A Familiar Job Well Done
Article ID: 13617
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,473
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Author: Eiris Wyndrose
Posted: February 21st. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,616
Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other. -- Carl Jung, "On the Psychology of the Unconsciousness", 1917.
The definition of the word familiar according to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary is: an intimate associate, COMPANION; to be frequently seen with; a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person.
I wouldn't normally start a story by giving away the happy ending. But I think it important before you read on any further, you should know as I type this, there is a very content, relaxed kitty lounging across part of the chair, part of my thigh, part of my arm, and part of a paw dangling off over the edge of the seat like she's going for all three time zones. Purring lazily, of course, and flicking her tail. Occasionally, in my face.
Now, where to begin…
Before I knew who and why I was, I suffered in ignorance. The riches and treasures, the Secrets of the Universe, are allotted out in perfect timing to those whose minds are ripe in maturity and ready to receive them. Preferably not to trigger-happy agents of curse. There is a terrible responsibility to the truth that we are what we choose. Defining more and more, with an ever-sharpening edge, the Ring-Pass-Not of our morals and ethics. What makes and does not make up our character.
Let's put aside for a moment please, if you would, all the debate over whether one is born a witch or learns to become a witch. Surely, the answer to that question must be "YES". Either way, there are advantages and disadvantages. I was born a witch; my mother also. To survive, my mother hid this from me and things were never explained. Even when I begged answers. We had left Venice, Ca., when I was five, to live for some time with my very Christian grandparents in Seattle, and there would be no Old Ways in their house. Or anywhere. Ever.
I was stripped of my Holy Stone talisman, and told I shouldn't "make rhymes and wishes". That if it was meant for me to have, God would know, and I should only ever submit prayer requests to the Father, in the name of his Son. And, when someone tells you, you look pretty, you shouldn't say, "I know", you must humbly say "thank-you". Don't show your underwear in public. Keep your dress down. No brownies for breakfast. Long hair is dirty, cut it. This was now my life - after five years of naked, bohemian freedom, on the ocean beaches of liberal 60's California.
The magickal oppression did not serve me well; in the same ways that sexual oppression and "abstinence only" philosophies do not keep teens from finding out the hard way that sex makes babies. Without anyone willing to teach me the correct way to hold, treat, and respect a crossbow, I was metaphysically waving it around, pointing it everywhere at everyone and everything, creating bastard magickal children along the way. My saving grace was that the safety latch was kept on. Still, someone almost died in a fire; another person broke their neck.
Growing up, I was never exposed to ritual, spells, tools, or deity, and at that time I knew nothing of true and proper witchcraft, only that it was "evil" and that I should fear all things occult. But, I could naturally see things in my mind plain as day, while creating a rhyme under my breath. Being an adolescent songwriter, poet and artist, to me it was the same as breathing. For things I wanted, as well as things, people or situations I didn't want. What I did not possess was the spiritual evolution and understanding required to master my emotions and lower desires. When you work the small will of the ego and not the Higher Will of the Gods/Goddess, the things you want and get will eventually show up in your Tarot readings as Key#16, The Tower.
It got a lot worse before it got any better. But, that's another story for another time....
"...tell kitty now?"
Yes, it's time. I was in my 30's when I finally rejected Christian misinformation, seeking my path into Hermetic Philosophy, the Western Mystery teachings of B.O.T.A, voraciously devouring metaphysical classics along the way.
“... telling kitty?"
That's right, I'm typing about kitty. As I intuitively adopted reincarnation as the most logical and probable course of one's afterlife, I sought to -
"....just kidding...make you sound like cat?"
Okay. That's a good one...
I sought enlightenment so I could end the wheel, get off this planet, and NEVER come back. I'd had it. Enough of life, enough of people. Done. I'll go work for the Inner School or something, as a secretary. Virgo rising, I'm a good organizer - I bet they'll need someone to file all their stuff...if they have "stuff".
Several years of study and research later, I heard something -
Jeez. Okay. Who's there?
So, who is there?
Okay. Kitty P. who?
"...you like kitty pee outside yard or inside rug?"
Right. I'll just be letting you out, then.
"...you like scratch kitty ear and tug tail on way out?"
Yes. I do. I like to do that very much.
"...kitty waiting hurry up?"
Oh - there ya go.
So, I heard something once about Familiars while in a shop, listening to a group of folks talking up their pets. "....oh no, Arrow-raven-star-horn-fyre-maker, " I heard the purple haired girl with the black lipstick say, " ...don't call them pets! That's disrespectful. They choose you, no matter how they've come into your life!!" In an Occultist's egg-headed way, I didn't apply having a Familiar to my personal experience because I wasn't a "Witch", I was a Mystic. Also, I did not fully investigate the subject and its phenomenon. I sorta kinda knew.
My cat, my pet, did come with a most unique, unbelievable story. So much so, I would often share (brag) with other people who I thought might not judge me as being too loony about the details of the story. She most certainly did choose me, I knew that plainly. This, before I called myself Witch, and while I still referred to Zitti as "my" pet.
Let me say now, the real heroine, star, and purpose of this writing is the Black Cat Familiar I am pleased to share companionship with, Zitti. And I am a Witch. As well as a Hermetic student and Gnostic Mystic.
It is true, in the past I had wanted off the planet. Hurry up and enlighten me already. I don't want to have to come here anymore, don't want to come back to this beautiful, dreadful place. These were the thought seeds of someone falling to the sleepy spirit of despair. I had auric tears, and a heart chakra, which had taken blows and needed mending. And so, in order for the Universe to facilitate healing, I entered into spiritual hibernation where I remained for some time-all the while, reading, thinking, studying and integrating new thinking into my core being.
