herself into a cat and crept into Lucifer's bed where the union was consummated. Aradia was the issue. This is why she takes the form of a cat and why the moon reflects the light of her dominion.
Notice the bracelet, it is the Eye of Horus. emerald green, recalling her earlier incarnation as Bast, watching over the soul of Ra as he travels through the underworld on his nightly journey into the light of a new day.
Aradia is an important link to our distant witch ancestors.
Aradia is the teacher of witchcraft by her mother, Diana. Aradia is often the protector of the downtrodden and the exploited. Here is a passage from Charles Leland's 1899 book,
Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches: that shows her darker side:
"In those days there were on Earth many rich and many poor. The rich made slaves of all the poor . . . . And thou shall teach the art of poisoning Of poisoning those who are great lords of all; Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces; And thou shalt bind the oppressor's soul (with power); And when ye find a peasant who is rich, Then ye shall teach the witch, your pupil, how To ruin all his crops with tempest dire... "
Aradia, mia Aradia, You, with the moon in your step, You, with the moon in your feet, clad in the sky, covered in starlight, grant me this favor benevolent spirit, Altar of Diana, daughter of the moon, I will walk in your moon steps; I will dance; I will leap; I will eat; I will drink; I will learn your mother's craft, the witch's craft, the crafty knowledge. I drink, as you drank, the milk of wisdom from your mother's breast. Pure spirit, mortal spirit, Woman and Goddess both, walk in my circle. Aradia, beautiful Aradia.
You are seeking me because you are in trouble. You know that you need to know more about yourself and the world, and you are running around seeking knowledge, going to gurus, taking thousands of seminars, looking for holy men or holy women. Stop. There is no need for this yearning and seeking and unending insecurity. If you do not find the answers within you, you will never find them outside.
I am Aradia, the avatar of the moon. I incarnated as a woman and walked among you. I have seen your poverty, your desperate lives, your need for love and food. I shared your misery for a long lifetime, and when I departed from your world, I left my instructions about what you should do when you need more advice and more power.
Once a month, when the Moon is full, come into my presence again. Gather in in some secret place--in the desert, a forest, the mountains or in state parks and national forests, in backyards and empty lots, or even on rooftops of your houses--whenever you can be alone with me.
Here we shall gather and adore the potent spirit of my Mother the Moon, Diana. She is the true teacher of all magic, from her comes the inspiration that will lead you on your path, hers is the magic that will awaken yours and empower those who are now weak and oppressed.
It was the Queen of the Moon who sent me, because there was so much pain and slavery among you. Diana despises slavery as the death of the soul. Freedom is the teaching she imparted to me, and by me to you, the freedom to live our lives according to her golden rule, "Do as thou wilt and harm none." This is the only rule you need. If you can live like that, you need no more commands.
When you call me into the circle, wear only your skin. come skyclad, with no clothing to identify you with any time or century. This is the sign that you are really free. You are open to me. You shall be called witches, because you are the Moon creatures who have returned to me. You are the magical folks, those who break the patriarchal rules, those who sow the seeds of the better future. Whatever your trouble is, tell me about it, and it shall be remedied.
then prepare a feast of cakes and wine, bless every morsel, bless every cup, and make a circle dance that wheels wild and free. Afterward feast in my honor. This will waken your own natural selves, will unbind your chains, will open the cages. Let the Full Moon inspire you while I walk among you, healing you or giving you balm for your ills.
I am still your teacher, the only female avatar, ignored for centuries, but now in free women multiplied. The great teacher lives in you now, in every breath and movement. I am waiting to reveal myself through your actions. "Trust yourself," is my message, trust that your body will know when to say yes and when to say no. The burning times are over, but before the priests lose all their power, they will try their hardest to destroy you once more. You must be steady then, steady within your new-won self. Do not delegate power over your life or your sacred spirit to others.
Heaven's gates open to those who know the way. Death you should not fear, my holy Mother will wait for you there. She takes good care of the dead and living, she guides reincarnation, she will inspire the unborn to seek willing and loving mothers. Go to her in all matters, and pray to the Full Moon. The ears of the Goddess are open, and her heart listens to yours. Make music and dance, for that is your life. Let the sorrows melt away, let miracles unfold that will answer all your questioning.
I am Aradia, the first teacher and avatar. Welcome to magic, my children, my witches, welcome to the Full Moon's light.
*No, I'm not making that up, or any of this.