Symbols

Cat (general)

貓 · [ māo ]

Cats and humans share a long time companionship. Mythological and divine cat figurines are existing across all cultures. Cats are considered to be independent and mysterious. Either there loved or hated, some cultures villainize them, other cultures worship them. None of them are indifferent.

Cats are night active and therefore the symbolism of this idiosyncratic animals is closely related to the moon. On the other Hand

cats are patient and persistent hunters, sitting in front of a mouse hole for hours. This makes them perfect guardians. In ancient Rome the cat was sacred to Diana, the moon goddess and considered as a guardian of homes. In Celtic traditions, the cat was representing the guardian of the Otherworld, stoic, silent and cryptic, known for its deep knowledge of life. 

In Western tradition, black cats have been associated with witchcraft and the devil. But there are also many tradition that adore and worship cats. In Muslim lore, the cat is honored for saving Mohammad from an attack by a fierce snake. In ancient Egypt cats were sacred and worshiped as representation of their lunar goddess Bastet, and also appreciated for their courage (cats even attack serpents). In Norse tradition, the cat was drawing the chariot of goddess Freyja and the symbolic focus was on the cats fertility maternal care. In Asian tradition, people believe that cats are able to see ghosts. In China the cat symbolizes longevity, luck and the power of transformation

As a totem, cats often reminds us to liberate from routines, bad habits or wrong crowds, to make some changes in our lives, to trust our intuition and become more independent and flexible. The cat teaches us a lesson about being unique and not be afraid of it. 

 

> Usage of the symbol

There are many different aspects in cats symbolism so the usage of this symbol depends on the kind of cat you choose and on your focus. Generally speaking a cat always feels comfortable in the West or Bagua n° 7, identifying with its big relative the tiger.

To get an overview of specific cats, related hybrid creatures and mythological figures, please see:

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