CovenGrey Magic ► Cats
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Post # 1
Cats Have always been a symbol for mysticism and spirituality.
In ancient Egypt Cats were greatly revered and were sacred to the goddess Bastet. Bastet had the head of a cat and she represented the power of the sun to ripen crops. Male cats were also an emblem of the sun god. In Egypt cats were so valued that when they died thousands were mummified and buried in special graveyards in honor of Bastet.

Being largely nocturnal, cats are associated with the moon. They are also credited with supernatural powers. Because of this reputation coupled with the sensual nature of cats, people in the middle ages were convinced cats were vessels of the devil or at least one of his minions, and so started killing them. They even played disgusting and barbaric games that involved the torture and death of cats.

Many believe today that this is what caused the severity of the plague that wiped out millions in the mid fourteenth century. The plague, or black death, as it was also known, was spread by rats, other rodents, and their flees. It could have been quite a bit less devastating to the human population of the time if they had left more cats alive to hunt. When the connection between the plague and rodents was finally made in the early fifteenth century, cats moved back into good graces, but by that time the plague had wiped out 1/3 of the population of Europe or 25 million people.

An associated tragedy in the middle ages found "accused" witches being condemned to death for their supposed alliance with the devil. These "witches" were often simple peasants, with far more common sense than their peers, and who in disregard for the provincial dislike of cats, kept mousers around the house. Many of them were women who lived alone and kept these affectionate creatures around for companionship. The presumption of cats' evil nature only added fuel to the fire. When they found that these "witches" were in the company of cats they said that the cat was proof of their witchcraft as they believed that the cat was her familiar. It was at this time that the popular connection between witches and cats was made.

Today many practicing Witches have such familiars, though they are not vessels for the devil or his minions. Familiars can be any creature with whom the Witch feels an affinity to. The most common familiar however is still the cat. Cats tend to be more spiritual and attuned to the energy that is being used, therefore they are not as likely to be distractions to works of magik.

Re: Cats
Post # 2
Black cats, because of their ability to remain unseen in dark places or at night, were considered especially desirable partners for witches. Black cats were sometimes used in magical rituals, sometimes as purported participants, other times as sacrifices. In witch trials, ownership of a cat was often taken as "evidence" of Satanic association and witchcraft. Cats, believed to be evil in their own right, were often punished or burned alive along with humans during these trials.
Both historically and today, some religious and spiritual groups purportedly engage in ritualistic sacrifice of cats, though studies have mainly found that such reports belong squarely in the province of urban legend. Many modern witches keep black cats as pets, and view them as sacred.

In Scotland, a strange black cat on your porch is a sign of upcoming prosperity. In Ireland,when a black cat crosses your path in the moonlight, it means there is going to be an epidemic illness. In Italy hundreds of years ago, it was believed that if a black cat lay on the bed of a sick person, that person would die. Many years ago in England, fishermen's wives kept black cats in their homes while their husbands went away to sea in their fishing boats. They believed that the black cats would prevent danger from occurring to their husbands while they were away. Superstitions centering around the black cat are some of the most widely known and popular superstitions.
In places which saw few witch hunts, black cats retained their status as good luck, and are still considered as such in Britain and Ireland.

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