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Black Cat Spiritual Meaning – 14 Things You Didn’t Know!

Black Cat Spiritual Meaning – 14 Things You Didn’t Know!

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We all know that there is mystery and symbolism surrounding black cats. This has been true since ancient times and the tradition continues even today.

Black cats are said by some to be omens, carriers of fortune, fertility, blessings, good luck, and success! Others believe the opposite to be true; that black cats represent bad fortune!

The world has a love-hate relationship with black cats, but it’s time to stop believing in discriminatory myths and superstitions about black cats.

Let’s investigate the myths surrounding black cats and learn everything there is to know about black cat spiritual meaning, black cat symbolism and how they were treated and worshiped throughout history and now.

Black Cat Spiritual Meaning – What Could It Be?

I remember when I was very little, as young as 5 years old, I had a superstitious habit of spitting three times on the side of the road whenever I saw a black cat cross the street.

I have no idea who even taught me to do it, but my friends and I were doing it until we were around 12 years old. That’s when we finally realized that it’s not a nice thing to do, or to see.

As you can probably guess, black cats were considered bad in my surroundings. Many people believed that black cats brought misfortune. All because of the color of their fur!

Thankfully, in modern times, fewer people believe these superstitions. People do not discriminate as much against black cats and hopefully they are mostly free to walk around judgment free!

What Does A Black Cat Symbolize?

The black cat symbolizes so many different things to different people. Here are just a few of the reputed properties of black cats in various places and traditions:

Positive Meanings Negative Meanings
Wealth They bring poverty
Good fortune Bring bad luck
Prosperity Cause hardship
Good Luck They bring death
Worthy of being worshiped People dreading them
Are magnificentAre witches in disguise
Sign you’re going to find money Are a warning sign
Protectors of fertility Are terrible creatures
Protector of the home Blamed to spread plague

The spiritual meaning of seeing a black cat really depends on who you ask. Different cultures treat black cats differently.

For example, people in the USA, Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, and many other parts of Europe believe that when a black cat crosses your path – it’s a sign of good fortune!

On the other hand, in India, if a black cat crosses the highway, people will immediately stop and park their cars!

14 Interesting Facts – Did You Know That…

Let’s look at the many meanings that have been assigned to black cats throughout history. Sometimes cats were considered a good omen, while sometimes they were a bad omen. It really depends on the culture and part of the world we’re talking about.

There is not one universal black cat spiritual meaning, which makes this topic very interesting (and proves that these meanings are arbitrary and not helpful!).

Continue reading to find how different cultures treated black cats…

1. Black Cats Had It Best In Ancient Egypt

the black cat lies towards the bed

Egyptians loved and respected all cats because they kept their homes rodent-free. They regarded them with so much respect that if you get caught killing a cat in Ancient Egypt, you could face the death penalty!

Also, they did not discriminate against black fur!

An Egyptian goddess Bastet (Bast) takes the form of a woman with the head of a black cat, a cat with nursing kittens, or simply a seated black cat.

Bast is the goddess of home, cats, women’s secrets, fertility, and childbirth. She also was thought to protect the home from evil spirits and diseases (especially those associated with fertility and childbirth).

2. Single Japanese Women “Love” Black Cats

Japan sides with cultures who consider dark cats lucky. Japanese people actually believe that a black cat crossing your path is a good omen!

There is also a traditional connection between single women and black cats; it is thought that black cats bring good fortune to single women that are in search of love.

Japanese superstition states that owning a black cat increases your chances of finding a partner by actually increasing the number of potential suitors.

How interesting is this?!

3. Only In England: Getting A Black Cat As A Wedding Gift

What is your idea of the perfect wedding gift?

Most would think of buying something useful for the couple’s home or a bottle of expensive alcohol.

In the English Midlands (a specific region in central England), a black cat is traditionally considered to be the perfect wedding gift!

Why, you may ask? Well, It is thought that a black cat brings good luck and joy to the bride!

I am not sure how practical this is in reality, but hey – it’s a fun little fact at least!

