THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT

By Edward Lear

The Owl and the PussyCat went to Sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note ...
The Owl looked up to the Stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Puss said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! Too long we have tarried,
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows ...
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose ...

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill ...
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The Moon,
The Moon,
They Danced by the Light of the Moon ...

 

THE LORE OF THE OWL

In Indian culture, a White Owl is considered a companion of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, and therefore is a harbinger of Prosperity ...

In Greek mythology the Owl, and specifically the 'Little Owl' was associated with Athena, the  Goddess of Wisdom, a Bird Goddess who was also the Goddess of skills and the arts. Even today the Owl represents intelligence and wisdom as an Owl is the mascot of the IQ society Mensa ... 

The Owl Goddess is represented in over a thousand artifacts excavated from the prehistoric city of Troy, located on the Aegean coastal plane of Turkey ... For thousands of years its remains lay buried ... hidden away prior to the charred layer archeologists eventualy identified as the Ancient City of Troy burned by Agememnon and his Mycenaean Greeks during the Trojan War.

Many people don't really think much about where Troy is located and only know of Troy through the tale of the famous 'Trojan Horse'.  For those of you who have never given it a thought, Troy is located on the West Coast of Turkey ...

However, Owl Goddess figurines have been found on many other places and from far earlier eras than those of latter day Troy. Here is an archeologists quote describing them ..."These owl-faced female figures, which occur so frequently upon the cups, vases and idols, is none other than Athena, the tutelary Goddess of Troy".

An Owl figurine was recently found in Soth America at Catal Huyuck, one of the oldest human cities, a place which is still under excavation by an international team of archaeologists.  By the very fact that it was found at this site, where the earliest known domestication of wheat and cattle took place, indicates clearly that it can be dated to somewhere around 9000 years ago ...

Owls can see what others cannot and this is a major  part of Owl magic. Owl’s ability to do this reminds us of the importance of both worlds ... the 'visible physical' world as well as the 'hidden spiritual', representing both the 'known' and the 'unknown'.

Our willingness and courage to transform the unknown in ourselves into the known is the true Source of Wisdom. The Zuni Pueblo people call the Owl 'Night Grandfather' because he does his work at night.  Clairvoyant abilities and uncovering deception have always been associated with the Owl.  Its connection with Wisdom is derived from Owl’s ability to discern things which cannot be 'seen' with mortal eyes ...

Owls fly silently, teaching us to silently observe life, and gather information to gain understanding

The Owl is a silent flyer due to the smooth, velvety surface of its feathers, making the element of surprise the strength of its assault, enhanced by the fact that the attack usually comes from a source completely unsuspected by its victim. The first that the unwary mouse knows of the presence of an Owl is its sharp talons ...

The lesson Owl teaches best is that of discerning the presence of deception. According to Ancient Spiritual Teachings, the Owl warns us not to assume that all is well all of the time.

People and situations we think we can trust may not necessarily be completely trustworthy, but Owl has the ability to discern the Truth of the situstion..

The Gift of the Owl is to be undeceived by external appearances and to search and discover the truths which lie beneath them ...

A bird that chooses to hunt at night, the Owl is alert until dawn. She is one of the few creatures that actually wait for the Sun to rise before retiring for a well-earned rest.  She literally welcomes the Sun as it illuminates and warms the horizon each morning. As such, she symbolically sheds Light on those areas of our life in which we are being deceived by camouflage, fraudulence, pretence or duplicity ...

Owl’s Wisdom allows us to know when we are stuck in a rut ... lost in the contented comfort of our own lives, oblivious to the fact that we are wandering aimlessly through life without purpose.

Owl sheds light on these moments, so that clarity may be retrieved and stability salvaged and well-being restored.  By helping us to find the Light at the end of an otherwise pitch-dark tunnel, Owl promises a time of approaching lucidity, and the promise of new beginnings ... 

If Owl has silently swooped into your world today, you are being cautioned that you are perhaps being deceived by the apparently innocent motives of another.

Owl’s appearance may be a warning that you need to quickly ascertain the integrity hidden behind these motives and determine how they may affect or influence your view of the world ...

