Pagan Blog Project 2014: “B” is for Bast
(Yes, that’s right, I’m being a rebel and going ABCD…instead of AABB etc. Because…reasons.)
I’m going to start this off by saying that if I do have a godphone, or godradio, or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays (she says as if she is not in her early twenties…), it’s a 2005 Motorola Razr that has been stepped on. Twice. And thinks it’s serviced by Bell Atlantic. Point being, I am dense and not good at picking up on subtle clues and gods knocking on my head for years.
Let’s talk about Bast.
I’ve always been interested in Bast. Egyptian myth in general, but I only had books of folktales and Greek and Roman mythology when I was growing up, so I never really got to learn too much about the subject. But I always loved Ancient Egypt, and I was always fascinated by the gods. One in particular.
Y’all know where this is going.
I’ve realized within the past year or so that Bast has been patiently knocking on my head since I was very small. And She has had to be very patient with me. Exceedingly so. It’s a wonder She didn’t give up after a while, really; I can be stubborn when I want to be. But my path so far has always been intimately tied up in my feelings about the gods.
I think once I tried to be a nu-atheist for about five minutes and I just couldn’t. I tried being a soft polytheist (neo-Wiccan flavored) for a while longer, but it never felt right. And I kept coming back to what I described myself as to my mother, back when I was about ten or eleven and had been looking through my children’s almanac’s section on religion: an “agnostic poly-pantheist”. Meaning, I sure as hell didn’t know if gods existed but I really wanted them to, and that I found everything to have some sort of divine spark.
But those gods were dead, and any avenue of connecting with them was long, long gone. Or so I thought for years and years, and kept on being agnostic well until I had started college. Oh, sure, I occasionally tried – back when I still thought it was acceptable to pray to Gaea as a nebulous “Mother Earth” rather than within a Hellenic context I would occasionally take advantage of one of the few times I was alone to ask her for help when things got dire. I wanted to be able to be religious. I figured it was something fantastic and beautiful and transcendent, and that it would provide me comfort when I needed it. I would go to church with certain family members and desperately want to feel something other than detachment and objective appreciation. (I vividly remember attending church with some distant family while visiting them, and mimicking everyone else by daubing holy water onto my forehead, and the whole of the service I felt like someone was pushing hard with their thumb on the spot I’d put the holy water. I was a little bit frightened, and also decided later that it had been entirely psychosomatic, because the idea of the Abrahamic God trying to get inside my head scared the bejesus out of me.)
Hell, I’ve even almost stopped making jokes about bursting into flame when I cross the threshold of a church. Almost.
So when I finally, after much stumbling and idiocy, found my way to Her, the reaction was basically “Took you long enough!”
Since letting Her into my life, it’s interesting, but I’ve found the toxic relationships I have had just dissolving. Which hurts sometimes, but it’s for the best in the long run. I just. Wow. She’s so great.
I went into this intending to be more coherent than I have been, so I’m going to wrap up with my impressions of Her:
She’s fire, and light, and claws and teeth. She’s greatly and terribly wrathful, but kind and gentle as well.