Cat Totem – Spirit Animal

By: Shayel Niran Yahalom

Cats, a word which enfolds within it associations of softness, being pampered, flexibility and independence.

The house cat (Felis domestica) is a mammal that hunts mice and other rodents and is unable to digest plants. Research suggests that cats have been domesticated approximately 8,000-10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent region. House cats belong to the Felidae family that includes approx. 37 species, among which are the lion, puma, tiger, jaguar, cougar, leopard, panther, wild cat, swamp cat, sand cat and others…

In ancient Egypt cats were considered sacred and were highly honored. Paintings portraying cats taking part in everyday life were found In Egyptian tombs dated from the New Kingdom era (1540-1069 B.C). Cat statues were placed at the entrances of houses as protection symbols. The Goddess Baset, Goddess of Fertility and Protector of Children and Cats is depicted as having a woman’s body and a cat’s head. In her temples, cats lived luxuriously and were taken care of throughout their lives. When a cat died, the landlords of the house mourned it and the landlord even shaved his eyebrows as a token of grief. Mummies of cats have been found in Egypt alongside human mummies. In Scandinavian mythology, the cat symbolizes Freya, Goddess of Fertility, and in India it is linked to the Hindu Goddess Tz’asti, Goddess of Femininity and Birth portrayed riding on a cat’s back.

In many cultures, Cat is considered the keeper of secrets. Cats have the ability of clairvoyance. Wild cats in particular are linked to psychic abilities, fortune telling and time-space travel.

The lynx (a cat with long black tufted ears) carries the medicine of secrets and knowledge of the secrets of magic linked to clairvoyance. In his book “Animal-Speak”, Ted Andrews writes that wild cats are linked to silence and keeping secrets. They mainly feed on hares and the medicine of hare (understanding fears and dealing with them) is significant for one who is guided by the wild cat as a totem animal. Jamie Sams and David Carson describe Lynx people in their book “Medicine Cards” as having unique clairvoyance abilities that enable them to see what people hide from themselves or others and the subconscious patterns that drive people to operate as they do.

Cats express by their life style the qualities needed for connecting to the unknown and fortune telling through dream time. Peacefulness, calmness and flexibility accompany their motions, they have an excellent sense of orientation, sleep a lot and are active at night in the darkness of mystery. Cat’s night vision is superb (six times stronger than that of humans), an ability which symbolizes clairvoyance and entering into the unknown. Camouflage and stealth are central feline hunting tactics. These are precisely the qualities needed for deep observation and decipherment of occult knowledge.

Most cats dislike water which symbolizes the realm of emotion. It is the independence of Cat people and their ability not to be influenced by their emotions that enable them to see the mystery clearly, since emotions can affect intuition and distort the perception of reality.


It is not by chance that cats are considered to be the close allies of witches and fortune tellers. In Middle-Ages Europe, cats and black cats in particular were persecuted by the Christian church as part of their witch hunt. Cat’s black color, which recalls inspiration and a connection to night time, femininity and mystery evoked in the celibate monks a sense of fear from female energies. The mysteries of female temptation, the occupation with mysticism and healing were all incomprehensible to the monks who preferred to support medicine that was based on scientific experiments and controlled by men.

The link between black cats and evil or bad luck is a superstition based on a misunderstanding. The color which is black like the night or mystery has no connection to evil. It represents the feminine side and the essence of mystery. The totem of Black Panther teaches how to deal with the unknown and to navigate one’s way among the shadows based on self-reliance.

The Black Panther bestows its powerful and compassionate protection upon people who have experienced existential traumas and are in need of support and courage when dealing with their fears of the unknown out of complete trust in the void.

The totem of the Snow Leopard (which is white) also brings renewed power for handling our inner demons. Snow Leopards live in the mountains of the Asian continent and according to Ted Andrews the appearance of a Snow Leopard as a totem suggests previous lives connections to the area where it resides. The appearance of Snow Leopard in your life is a symbol and promise of a new life and a renewed perception resulting from the overcoming of fears you had in the past.

This article is dedicated with great love to my amazing cat Kitana (inspired by the name of the princess from the movie Mortal Combat) who has taught me so much about mystery, love, integrity, support and compassion.

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2 Responses to Cat Totem – Spirit Animal

  1. Marty Wilde says:

    Good stuff. Thank you. Marty

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