In our tradition we divide the year not only by eight solar and agricultural holidays, but also by the Kalends. We celebrate twelve months of the year by the common calendar, plus a special thirteenth month for Samhain. These month cycles are associated with different totemic spirits. Each month is assigned an animal, a bird (or other flying creature), and a tree. February's totems are Cat, Willow, and Owl.
The totemic associations are as follows:
Cat – (Cath) mystery, magic, secrecy, independence, sensuality
Willow – (Saille) divination, lunar magic, healing, night
Owl – (Comhachag) wisdom, magic, night, inner visions, change
Cat is an animal of mystery and magic, largely because she is more
active and communicative at night. She is capable of observing multiple
worlds (physical and non-physical) at one time without making decision
or passing judgment. She is very independent, accepting affection on her
own terms and warning of caution and respect. The Cat is also a symbol
of guardianship, attachment and sensuality.
The Cat is
shown in folk tales from around the world. In ancient Egypt, the Cat had
special privilege. Bast was shown as a Cat or as having a Cat’s head.
In Scandinavia, the Cat was associated with Freya (Goddess of
fertility). Her chariot was pulled by the cats Bygul and Trjegul
(Beegold/Honey & Treegold/Amber). Shasti (Hindu childbirth Goddess)
was shown riding a Cat.
In Celtic world, warriors
carried the skin of a wild Cat. The Cat’s qualities of curiosity, 9
lives, independence, cleverness, unpredictability and healing would have
been helpful to a warrior.
Because Cat can see and
work in spirit world (which lead to the Church torturing and killing
thousands of cats in Britain and France) it was believed that witches
could take form of Cats. This lead to the belief that a witch’s pet Cat
was her familiar (spirit in the form of a Cat).
is associated with the Goddess and the feminine. Brighid had a cat as a
companion. Cerridwen (as the great sow Henwen) gives birth to a
wolf-cub, eagle, bee and kitten. The kitten grows into the Palug Cat –
one of the 3 Plagues of Anglesey.
The Cat is a fierce
guardian (guardian of Otherworldly treasure) in the immrama of Maelduin.
And the Celts have many sightings of Cath Sith (Faery Cats), which are