Catarot

This is a means of divination that is equivalent to a Tarot deck, but requires no cards. Instead you need two Twister mats, a catnip mouse, and a cat.

Lay the two Twister mats end-to-end so that you have four rows, each row a different color, and twelve columns. Label the columns from left to right one to ten and then Kitten and Senior. Each colored circle corresponds to a Tarot card. Most forms of Catarot link red with Wands and yellow with Swords, but some people say that this was a deliberate blind perpetrated by the designer of an early Catarot board to obscure some of the secrets of the true meanings. You and your cat will have to discuss this and come to an agreement about it. Almost all Catarot experts agree, though, that green means Pentacles and blue means Cups. The Kitten and Senior spots are the Catarot Court. Kittens are Pages and Knights, while Seniors are Kings and Queens. Use your judgment when interpreting genders, especially if your cat is spayed or neutered, since it may not care all that much about human ideas of sex and gender.

Basically, Catarot consists of asking your cat a question, throwing the catnip mouse on the board, and watching where your cat chases it. Each spot has an associated meaning, corresponding to the Tarot card indicated. It quickly gets more complicated than this, though. Most Catarot authorities believe that right paws indicate that the situation or issue being touched is external to the querent, and the left paws indicate internal ones. And most, but not all, Catarot users read rear-paw-touched-spots as if the corresponding Tarot card were reversed. Spots that your cat indicates with his or her head are things you should be thinking about or can anticipate in the future, while tail-touched-spots are elements of your past that might still be chasing you or pulling at you. If the cat slaps or twitches its tail repeatedly on a spot, that is an area to pay special attention to. Cats that rub their heads on a spot, almost turning their heads over, indicate that your thinking on that situation might be confused or topsy-turvy.

Whether you only read spots that your cat stays on for several seconds, or try to record as many indications as possible, is up to you and your cat. If necessary, you may collect the catnip mouse, ask another question for more information about a specific aspect of the first reading, and throw it again.

Specific actions that your cat takes, especially when not touching any particular colored circle, indicate cards of the Major Arcana. These are as follows:

  1. Magician/Juggler: Cat throws mouse in air repeatedly from one spot
  2. High Priestess: Cat lifts mouse in one paw
  3. Emperor: Cat sits in “sphinx” position
  4. Empress: Cat sits with all four paws folded under (also known as “loaf” position)
  5. Hierophant: Cat washes its tail
  6. Lovers: Cat puts head down, tail up, and yowls
  7. Chariot: Cat appears about to run, but faces in alternating directions as if indecisive
  8. Justice: Cat alternates paws batting at mouse in one place
  9. Hermit: Cat stretches whiskers out in front of it
  10. Wheel of Fortune: Cat bats at mouse so it spins in place
  11. Fortitude: Cat lays on top of mouse
  12. Hanged Man: Cat looks at you upside down
  13. Death: Cat destroys mouse
  14. Temperance: Cat washes its face
  15. Devil: Cat throws up hairball
  16. Tower: Cat poops on mat
  17. Star: Cat washes its belly
  18. Moon: Cat stares at you with large pupils
  19. Sun: Cat has pupils closed down to slits or eyes nearly shut
  20. Judgment: Cat rolls over with all four feet in the air (Card is alternately called “Tummy Rub” by some authorities)
  21. World: Cat brings mouse to you to throw again

And, of course, the unnumbered card: You know you’ve got the Fool when the cat stares at you as if you’re crazy and refuses to get on the mat in the first place.

Sincere thanks go to Sherrian for her collaboration in rediscovering this ancient form of ailuromancy.

About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
This entry was posted in divination, humor, Tarot and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Catarot

  1. Grafton says:

    ROFLMDFAO!!!! I told RussT and Furocious and they collectively indicated that *I* was the Fool if I thought they might consider going along with this, but I may dig up my old Twister mat, anyway! :D

  2. SLG says:

    Variants that do not involve the Twister mat are not recommended. The seven-cat spread turned out to be particularly problematic, as cats are surprisingly hard to shuffle.

    • Literata says:

      In my house, cats shuffle themselves regularly, but seldom in a way directed by humans. The general division is for the deck of cats to be split into the on the bed half and the under the bed half. Then one of the ones in one half goes to the other half, and vice versa, until the humans are woken up and give them food.

Comments are closed.