Writer Terry Pratchett mentioned, “In historic instances, cats have been worshipped as gods; they haven’t forgotten this.” Once you hear this phrase, do you mechanically consider historic Egyptian cat goddesses and cat gods? Most likely. Do you consider some other cultures in terms of cat goddesses, cat gods and worshipping cats? Most likely not. However 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. However as I started exploring world mythology, I discovered that there’s much more to cats, deities and miracles than I first thought.
Past all of the folklore about beckoning cats, useful cats, temple-guarding cats, prophets being variety to cats, and cats serving as omens and familiars, there are a tales surrounding cat goddesses and cat gods that we hardly ever hear about. Listed here are six tales about cat gods and cat goddesses that you just won’t know.
1. Freyja’s cat-driven chariot
The Norse goddess Freyja, deity of affection, fertility, warfare, wealth, divination and magic, rode in a chariot pulled by two large grey cats given to her by the god Thor. Farmers left choices for the cats with the intention to guarantee a great harvest.
2. A shape-shifting Peruvian god
Ai-Apaec, a god of the pre-Inca civilization generally known as the Mochica, was usually depicted as an outdated man with a wrinkled face, lengthy fangs and cat-like whiskers. He was mentioned to have developed from one of many historic cat gods and to have the ability to assume the type of a tomcat.
3. A guardian of Chinese language households
A cat god known as Li Shou seems within the Chinese language E-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 historic 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 the intention to escape the monster Typhon. Afterwards, she prolonged particular remedy 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.
Extra on cat gods
I couldn’t go into all of the tales of gods and goddesses who shape-shifted into giant cats, or this put up 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 jot down one other put up about huge cats and non secular traditions for those who’re , as a result of the topic of jaguars, tigers, leopards and different giant felids in people traditions, spiritual beliefs and creation tales is certainly value a learn.
Inform us: What are your favourite myths and folklore about cat gods and cat goddesses? Please share them within the feedback!
Thumbnail: Images by EgyptianStudio on Thinkstock.
This piece was initially printed in 2015.