The act of speaking to spirits doesnt change the spirits. It changes you. Act as if you were they, and you will have their power.
So applications of the way of Bast in modern life? Well, one would be simple as the citizens of Per-Bast did share their life with a cat. In Egyptian spirituality there wasn’t as much devotionalism as there was in other religions. People saw themselves as living with their gods, alongside them, and living in good faith with the gods was living with respect for the world around them; the river, the animals, the desert and the sun. These were just as much persons as the other human beings walking around. Is that really so crazy a notion?
Each desert has its own personality. The deep desert was seen as Set and was quite scary to most Egyptian citizens.
So in honouring Bast, acts that would acknowledge the person-hood of cats would show proper respect. Otherwise, following Bast would be learning from her example and the example of her direct children the cats.
Adopting the wisdom shown by the cat in your affairs, I argue, would benefit us quite well, especially getting adequate rest. If you follow the current research in medicine and neuroscience, we have rendered ourselves practically insane and imbecilic for lack of sleep.
There are cat cafes opening, and people find them relaxing. Yes. Pursuing life passionately and as creative play would serve us well also. Seizing the present moment and the opportunities as they come, not allowing our minds to become warped with needless anxiety and anticipation of gaining things we don’t have at hand and likely don’t really need.
Cats, unlike dogs, don’t range far in search of food. They patiently wait and watch, patrol a limited area and take opportunities as they come, and they are quite effective, prosperous, even on their own. They are some of natures most effective hunters with no anxiety and chasing very far involved. They call them ambush predators. They get to know their home territory and the motives of those they live with. So the way of Bast is a way of diplomacy as well. Live and let live unless you happen to be prey.
I heard that cheetahs only chase things that run.
Cats also have set time. They have found out they will have a territory for a certain time of day then later it is another cats turn. This is really the most diplomatic way for predators to go. Indeed, watching our cats, as much as they seem to ‘fight” in a sense, they actually never do. It’s really more a form of passionate interaction lasting just as long as it has to.
It’s mostly stance and noise. In our cats case not even noise and stance. They are really play fighting like the French and their enjoyment of argument.
So besides those principles, set up an idol on a shrine, which is really just a small space in your home that you can sit at from time to time. A shrine to Bast as a place of meditation. Incense is a very appropriate offering. Our little girl kitten had an unfortunate run in with one of our scented candles. They like scents. She still hasn’t regrown that whisker, but she didn’t suffer any real injury fortunately. She did decide that the candle was bad and needed to be punished. We had to keep her from smacking the candle flame.
So yes, at the shrine you could meditate and offer prayers to Bast, just talk to her. That is what I mean by prayer, like a human confidant. It would also perhaps be a good place to leave, say, coins, like if you are trying to stop swearing or whatever, and in time give that money to a charity associated with her; children’s hospitals and animals shelters, especially any place that specializes in cats. It would be a good way to save up money for a visit to a cat cafe.
So what do you think of applied theurgy as it relates to Bast?
It seems pretty simple.
It seems very logical and makes sense.
Most of the Egyptian priesthoods had some craft they practised. The priests of Anubis being undertakers, the priestesses of Nephthys being hired mourners, and so on. The priests of Horus were judges.
The priests of Bast were string chasers? Actually, the priests of Bast where apothecaries and gardeners. The priests of Thoth were scribes. So priesthoods were more or less synonymous with trade guilds, crafts, perhaps not unlike Wicca?
So to express an Egyptian blessing… Walking in ma’at, peace between you and the gods and your relations.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.