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Mystic Twilight
February 22nd, 2002, 06:44 PM
If so, what is it?

mato
February 22nd, 2002, 07:21 PM
<(manditory)smart ass>I have a few, they are helping spirits that assist me in my workings both spell casting and underworld travel so that I might do my best to help others and/or myself overcome illness or other of lifes little obsticles... </smart ass>

I can only give you the identity of one, a former cat of mine that came to me after his passing and continues to help me in my workings. Interestingly enough he is a Tom cat, which brujo consider evil <insert cackling here>. The others are not for discussion.

Myst
February 22nd, 2002, 07:28 PM
This, I would think, would go better in M & R since it hasn't got anything to do with Gods & Goddesses. So I hope you don't mind if I move it.

A familiar is a physical animal that shares energy with you and that you know on a spiritual level. You can work with this animal in ritual and, with practice and certain techniques, put yourself in its body to view the world from its eyes. It may also alert you of danger, protect you, and teach you things about life and yourself.

Ganga
February 23rd, 2002, 12:02 PM
Nope, I don't have one. It would be nice, though. We do have three animals in the house (guinea pig, hamster and gerbil) but I don't really see any of them as familiars. If I was to consciously choose one (and if we lived in the countryside), it would definitely be a cat. (Yikes! What would happen to our dear rodents then?)

JuNiPeR
February 23rd, 2002, 12:40 PM
I have a cat whom which I'm very connected to but she's still quite young and just wouldn't sit still. Hehe :)

clef0628
February 23rd, 2002, 10:05 PM
I have one spirit familiar, a snake. My roommate has a physical one, that being his cat. My roommate use to be very sickly. He got his cat as a get well gift. He has recovered better then any doctor thought he would. The cat went though a similar sickness during his recovery. It is almost as if the cat took some of the sickness for him. At least that is what I believe.

MistOfTheSea86
February 24th, 2002, 03:46 AM
Through me actually. He is a dragon, he lives on the astral plain:)

Myst
February 24th, 2002, 05:02 AM
If it is a spirit I consider it a spirit guide, *not* a familiar. To me there is a distinct difference.

mato
February 24th, 2002, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Myst
If it is a spirit I consider it a spirit guide, *not* a familiar. To me there is a distinct difference.

Huh... well we differ on that. I believe that the only true familiar a witch can have must be a spirit.

clef0628
February 24th, 2002, 09:45 PM
A book I have called "Animal Magick" by Conway says that familiars can be either spirit or a real live animal. Personaly, I'm not sure what the difference is calling it a spirit guide or a familiar, but to each his/her own. I have never seen to two compared. I just want to note that some people have spirit familiars and some have live ones, and some have both. What you wish to call them is up to you.

nehelia
February 25th, 2002, 02:03 AM
i do agree with your idea, clef, but its also good to have a general definition to stick to when discussing things with groups of people, and i would have to say i believe a familiar has to have a physical body, and that helpers without physical bodies are guides, totems, or just helpers.

my black cat is a familiar, or just becoming one--right now she's more about storing up lots of energy and then sleeping near me when im doing stuff than actively participating

i also have one through a friend who is soo amazing, visits me in dreams and all sorts of fun things.

Myst
February 25th, 2002, 02:53 AM
To me totems are an animal that comes through in your personality or personal travels. Whereas familiars and spirit guides are like a part of you I feel they have a definite separation from your spirit - whereas totems seem to be part of your spirit itself. I'm not sure how well I can explain that :)

For instance my totem is the (house) cat. My personality is like a cat's, and certain elements of my face and demeanour resemble a cat (ie. I have cat's eyes, I'm always calmly observant and laid back until I get mad and let loose, etc.)

Twilight Garden
February 25th, 2002, 03:14 AM
My familiar is my cat. I have three cats, but there is a definite difference between my familiar and the other two.

Ardwinna
February 25th, 2002, 09:30 PM
One of my cats is very interested in what I do, but she's kinda (very) spastic, so I don't really want her to participate. I'm afraid she might scatter the energy.

