Being the sun god loved and worshipped by all, Ra was thought to be eaten by the jealous snake Apep every night, creating the darkness of night sky. The battle would go on all night, and just before dawn, Ra would beat the slimy snake and rise once again.
The wise daughter of Ra, Bastet, transformed herself into a cat for the sharp night vision with the hopes of defeating Apep once and for all.
Ra's priests tried cursing Apep many times, but Apep was too powerful. Finally, with her cat eyes glowing in the dark, Bastet stalked Apep, eventually lounging and sinking her sharp teeth into the evil serpent, killing him almost instantly.
The sun god was proud of his daughter and grateful to her for his life, which ensured the warmth of the sun would go on gifting the the Nile with fertile soil and rich crops. The people honored her as Goddess of fertility.
Bast was originally known by the name 'Pasht', from which came our word “passion". And which some speculate evolved into the english term “puss”.
Having three husbands and being acknowledged as a sexual partner of every god and goddess achieved Bastet a reputation as the Goddess of sexuality.
The rituals performed in her temples, designed for healing, protection, and insuring fertility, were especially sensual, and full of music and dancing. The priestesses of Bastet, dressed in the colour red, were the first "strippers" known for their erotic dancing.
Many festivals were held in her honour, and they usually ended up being very wild affairs. The main festival consisted of thousands of women and men travelling on barges down the river to Baubastis, heavily drinking and partying for days on end.
With loud music, women swaying their curves, others gyrating in dance, and some lifting their dress while making crude gestures and yelling innuendo to the town residents lined up on the riverbank to watch the show, many believe Bastet's parties to have moved and evolved to the Mardi Gras and Carnivale festivals we know today.
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Photo by Alexandra Khitrova
Wanderer. Healer. Chef. Writer. Lover. Admirer of all things magical.