The Owl has been gifted with clear Night Vision which, when employed with the Right Intent, affords us the Ability to see what others may miss completely ...

 

THE LORE OF THE CAT

'Thou art the Great Cat, the Avenger of the Gods, and the Judge of Words, and the President of the Sovereign Chiefs and the Governor of the Holy Circle ... Thou art indeed ... the Great Cat'.

~ Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes ~

The fully developed Cult of the Cat existed in Egypt and it lasted over two thousand years. Egyptian art provides ample evidence that the Egyptians treated these Sacred Animals as Divine.

The Cat has an air of independent aloofness, a quality of meditativeness and inscrutability which has often been seen as a sign of divinity and a divine attribute.

The Cat was considered very early on to be sacred to the Egyptian Goddess Isis. It gradually came to be recognized as an incarnation of deity, and it was as the daughter of Isis and her husband, the Sun God Osiris, that the Great Cat Goddess Bastest (Bast or Pasht) emerged. Egyptian Gods and Goddesses have a confusing way of merging into one another, and it is important to remember this in considering myth and ritual with which Bastet is connected.  For example, Osiris, Horus, Ra and Ptah were all different forms of the sun god. Isis merged with Hathor, the Cow Goddess, and with Mut, the Theban mother goddess. Osiris, Bastet's father, was not only a sun god but also a moon god and god of the underworld; while Isis, her mother, was a Sun/Moon/Earth Goddess.

The worship of Bastet overlapped that of Isis, Hathor and Mut, and also that of the Lion Goddesses, Tefnut and Sekhmet, according to the district and to which of Bastet's many aspects were being stressed. The Cat Goddess had a solar son, Nefertem, by the Sun God, Amen-Ra, and Khensu, the Lunar God, was her son by Ptah.

At the time when the Egyptian gods were taking form, the wild cat was venerated for its ferocity and rapacity - qualities which it shared with the lion.   Bastet was originally Lion-headed, like the Goddesses Sekhmet of Memphis, Tefnut of Heliopolis and others, with whom she is  connected ...

Although it was in her later Cat-headed form that Bastet became so immensely popular, she never ceased to be worshipped as a Lion-headed deity, the two forms existing concomitantly through the last thousand years of Egyptian pre-eminence ...

The earliest known portrait of Bastet was found in a temple of the fifth dynasty, about 3000 BC.  She is revealed as a Lion-headed Goddess who was honored as 'Bastet, Lady of Ankh-taui'.   One of the earliest pictures of a Cat-headed Bastet is in a papyrus of the Twenty-First Dynasty, now exhibited in the Cairo Museum. 
The center of the Cult of the Cat was at Bubastis, which was situated east of the Nile Delta. Consequently, Bastet was known as the 'Lady of the East' ... Sekhmet bearing the title 'Lady of the West'.   Bastet was worshipped, among other Goddesses, in the Temple at Bubastis as early as the Twelfth Dynasty ...

In the Twenty-Second Dynasty, about 950 BC, Bastet took precedence over all other Goddesses.  She was known as 'The Lady of Bubastis' and became an immense power in Egypt.  King Osorkon II built a magnificent festival hall in Bubastis and dedicated it to Bastet. A relief found on the walls of the sanctuary showed the king endowing the Goddess thusly ... 'I give thee every land in obeisance, I give thee all Power' ...

The Temple of Bastet has been vividly described by the historian Herodotus, who travelled in Egypt about 450 BC.  It stood in the center of the city of Bubastis and was virtually on an island, since it was surrounded (except at its entrance) by canals from the Nile, which were a hundred feet wide and overhung by trees.  While the foundations of the surrounding houses had been raised, the Temple remained on its original level so that the whole city commanded a view down into it.  The Temple of Bastet was an enormous and spectacular building in the form of a square, and was made of red granite. Stone walls carved with figures surrounded the sacred enclosure, which consisted of a grove of very tall trees within which was hidden a Shrine. In the center of the Shrine was a huge statue of Bastet, the Cat Goddess.