My other cat, who I love very much and who I have a real psychic bond with (seriously), is just not interested. "Do you want to be my familiar, kitty?" "No, thank you. I'd rather lay here in the sun."

Myst
February 27th, 2002, 02:59 AM
I have two cats, a puppy, and a rabbit here, and a rabbit and a budgie at my parents.

The two cats and puppy are always interested when I cast a circle or start doing any kind of magical work. This is to be expected tho, as animals and children (and adults too I imagine) are attracted by the spiritual energy. While both cats often sit in circle with me and examine the instruments and materials I've chosen, only one (Orion, who is a big black neutered dsh) feels as though he's bonded to me. I can visualize the world through his eyes and communicate with him at times (not that he necessarily listens or does what i say). So Orion is my familiar.

mato
February 27th, 2002, 01:53 PM
I can visualize the world through his eyes and communicate with him at times...

Interesting, I can do that with most animals I come into contact with... But that is more of an empathic link, I feel what they feel, I can see through their eyes should they let me, it helps me to serve them. Domestic animals can be pains in the a$$ sometimes because they take on the personality traits of their owners, so I prefer to work with wild animals.

Doctor Oakroot
February 27th, 2002, 05:22 PM
I used to have a cat named Noktochiel' who went on spirit journeys with me... but, like a cat, she was there on her own and I just happened to be there. She died in 93, but I kept hearing from her until she re-incarnated a few months later.

Now, Prini, one of my corgis is a sorcerer in his own right and is frequently involved in my spirit journey, spirit healing, and guided spirit journey work. In physical life, he's a sweet, cute little dog, but in the spirit world, he's a huge shaggy black dog with fiery eyes. His main work is to guide and protect either me or the person I'm guiding through the journey.

Last night, he insisted on joining us in the circle for Esbat and participated in the ritual in a helpful way (except when he tried to steal the cakes off the pentacle before it was time - he is a dog afterall and he likes his biscuits).

My wife's familiar, Meester, is a little gray cat - still a kitten really, but beginning to act like an adult.

We also have another corgi, Morwy (Prini's daughter), and another cat, Biankha... but they don't seem to be very interested in magical or mystical things.

Epona44
February 27th, 2002, 08:59 PM
There are ghost cats who have shared my life and I see them sometimes, when I am going out a door (typical) they want to come in.

When I am resting on the couch, they sit with me. :cool:

I also meet animals that, well, aren't there :eek: , in the forest.

I can feel the presence in my parent's old barn of my horse, Sundance, long gone.

The familiar through whose eyes I can see, I'm still waiting for that.

mato
February 28th, 2002, 08:43 PM
I just got back from an owj to return some spirits to god, and my sisters cat joined me while I was climbing the tree... He isnt a familiar (let alone mine), he just likes to climb trees! spiritual or otherwise. He was kind enough to return before me to guard my body. He was laying on my stomach when I woke so it was interesting. And this is a cat that HATES me with a passion. He would rather tear my hair out then be pet... And I have on a number of occassions asked him what his deal was and I'll be damned if that little sh*t didnt use 'language' that would make a sailor blush! He takes after my sister and brother in law too much for his own good.

Myst
February 28th, 2002, 08:51 PM
Uhhuh.

Myst
February 28th, 2002, 08:59 PM
And back to topic - why do you suppose certain animals are often associated with Pagans? Why do you suppose many people choose a cat as a familiar? Is it some quality of the cat itself, such as that they are mysterious, independent, and strong when needed?

