Bast or Bastet?

 
In yesterday's post, I said "Thank Bast!" about Pete no longer being Stinky.  I received an e-mail, asking me "Is Bast is the same as Bastet?"  The answer is yes.  Both are names of the Egyptian cat goddess, patron goddess of the sunrise.  Whereas Sekhmet was the lion goddess of war, Bast was associated with the home and hearth, and was a common household deity.
As for the difference in the spelling of the names, Bast is the older spelling, first translated into English, and Bastet became popular in Victorian times, when archaeological expeditions created a British flurry of interest in Egypt. The "et" was added to make sure the "t" sound was pronounced.
When I was in Egypt, our tour guide explained it like this: if you pronounce "Ramses" like "ram-uh-zeez" you probably say "bas-tet", however if you say "ram-zeez" then you probably say "bast" (making sure to get that "t" enunciated!).  Since I have always said Ramses in the "American" fashion as just two syllables, I say Bast.
The bottom line is: both are correct, it's just a personal preference.
Either way, beautiful images of the cat goddess still can be seen in Egypt and in museums around the world.  The close-up above is the head of a winged Bast statue from a museum, and the red granite Bast below is in my bedroom.  I purchased it in Aswan, and it is carved from the same quarry from where Hatshepsut's obelisks came - so you can see how beautiful the monuments were in their glory.
 

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Mo and The Purries

19 comments :

  1. Wonderful explanation :) I treasure my postcard from Chica & Pumuckl with a picture of Bast !!!
    It is always fun to learn,and I always like to know the proper way to say names :)
    Purrs Mickey

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  2. All we really know is that we are Gods and that is all that matters. Meow.

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  3. Well yeah. We're all cats and we're all gods and goddess...

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  4. Sometimes we say "Bast", but mostly we say "oh, look, its a cat". MOL!

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  5. Wow - I learned something this morning!

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  6. Mom loves the red granite! Mom loves everything red!

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  7. That was a good explanation. We didn't know who Bast was either so we googled it and found out.

    Wally, Ernie & Zoey

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  8. You say Bast, I say Bastet ... ;-)

    Beautiful statue.

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  9. That was a good explanation. Mommy loves the expression!

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  10. Thanks for the good lesson!

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  11. Bast is my patron goddess! :)

    I’ve given you an award!
    http://tinkerbell-nl.blogspot.com/2008/09/awards.html

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  12. And whut a lovely goddess she is!

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  13. Mostly I just say "Ceiling Cat."

    ;)

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  14. We'z like Max, we say "Ceiling Cat" but mom usually sez "Basement Cat"...we don't know why, we is furry well behaved. ::Hey Sadie, done digging up da potted plant? Wanna help me dump da garbage?:: See we'z good...

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  15. We love Amelia Peabody mysterious so we enjoyed learning more about Egypt. The statue of Bast you have is so pretty. It is a very nice red color. ~S, S & C

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  16. This was very interesting to learn about the pronunciation differences! Those statues are beautiful!

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  17. Thanks for 'splainin', Mo ... I was never furry sure ...
    DMM

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  18. How interesting. We didn't even know that, on our postcards is written bastet :-)

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