The rites of the Cat Goddess included processions, litanies, antiphonal singing, invocations, revelations of sacred images and sacrifice.  'Divine Cats' were always to be found in the Shrine of Bastet, for it was as this animal that the Goddess was seen to be incarnated. Sacred Cats kept in her Temple were ritually fed, and those who tended them were afforded special priveliges. During the whole of the riegn of Bastet, household cats were treated with the greatest of respect. Many were bejewelled, and they were allowed to eat from the same dishes as their owners. Sick cats were carefully tended  and stray cats were fed with bread soaked in milk and with fresh fish caught in the Nile, and then chopped before being offered to them.



One of the principal Egyptian festivals was that held in honor of Bastet. Herodotus stated that, of all the 'solemn assemblies', by far the most important and popular was that annually celebrated at Bubastis.

Such was the popularity of the cult of Bastet that images of Cats (her animal incarnation) abound in Egypt.  Cats have been portrayed in every conceivable activity, sculptured in every material from gold to mud, and in every size from colossal to minute. In Thebes a number of tomb reliefs show Cats beneath chairs ...

A feature of the Ramesside period (about 1320 BC) was the Satirical Papyrus. These contained pictures of animals playing the parts of humans, displaying their human weaknesses and vices.

It was during the Bubastite period, the Twenty-Second Dynasty, that Cat Cemeteries were laid out along the banks of the Nile. Digging in this area has produced bronze Cat effigies and a profusion of Cat amulets. The larger figures vary from peaceful, comtemplative Cats, dignified and awe inspiring Cats, to Cats which have an ominous air about them ... however, no matter what aspect is portrayed, they all emanate a significant magical vitality ...

Bronze cats, made in Temple workshops and sold at the stalls, were used as votive offerings at shrines and were worshipped by many people, and recognized as symbols by the elect ...

Little amulet figures of Cats, pierced or ringed for suspension on necklaces, were found buried by the hundreds in Cat graves, and also behind walls and beneath floors of houses and temples.

They were carved in gold, silver, amethyst, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli, agate, quartz, marble, glass, stone and faience; and the mellowed glazes shifted through brilliant blues, greens, yellows and soothing grays. They portrayed cats in every mood and position ... mediatative cats, alert cats, crouching, prowling, walking and pouncing Cats, and Cats who appeared to be in full flight ...



Some of these cats were featherweight, others strangely heavy for wearing around the neck. Among the heaviest, and also the most charming of the amulets, consisted of Cats on columns. The columns, perhaps three inches in height, were classic in form and were usually made of faience. Often a single Cat was poised majestically on high, but sometimes a couple of kittens appeared, snuggled together on the top.

Cats were used to decorate necklaces, rings, brooches and pins, and objects such as musical instruments and sceptres.

Although the Cult of the Cat was at its height during the Twenty-Second Dynasty, it never dwindled during the next nine hundred years either in importance or in popularity.  At the end of the Roman period, the image of the cat faded, in company with those of all other animals, with the emerging of Christinaity ....

Because of their exceptional visionary ability, acute hearing and high intelligence, Cats were used throughout history as Guardians and Protectors ...

As in Ancient Egypt, Cats also guarded the Temple gates and were used to ward off evil in the Monasteries and mountain retreats of Tibet

The Cat Goddess, Bastet, was first worshipped as a form of the Sun, which was the source and sustainer of life and light. During the Eighteenth Dynasty she was often identified with her father who, in this case, was called not Osiris, but Ra ...

From the identification of the Cat with the Sun has arisen 'cat's cradle', a name given to certain string games. These are familiar children's games played by two people, in which string is wound in patterns round their fingers, are still played all over the world.  Indigenous peoples  cultural traditions are aware of a great variety of string  figures, many of which they use for purposes of sympathetic magic.  The cat's cradle is often employed to control the movements of the Sun ... Members of Congo tribes make cradles of string to encourage the sun to rest from its blazing activities ... Eskimos try to entangle the solar cat, for they play their string games after the summer solstice, hoping to hold the Sun back from its winter setting.

Egyptians thought of the Sun and Moon as the Eyes of Horus, and the Egyptian word for 'eye' was feminine ... So Bastet was first worshipped as a Lion-headed Goddess who was described as the 'Flaming Eye of the Sun'.



