Animal worship, also known as zoolatry, is a religious practice that involves intense or excessive devotion to animals.
In various cultures around the world, certain animals are revered and respected as sacred entities.
People revere these animals, and many even worship them. They do not sacrifice or consume these creatures because they believe they are holy or symbolize divine beings.
Animals have traditionally been revered as sacred beings, with ancient civilizations assigning heavenly attributes to the animals they shared their lives with. As a result, countless legends and myths about these renowned creatures have been created.
Here are five of those creatures that are revered and worshiped in various places of the world.
Cats in Egypt
In Egypt, cats held a special place of importance and were considered symbols of royalty. People believed that cats possessed magical qualities and brought good luck. Although cats were not directly involved in formal animal-worshipping rituals, they were highly valued as companions.
Owning a cat was believed to bring fortune and good health to households. People even went as far as dressing their feline friends in fancy clothes and sometimes adorning them with jewels.
Cats also had a strong presence in ancient Egyptian mythology. Many gods and goddesses were depicted with cat heads, representing power and wealth. Among these deities was the goddess Bastet, also known as Bast. Bastet was portrayed as a goddess with the body of a woman and the head of a cat, often wearing a single gold earring. She was revered as a protective deity associated with joy and fertility.
Snakes in North America
In Native American mythology, snakes have been revered, particularly among the Aztecs. One of their prominent deities, Quetzalcoatl, was depicted as a feathered serpent, combining the characteristics of a bird and a rattlesnake. In ancient folktales, this deity was often portrayed devouring humans.
Native Americans perceived snakes as sacred animals for various reasons. They symbolised fertility and were associated with the idea of rebirth due to their ability to shed their skin. Interestingly, the concept of snakes as sacred animals originated in ancient India and later influenced the Aztecs and other Native American cultures.
Today, the Hopi people of North America continue to honour snakes through their traditional snake dances. These ceremonies unite the spirits of two serpents and renew the fertility of nature.
Goats in Syria
The Damascus goats particularly are revered by the Syrians. They are considered sacred animals for several reasons.
They possess a calm appearance and produce a massive quantity of milk. The female Damascus goats in particular are known for giving birth to triplets and quadruplets.
Cows in India
For centuries, cows have been considered sacred animals in India. They are highly respected and valued as one of the most important animals in the world when it comes to animal worship. According to Indian beliefs, cows are seen as a source of goodness. The milk they produce is beneficial for all creatures, symbolising the nurturing qualities of Mother Earth.
In Indian folklore and mythology, the deity named Krishna spent his life taking care of cows. While Hindus don’t worship cows directly, they consider them holy and hold them in high regard. This means that they don’t use cow meat for food as many other cultures do.
Indians have always seen cows as sacred animals and hold them in high regard.
Tigers in Korea
In South Korea, tigers are highly revered. They are seen as symbols of power and superiority, commanding respect and admiration.
In South Korea, it is believed that white tigers had the special ability to keep away evil spirits and protect humans from harm. This made them even more sacred and important in the culture.
Not only were tigers feared in South Korea, but they were also respected, and that’s how they became sacred animals.