June 19, 2024


Author Terry Pratchett mentioned, “In historical instances, cats have been worshipped as gods; they haven’t forgotten this.” When you hear this phrase, do you routinely consider historical Egyptian cat goddesses and cat gods? Probably. Do you consider another cultures on the subject of cat goddesses, cat gods and worshipping cats? Probably not. But don’t fear, I’ve been responsible of this false impression, too: For a few years, I believed that the traditional Egyptians have been the one ones who revered, praised and even worshipped cats. But as I started exploring world mythology, I discovered that there’s much more to cats, deities and miracles than I first thought.

Beyond all of the folklore about beckoning cats, useful cats, temple-guarding cats, prophets being type to cats, and cats serving as omens and familiars, there are a tales surrounding cat goddesses and cat gods that we not often hear about. Here are six tales about cat gods and cat goddesses that you simply may not know.

Cat god statute.

Photography courtesy JaneA Kelley.

1. Freyja’s cat-driven chariot

The Norse goddess Freyja, deity of affection, fertility, struggle, wealth, divination and magic, rode in a chariot pulled by two big grey cats given to her by the god Thor. Farmers left choices for the cats with a purpose to guarantee a superb harvest.

2. A shape-shifting Peruvian god

Ai-Apaec, a god of the pre-Inca civilization often called the Mochica, was usually depicted as an outdated man with a wrinkled face, lengthy fangs and cat-like whiskers. He was mentioned to have advanced from one of many historical cat gods and to have the ability to assume the type of a tomcat.

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3. A guardian of Chinese households

A cat god known as Li Shou seems within the Chinese Book of Rites. He was worshipped by farmers as a result of he protected the crops from being eaten by rats and mice.

4. A Polish protector

In historical Poland, Ovinnik, who appeared within the type of a black cat, was worshipped by many farming households as a result of he watched over home animals and chased away evil-natured ghosts and mischievous fairies. (Like most creatures of Slavonic mythology, they have been nice till you didn’t respect them or give them what they wanted — then they did issues like make mischief that would have tragic outcomes.)

5. A shape-shifting Greek goddess

Greek mythology tells of how the goddess Hecate assumed the type of a cat with a purpose to escape the monster Typhon. Afterwards, she prolonged particular therapy to all cats.

6. A Celtic goddess’ aides

Ceridwen, the Welsh goddess of knowledge and mom of the well-known bard Taliesin, was attended by white cats who carried out her orders on Earth.

More on cat gods

I couldn’t go into all of the tales of gods and goddesses who shape-shifted into giant cats, or this publish would have been a few mile lengthy. This has sadly excluded many tales about cat gods from Native American and different First Nations tribes, amongst others, and for that I apologize. I’d love to write down one other publish about massive cats and non secular traditions should you’re , as a result of the topic of jaguars, tigers, leopards and different giant felids in people traditions, non secular beliefs and creation tales is unquestionably value a learn.

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Tell us: What are your favourite myths and folklore about cat gods and cat goddesses? Please share them within the feedback!

Thumbnail: Photography by EgyptianStudio on Thinkstock.

This piece was initially printed in 2015.

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