4. (Almost All) Sailors And Pirates LOVED Black Cats!

Black cat on a surfboard in a wheat field at sunset

British and Irish sailors always kept a ship’s cat as a part of their crew. Sailors and pirates were known to keep one or two black cats on board. But why?

4 Reasons Sailors Had Black Cats On Board

1. Cats Bring Good Luck To Sailors And The Ship During A Long Voyage

Both sailors and the ship itself really do need good luck. Seas, oceans, winds, and high waves made sea voyages extremely dangerous.

Sailors wanted every good luck charm they could possibly have. Black cats were believed to bring good fortune to all aboard.

Did it work? Unfortunately, there aren’t any sailors and pirates around to ask if it worked or not, but it was a tradition that lasted a long time, so perhaps it did!

2. Black Cats Kept Mice And Rats Away From Food And Ship’s Equipment

Many people consider cats to be one of the most efficient predators in the world. Their sharp eyesight, acute sense of smell and whiskers that sense the tiniest of movements, are what makes them so great at their job.

When onboard a ship, their job was to protect the food storage by keeping it rodent-free. Mice and rats always posed a problem to sailors because they ate their food and damaged the ship’s equipment, such as ropes.

I am sure cats did a good job of keeping ships pest-free!

3. Black Cats Will Protect The Ship From Bad Weather

Bad weather must be a sailor’s worst nightmare, considering how dangerous it can be out on the sea. This is one of the reasons why sailors  used every type of good omen they could find.

Apart from good luck charms they carried, sailors also considered black cats to be lucky when it comes to the weather!

They believed that a black cat had the power to protect the ship from bad weather and make sure the ship was protected from the wind and waves.

4. Black Cats Can Predict The Weather

You are aware how important it would have been for sailors to know the weather forecast in the days before modern meteorology. In the past, the only thing they could rely on predicting the weather was their eyesight, so every other means of help was very welcome.

Well, some believed cats were efficient weather forecasters.

For example:

• If the cat is licking its fur against the grain, a hailstorm is on its way.

• If the cat is sneezing, it means it is going to rain.

I would love it if this were true.

Imagine how cool would it be to have a weather-predicting black cat as a crew member?

One Reason Sailors HATED Having A Black Car On Board

Well, having a black cat on board must have its drawbacks, right?

Some sailors believed that if the ship’s cat fell into the sea, it could cause a huge storm. The storm would be so strong that it could sink the ship. But if the ship survived, it would be cursed for 9 years!

The cat could fall into the sea by itself or a crew member could have thrown the cat overboard. Either way, a black cat in the sea means a massive storm is coming to sink the ship.

I bet these sailors really took good care of their black cat and its whereabouts!

5. Filipinos Have A Lot of Superstitions Involving Black Cats

Some of the superstitious beliefs that Filipinos have about black casts are rather fascinating. When I was researching this topic, I came across a lot of cultures with amazing beliefs about black cats. By far, the most interesting black cat superstitions belong to the Filipinos.

These include:

• If you’ve encountered a black cat on the road, you must turn around 3 times in order to make the bad luck go away.

• If a cat crosses your path, you need to restart your journey, or even postpone the journey altogether.

• If you see a black cat on your way to borrow money, that person will not lend you the money.

• Black cats are a warning that something bad and dangerous is about to happen.

• Black cats mean the presence of a wicked, shape-shifting creature known as “aswang”.

• Killing a black cat at midnight during Good Friday (a Christian holiday) gives you special powers and in the following year, you need to exhume the remains as they are magical.

Suggested: The Most Popular Cat Legends And Myths

6. The Unwanted Reputation Of Black Cats During Halloween

Superstitions around black cats  sharply leading up to Halloween. They have become something of a symbol of Halloween because witches are connected to Halloween, and black cats are associated with witches.

Why Are Black Cats Not Safe During Halloween?

