She goes by many names. Lady of the East, Lady of the Flame, Lady of the Truth. Mother Cat. The Light Bearer. Likewise, Her gifts are many. Love. Protection. Fertility. Guidance and acceptance. Music, dance, joy. Strength. Do not be fooled, though, for She is as fierce as She is generous. Vengeful Eye of Ra, Tearer, Devouring Lady, She is not one to cross lightly. She is Bast, worshiped across Egypt’s ancient sands. She is Bastet, goddess of grand Bubastis on the Nile. She is Ubaste, ancient and powerful.
Are you gods without temples or holy books, or are you lovers without bone and blood? Is this polytheism or polygamy? Am I an unfaithful devotee or an unfaithful companion? If love is the earth within which grow the seeds of jealousy, tell me truthfully so I may tend my garden accordingly. No love should be sacrificed on the altar of another, and I have devotion enough for all who claim me. But I know love to be a fickle thing, easily angered, and I would not wish to incur the wrath of patron or paramour. Am I foolish to think I can give all of myself to all of you? That one heart, one soul, can be promised thrice or more? I am a vessel overflowing in the wellspring of love… can you not all drink from me together as equals?
my body is history, mythology, fantasy
my hands have dragged sailors to their doom
my feet have danced to sistrums and chanting
my heart beats the blood of every virgin sacrifice
my eyes blink back the blind oracle’s darkness
my voice is the widow’s wail, the daughter’s dirge
the war cry of Sekhmet, the song of Sappho
my warm flesh is priced pound by pound
bathed in milk, in oil, in perfume, in blood
my curves are criminal and coveted
wrapped in silk, in velvet, in gold, in chains
I am carved from marble and painted on tombs
I am burned at the stake and lauded in the brothel
I am subjugated and unbreakable
I am veiled and radiant
I am a sister
born of daughters
born of mothers
born of gods
dua Bast, The Light Bearer!
matches leap eagerly to flame in Your presence
dua Bast, Eye of Ra!
shadows flee from Your golden approach
dua Bast, The Fiery One!
the candle’s heart surges with Your heat
dua Bast, Lady of Perfumes!
smoke dances joyously in Your wake