What do you think?

mato
March 1st, 2002, 12:27 AM
the cat is the least domesticated of the domestic animals, it is the natural choice as a familiar, free to do as it wants and needs it is not restrained by human interferance. Yet it is seen on a regular basis and is fairly well known in it's habbits. It is the link between the known and the unknown, the domestic and the wild.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 12:40 AM
I'd say cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, chickens, some dogs, turkeys, snakes, hamsters, llamas, ostriches, emus, and most pet birds are less domesticated then cats. And why would you naturally choose a familiar that isn't domesticated?

mato
March 1st, 2002, 12:50 AM
I would choose one because of it's link to primal energies and it's lack of corruption by man's interferance. In my views the domesticated animal looses it's primal soul (in this it's connection to the great spirit) as it connects more to the human soul and the human great spirit. (IMO humans have lost their connection to their great spirit as well, hence the attraction to 'wild' things is more about reconnecting with god or great spirit.) The wild animal serves the needs of the person using it because as they go into unknown territory and the animal can better cope with the situation and cercumstances.

Lavender
March 1st, 2002, 01:03 AM
Your descriptions sounds more like a spirit guide than a familiar. Are you confusing the two?

As far as I'm given to understand, familiars are physical representation of a spirit. Aren't familiars supposed to choose you & not the other way around?

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by Wildchild
As far as I'm given to understand, familiars are physical representation of a spirit. Aren't familiars supposed to choose you & not the other way around?

I agree.

mato
March 1st, 2002, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by Wildchild
Your descriptions sounds more like a spirit guide than a familiar. Are you confusing the two?

Nope. The familiar is some what different then the spirit guide as the familiar shares the 'body soul' of the individual they are attached to were as the spirit guide has no such bind. The familiar shares strength with the individual were as the spirit guide encourages the finding of ones own strength.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 01:10 AM
And where does that put totems?

And why should a familiar choose to share a body soul?

On that note - how many souls do you have? Do animals have souls? Plants? Other lifeforms? How many? Does one soul exist in many bodies at once?

mato
March 1st, 2002, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by Myst
And where does that put totems?

And why should a familiar choose to share a body soul?

On that note - how many souls do you have? Do animals have souls? Plants? Other lifeforms? How many? Does one soul exist in many bodies at once?

:lol: You remind me of my nephew... Totems are family spirits not animal souls. I believe in seven souls (but I have answered this before...) yes animals have any were from three to seven souls as well. Plants have seven, most living things hold atleast one, they can have any were from one to twelve depending on the species. yes however it is not preceived to be more than one body by the soul inhabbiting it. These are my beliefs not my opinions, they are an established part of my ancestral path.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 01:26 AM
:lol: And you remind me of my niece.

Why specifically those numbers? What's the determining factor? How are those numbers chosen? Why share souls? Who doles out the souls? How are they chosen? How can some living things have none or one or 12 if plants have 7, humans have 7, and animals 3-7? How do souls move from body to body? Are they associated with one body per lifetime? Can they change and share bodies at any given time? Can one not have personal totems?

And you didn't answer - And why should a familiar choose to share a body soul?

Lavender
March 1st, 2002, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by mato
...yes animals have any were from three to seven souls as well. Plants have seven, most living things hold atleast one, they can have any were from one to twelve depending on the species. yes however it is not preceived to be more than one body by the soul inhabbiting it

I've not heard that before, can you expand on this some more?

mato
March 1st, 2002, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by Myst
:lol: And you remind me of my niece.

Why specifically those numbers? What's the determining factor? How are those numbers chosen? Why share souls? Who doles out the souls? How are they chosen? How can some living things have none or one or 12 if plants have 7, humans have 7, and animals 3-7? How do souls move from body to body? Are they associated with one body per lifetime? Can they change and share bodies at any given time? Can one not have personal totems?

And you didn't answer - And why should a familiar choose to share a body soul?

Sorry didnt see that one, most familiars dont choose, neither does the person who is linked to it. (In my tradition) we are born as the familiar is born in the under world, we are linked to eachother because of the need to survive the soul's reach out and latch on to eachother in a symbiotic partnership designed to help both creatures survive.

