January 22, 2012

B is for Bast

Posted in Netjeru, Pagan Blog Project 2012, Thoughts and Reflections at 9:00 pm by

I debated whether I should do a PBP post on Bast. For one thing, this blog is already largely about my relationship with Her and my experiences as Her priest. For another, Bast is so multifaceted for me that I could probably write a whole book just on Her. But since She is so central to my religious practice, it seemed inescapable that I should write something about Her. So last night, while I was in the shrine, I asked for Her guidance on how to focus this piece.

Bast who lives in the heart.

So. Picture the heart as a flower, a rose, fragrant and lovely. Trace the inner curves of its petals, winding deeper into their labyrinth, traveling in your mind toward its center as the flower slowly unfolds and unfolds, opening ever further, layer after layer of sensuous richness, seemingly endless. Until at last you find, at the very center, the darkness of the deepest night, velvet black, a place of perfect peace and stillness. And as you rest in that darkness, eventually there is a flicker of gold, of flame, two golden eyes growing larger, coming closer, the gold of the Great Lioness emerging from the night like sunrise. Until you are washed in gold, the light of the sun filling you, widening your heart until that light spills over and shines out from you. Breathe out the golden light of the sun, illuminating the world. Breathe out the fragrance of the heart, delighting the Gods. Breathe in the love of Bast that makes the soul tremble and sing. Breathe in the beauty that feeds the ka.

For Bast is the Mistress of Joy, and joy dwells within the heart. The ancient Kemetic word for joy was in fact awt-ib, “the widening of the heart”; a close friend was called “one who has entered the heart.” For the people of Kemet, the heart was the seat of intelligence, emotion, inner mind, and soul. It is in the heart that we remember, that we feel love and loss and delight — and the pricking claws of conscience when we step outside ma’at. In all of these, Bast is there.

O Bast, Beautiful Lady, may You open our hearts to joy. Your perfume comes to me, O Bast. May my perfume go to You.

Dua Bast — nekhtet!

Awt-ib

An amulet composed of the hieroglyphs for awt-ib, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

3 Comments »

  1. Helmsman Of-Inepu said,

    January 23, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Shefyt, this is stunningly beautiful.

    Thank-you!

  2. Shefyt said,

    January 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    You’re very welcome! ^_^ It’s based on a meditation that I do in shrine sometimes. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Iwa'at said,

    January 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    That was beautiful Shefyt :)
    thank you for sharing your beautifully worded thoughts on mom <3.

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