Monday, April 27, 2009


Who or what is a Miu, Pa-Miu, Ta-Miut or a Ta-Miit? The answer is a simple “meow,” as all of these names mean “cat” in ancient Egyptian. Miu or Pa-Miu is the male form for cat. Pa-Miu means “The Tomcat” and the other two words are the feminine forms for cat. The sun god Ra would sometimes take on the form of a large cat, being called the “Supreme Tomcat.” Miut and Miit were also given as personal nicknames, such as Miit being given to a five year child from the household of Mentuhotep.

No one knows exactly when cats became domesticated, but some experts believe it was about 10,000 years ago. The ancestors of the domestic cat were probably Libyan wildcats from North Africa and were much larger in size than those in Egypt today. Their fur was yellow-gray with striped markings. The markings provided camouflage that the cats needed to hide among the rocks and sands of the desert.

Perhaps as an act of gratitude or to tame them, the ancient Egyptians would leave morsels of food around for the cats to eat. Eventually the cats accepted the Egyptians and became an important part of their households. The Egyptians realized that cats were very skilled hunters and very adept at killing rats, mice and most importantly, poisonous snakes such as the cobra or the horned viper whose bites were usually deadly. This rodent hunting helped reduce the spread of diseases such as bubonic plague, typhoid, salmonella, and dysentery.

Cats also played a part in Egyptian medicine. The fat, fur and excrements of a male cat were used in medicine, while the placenta and the fur would be used from a female cat. A female cat’s fur, in combination with human milk and resin, could be applied to the skin to soothe burns. Feline placenta would be used in a lotion to keep the hair from turning gray. Cat fat, as well as other animal fats, was used in bandages as a remedy for stiffness. The fat of a tomcat rubbed over things was also guaranteed to keep the rodents away.

The Egyptians loved and pampered their cats. Even in times of famine, household cats would be well fed and cared for. They were routinely bathed and groomed and when mummified were rubbed in cedar oil and wrapped in linens. In Egypt, a Roman soldier was said to have accidentally killed a cat. As punishment, the soldier was killed by the townspeople. When a cat died, the inhabitants of the house where the cat had lived would shave their eyebrows in mourning. To this day, a cat’s home is still the streets, mosques and ancient temples of Egypt.
Cats were also much prized as subjects for mummification. ometimes this was to honor a household cat. In other circumstances, cats were routinely killed in order to be mummified as an offering to a deity, or for a burial.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum has a collection of feline mummies, amid its other animal mummies. Several examples of cat mummies and coffins accompany this article. Visit the Museum in person or online to see these and more!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum!

Activities at the Museum for Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Every year since the spring of 1970, the U.S. and other countries have celebrated Earth Day, focusing attention on the environment and bringing awareness to our material impact worldwide. This day salutes the progress we have made towards greener living and serves as a platform to launch new initiatives.

At Rosicrucian Park, we are continually striving to do our part in decreasing our global footprint. We compost our yard clippings, use recycled materials, prohibit the use of pesticides, take public transportation, and more.

So get your green on and join us for fun-filled activities and tours here at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum on Earth Day:

10:30 am: Docent-led tour of Rosicrucian Park

12:00 Noon - 4:00 pm: The Museum will have a Garden Booth by the Rosicrucian Park's Central Fountain with ongoing activities, including:

  • A Powerpoint presentation on Ancient Egypt and Ecology

  • Coloring, Acrostics and other activities for kids of all ages

Welcome All!

For more information, call 408-947-3635.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is on Twitter!

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is now on Twitter!

We have firmly entered the 21st century with the Museum's new Twitter entry


If you have a Twitter account, just set it up to "follow" us to receive updates daily on events at the Museum!

Our sister institution, the Rosicrucian Research Library, is also on Twitter too, at RCLibrarySJ. Follow both to learn about events at Rosicrucian Park.

The Twitter for The Rosicrucian Order, AMORC is AMORC.

To learn more about Twitter, the phenomenon that is all over the Internet, go to the Twitter site.