As a Solar Goddess, Bastet was at her fiercest. She has been identified with Tefnut, the Lion-headed goddess of the Old Kingdom who was known as the 'Ethiopian Cat'.
This is not the role usually played by Bastet, even in her Lion-headed form, for she was a twin of Sekhmet of Memphis and, whereas both Goddesses represented aspects of the Sun, Bastet was always considered to be the milder of the two ...

Sekhmet, 'the Great Cat', and Bastet, 'the Little Cat', as they were known, were worshipped in the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis. Texts speak of Sekhmet as a Warrior Goddess.  She was the 'Powerful' and the 'Fiery One' who emitted flames against the enemies of the gods, for she incarnated the fierce destructive heat of the desert sun. On the other hand, Bastet respresented that life-giving warmth of the sun which encouraged the growth of vegetation.  An ancient  text refers to the Solar Goddess thusly ... 'Kindly is she as Bast, terrible is she as Sekhmet'.

When people wanted a fierce Goddess to Protect them they called on Sekhmet ... when in need of gentler and more personal help, they turned to Bastet. The Egyptian Trinity was known by the composite name of Sekhmet-Bast-Ra.

When Bastet is Lion-headed it is very difficult, in the absence of inscriptions, to distinguish her from other Lion Goddesses. In coffin paintings, on Temple walls and in papyri, the Lion-headed Bast is usually portrayed with a Uraeus (sacred asp) rising from her head, and carrying in one hand a Sceptre and in the other an Ankh. Occasionally she also wears a Solar Disk, but this is more commonly worn by Sekhmet ...

... The Ankh, a Symbol of Eternal Life ... the Sceptre and Uraeus were both emblems of Royalty and the Asps represented Solar Divinity ...

Only Bastet and Thoth (God of Wisdom) are carriers of the 'Udjat' or Sacred Eye.  Bastet is often found wearing it in both her Leonine and her Cat forms.

The Scarab was a sign frequently engraved between the ears of Lion and Cat-headed bronzes of Bastet.  Apart from Bastet, the only Scarab bearing deity is Ptah.



Scarabs made of gold, ivory, faience, stone or wood were later inscribed with a Cat and its image was combined with the name of Bastet.

All Cats, both Great and Small, absolutely love basking in patches of sunlight ...  There is an Ancient Chinese belief that the size of the pupils of Cats eyes is determined by the height of the Sun above the horizon and tell the time by the size of the puils of their eyes.

To this day, Cats are magical, mystical, mysterious caretakers of their human companions, capable of both intense loyal connectivity and seething resentment.

If a Cat appears in your life, the blending of magic and mystery is at hand. A trustworthy teacher, the Cat will guide you into the world of self discovery and transformation.

The energy field of a Cat rotates is a counterclockwise direction, the opposite of a human energy field. Because of this, Cats have the ability to absorb and neutralize energy that affects humans in a negative way. This is just a part of the healing abilities that the Cat holds.

If something affects you in a negative way, place a Cat on your lap or find a Cat to pet. Your energy field will immediately realign itself and inner balance will be restored.

Cats are fiercely independent. You can never own one ... it allows you to take care of it and love it, but only on its terms. They come and go as they please, when they please. The Cat has possesion of the qualities of independence, curiosity, 'nine lives' (immortality), cleverness, unpredictability, healing, the ability to fight when cornered, seeing the unseen, and protection.

The Cat also represents Love and can assist us in meditation.

If you share in the Power of the Cat, then you have magic and mystery in your life ... You are independent and a free thinker, with a great talent for organizing things. You no doubt will feel energized at night. You will stay with a person or situation until it bores you, and then you are gone, post haste ...

Cats represent independence, resourcefulness, regal nobility, beauty, aloofnes ... relaxed yet always vigilent and alert ... They are agile and clever, unpredictable and utterly unique.

The Cat is the  embodiment of Luck, Magick and Mystery, insightful, perceptive predation, who has no need of any mere mortal ... Cat will stay only if it chooses to do so and there are Cats who have a few 'homes', being fed in each, without attachment to any one home in particular ...