July 29, 2011

Familiar Territory

A Familiar is, to a Witch, very similar to a Guardian Angel for some Christians. First and foremost, a Familiar is a "spirit"; a supernatural being that supports, guards and guides a Witch. While cats are still a popular choice, a Familiar may or may not be in the form of an animal.

Witches of today might seek a Familiar through Meditation or Divination. Legends of Witches "summoning" a Familiar for the purpose of "conducting Black Magic" were popular around the Witchcraft persecution era. It has been said that, during a "trial for Witchcraft", something as simple as a bee flying nearby could be regarded as "proof" that the accused person was, indeed, a Witch.

Blessing Chant for a Familiar

From Spirits of Earth, Wind, Water and Air
to Whom the Gods' love commits me here,
Blessed Be the Familiar which I have found,
From this day forth we shall be bound.
On every plane be at my side
to light, to guard, to help and guide.

Familiar - Ten-year-old "Commodore Fluffy Paws" is pretty sure that HE is God

Familiar in Training ("Psst, Tigger, go over there and check out that plant. Meow-m calls it Lavender and uses it for stuff.")

"Hmm, Labandur (sniff, sniff) WHEW!"

Simple Meditation for Seeking a Familiar or Spirit Guide

Sit with your back straight and both feet on the floor. Close your eyes and take time to relax as you work through the next steps. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Imagine, with each breath, that all the negative or painful encounters are being exhaled in a smoky cloud, leaving your mind and body forever. Each new breath inhaled is clean and pleasant, filling you with positive energy. Perhaps you'll imagine the smell of fresh linens, the sound of water washing over rocks in a stream, or the feeling of warm sunshine on your face.

With each breath, focus deeper and physically tighten or clench the muscles in your body, beginning with your feet. Hold for a second then release the tension of that area as you exhale. Move on to your calves, then thighs, abdomen, and so on, working upward. Take your time to gather the negative (tensing the muscles), imagining all pain is released from that area each time you exhale. Pay particular attention to the muscles of your shoulders, neck, face and jaw. Each time you inhale, the focused area is cleansed, relaxed and renewed.

Next, visualize yourself totally relaxed within any setting you wish. You may be in the forest, lazing on a sunny beach, meandering along a river, or exploring the open prairie. You will not see buildings or people, but will feel one with the elements which appear in the scenery that develops around you. Let the scene unfold naturally. You may be surprised at the setting which develops. Within this "astral plane", walk around and try to communicate (telepathically) with any animals you encounter. Your "Familiar", or "Spirit Guide", will not necessarily be the first one you meet.

After you've wandered through this landscape for a while and have communicated with a few beings there, gently bring yourself back to your physical world. Open your eyes and move your arms and legs around before you attempt to stand. Note the observances you made, the animals which entered your realm, and the feelings you acquired about them. Over the next several weeks, keep your senses tuned. During your meditation, you may have encountered a cardinal, a toad, a rabbit, or a particular-looking dog. This animal may seek your companionship within the physical and mundane realm. With practice, you may be able to communicate with the spirit of your Familiar (whether it appears in your physical world or not) simply through mental focus.

Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.


Magaly Guerrero said...

"Hmm, Labandur (sniff, sniff) WHEW!" made laugh too loud. I've never had a familiar. I think that when it comes to animals, dogs are it for me, but I also think that my familiar is from the spiritual world. I think he likes daisies too.

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