Those numbers are established according to each animals presence in the other worlds and the energies and creatures they draw or eat. Most dont consider a virus a living thing however I do as it has spirit, just no soul. bacteria depending on the type have a very simple single soul.
Animals of a complex make up have three souls in accordance with their presence on all three planes, these souls are 'axis' souls. Animals with a complex brain have four secondary souls that correspond with the four directions and as with the world tree channel the energies from those four directions into the axis souls.
Souls move at will.
Generally yes, however the body soul does not reincarnate but decomposes with the body, and the four secondary souls are reobsorbed into the energy pools from which they were formed. The animal soul dies and is reborn attached to another body soul. The final soul is released when the body soul dies and seeks out another body to incarnate in or goes on to the after life.
All but the body soul can withdraw from the creature at any given time but withou the other souls the body sucumbs to disease and if not united with the axis souls it dies, the animal soul must attach to another body soul or die as well. The upper soul doesnt need the body and is free to roam without major reprocusions. Yes the upper soul can change places or share with the animal soul for whatever reason during an 'outing'. Yes if they are attracted and equally attract a givin spirit enough to attach itself to the family than they can have a 'personal' totem.

mato
March 1st, 2002, 01:55 AM
Originally posted by Wildchild
I've not heard that before, can you expand on this some more?

If you have a question ask. Dont feel bad most ppl havent despite the wide variety of cultures it is found in. Silly me I thought it was basic information for study for every pagan before ppl started giving me funky looks on mentioning it.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 02:04 AM
Yes, you also thought the concept of multiple souls was common to all of us too but out of 2000+ people how many responded that they knew of or followed those beliefs?

I'm sure you realize there are millions of paths and that each one is unique. For instance none of us would've expected you to understand our theologies and principles even though they are so basic to us - ie. that a soul is genderless or that one person has one soul, or about as above so below, etc. etc.

Lavender
March 1st, 2002, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by mato


If you have a question ask. Dont feel bad most ppl havent despite the wide variety of cultures it is found in. Silly me I thought it was basic information for study for every pagan before ppl started giving me funky looks on mentioning it.

Heh! I did ask & you've answered my question. Incidently, there was no need to edit your post for that last remark. Basic information varies from pagan path to another. That's what Mysticwicks is about...respecting each others path even when it's different from your own. We're all here to learn from each other.

mato
March 1st, 2002, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Wildchild
Heh! I did ask & you've answered my question. Incidently, there was no need to edit your post for that last remark. Basic information varies from pagan path to another. That's what Mysticwicks is about...respecting each others path even when it's different from your own. We're all here to learn from each other.

Sorry If I offended any one. It just amazes me what is overlooked or deemed irrelevant to modern paganism... Like something as universal as multiple souls... Didnt mean it as an insult or anything like that if it came off that way. I meant if you wanted to know anything that wasnt mentioned in the post, or if the post raised other questions ask. However this is like off topic so... ya know do it the polite way through a pm.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 02:23 AM
That's the thing though - *nothing* is universal in Paganism.

Lavender
March 1st, 2002, 02:27 AM
Alright, back on topic. Do I have a familiar?

Currently, I don't have a familiar. But it doesn't mean that I will never have one...just not at the moment.

msilvercat
March 1st, 2002, 10:29 AM
I have a familiar - my cat. She is quite old, and has been with me for a long time. She typically sits in the doorway of the room in which I am doing a ritual, as if to guard against anyone interfering with what I am doing.

I also have a totem animal - a black panther - who shows up in my dreams to give me guidance when I need it. Even before I knew who or what he was, I often found myself going to the zoo and hanging out in front of the panther exhibit right before important decisions or announcements. It was as if I was drawing strength from him.

Personally, I distinguish between familiars and spirit guides or totem spirits, but that's just me.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 01:02 PM
How do you distinguish between spirit guides and totems then? I would call your panther a spirit guide rather then a totem.

msilvercat
March 1st, 2002, 05:56 PM
My thinking goes as follows:

Familiars are specific animals with whom we bond, and who add their energy to the work that we do in circle. Typically, the familiar chooses its witch. My cat is my familiar, but my friend's cat is not.

