This particular blog subject was a request, a man (a certain man in particular, you know who you are haha) was interested in my input, so I gave him my two cents and I told him I would write a blog about it to elaborate on the smaller parts I spoke about. It’s been a long time since I made a real blog post, so forgive me, life has been busy.
Also, before I begin, I would like to add that today is the first day I have purchased my own domain, so welcome to the OFFICIAL MyrnaDragonchild.com! Joy! Celebration! Much congrats!
Now, back to the subject… familiars. There’s several different definitions of what a familiar exactly is depending on tradition, whether it be physical or spiritual, it all comes down to an animal that aids you (the witch) in magick.
There’s a ton of information out there about familiars and how to obtain one, though there’s some conflict in whether or not a personal assistant in which you have a spiritual bond with can actually be “obtained”, in the fashion of “I want this black cat in the window, it is going to be my familiar”.
In an intuitive sense, a cat’s curiosity for example can be translated as “aid” or interest in whatever the practitioner is doing, as if wanting to help. There’s nothing wrong with that, all it comes down to is- what is the cat actually doing?
Now, there’s a nice thing about working with animals of all types, and that’s instinct. There’s something particularly exciting about tapping into the raw, pure nature of animal instinct. Looking at the concept, this natural instinct- no matter how “domesticated” the animal is, is always still there in its un-tameable form and powerful in nature. This can be incredibly useful in rituals and spells- but is having a familiar necessary?
If you were to ask me, I would say no. It’s common neopagan practice to find a familiar, an animal companion to aid you in spiritual practice. A common trend I find in the concept of having a familiar (at least in the physical sense), that it’s either a cat or a dog (stereotypical, right?). Now if I had taken the concept of a familiar and ran with it to this date, my familiar would be a parakeet. Why a parakeet? Well that was my first pet that I would probably claim as my familiar. An animal I could probably say I had a spiritual bond with, and still do.
Would I know this Parakeet is my familiar? It would be purely intuitive. We are receptive to each other’s body language and gestures, emotions, and core desires (food, water, shelter). That’s just part of what it’s like to own a pet- understanding your pet. Asking my pet to lend its energy in ritual, or assuming it is already doing so? Questionable.
For those already doing so and having great results, by all means, that is wonderful, keep doing so. But for the rest of those starting out in general Paganism or Wicca 101, is claiming a familiar going to be necessary for you? The next question to bring up is, is it ethical to pull energy from your animal companion when they may not give their express consent? Is your pet going to remain as your household family member, and not your four-legged (or feathered or scaled) magical partner in crime?
So what’s with the need of weeding out what is or isn’t necessary? It’s to help you the practitioner get down to business and study, practice, and develop all you need to without having to go through the maze of unnecessary little things you may not have at your disposal that can stop you from reaching your full potential. This will bring me to my next blog on tools.