When you change the signage on your castle from" Master" to "Vacancy", you are essentially opening yourself up to unoriginal thinking. Part of the process of healing was to recognize which ideas originated from my True Spirit and which things settled in to camp while I was absent of will. I rebelled against these squatter influences and fought hard to align myself with The Will to Good. I fully credit Draja Mickahoric's "Spiritual Cleansing" and "The Kybalion" for aiding me in the return of my Quality of Life. With courage and confidence I reclaimed my physical and astral real estate. Pushing up my sleeves, I got on with the business of Physician, Heal Thyself.
Into the furnace to burn the dross, a heart renewed going -
"...ting, ting, ting, kitty tap window?"
Yes, yes. Come in.
A heart renewed daily, having gone through the tempering fires of trial and error.
Yes, still telling.
But I wasn't out of the water quite yet. I had employed at one time, a shadow characteristic to "get me through a tough spot". It had since settled in quite nicely while I was away, having become accustomed to its new place in my personality. If I couldn't see it, then it got to stay. So, best to keep me sidetracked from awareness. The shadow quality of someone with a sensitive, tender, compassionate, warm and caring heart is quite simply, "Cold Heartedness".
My cat used to be my pet. And barely a pet at that. More like a decoration that moved around.
"...sad part now?"
Yes, we're at the sad part.
I'll try not to.
"...warm heart hold back not tears?"
Okay. Thanks, I might cry.
A decoration that moved around and was getting more and more obnoxious and annoying as time passed. I paid zero attention to her. I started not to like her. I've never allowed a cat box in my home, so when she began to pee in the tub, in the fireplace, and sometimes on my carpet, I got really angry. She would jump up on the kitchen counter and haul off with a chunk of our dinner. She would constantly put herself under my feet getting stepped on, and I would trip.
The intensity of my reactions was increasingly getting more physical. I would flip her over on her back and hold her down, clutching the skin of her neck in my other hand. I started to leave her outside for longer and longer periods of time. In the winter, even on cold nights, I'd leave her out because I couldn't "trust her" in the house. I kept my back to her, hearing the noise she made while pawing at the window to come in, like it was white noise.
The next day she would have cold little paws and be sneezing. I put a place outside for her to sleep. I put her food out there. With a farm hand kind of practicality, I told myself she was getting too old now, and had served her purpose as the family's furry entertainment.
Yes. Sometimes when I caught her being "bad" and put her outside, I would give her a bit of a toss.
I threw her aggressively out the front door and she caught air on the way down. When she went in my bedroom and pee'd on my bed, I knew I would have to end her life. I thought about what I would have to say to a Vet to get them to do the job. When she again went in my room and pee'd ON MY PILLOW, this time, that was it .
I wanted the cat dead. I lost it in front of my kid, going off about how much I hated her, and how I wanted her to hurry up and die already. I told my son she had to be put down; she was too old now. Also, I didn't want to pay for it. Euthanasia was expensive. She would just have to finish her own death process.
Then the mental pictures came, in detail, of her passing and her spot in the ground. My imagery was promoting the end of her. She began to flinch when I reached for her. She was emaciating, loosing her hair, unable to retract her claws, and going deaf.
"...kitty pretend not hear?"
You pretended not to hear me?
I said, you ... wait a minute...
"...make you laughing?"
"...kitty have box when tissues gone?"
Sure. All yours.
For a few weeks, my son would ask me repeatedly how much time she had left. I said she would most likely be gone before the end of the year. He felt for me, how stressed and angry I became, coming home from night classes, with tons of homework, to find cat pee on freshly washed cushions or my coat.
He took the cleaner and brush from me saying, "It's okay, mom, I’ll take care of it, I'll clean it up. You’re right, mom. She's old. we have to put her down. How much time does she have before she dies?"
A couple things happened just then. The phone rang and Seth, my son, answered. As I came around the corner looking to grab the cat, she arched up and backed away from me in terror. I paused while watching her reaction to my presence - when I heard Seth on the phone telling the caller how the cat is old and she was going to have to be put down, and "Mom, how long does she have...?" The same question again. It was his face. Trying to be an adult at 11-years-old. Eyes, full of tears, his face reflecting sorrow and pain, yet trying to control his emotions.
That’s when the veil fell. I could see the shadow. I had a mean streak. I could be a bully. I was being cold hearted. I was careless, uncaring, selfish and self-centered. And, I could hear Zitti for the first time. "...kitty's okay; boy is hurting; go fix it" Her sound was like discovering keys in my pocket the whole time I was looking for them.
I can't say why, but the maya generators just stopped and my unkindness sloughed off in a spring rain mudslide, right back down to the pit from where it had been called up with hate's whistle. I instantly had a new heart and I brought the boy right up against it and held him close, gently swaying as I spoke soft words of regret and apology. I assured him that Zitti would have a good long life, and we would take care of her and provide whatever she needed to be well and happy.
"...up like down?"
Yes, that's right - As Above, So Below
"...new heart, new hearth?"
That is interesting, isn't it? That same day, our old electric range gave out. Our landlord had a brand new stove delivered to us.
So, what was up with all that peeing, anyway?
"...make a hot fire?"
"...boy cries water?"
"...steam is change?"
Zitti, thanks for not giving up on me.
Want some more cream?
Black Cat Familiar
Copyright: (c) 2009 Eiris Wyndrose
Location: 98008, Washington
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