Black Cat Appreciation Day began today at 12 a.m. EDT. It will last until August 23, 1 p.m. EDT. It is the creation of several people who wish to put an end to the prejudice against black cats. Black cats are the ones most often put to sleep and least adopted in shelters, all because of the undeserved reputation they have gained from myths and ignorance.
Black cats are not and never have been evil or in league with the devil or any such nonsense. The certainly are not bad luck. In fact, in some cultures they have been considered to bring good luck.
The black cat is said to have originated in Egypt as an offshoot of the first known domestic cat, the Abyssinian. Statues of the Egyptian goddess Bastet depict her as a black cat. She was the protector goddess of lower Egypt and the protector of the Pharaoh.
Cats were so valued in Egypt that people who killed one, even by accident, were put to death. Cats were even mummified and placed in tombs along side their humans so they would not be lonely for one another is the next life.
In Medieval times, people believed all cats, particularly black cats, were witch's familiars and therefore linked to the devil. Cats and often the elderly women who kept them for company, were brutally slaughtered. This allowed plague-infected rats to overrun Europe with the Black Death. Bastet's revenge for killing the cats, perhaps.
The act of killing these cats was not only disgustingly cruel, it was very ignorant. Not only are they not evil, they can be helpful in more ways than just ridding your home of rodents, snakes and insects.
Many people who practice nature religions such as Wicca feel a strong affinity for animals. Cats are prominent amongst the animals chosen because of their ability to empathize with human emotions. Black cats are exceptionally attuned in this way, though other types of cats may be exceptional as well.
Cats are one of natures healing animals. Physical contact with cats on a regular basis can lower blood pressure, speed the healing of wounds, decrease the chance of heart attack, build up the immune system and much more.
The cat's purr that is the secret to this. The vibrations of the purr are very tranquilizing to humans and even some other animals. If you have ever fallen asleep in physical contact with a purring cat, this is not a coincidence. It is one of the purposes of the cat and the cat's purr.
You can use this healing power of the purr to help yourself and others. As always, remember to protect yourself before you enter into a casting mode.
Healing with cat magic
- Make relaxed physical contact with a cat who knows you well. It can be lying next to you in contact with your body or in you lap. You just need to be able to feel the vibrations of the cat's purr with your body.
- Pet the cat until she purrs her fullest, strongest purr.
- With eyes closed, draw the sensation of the purr into your body and mind. Think of your body as a sponge absorbing the purr into your body. Feel your body match the rhythm of the purr.
- Ask the cat if she would like to help heal you or the person you wish to heal. She will most likely want to. It is part of her nature, but it is polite to ask. You will be able to sense the answer.
- If you are healing yourself, concentrate on the part of yourself you would like the cat's help with. Sense the purr working within your body, surrounding the area where you need help and enveloping it with the purr.
- If you are healing someone else, it should be someone who has said he or she wants help. Then visualize that person and the area that that person needs to have healed. Draw the vibrations of the purr into your mind and focus on the place the needs healing. Mentally project the purr to that place.
- When you have finished, thank the cat and give her a treat. You have used her energy and it must be replenished.
- If she is willing to stay, let her cuddle in bed with you. It will refresh both of you.
Links to black cat sites
The photos in the slide show and the single photo are from Flickr through Creative Commons. Individual photographer credits can be found on each photo.
License for photos from Creative Commons.