Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Popular Pagan Holidays

[Show all]


Views: 6,788,411


Holiday: ...

Autumn: The Croning Time

Daily Goddess Awareness

Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!

Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism

The Dark Half of the Year

The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire

Ah...To Be A Witch...

Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever

Winter Solstice By Any Other Name

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

The Beltaine Storm

Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year

Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik

Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time

The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King

Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story

A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.

The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story

Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead

A Celtic View of Samhain

Ostara: Enter the Light!

Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”

A Story For Autumn

A Summer Solstice Primer

Samhain

Witches Lost in Halloween

The Best Thing About Death

Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season

The Babylonian Ghost Festival

Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)

The Ostara Transformation

Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain

The Samhain Experience

First Thanksgiving... in China

Solstice of the Soul

A White Christmas in Fuyang

Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife

A Samhain Dance

Yule and the New Year

Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change

Ancestor Stew

The Story of Ostara

The First Yule

A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~

Unity During Samhain

Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In

Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch

Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death

Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface

The Blood is in the Land

The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening

Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain

Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc

When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention

The Promise of the Harvest

Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father

At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother

Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun

"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas

Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom

The Call of the Crone

Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest

Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox

The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice

Ostara!

Symbology of Altar Decorations

Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World

The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire

A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays

Ode to Ostara

Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"

From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness

Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)

Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth

Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight

Like Bread for Lughnasa: A Letter

Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death

Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale

The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 2547

VoxAcct: 1

Section: holidays

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 5,455

Times Read: 64,967

Satanic Panic and Black Cats

Author: Wren
Posted: October 18th. 1999
Times Viewed: 64,967

Greetings!

Today as I was searching through the news for pieces on Samhain, Witches and the usual seasonal blitz, I came across some of the articles listed below and realized that it is once again "black cat ban" month.

Every October similar articles are published concerning the abuse of black cats (and other animals) at Halloween, but thankfully every year more and more of the good animal protectionists are actually getting it right. Unfortunately, some 'myths' about cats and their association with Witches and Witchcraft still persist.

Cats were -and still are- regarded as magickal creatures throughout the ages. The Egyptians revered the cat as an aspect of the goddess, Bast, and they mummified cats with all the ritual, pomp and circumstance that befitted such regal animals. Cats are depicted as drawing the heavenly chariots of various gods and goddesses in other cultural myths as well.

Possibly because of their decidedly nocturnal habits, felines have become associated with the night, stealth and mystery. Who knows where the supposedly domesticated cat wanders in the night, what he/she is up to and why they seem to look so satisfied when they stroll back into the house in the morning? Quite frankly, they have steadfastly refused to answer any questions posed to them on the subject. This code of silence has caused the cat some historical hard knocks.

During the Inquisitions or "Burning Times' of the witchcraft trials and persecutions, cats were often tortured and killed along with the accused "witches." It was thought that witches could change into (shape-shift) cats or that cats could be possessed by evil spirits. The howl of a cat on the prowl has undoubtedly frightened more than one nocturnal traveler on a darkened footpath and the fact that cats seem to delight in sneaking up on folks hasn't helped their public relations image one bit either.

The most prevalent fallacy connecting Witches, cats and Halloween is, of course, the 'animal sacrifice' myth-namely that it is the Witches that use cats for sacrifices or other abusive rituals. The truth lies in the opposite direction.

It was the superstitious clerics and witch-hunters of the past-and present-that would toss a cat into the same fire as the Witch. It was the very real working and affectionate bond between cat and Witch that drew the suspicions of those who sought 'devils' everywhere and so could find them anywhere. Sad to say, that superstitious and paranoid mindset has survived in some religious faiths right up to the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Are there people out there who really do abuse cats and other animals? Yes, there are, but they are not Witches or Wiccans. The 'mysterious cults' that are mentioned (but are never really identified) in news articles about Halloween cat-related horrors are actually following in the footsteps of Christian clerics rather than pagan practitioners if they are using or abusing the innocent cat in some sort of bizarre sacrificial ritual setting. Cat burnings were a regular past time in France until the pre-modern times. (See: Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre Of The Rue Saint-Severin)

The larger professionally run animal shelters know that indeed it is not the Wiccans/Witches who are doing the abusing. Thanks to all of the concerned pagans who have written the shelters, the newspapers and town officials during 'scaredy cat' seasons past, we have gotten that point across rather well.

It is instead the "thrill seeker," the wanna-be 'satanist'- ala-Hollywood -movie- scripts or the emotionally disturbed individual who perpetuates such crimes against animaldom. We join with the animal protection agents in the hope that the people who abuse cats and other animals will be caught and then prosecuted for their heinous and cruel acts.

So even if a few misinformed (or misquoted) individuals still mention Witches and the pagan celebrations that take place in October in the list of reasons behind the black cat adoption ban, as animal lovers, we should support this action to protect the animals, rather than throw a hissy fit because such crimes are associated with "Halloween." We will however continue to write those letters and set the record straight on the Witch-Cat relationship.

Witches For The Protection of Animals:

Every year, Witches are looking for public service projects to become involved in. What better way to show these agencies and the general public that Witches do not perform animal sacrifices than to work to save these animals?

