Table of Contents
Have you ever wondered about the worship and reverence of cats in ancient cultures? Most people are familiar with the cat gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, but did you know that there are other fascinating tales of cat deities from different parts of the world? In this article, BeaConPet will explore six captivating stories about cat gods and goddesses that you may not have heard before. From Freyja’s cat-driven chariot in Norse mythology to Hecate’s shape-shifting abilities in Greek mythology, these tales shed light on the deep connection between cats and divinity in ancient cultures. So, get ready to embark on a journey through mythology and discover some lesser-known feline deities.
The 6 Cat Gods & Goddesses
1. Freyja’s cat-driven chariot
In Norse mythology, Freyja was a powerful goddess associated with love, fertility, war, wealth, divination, and magic. One interesting aspect of Freyja’s mythology is her cat-driven chariot. According to legend, Freyja’s chariot was pulled by two giant gray cats, which were a gift from the god Thor. These cats played an important role in ensuring a good harvest, and farmers would leave offerings for them to seek their blessings.
2. A shape-shifting Peruvian god
In the ancient Mochica civilization of Peru, there was a god known as Ai-Apaec. Often depicted as an old man with a wrinkled face, long fangs, and cat-like whiskers, Ai-Apaec was believed to have evolved from ancient cat gods and had the ability to shape-shift into the form of a tomcat. This shape-shifting ability added another layer of mystique and power to this feline deity.
3. A guardian of Chinese families
In Chinese mythology, there is a cat god called Li Shou, who appears in the Chinese Book of Rites. Li Shou was widely worshipped by farmers because it was believed that he protected their crops from being eaten by rats and mice. This agricultural connection made Li Shou an important deity in Chinese culture, as agriculture played a vital role in the lives of the Chinese people.
4. A Polish protector
Ancient Poland had its own cat god known as Ovinnik. Ovinnik was believed to appear in the form of a black cat and was worshipped by many farming families. The primary role of Ovinnik was to watch over domestic animals and protect them from harm. Additionally, Ovinnik was believed to chase away evil-natured ghosts and mischievous fairies, making him an important protector in Polish folklore.
5. A shape-shifting Greek goddess
Greek mythology introduces us to the goddess Hecate, who had the ability to shape-shift into various forms, including that of a cat. According to the myths, Hecate assumed the form of a cat to escape from the monster Typhon. After her escape, Hecate extended special treatment to all cats, emphasizing their connection to her and their mystical qualities.
6. A Celtic goddess’ aides
In Celtic mythology, there is a Welsh goddess named Ceridwen, who is associated with wisdom and is the mother of the famous bard Taliesin. Ceridwen was attended by white cats, which acted as her aides and carried out her orders on Earth. These cats were seen as sacred and played an important role in facilitating Ceridwen’s work and interactions with humans.
More on cat gods
While the six cat gods and goddesses mentioned above offer a glimpse into the diverse world of feline deities, there are countless other stories and myths surrounding cats and their connection to spirituality and divine realms. Native American and other First Nations tribes, for example, have their own rich beliefs and folklore about cat gods and goddesses that deserve exploration.
Additionally, the role of big cats in various spiritual traditions and creation stories is an interesting subject worth delving into. Jaguars, tigers, leopards, and other large felids hold a significant place in many cultures and their mythologies, reflecting the awe and reverence these majestic creatures inspire.
It is evident that cats have captivated the human imagination since ancient times, and their association with gods and goddesses continues to fascinate us to this day. Whether as guardians, guides, or shape-shifters, these feline deities represent different aspects of human spirituality, emphasizing the deep bond between humans and cats throughout history.
Tell us: What are your favorite myths and folklore about cat gods and cat goddesses? Please share them in the comments!
About the Author JaneA Kelley
JaneA Kelley is a renowned cat expert and the webmaster of Paws and Effect, an award-winning cat advice blog written by her cats, for cats and their people. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association and has been a speaker at the BlogPaws and Cat Writers’ Association conferences. In addition to blogging about cats, JaneA is also an accomplished author in the genre of contemporary urban fantasy.
Whether through her writings or her close relationship with her feline companions, JaneA showcases her deep understanding and love for cats, enriching the lives of cat owners and enthusiasts worldwide.