Even though we live in modern times, some people still believe superstitions about black cats and how they bring bad luck to those who see them. Black cat owners are especially not thrilled about Halloween …

During Halloween, people are all about bad luck and witches. There is a popular and widespread myth that cats are carriers of evil spirits and may be witches in disguise.

Because of this reputation, some immoral people turn their attention to black cats around Halloween and seek to harm them. Some shelters don’t allow adoptions of black cats during October, as Halloween is on October 31st. Essentially, black cats are safer in the shelter during those times.

A Disclaimer: Some believe this to be an urban myth and that black cats face no real danger during Halloween.

7. Cats Were Killed For “Spreading Plague”

If you’re interested in European history, I am sure this is a story that will already be familiar to you.

The Great Plague was an epidemic of bubonic plague that lasted from 1665-1666. As you might know, rats are the carriers of the bacteria that causes plague.

However, the mayor of London at the time thought cats and dogs were to blame for the rapidly spreading plague. He ordered a lot of cats and dogs to be killed.

To be fair, there was no medical knowledge about plague at this time, so people were desperately seeking possible explanations and solutions. Nevertheless, it was a terrible choice!

What Was The Consequence Of Mass Cat-Killing During Plaque?

Apart from the ruthless killing of animals, this was a bad choice because it meant getting rid of the only predators that could kill the rats carrying the plague.

Without cats, the rat population grew even more, subsequently spreading plague even further and inevitably resulting in more deaths.

Later, the number of rats (thankfully) went down due to cold weather and massive fires that struck London.

8. Mass Cat-Burning & Witches In The Dark Ages

a black cat lies in the green grass

The Middle ages was a time period between the 5th and the 15th century, while the Dark ages was a period within the Middle Ages, from the 5th until the 10th century.

The medieval church disapproved of keeping black cats as pets, or black cats in general.

They believed black cats were:

• associated with the witches and witchcraft

• associated with the devil

• associated with vanity

• Satan’s agents

• demons in disguise

• companions of sorcerers

Pope Innocent VIII even went so far as to encourage ritual cat-killing during religious holidays . People would gather in large squares and burn the cats. Horrific!

All across Europe (but especially in France and Spain), on Saint John’s Eve, heretics, witches, criminals, and cats were tortured and burned at the stake.

9. Pope Gregory IX Ordering Cat-Killing – It’s Just A Myth!

There is a popular historical myth that Pope Gregory IX made people go into a cat-killing spree, leading to the death of many cats (especially black ones). The lack of cats caused the plague to spread, because there were no cats to kill the rodents who were spreading the disease.

Essentially, the story goes that the Pope caused the plague in Europe by killing cats.

But is it true?


What Is The Real Story?

Pope Gregory IX issued a public letter (a papal bull) where he explained that he was aware of a Satanic sect that was present among them.

The only instance where he mentioned a cat was in one paragraph where he stated that the black cat was an icon worshiped by the pagans. He never issued a “kill all cats” order like many people believe.

The papal bull, named Vox in Rama, was issued to criticize pagans and their supposedly Satanic cult. It was specially sent to a city named Mainz, in order to warn them.

It is so interesting how one historical event can be twisted around to create a good (but completely false) story.

10. Black Cats In Celtic Mythology –

Now, let’s talk a bit about how the Celts (Celtic people) treated cats. Today, the Irish and the Scottish are part of the Celtic nation.

The Cat-Sith

In the Celtic mythology, Cat-Sith is a fairy creature that resembles a large black cat. It was not all black, as it had a patch of white fur on its chest. It is very common in Scottish tradition, but it appears in the Irish tradition too.

Some believed that Cat-Sith was not a fairy creature, but rather a witch that could transform into a cat.

The witch could intentionally change into a cat and back exactly nine times. If she changed a 9th time, she would remain a cat until the end of her life. Some believe that this is how the story of cats having nine lives originated.

Whether the Cat-Sith was a fairy or a witch depends on the storyteller. Nevertheless, the role of the Cat-Sith was to calm the souls of the dead as they moved to their final resting place. On Samhain (a holiday celebrating the end of the harvest season), the Cat-Sith would bless the homes of people that left out some cream for the night.

