Unlike many other Indo-European cultures, of which they were one, the Celts did not revere cats. In the mythology of the Celts, cats serve in archetypal guardian roles as both demos and angels – guarding the gates of the Otherworld. They had the ability to shape-shift into a ball of fire and even steal humans.
Long before the cat held meaning in the Celtic culture, it was revered by the Ancient Egyptians. For them, the goddess Bastet looked like a lioness. Their beliefs changed, and Bastet took on the appearance of a house cat, tying her close to the Ancient Egyptians worship of cats.
The Ancient Celts considered these animals to be the guardians of the Otherworld, which is similar to the Underworld of the Ancient Egyptians. They were responsible for keeping the secrets of the Otherworld, never revealing their vast knowledge.
Black cats were considered as a sign of evil, and thus they were sacrificed. The Celtic cat meaning and symbolism is one of resourcefulness, flexibility, aloofness, as well as unpredictability and mystery.
To the Ancient Celts, cats were a reminder to look within. Also, it is a sign to give yourself a distance and the peace you need. You should trust your intuition to guide you on the right path. Also, change up your routine and find some ways in which you can be more creative and flexible.
“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without falling through it.”
- Jules Verne
In Celtic myth and lore, the cat is a welcome ally. Celts understood that cats are independent animals, as well as free-thinkers, and they are not going to be confined. Also, they observed the skill of this animal at ridding homes and fields of pesky rodents. To return the favor for the good deeds of the cat, the Celts kept them around, and they even appreciated feline friendship.
Cats were also a source of mystery and wonder to the ancient Celts. Because of their unpredictability, the Celts often thought cats could be an oracle.