Totems are animals with whom we share an affinity and who, on their spiritual plane, guide those whom they have chosen. In the physical world, a person is typically drawn to their totem animal, whether in terms of pictures or the actual animal. Often a person can learn how to be more completely themself by watching and learning from their totem animal, or can incorporate or strengthen facets of their personality that they lack or which need strengthening by contemplating the behaviors and strengths of their totem animal in the real world (preferably in their natural habitat). In addition to being drawn to the physical animal (in my case, panther) a totem animal also exists in the spirit realm, and can guide the person on that level.

A spirit guide is purely spiritual, with no physical counterpart in the physical realm. It can guide and teach, but has no body.

Take it for what it's worth. As folks have pointed out, very little is universal in paganism.

Epona44
March 9th, 2002, 01:25 PM
After reading the comments, I'm thinking that familiars may be a physical animal drawn to you for reasons within its own being.

A spirit guide probably chooses you, based not on what you think you need, but because you require its presence at that time.

I've read in the past in some texts -- and I'm going to summarize what I remember because I no longer have those books -- that in some belief systems that embrace concepts similar to what you are calling multiple souls there are levels of being.

In some eastern beliefs these levels are etheric, astral, causal, mental, something else, trancendental and infinite.

The etheric is a double of the physical body and decays after death eventually. It has little consciousness of its own and is more of a memory of a life. Many ghosts that seem to perform endless rituals, such as the many white ladies seen after a tragic death are said to be etheric souls.

The astral soul is conscious, it has a form similar to the body only if that is necessary. It can communicate and if need be change its form, for example to an animal.

Spirit guides seem to fall into this category. Communication with the other souls happens less frequently and usually to people who are adept, or mediums, and for a specific reason.

People resonate with certain animals, sometimes for a whole life or sometimes for part of a life because the animal inspires them, or presents a symbol they need to focus upon to accomplish a particular work.

Children may learn to love white tigers because they need the perceived courage that spirit imparts.

Some people learn to love reptiles because they are misunderstood, and a pathway to acceptance of something as it is and not as it's perceived.

Elephants are revered by some cultures for their long memory and power. The hind, a deer, may be revered for its wildness and speed.

Myth and symbol play a part. I'll look for the name of the text and try to add it to this post for others to find and read.

Myst
March 9th, 2002, 02:22 PM
I see.

To me you don't choose your familiar, spirit guide, or totem. You might pick an animal to learn from for awhile but your familiar and spirit guide choose you. Your totem is a part of you for your life, and you don't choose that either. People tend to choose animals they like rather then animals they need to learn from or are like necessarily. *shrugs*

Epona44
March 9th, 2002, 02:45 PM
I agree that people do not choose their own spirit guides.

I think I probably agree they don't choose their own totems, as in my understanding, a totem is a family or tribal spirit. I would be pleased to learn more.

Familiars come to you when you are ready, but I think there is some choice involved as there must be an underlying affinity.

Whether that is initially a conscious choice :eyebrow: is hard to say.

Myst
March 9th, 2002, 02:58 PM
Who knows (certainly not me) :D

I don't think of a totem as a family or tribal spirit, but more in terms of a personal totem. Originally I read of it in Jean Auel's series of books based on prehistoric clans and tribes (tho I believe they had a tribal totem *and* a personal totem). Then I learned about them through Pagan friends.

The idea of a family/tribal totem has never appealed to me personally. I couldn't think of an animal that would sufficiently describe my family let alone my tribe :p

I don't know about choosing familiars. I've never chosen one, they've always chosen me. In fact I didn't really realize my last one was a familiar; I didn't consciously work with him.

Epona44
March 9th, 2002, 03:04 PM
My family or tribal totem would have a difficult time with diaspora.
:shift:
Thanks for the reading suggestion.

Melysande
March 12th, 2002, 10:40 AM
I had a familiar for six years. A cockatiel named tika. He passed this January. We did everything together. And while I will admit that he was officially less domesticated than cats and dogs, he was like a cat with feathers. I used to be a cat person, but I've found that even Chip (my first, and current, cat familiar) --who is an incredibly intelligent cat-- isn't as smart or as full of personality as tika was (and is). tika thought he was a human child. And for all intents and purposes, I treated him as such. The only drawbacks to having a bird as a familiar are that you have to be careful not to use incense around them (because they have a more sensitive respiratory system than ours), and it's best to keep them safely in their cage whenever you are using candles.

