This is the animal they chose to represent Satan.
The Father of Lies
Just think about that for a moment.
This made me giggle.
My alter today.
Anonymous said: How can I tell if an animal is a familiar? I have a kitten and since I got her she has taken to me more than my partner, is this a sign or does she just love me more?
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I sometimes feel like I throw around the word familiar as an informal phrase for “pet.” I might be the only witch I know that has four familiars (four! Yikes!). However, the best advice I can give you is from my own experience. Brace yourself! It’s story time with Marietta.
My husband and I had no hand in selecting our pets. They instead came to us seeking a home.
Artemis was abandoned on a full moon, terrified, alone and covered in fleas and mats. He crawled into my arms, but screamed the entire way home, terrified of the car ride. I don’t even see a scrap of that same dog in him today, but that’s how our journey began.
Zeus crawled out of a storm drain during a lightning storm. He bypassed my husband, walked up to me, grabbed my ankle and flopped down on my foot as if to say “I am yours and you are mine. Take me home.”
I went to check the mail at our apartment complex one day and walked in on a large white cat who immediately jumped into my arms. Hermes had been abandoned in the mail room for someone in the apartment complex to take him, but it turns out I was the only one that was interested.
And, on the one-year anniversary of my first cat Nyx’s death, I heard a panicked meow from under a walkway. There, I found six-week-old Apollo absolutely terrified and stuck in mud. I’m convinced that, had we not picked him up, he likely would have had maybe hours to live despite being healthy. He was just so small and so stuck - he was such easy prey, but now he’s one of my fuzzy ones!
Long story short, I feel like one of the most important aspects of having a familiar is the fact that they choose you, not the other way around. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go to a shelter and find a familiar, but it does mean that you can’t just grab the first dog or cat you see and try to force them into “familiardom.”
Not all of my familiars were immediately recognized as familiars either. I, for lack of a better term, played hell with Artie for the first month and a half. Our apartment buildings created a vortex of wind that would blow open doors that weren’t locked. Twice, Artie bolted. Once, it was during a snowstorm. I ran barefooted and in pjs into a foot of snow looking for a little white dog. One time, he even broke free of his leash to chase after two unleashed black Labs. I took a terrible tumble that broke through my jeans and damaged my knee to save him from an oncoming SUV. Each and every time, Artie came right back to me but it made me question if I could trust him. So keep in mind that there’s always an adjustment period.
After everything we went through with Artie bolting, I never imagined there’d be a day I’d not only trust my dog leash-free, but often wish that I could just let him off of it for his happiness. In fact, we have camped leash-free and even walked leash-free. I’m always weary, because I never want something to happen to him, but he has never betrayed my trust since those initial days.
Of course, something to keep in mind is that my hesitancy to call someone a familiar might be because I’m a bit of an OCD ISTJ Virgo II. It has to be a perfect connection or none at all. You might find that you label familiars differently.
However, once you have that familiar connection, you know. Without a doubt, you just absolutely know. Zeus was probably my most instant connection. His love, like my other familiars’, is endless and obvious.
I knew, before I ever opened a circle, that Zeus was definitely a familiar. That trust I talked about above coupled with his love (which seriously borders on almost obsession) was nearly an instant recipe for familiar!
But love and trust does not a familiar make. Familiars are animals that have some sort of magickal connection in your life. They enter your circle with wisdom and knowledge. They aid you in your magickal decisions. They further your connection to your spirituality in more than just an unconditional love sense. Zeus? Zeus chooses runes. I kid you not: He will dig into a rune bag and paw out a rune. His rune-drawing has stopped me in my tracks from casting a particular spell or making a certain magickal decision. Or, on the flip side, it has furthered some decisions.
Hermes is my study-buddy. He has an obsession with all of my books and has been known to knock important books off the shelf with perfect timing. Kind of a “HEY, before you do that, read this.”
Artie is my emotional stabilizer. When he enters the circle, I am calm and at peace. In fact, I call him my little Meditation Pup. His ability to bring about a completely relaxed state in me, particularly when I’m having anxiety issues, has helped me to become a better witch. Even more, his calming influence is felt in the entire household as he is, gently, the peacekeeper between all of the cats. In fact, he is the reason we found all three of our cats. Artie never asks to go outside as he’s on a schedule. The three times he has blatantly whined to go out - during a lightning storm, at night when I realized I hadn’t checked the mail yet, and at 10 am for a long walk near a walkway - I found my other three familiars. So I can blatantly credit him for our familiarful house!
Kittens, however, can get a little trickier to distinguish pet from familiar. Apollo was just six weeks old when we found him under a walkway. He was a tiny little thing with so much fear of the world. As he’s grown, he’s developed a similar obsession to me as Zeus, and a habit for selecting books like Hermes. Clearly, he’s picking up a thing or two from his “siblings.”
But does that mean he’s a familiar? If you’re finding that your kitten is surpassing the trust, love and magickal requirements but you’re still unsure, divination and meditation will often answer any questions you might have. I found through visualization and a few rune casts that Apollo was not just mimicking his fellow familiars but was acting on his own will. Once I let go of my skepticism of his status in our household, he became a trusted companion. Zeus draws runes, Hermes picks books and Artie creates magickal and emotional stability. Apollo? Apollo likes gemstone magick, it turns out.
Bonus round: If your pet scratches, whines or lays against your spiritual room door with a compulsive need to get in, it might be a familiar.
Bonus round 2: If you have multiple pets that pass the love, trust and magickal requirements and also get along as if they were all siblings, you might have multiple familiars.
Final note: Not all pagans, Wiccans or witches have, need or want a familiar. Having a familiar stems from a personal connection with animals and a particular animal’s personal connection to you. Some people who greatly love animals simply never find that connection. Some who never thought they’d own an animal find themselves with a familiar. And some never have a familiar and never want one. Keep this in mind as you live your pagan, Wiccan or witchy life!
Vishnal: Princess, it’s morning. Time to wake up.
F: Vishnal~ just lemme sleep a bit more~ just 5 more minutes~
V: You said the same thing just a moment ago. I’ve already waited 5 minutes, so let’s get up, shall we?
V: …just like that, recently it’s been a struggle to wake the princess up
Dylas: *imagining various things*
Leon&Arthur: *perk up* Let me/I’ll switch in morning call duties with you
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