Episode 12: My Gods – Beloved: Bast

Now I get to write about two gods I should know well, but really don’t. My beloveds: Bast, the feline goddess of joy, music and protection, and Nut, the night sky and mother of the Akhu.

A few weeks ago, Bast declared Herself a festival in Her honor – really without much warning. I didn’t complain. Who would complain about celebrating joy? Not long ago, though, I would have been cringing.

Bast’s domain of emotions and joy and sunshine made me uneasy for a long time. The idea of letting go of all the internal walls I had spent my life building and just spending time with joy, peace, even grief or anger, was not one that I really relished. That’s what She asked of me – to allow myself to experience Her domain fully. I did nothing for Her for a long while. I left my shrine for Her untouched. I would go on and on about how I just didn’t understand my Beloveds.

Until the last few weeks, of course. She came to me on my drive to work (as many of the gods do), as a young dancing maiden. Many people see Bast as a fiercely protective Mother, but apparently She is very young for me. She challenged me to celebrate Her joy that day, so I did. I told jokes, shared smiles, and at the end of the day felt satisfied that I had honored my Beloved. One day was not all She wanted, however. The following week She reminded me of that promise. And the week after that, too. Bast has declared that every Tuesday I honor Her in some way – and so I do.

No other deity in my life has claimed a day like this, I should add, even though I have offered and arranged my week in a sensible way for it. I know others who honor specific deities on specific days, and find it very satisfying. But neither my Parents nor my other Beloved nor anyOne else seem at all interested in a weekly devotion. Just Bast, who asks me once a week to honor Her with my joy.

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