I believe that since his crossing, tika has graduated from familiar to spirit guide.

That being said, yes, I fully believe that animals have a soul. People are animals. And we believe we have souls. So I'd say it follows that animals do, too.

I'm not sure about plants. I imagine they do, but not like anything an animal would.

Storm
March 24th, 2002, 04:27 PM
Spirit guides may be with you since birth and act primarily as guardian angels of sort..they may guide you toward a path of wisdom but they wont give it to you. Familiars will come to you when you have need. There is choice in that you can accept or reject(you can have a negative spirit request your audience so use judgement) but the timing is usually not yours but you can request one. Familiars may be with you for life or to serve your need of the moment. They may embody any animal, a pet usually, permanently or as needed.

A totem is an animal spirit that is with you from birth and serves your strongest need in life. May embody the living animal to bring you messages.

Animal spirits can also act as familiars but not necessarily be totems.

Mystic Wolf
March 26th, 2002, 10:49 PM
This may be a little off-topic but how do you develop the mental connection with a familiar?

I don't know if I have one or not. Maybe you can help me decide...

Right before Valentine's Day, my wife's old persian had to be put to sleep. Her cat was around 16 though no one really knows because she was a rescue. When my wife took her to the animal shelter there was a White and Pepper tabby in the front lobby. Now they only put animals up there with a little time left in hopes of getting them adopted. Anyway, she fell in love with this cat. She moaned and pleaded for 3 days that I get this cat for her.

Not being a cat person myself, I didn't want to get a new cat right away and was afraid it would cause problems with our dog and our other cat. However after a few days, I relented and 5 days later after she was "chipped" and spayed, I brought Pepper home and gave her to my wife.

So now here is the part that has me confused. This cat has latched on to me. She follows me around the house, sits on a shelf on my desk or on top of my computer case while working and apparently only likes me. She is by my side 24/7 and if I should leave the house she is waiting by the door when I come home. It has even gotten to the point where we go to the bathroom at approximately the same time.

So could this be a familiar? If so how can I develop that bond?

Myst
March 27th, 2002, 09:41 AM
Well I would suspect if the bond exists it's already been made. I heartily believe that the familiar will choose to participate; to me they make that choice and do as they will. So, go into circle to do a ritual or meditate, do some divination on the floor, or whatever comes to mind, and see if the cat joins in. Mind you, almost any animal will come to see what you're doing and sit with you (they're attracted to the energy), but see if they lend their energy to your rituals. See if you can communicate with them. See if you can sense when they are when you're wondering about it. This develops over time.

And if the cat isn't a familiar... oh well.. it's still a good pet :)

Sequoia
April 4th, 2002, 05:42 PM
I used to. My cat tiger died (I think she died; she just left one day, giving me this one last look then walked off. I never saw her again) ooh about a year ago-ish, I guess. . . there was something so special with her, I don't think that one can really describe it. I miss her a lot.

I'm thinking about getting a tarantula. i'm gonna name it Peachy.

-_-; but first I have to get contacts.

Azure
April 4th, 2002, 09:40 PM
My beliefs don't really include familiars as such, although one of my cats inevitable walks in and helps any time I do anything magic related or play with energy.

I do believe in totems and spirit guides. I have foxes and magpies, as I said on another thread. My Dad, who has a lot of Cherokee blood, has an eagle totem.

My late cat, who lived with me for 22 years, still comes back and visits every now and then. I had her my whole life, so I guess I'm not surprised she checks in.

catlin
October 24th, 2002, 10:27 AM
2 of my 4 cats are familiares: my blue Persian Adi and the red Persian mix Benny. Lucky (Turkish Van cat) and Toby (Maine Coon mix) are not so interested in magickal stuff and tarot but Adi and Benny allways join in. The love to lend me a paw.

