Is My Pet A Familiar?
Article ID: 15096
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 530
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Author: Cate Cavanagh
Posted: July 1st. 2012
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Most spiritually inclined people, in my opinion, share a love of animals. In every spiritual discipline, animals are special, unique. From owls to frogs to snakes, from reading omens to reading Animal Medicine Cards, animals have significance. Many not-of-our-path brethren are under the impression that Witches have only black cats as familiars that are, in their eyes, evil incarnate! But we know better, for our path is a path of healing and peace and love. We know there is no such thing as an evil familiar or an evil animal.
Wiccans, especially, study the significance of animals that cross their paths every day to ascertain what message or suggestion is being given. Wiccans honor all animals as Goddess's creatures and respect them and their characteristics. Seen as harbingers of the Goddess, animals that appear may offer guidance. I include these events within what I call “signposts”ť. Like following a map that has a landmark to indicate if we are the right path, animal appearances in everyday life and during Dreamtime can help us discover if we are on a good path as well as help us in decision making. Native American beliefs, practices, and shamanism are the most identified with animal harbingers. From the number of crows to dreaming of dolphins, Witches take note. I also practice this type of observance.
There is a difference between having an animal spirit guide and a familiar companion animal. An animal spirit guide works with us in Dreamtime, during meditation and helps us learn about our place on our path and in life (The Good Red Road) . A familiar is a flesh and blood, living, breathing animal endowed with mystical prowess and powers.
According to Webster's dictionary among the definitions of “familiar: are the following:
“...one who is often seen and well known; especially : an intimate associate or companion…” “A spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person...” “To be acquainted with something...”
These attributes all describe an animal familiar.A familiar can be any animal of any type. It can be a bird, a reptile, a dog, cat, horse and so on and so forth. These are powerfully advanced animal spirits that have opted to assist with magical workings of any kind, even with prayer.
They have reincarnated themselves many times and, devoted to Goddess, choose to serve her students and priestesses. Their powers assist in any number of ways. Sometimes they simply offer comfort when the owner is upset or sad, or amuse to elevate the owner’s spirits. But they often are VERY ACTIVE during magical ritual and practice.
I recently lost my familiar, Tyr. It has left an empty place in my heart but he was amazing! From the time he opened his eyes, we knew he was a familiar. His eyes held an otherworldly type gaze that was unique, so different from the curious glancing around of the numerous other animals I have raised.
He ‘introduced’ť his gifts at a very young age and I soon discovered it did not matter if I was opening a book to pray or merely lighting a devotional candle, he came running from wherever he was and jumped up on the table or where I was sitting. Tyr often sat on my prayer books, my Grimoires and Book of Shadows! He was quite amazing.
Often animals avoid flame but he would always walk around my lit candles and cauldron and around smoking incense. I was always amused that he never singed his whiskers or tail as he circled my altar candles (deosil, of course!) He always had to sample offerings to Goddess… from honey to wine to baked cakes, he simply had to give his approval each and every time. He remained until my prayers or rituals were done and then he would just leave and go back to wherever he was before. He always showed up as I started my ritual and never left until the circle was opened.
Other animals are conduits of communication. My daughter recently adopted a new dog. I knew right away this dog was a familiar. I told my daughter that she is a link between the “here”ť and “there”ť and to speak aloud when praying or working so that this dog can facilitate this communication and help send energy outward more efficiently.
On the other hand, I had an uncle whose dog would, as the Spanish say “take on the afflictions” that my uncle was supposed to get as a result of powerful magic done against him until it passed. Then the dog would be fine.
There is so set way to determine whether or not your pet is a familiar but one good indicator is that very subtle but sure feeling that there is something especially unique about the animal. I have noticed that they all seem to be calm and ‘dreamy-eyed’ in some manner… but the best way to be sure is to simply include them in your work and prayers.
Familiars are not exactly like other pets. They are with someone to help and do service with that person. To not use the familiar will frustrate the animal for they, like humans, have elected to serve a life purpose. It is a loving partnership and relationship. In this regard, it like having a horse. As an equestrienne, I can vouch for the fact that, because so much depends on relying each other, the rider loves his or her horse but they also partners. I experienced the same having my familiar, Tyr. It is a pet soul-human soul relationship that develops over time because each is here to do Goddess's work in service.
Copyright: May 28, 2012
Location: Livingston Manor, New York
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