Good morning, all! Another day of vacation, another day of living like a normal person (i.e. being up when the sun is up instead of when it’s going down). I think I’m going to have another cup of tea to see me through this morning thing.
There are so many possible topics now that I have Bastet in testing. I’m going to choose one that’s not even on my list. Yes, I am that crazy list person that makes lists about everything. You should see my workstation in the ICU. Sticky notes with lists on them all over the place. Plus the worklist in the computer. I love lists. That’s just how my brain works.
See? Tangent. This is why I need lists. And a cup of tea. I really need another cup of tea. Hold on. I’ll be right back.
Alright. Tea is steeping. I should hopefully be more coherent now.
Anyway, a question from one of my testers prompted this post. She asked me if the name of the design meant anything special. You see, each one of my patterns have a name, long before they are ever sketched out. The name usually does have some sort of special meaning:
Tilly the Springer Spaniel was named after a knitting friend who has two lovely real-life Springers.
Mike the Platypus was named after my Dad. Not only was the pattern idea suggested by my Dad, but I released the pattern for testing on Father’s Day and released the pattern for sale on Father’s Day. So, yeah, a real Dad-dedicated pattern.
Oops the Bunny was named after a character in a shared story my Mom and I are writing together. So is Ecovi the Cat, actually. Two very, very disparate characters.
Barry the Cardinal — well, he was the very first pattern, so I kind of plucked his name out of thin air. I believe I was reading DC comics New 52 reboot of the Flash at that point, and, since the cardinal is red and the Flash wears red, I think that is why I named Barry after Barry Allen’s Flash (although Barry made be think more of Deadpool when I was working him and Deadpool annoys the crap out of me). Hence also why the female cardinal is Iris. Because in the original comics, Barry was married to a reporter named Iris. So, of course, my female cardinal had to be Iris.
So usually, there is a fair amount of geektitude involved in my naming of toy designs. And Bastet is no different than the rest. And this is going to lead to another tangent.
As a highschooler, I loved The Mummy movies and Stargate SG-1. I never thought much about mythology prior to that, but once I watched those movies and the show, I dove deep into Ancient Egyptian history. And I mean deep. I have quite a collection of ancient Egyptian books stacked in my basement to prove it. Plus two Great Courses classes on the subject that I enjoyed thoroughly. Hence, I have a slightly-more-than average knowledge of ancient Egyptian history, including ancient Egyptian mythology.
This leads us into Bastet. If you already pegged her as being a reference to an ancient Egyptian goddess, kudos to you. You win a cookie. Or something. Maybe a cup of tea. Mmmmm. Tea.
Anyway, Bastet is the cat-goddess for Ancient Egypt who also is often depicted as a cat-headed woman. She was the goddess of Lower Egypt and was also called the “Lady of the East” vs. Sekhmet, the other lioness/cat goddess who was the “Lady of the West” (hmmm, does that mean Sekhmet was a goddess of death as well since the dead were called Westerners and people who were dying were said to be going into the West? I might have to research that more).
Gah. Focus, Tahlia. Anyway, Bastet was considered a goddess of sunlight and defender of the pharaoh and of Ra, gaining her the title Eye of Ra. It was her cat form that made me name the Siamese after her, though. In this form, she was connected with the moon and considered to be the goddess of fire, cats, the home, and pregnant women.
If you look at statues of Bastet, though, in her cat form, she looks a little like a Siamese cat. Plus, Bastet is just a really cool name. You have to admit, the ancient Egyptian sure knew how to name people/gods.
So, after a prolonged history lesson with many tangents, now you know where Bastet’s name come from. Not only to I tend to raid history, I also tend to pick through favorite books, movies, etc. for inspiration. So, as you see new toys pop up, see if you can figure out where the reference comes from and let me know. You might be right.