Wiccan Magick

The Witch's Familiar
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So, You Want to be a Witch?
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Your Magickal Name
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Setting up an Altar
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Witch's Tool Chest
The Witch's Familiar
Cat Magick
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The Witches' Cupboard
Wheel of the Year
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Candle Magick
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The Burning Times
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Here I will try to enlighten you on what exactly is a witch's familiar. I have found some cool history, as well as meditations to help find your own familiar. I give credit when I know it, if the author is unknown I will provide the link where the information was found. Remember, though, that a familiar usually finds us, when we least expect it. It is hard to say when or where we might find our familiar, when we do, they deserve the utmost respect and kindness.


In legend, a familiar or familiar spirit is a supernatural being that helps and supports a witch or magician. Traditionally, a familiar is an animal, but some are said to be humanoid. Familiars often have special powers of their own. When witchcraft is portrayed as a type of communication or alliance with evil forces in order to gain magical powers, a familiar may be considered a type of demon.

The stereotypical familiar in Western culture is the black cat. Because black cats are strongly associated with witchcraft, there are a number of superstitions regarding them. A black cat crossing ones path is said to be a portent of doom, for example. A familiar may be nearly any animal, however. Other common forms for a familiar to take are a dog, an owl, and a toad.

In the days of widespread persecution of witches, every witch was believed to have a familiar, and close animal companions were sometimes considered proof that a person was a witch. In addition to animals, humanoid creatures were believed to serve as familiars; sometimes, these familiars looked like regular people, and sometimes, they were said to be odd in appearance, having some deformity or resembling stereotypical images of demons. Legends of this period also often attribute the habit of drinking blood to familiars. Familiars were considered at least as dangerous as witches, as they were thought to be supernatural beings that looked like normal animals and could spy or wreak havoc for their witch without being easily detected.

While Christians traditionally interpret familiars as demons, to Wiccans and Neo-Pagans, they are more like the Christian concept of a guardian angel. A witch's familiar can be his or her closest companion, offering moral support, special knowledge, and/or physical healing. Wiccans may seek a familiar through meditation or divination, but most do not believe that familiars can be summoned, contrary to traditional Western legend regarding witches and black magic. Author Phillip Pullman offers an interesting take on the idea of the familiar in his His Dark Materials trilogy, in which every human has a "daemon" in animal form that has parallels to various cultural interpretations of the soul.


A good introduction to animal magick


We also benefit from animal spirit guides, animal spirits that can guide us in our everyday lives. An animal spirit guide can be anything, from a lizard to a bear. I have included below a meditation aimed at helping you find your animal spirit guide. Remember, that when they appear to us, they are trying to help us. It may also help to invest in a book that covers this topic so that you are familiar with what each animal spirit represents.

Animal Spirit Guide Meditation

To contact your animal spirit guide may take a few attempts, but each time you try, you will be closer to nature.

If at all possible, get out into the countryside or large park. Though your guide can find you anywhere, it is easier when you are open to nature.

Wear comfortable clothing. The surface you rest on is up to you, but be prepared to sit for as long as you need. Avoid using distracting incense or music.

Look around with your eyes, listen with your ears, smell with your nose, and feel with your skin until you are in touch with the rhythms of this part of the world. Think of these rhythms playing out year after year, century after century.

Close your eyes. You'll continue to hear and smell, but your mind will supply your vision without the distractions of the outside world.

Unless you're an experienced meditator, your mind will wander, and various creatures will appear. The first one you see is not necessarily yours. Talk to each one that comes along and try to feel what its message might be.

Your true guide has something more important to say to you than just flattery or condemnation. Guides dont want to take over-they have lives of their own-but they can show you ways in which you can take charge.

Dont be discouraged if at first you dont feel that you've contacted your true animal spirit guide. Consider what you learned from the experience. Would you be more comfortable in different surroundings? At a different time of day? Try again another day and you might be surprised at your success.

Once you've found your guide, you'll see him time and time again. He may be in your dreams, or in the glance of a stranger. But forevermore, he will be your personal guide.


A Meditation for a Familiar
The first thing to concentrate on during meditation is the relaxing of the body. Begin with the toes and feet. Mentally tell the muscles to relax. Slowly moving up through the body relaxing the muscles as you go. Don't strain at this. Take as long as necessary. Spend more time working on the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and jaw as these are the ones we tense almost constantly.
When you are relaxed, surround yourself with white light. Breathe it in; wrap it around you. Now visualize a well before you; you can also use the image of a pond or river, if you like. Mentally take all the problems, including people, that are bothering you and drop them into the well. If the problems or people won't stay in the well, visualize a lid with a stout lock to keep them inside. Doing this symbolizes to your subconscious mind that these need to be taken care of. You don't want to go into meditation carrying negative feelings with you.
Visualize scenery around you. This can be forests, jungles, deserts, whatever, but picture a place without buildings or other humans. You may be surprised to find yourself in a place you didn't have in mind at all. Accept whatever scenery is shown and begin a leisurely walk around. Be very observant of any creatures that appear.
If a creature approaches you, try to communicate with it. Watch what it does and how it responds to you. Since this is the astral plane, it is possible to communicate with any creature you see. Communication is commonly by telepathic conversations within the mind. You may be told that this creature will be one of your astral familiars or that it has come to make you aware you have need of some of its traits. You may find yourself communicating with several astral beings before you are ready to return to this plane of existence.
When you have wandered through this landscape, and perhaps through others, and observed several astral creatures who show an interest in you, thank them and begin to pull back to your physical body. As you think of your body, slip gently back into it and slowly open your eyes. Move your arms and legs slowly to get the circulation going before you try to stand up.


In honor of my new cat, I have included the following links. Enjoy cat lovers!



Great Cat Names

Good cat facts as well as spells, recipes, etc.

Cats and World Mythology-Good info about god/goddess associations with cats.

My cat, My Familiar Good article about magick and cats.

What you send out, comes back to you-times 3.


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