Cats… ew, right?
Well, that may be the way that society thinks. I, myself, happen to love the furry
majestic companions with the larger than life personalities. I often joke about becoming an “old cat lady” in my later years (right now, I have two). But in all honestly, instead of it containing the satire most expect from the statement it’s actually something I look forward too. But one thing I have noticed about my own two is that they have a superiority complex out of this world! Rightfully so.
Cats are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, for lack of a better metaphorical adjective, of course.
Felines have been domesticated for over 100,000 years beginning with Mesopotamia, but most of their history is tied in with Kemet (Ancient Egypt) because the culture as a whole was built around the worship of the cat. Laws were created that you could not sell cats to other countries andthe punishment for killing a cat was paying with your own life. There are even relics of mummified cats, who went through the same embalming rituals as pharaohs.
In fact, the modern name “cat” was derived in Egypt from theAfrican/Arabic term “quattah”. And Pussy (or Puss), the slang word for cat actually derives from “Pasht”, another name for the goddess Bastet. On top of being the warrior goddess of cats, she was known for being the protector of joy, dance, music, family, and love. She was a guardian against evil spirits and disease.
With such a powerful history, it’s no wonder that the cat now has a bad connotation. Anything perceived as powerful ended up being “evil” in this age.
Since we were talking about Ancient Egypt, I may as well address some of the other symbols in this quick sketch I did.
The first thing you may notice is the ankh. With this symbol being mainstreamed a lot more these days, some may know it represents life. But there is a bit more to it than what can be taken from the direct definition is used in hieroglyphs.
The ankh was used to symbolize eternal life or life after death. For example, pharaohs were buried with an ankh touching their lips, a symbol of the “Key or Breath of Life” so that they could prosper in their afterlives. The deities were frequently pictured carrying ankhs by the loop or crossed them over their chests.
An understanding can also be gathered from its parts. Some say that the loop at the top is the womb; the two arms extending horizontally are the ovaries and the stem the staff. It is similar in style to other fertility symbols in different cultures.
The ankh is typically associated with material things such as water (which was believed by Egyptians to regenerate life), air, and sun. Today, it is also used in some alchemy and spell casting (we shall explore more in the future).
Moving on, some may also see the Eyes of Horus. He was one of the offspring of the original 2 deities, Ra and Rhea. His right eye is associated directly with his father, Ra, the sun God. The left eye is associated with the moon, and the god of knowledge Thoth.
To Egyptians, the eyes were not passive organs simply used for the sense of sight. The eyes were instruments of action and protection. Based on the legend of Horus, his brother gouged his eye out, but it was restored by the Gods. He offered the eye to his brother Osiris so that he could be resurrected. For this reason, the eyes are also seen as a symbol of protection, restoration, and healing.
Now, I am no expert on things Kemetic, but I hope I can use what I do know to learn and understand more. Hopefully my little tidbits will help someone else.