Epona44
October 25th, 2002, 03:11 PM
I've been around both cats and dogs all my life, and if I'm going to sense one that has passed, it's probably a cat.

I quess the real question is, what exactly is a familiar?

Is it a helping ghost? Is it something generated from our unconscious? Is it a spirit that has never been incarnated into the flesh? It's quite a topic to speculate about. :huh:

Flar's Freyja
October 25th, 2002, 03:17 PM
I see familiars and power animals and totems as basically the same thing. My totems appear to reassure me when I need them, as as for the cats.....cats that won't have anything to do with anyone will come to me. So they're probably my most immediate familiar that are closest to me on the physical level. I have three, and I believe that one of my spirit guides inhabits one of them because he must always be right there when I'm doing magickal workings or readings. I even let him choose tarot cards once and he did a dang good job :)

Radocs
October 25th, 2002, 04:11 PM
Nope, no familiar.

Gwion
October 26th, 2002, 09:28 PM
Purrrrrr

AmbivalentMirage
October 28th, 2002, 07:47 PM
I definately have a familiar, a cat named "Topaz".

I've had him since he was a kitten, about three years ago. At the time, we lived in a house on a hillside and there was a fenced in open space on the back side. I found Topaz crying and hiding in there. He was such a young kitten that he could barely walk. It took a long time to finally get him out from under the house (it was the end of October and I didn't think he would make it througn November). Anyhow, eventually we caught him and brough him inside. At the time, I was in a deep depression and very suicidal. I was also dealing with psy vamps which had been wrecking havock on my mind and life in general. Once I found Topaz, things began to clear. Now, while I'm doing energy work, he likes to come around and watch me or dance with me (well, run and jump..) while I do dances to charge up. He doesn't like to come too close while I'm doing spells or rituals, though. He tends to stay clear of me at those times and just watch. I can feel his spirit very clearly, though. Even though he's my familiar, I still treat him as a general pet...and he gets in PLENTY of trouble. ;) Anyhow, there is my incredibly boring and long story. ENJOY!! :)

Karmakat
March 4th, 2003, 09:40 PM
I have two familiars. Very connected, so much that these two reject others.
The first who I have most contacts with is a very small, female, calico cat.
The second who lives on our property is my black female horse.
I have been wondering if the horse is also my animal totem. Our personality is quite similar (I know that sounds far fetched).
Any comments suggestions?

Karmakat

Rainx
March 27th, 2003, 12:40 PM
IMHO

A (personal) totem is a part of your spirit that is animal, that acts and looks like an animal, and imho stays with you for life. You don't choose it as much as recognize it as part of you.

For instance, my totem is the housecat - not a specific housecat, but housecat energy. People who know me can see it in my demeanor and even in my face.

A spirit guide is a specific spiritual animal (ie. not lions, but a specific lion that shows up repeatedly) that appears in meditation and whatnot to help you. It picks you but you can do meditations to ask one to come to you. It may be a temporary guide or a lifetime one.

A spirit animal is a group of animals (ie. not a specific lion, but lions as a species) that you feel connected with and who teach you about yourself or what you want to reach towards in life. You can choose them or they can choose you, and they often come and go. My first spirit animal was the butterfly, and my current one is the lion. They might appear in tarot readings, meditations, or just show up everywhere until you notice them.

So to decide if the horse is a totem, spirit guide, spirit animal, etc. you have to determine what part it plays in your life - do you feel the horse as an energy/species is part of your self? Do you feel your house works magic with you and is familiar to you? Do you have a horse that appears in meditation, or shows up in tarot cards etc.?

SnowBird
March 27th, 2003, 02:40 PM
I lost my beloved Athena a few weeks ago, but I know that her gently purring spirit is still with me. I never thought it would happen when it did, and I always thought there was more time. Perhaps she will come to me again in another form.

SnowBird

Erincelt
March 27th, 2003, 02:46 PM
Four of them.. Datra, Sucha, