A Look At Today’s Totem/Power Animal, The Cat

A Look At Today’s Totem/Power Animal, The Cat

Perhaps no animal inspires such devotion and dedication-or such animosity and abhorrence-as the cat.

To the ancient Egyptians, the cat was accorded a place of reverence in both the home and the temple. A cemetery containing the mummies of thousands of black cats was unearthed in Egypt.

The popular folk belief that the cat possesses nine lives goes back to Egyptian worship of Bast, the Cat-Mother goddess, who had nine incarnations, including that of the benevolent aspect of Hathor, the Lioness. The Egyptian word for cat was Mau, which is at once an imitation of the cat’s call and the nearly universal human cry for Mama, mother. Cats came to be worshipped with such intensity in those ancient cities along the Nile that the wanton killing of a cat was punishable by death.

Bubastis, a city in Lower Egypt, dedicated itself to the worship of the cat. Each May some 700,000 pilgrims journeyed to the city to participate in a cat festival.

Because the old Egyptians has a great fear of the dark, they observed with awe that the cat, a nocturnal creature, walked the shadowed streets with the greatest of confidence. The ancient Egyptian sages made so much of the cat’s midnight forays they declared that the cat alone was responsible for preventing the world from falling into eternal darkness.

On the other hand, in the old European tradition, the cat was accused of plotting to bring the world into the dark clutches of Satan. The cat, especially a black one, was regarded as the favorite familiar of the practitioners of dark and evil witchcraft. The Grand Inquisitors condemned nearly as many cats to the stake as witches. It is because of this baseless, old ecclesiastical judgement that the sighting of a black cat is said to be and omen of fast-approaching misfortune.

Whether people in the Middle Ages truly believed that the unawavering stare of a cat could cause demonic torments and even their deaths, an unreasoning fearful response to cats is known today as ailurphobia. The very sight of a cat would set Adolf Hitler trembling. Napoleon Bonaparte conquered nearly all of Europe, but if he should sight a cat in his palace, he shouted for help. Henry III of England would faint at the very appearance of a cat.

In ancient India, the cat was held sacred. A number of Sanskrit texts make many favorable references to the influence of the cat on humankind.

In Scandinavian countries, brides used to try their best to be married on Friday, the day of the goddess Freya. If a young woman married on a sunny Friday, it was certain that Freya, the cat-goddess of the Nodic people, would bless the union.

The domestic cat was, of course, unknown to the Native Americans until the advent of the European settler. Because of the creature’s fondness for roaming at night, the Pueblos associated the cat with witchcraft, though this may also have been a result of the Spanish influence on their community.

It the cat is your totem animal, you have a spirit helper who is resourceful, strong, and fearless. You will experience a sense of confidence and a new feeling of courage will suffuse your being. You will find that you are no longer intimidated by any opposition that may be arrayed against you.

With the cat as your totem animal, you will be encouraged to express an agility in body and mind. You will be challanged to explore new vistas. Quite likely you were already a night person before you acquired the cat as your spirit helper, but if not, you will gain a new appreciation for the creative energy that can arrive after midnight.

Your spirit journeys will enable you to maintain a careful balance so that your emphasis on an independent lifestyle and quest for mystical truths do not cause you to develop a taste for the bizarre and occult, which can tempt you to detour from the true spiritual goal of you lifepath.

Dreams

Someone could be seeking your downfall or humiliation in the workplace. Ask the Great Mystery for increased awareness.

Totems

The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem

Brad Steiger

ISBN 0-06-251425-3