How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bast
If you know me well, you know that I am deeply, incredibly stubborn. It’s actually laughable, how hardheaded I am. And sometimes? I can be dense as hell about picking up some subtle clues, and some not-so-subtle clues, that have been following me practically since I started to be able to read.
Let’s talk about Bast.
I didn’t have a lot of information about Egyptian mythology when I was young – most of my mythology books focused on Greek and Roman myths – but I was drawn to Egyptian mythology nevertheless. And Bast in particular. Cat goddess? Sign me the fuck up!
I didn’t actually think it like that. I was like. A kid. But the sentiment was there. I built temples out of blocks, a cat statue I’d painted at the top of it, my toys honoring it. A temple to a cat goddess.
Y’all know where this is going.
When I was seven or eight or so, my mom was heavy into neo-paganism, so we bought her a bunch of books when I was growing up. I’d sneak into her room during summer breaks when she was at work and read them, feeling something stirring in my heart, but not quite knowing what.
Knock knock. Knock knock.
When I was growing up, I watched people with religious beliefs with a little bit of envy, honestly. I wanted to have something like that. It seemed comforting, and fantastic, and beautiful, and transcendent. But none of them would click for me, no permutation of Protestantism or iteration of Islam. Not Judaism, not my aunt’s and horde of cousins’ Catholicism. Nothing.
I told my mom I was an agnostic poly-pantheist; 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. I kept reading up on Egyptian mythology. When we went to Las Vegas when I was sixteen, I pushed for us to stay at the Luxor, and bought a book of myths and a Bast statue.
Knock knock. Knock knock.
In college, I dug up my mom’s neo-pagan books again and read them. I decided to follow a pagan path, but the God and the Goddess didn’t quite feel right to me. What would I do? Being a pagan felt right, but…
Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.
I brought my tiny statue of Bast to college. I set up a little altar for Her on my desk. I left offerings daily. And everything just seemed to…click. Toxic relationships began to dissolve. I felt calm, for once, even though I’d been emotionally abused to the point of a near-nervous breakdown the previous semester. I felt like things were right.
And I’ve been Hers ever since. Well…I’ve always been Hers. I was just too dense to realize it for a very, very long time. And when I talk to Her…I feel loved. Is this what people mean, when they talk about the love of God, about grace? Because it’s a love that sweeps me to my knees (or would if I didn’t have a gammy one), a love that’s unconditional, because I am Her Child, and She is my Mother, and She has patiently waited for me to come to my senses for my entire life.
(art credit to ravenari @ deviantart)