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How Do I Know My Pet Is A Familiar

How Do I Know My Pet Is A Familiar?

By Cate Cavanagh

In my opinion most spiritually inclined people share a love of animals. Since we are looking at familiars I will discuss this Wiccan term. Wiccans 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, noting animals that appear is considered as receiving guidance. I include these events within what I call “sign posts”. Like following a map that has a landmark to indicate if we are on the right path, animal appearances in every-day life and during Dreamtime can help us discover if we are on a good path or not … as well as help us in our decision-making. Native American beliefs, practices and shamanism are the most identified with animal harbingers. Although I also practice this type of observance, this is different than having a familiar. There is a difference between having an animal spirit guide and a familiar. An animal spirit guide works with us in Dreamtime and during meditation. It helps us learn about our place in life and guides us along our path (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, reptile, dog, cat, horse, and so on. 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 us in any number of ways. Sometimes they simply comfort when the owner is upset or sad, or even to amuse so that they can 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! It did not matter if I was opening a book to pray to an archangel or merely lighting a devotional candle … he came running from wherever he was and jumped up on the table or where I was sitting. He often sat on my prayer books, my Grimoires and Book of Shadows. He was quite amazing! Often animals avoid flame. He would always walk around my lit candles and cauldron and around smoking
incense. 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 always remained until my prayers or rituals were done and then he would just leave and go back to wherever he was before.

Other animals are conduits of communication. My daughter recently adopted a new dog. I knew right away this dog was a familiar and I told my daughter that she is a link between the “here” and “there” 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 afflictions” that my uncle was supposed to get as a result of powerful magic having been done against him. Once it passed, the dog would then 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 personally noticed that they all seem to be calm in nature and look rather dreamy-eyed in some way. However, the best way to be sure is to simply include them in your work and prayers in order to find out.

Familiars are not exactly like other pets. They are with someone to help them and to do service with that person. And to not use the familiar will only frustrate the animal  … for they, like humans, have elected to have a life purpose. It is a pet yet soul relationship that develops over time because each of you are here to do Goddess’s work in service.

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