Egyptian Animal Spirit Guides: Cat, Bull, Frog, Jackal, and More
Animals in Ancient Egypt
Animals were considered as much a part of ancient Egyptian culture as their human counterparts. Just as many of the other ancient civilizations held certain animals to be sacred, so did the ancient Egyptians. So much so that they related their gods to these sacred animals. If any of these sacred animals came to them in ritual, prayer, dream, or otherwise, this was considered a great blessing and an honor.
Today we have dreams of animals, they show up in our backyard, and we see them in the trees, and we pay no attention. Perhaps if the ancient Egyptian animals came to us we might see these things as signs, as messages from the Universe...from the Gods. Read on to learn about the ancient Egyptians' sacred animals and how these animals might be applied to your life, if indeed they have chosen to come to you.
Ancient Egypt and the Cat Spirit Guide
One of the most sacred animals to the ancient Egyptians was the cat. In fact, the first domesticated cat has been proven to have been in ancient Egypt. The cat was associated with the Egyptians' cat goddess Bast (a.k.a. Ba, Bubastis or Bastet). To the ancient Egyptians, the cat was a representation of Bast and therefore represented all the things that she represented including motherhood, nurturing the family, tending the hearth, fertility, and also protection. Many believe that before Bast there were cat goddesses of importance including Mafdet and Sekhmet, two goddesses of which Bast is thought to have originated from. If you visit the Louvre Museum, you will see many statues and representations of Bast in the form of the domesticated cat. If you ever visit the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., you will see a row of mummified cats...showing us the utter importance of the cat to the ancient Egyptians.
If the ancient Egyptian cat has come to you in your dreams or in visions, you should look to Bast for guidance. And also, it may mean that it is time for you to settle down and start a family...or perhaps it is time for you to focus more of your time on nurturing your family. Also, don't forget to step up to the plate when it comes time to protect your children and/or family. These are all the things the cat spirit guide represents...especially in conjunction with an ancient Egyptian mindset.
Ancient Egypt and the Bull Spirit Guide
In many ancient civilizations, the bull was regarded as a very sacred animal. To this day, people of the Hindu culture still revere them and refuse to eat them. They were also held sacred in ancient Egypt because they were thought to be the embodiment of certain gods - namely Ptah, Osiris, and Atum-Ra. The word Ka was a word used to describe the life energy of a person or thing, but interestingly enough it was also the word used for bull.
Bulls were regarded as almost gods themselves and were also called Apis beginning in the New Kingdom, who was a god that was sort of a messenger between the higher Egyptian gods. Before the sacred bull was known as Apis, bulls were still very much sacred to the ancient Egyptians. We know this because their images are found on temple walls and on various pharaohs' sarcophagi. It is speculated that the bull was a representation of fertility, strength, and protection to the ancient Egyptians. When the bull god Apis came into play, mummified bulls began to take an important part in Egyptian religion and practice.
Today, if you associate with an Egyptian spirituality or practice, you might have the Apis come to you in a dream or elsewhere. If the bull spirit guide has chosen you, feel honored. He has come to teach you of the ancient Egyptian ways of fertility, strength, survival, and protection over the herds (or what you might consider your family and loved ones).
The Frog Spirit Guide
The frog might seem to modern people to be a rather unlikely spirit guide or sacred animal; however, in ancient Egypt the frog was truly respected and represented the primal energy that created the land. The frog was sacred and was a representation of more than one god or goddess - Heqet, Nu, Amun, Kuk, and Huh (the latter four of these gods being part of the Ogdoad or creative primal forces that produced the world). Heqet was a goddess of fertility and life - this was because the Egyptians associated fertility with the thousands of frogs born from the Nile during/after flooding season. When Heqet's name was written in heiroglyphics, it was a symbol of a frog. Sometimes she was depicted as a woman with the head of a frog. Later Heqet would come to be a goddess that ruled over childbirth, and so she was especially important to the women of ancient Egypt.
While the frog can still represent fertility and life to us, we can also see how the frog spirit guide in today's world might be a messenger that great transformation may be coming. We can see this in the way that the frog is born to the world, becomes a tadpole, and then crawls out from the water to become a being that can survive on earth and in the water. The metamorphosis of a frog can represent the metamorphosis of our soul's journey here on earth. The Egyptians were sure to have seen the significance in the frog for these reasons, as well.
The Jackal Spirit Guide
The Jackal to the ancient Egyptians was sacred and mainly related to the god of embalming known as Anubis. Anubis was a god of the Underworld and was usually depicted as a man with the head of a black dog, or what we believe to have been a black jackal. This jackal-headed god was what we consider a psychopomp, or a being/spirit that guides souls from one side to the next (or from life to death). In this regard, jackals were associated with death and the afterlife to a certain degree.
But the jackal teaches us to also be faithful. The jackal will mate for life, and so therefore we can learn from the jackal how to be committed to our spouses wholeheartedly. I also see the jackal spirit guide as leading those who have gone astray back to the path of enlightenment, or onto the next phase of your life. One door closes, but another opens...and sometimes the jackal might be there to lead you through the open door.
The ancient Egyptians found the animals in their ecosystem to be sacred, and so the crocodile was not excluded from this rule by any means. The crocodile god Sobek is known to have been one of the most ancient of the gods dating back to the Old Kingdom. Sobek's worship didn't really gain a lot of ground until the Middle Kingdom, when his cult following peaked. He is thought to have represented fertility but also protection, military strength, and primal force. The Pyramid text that speaks of him refers to him as a veraciously sexual god, to put it lightly. Sobek was worshiped up through the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt, and today many mummified crocodiles can be seen in Egyptian exhibits. The mummy crocodiles show us just how important their knowledge of the Nile, protection, and strength was to the ancient Egyptians.
If the ancient Egyptians could find the crocodile sacred, so can we in modern times. We just have to remember our primal instincts, and let a little of the animal within us all loose. We can watch how the crocodile protects its young and stalks its prey and learn a little something to apply to our lives in this crazy world we live in today. The crocodile also represents brute strength and force, and so if the croc is showing itself to you perhaps he is saying that it is time to "croc" up!
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Which animal do you think was most sacred to the ancient Egyptians?
The Ibis is a bird that is only found in specific parts of the world - Egypt and a few other places. The Ibis is a strange and solemn bird that has a curved beak and when it takes flight, you can't usually hear a sound. Unlike the Ibis' noisy bird neighbors, the Ibis only speaks in times of great necessity. In this regard, it makes perfect sense that the Ibis was used as the representation of the God of Wisdom and Writing -Thoth. Thoth was a god that is as ancient as can be, one of whom many believe to have come from the times of Atlantis. He was a god of wisdom, writing, mathematics, creation, magic, and medicine.
If the Ibis has come to you as a spirit guide, you should feel quite honored. He is prompting you to push yourself towards learning more, writing more, reading more. Whenever the Ibis shows up, you will be reminded of a past life promise you made to Thoth - to write, learn, and keep the sacred records.
Written and copyright © KittytheDreamer (May Canfield), 2013. All Rights Reserved.