For Teka Lynn
Hail Bast who bears the was-scepter
and the precious alabaster jar
with which you anointed the body of Horus
after he bathed in your sacred lake at Boubastis,
you who wear the aegis that puts to flight
all manner of demons, on which the terrifying
visage of your son Maahes the Render
can be seen, O Bast, alluring consort
of Ptah, the maker of many splendid things,
Daughter of Rē, Protector of Lower Egypt,
Sekhmet’s companion in the hunt. wanderer
in the land of Punt, soothed by the sistrum
of Hathor, O Bast of many names and many roles.
For in Memphis you are known as Mistress of Ointments
and the one who delights in fragrant perfumes.
When the women of Thebes are getting married
they ask that you bless them with fertility and good luck
so they may bear a litter’s worth of fine offspring,
and later they call to you in the midst of their labor,
and afterwards beg you to watch over their young
so that they may grow healthy and strong.
To the Heliopolitans you are the Slasher, the avenger of Rē.
The learned scribes of Hermopolis have deduced
that you are the soul of Isis through clever wordplay.
And the Greek inhabitants of Alexandria name you
Aílouros in their tongue, she who wags her tail
and the Egyptian Artemis who adores the chase
and the light of the moon. O Bast, you are all of these things
and so much more, and I pray always that I am worthy
in your eyes to be a caretaker for one (or more!) of your children.