Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 16,470,658

April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective

March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!

March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness

March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright

March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects

February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are

February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?

February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings

February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)

January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected

January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence

January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression

January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild

December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed

December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)

December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots

December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward

December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?

November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy

November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?

November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return

The Celtic Tree Calendar

Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs

November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?

October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

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

Article Specs

Article ID: 15096

VoxAcct: 222011

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 656

Times Read: 4,135

RSS Views: 56,544
Is My Pet A Familiar?

Author: Cate Cavanagh
Posted: July 1st. 2012
Times Viewed: 4,135

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:

“ 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


Cate Cavanagh

Location: Livingston Manor, New York


Author's Profile: To learn more about Cate Cavanagh - Click HERE

Other Articles: Cate Cavanagh has posted 5 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Cate Cavanagh... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Cate Cavanagh ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

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

 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).