11. Did The Greek Worship Cats As The Egyptians Did?

This may come as a shock to some, but no – they did not! In Greek mythology, cheetahs, lions, and panthers had a larger role than cats.

Pheonecian traffickers smuggled cats out of Egypt, but they never gained popularity in Greece.

Cats never played a significant role in Greek culture or daily life. In Ancient Greece, having a cat in the house was unusual, and cats were never mentioned in literature.

This is most likely owing to the fact that cats were not as effective at killing rodents here as they were in Egypt. Weasels and ferrets were typically used by the Greeks for this purpose.

12. Black Cat As A Spirit Animal – Black Cat Totem

a black cat sits on the road

In spirituality, black cats are regarded as very special. It is thought they have amazing healing powers and that they can be a person’s spirit guide.

A cat is a powerful animal that is said to inhabit the spiritual realm. People who have a connection with black cats are said to be gifted, mysterious, and possibly endowed supernatural powers

Black cats with green eyes are said to represent wisdom and knowledge.

People that have a black cat as a totem animal are protected from evil and ghosts. They are shielded from bad spirits by the black cat.

The cat spirit animal is said to be magical and independent. Some say that they are better home guardians than dogs!

13. Dreaming A Black Cat Dream – What Could It Mean?

Seeing a black cat in a dream and seeing a black cat in real life can have completely different meanings.

There are a million different ways of interpreting the spiritual meaning of a black cat in your dream. If depends on:

a) you current state of mind

b) what is happening in your life

c) your past

d) what kind of cat was in the dream and what it was doing

What Could Dreaming A Black Cat Mean?

Here are a few interpretations for dreams featuring a black cat:

• It’s a symbol of weakness and insecurity

• You’re in a tough period in your life and you don’t know what to do

• You’re in pain and you’re confused about what to do

• You are questioning your values and beliefs

• You are in doubt about something

• You have lost trust in your friends

• You have lost faith in someone or something

• You need to find your peace

• You’re afraid to follow your instincts

• If you killed a black cat in your dream, it means that a new period in your life is coming

• If you dreamt about a black kitten, it means you’re careless and might miss an opportunity presented to you

• If you’re catching a black cat in your dream, that means you’re going to experience an uncomfortable situation soon

• If the black cat in your dream is calm, then it represents independence, uniqueness, a reminder of your talents and encouragement to be yourself

14. Black Cat At Your Doorstep – What Could It Mean?

There are a few theories on what it means if you find a black cat meowing on your doorstep. Surprisingly, none of them are negative. Cats at your doorstep are a sign of good luck !

Here are a few popular reasons:

• If the cat enters the house, it’s good luck

• You are going to receive good news soon

• You need protection in your life

• Good fortune regarding money awaits for you

• If you’re a sailors wife, it means your husband is coming back home soon

A fun fact is that the wives of sailors would often take the cat in and care for it. They believed that keeping the cat safe would keep their husbands safe also.

Related: When A Stray Cat Chooses You – The Spiritual Meaning

Final Thoughts

As you can see, people have always been fascinated with black cats, even since ancient times.

Unfortunately, there were many times when this attention was negative and led to people harming black cats. This was all due to irrational superstitions that, as we now know, were complete nonsense.

Even today, some of these stories are still alive and black cats continue to be associated with bad luck.

It is time to move past the folk stories and not discriminate against black cats because of their fur color. The only difference between a black cat and some other cat is that its hair contains more pigment than the hair of a white cat.

On a more positive note, the black cat is known to represent wealth, good luck, prosperity, marriage, good weather for sailors and many other blessings.

Black cats and their spiritual meaning is a very interesting topic with a lot of fun stories. It is your choice whether to believe in the symbolic meaning of a black cat crossing your path, sitting on your doorstep or appearing in your dreams.

I personally find black colored cats extremely beautiful and I chose to associate black cats with good luck and good fortune. I sure hope it pays off!

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