The shelters incur extra costs to keep animals that normally would be released during the month of October. Why not help them out?

If you have a local group or coven, consider a fundraising event for your local animal shelter. Collect pet supplies and donate them at the beginning/end of October. If you are "out of the broom closet", take a photo of the donation center staff with your group and send it with a press release to your local paper.

National Pagan organizations may want to consider a run of special T-shirts with the "Cats of Witchcraft" printed on the front and an appropriate "Donate To Your Local Animal Shelter" on the back. (A portion of sales could go to a local shelter as well.) We have wonderful "no-kill" shelters in this area-and maybe you do, too!- that certainly could use the extra help.

Witches love their cat companions. By donating to animal shelters, we can help insure that felines and other animals will have the chance to find a good home where they will be loved and well cared for.

And what better way to celebrate Samhain than to help give a homeless animal the gift of a "happy new year?"
The Articles - 1999

Black Cats Go Into Hiding'-MSNBC (10/15/99)

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 15 - They're cute and cuddly, but if you want to adopt a black cat, this isn't the time of year to do it. In fact, at the Wisconsin Humane Society, you can't until after Halloween because the society's worried that black cats could become targets of torture.

The Wisconsin Humane Society believes these cats are vulnerable to torture this time of year, given all the tales about black cats being bad luck, misfortune and evil.

Halloween Brings Tricks, Threats To Black Cats'-by Marian Uhlman, Philadelphia Inquirer (10/15/99)

As Halloween approaches each year, George Bengle braces for a phone call asking him to investigate a torture of a black cat.

He has turned up grisly remains - such as cats with severed heads or missing limbs - several times in 11 years as an investigator with the Women's Humane Society in Bensalem. The problem "is out there," he says, especially during this time of year.

So strong is the fear that harm might befall black cats in the weeks leading up to Halloween that many animal shelters across the country prohibit their adoption until November. They see the black-cat moratorium as preventive care.

Black cats are particularly vulnerable to cruelty because of age-old myths connecting them to misfortune and evil, according to animal experts. Those myths are revisited each year when the black cat becomes featured as a Halloween symbol. As such, they become the target of youthful pranksters and satanic worshipers, Bengle said.

"I am very, very careful because I know people want animals for witchery things," said Phyllis Ruley, who runs the adoption program at the Frazer Animal Hospital in Chester County. "I am very leery, and I am skeptical of everyone."-(http://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/99/Oct/15/sj/ECAT15.htm)

Fraidy Cat"-by Kris Jensen, Northscape Herald (10/17/99)

Let's hope Poe's fiction really was fiction. Because around this time of year, bad things happen to good cats. Especially if they're black. Long considered by the superstitious to be witches in disguise, black cats bear the brunt of Halloween madness at the hands of pranksters.

The myths, the mystery and the moment can propel people to do things around Halloween that wouldn't occur to them otherwise, and that's when your cats are in danger. Concerns with cults or Satanic worship in these parts are lower than in some other areas of the country, police said, but that doesn't mean your black kitty is safe in the yard.

Vickie Wang, veterinarian at All Pets Hospital, is grateful she hasn't ever had to treat any incidences of Halloween-related animal abuse.

"Personally, I've been very fortunate not to come across animals that have suffered at the hands of pranksters or some dark mysterious cult syndrome," she said. To keep it that way, she strongly recommends cat owners keep their furry friends indoors, especially as Halloween approaches.

As Halloween nears, the Humane Society of Grand Forks won't adopt out any cat that is black, white or even a combination, said shelter supervisor Evie Horton. "Every year about a week or so before Halloween, we stop adopting out any cat that is all black, all white or black and white," Horton said. "It doesn't happen right here, but this is the time of year when Satan worshippers use these animals for sacrifices. "-(http://www.northscape.com/news/docs00/1017/27CD061.htm)

Other Articles From 1997

"There have been reports (elsewhere) of cats being used for occult practices and in occult ceremonies, and in pranks," said Robert E. Lee, director of the John Ancrum SPCA. It's "primarily just as a precaution, for our peace of mind, knowing there are some individuals out there whose values and sense of humor might not be in accord with our purpose in adopting pets." Lee said he's had no local reports of Halloween-related cat abuse, but has heard anecdotal reports of such things happening in other cities. -(reported by Eric Frazier Of The Post and Courier.)

DAVID PARRISH (of The Orange County Register) reports: "As Halloween approaches, most Orange County animal shelters will ban adoptions of black cats out of fear they could be harmed in occult rituals."

"The black cat adoption blackout period will vary at the animal shelters, ranging from a few days to more than a week before and after Halloween. Such bans have been in place for several years at most shelters in Southern California, said Bill Harford, president of the California Animal Control Directors."

"The link between blacks cats and Halloween can be traced to the Middle Ages, when people believed they were demon companions to witches, said Gayle K. Brunelle, a professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. Consequently, she said, people who truly believe in witchcraft would not harm a black cat. ``Most of the problems with black cats would not be with real witches, but with wanna-be witches who don't have a clue what they are doing,'' she said."

Other Links/ References




Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).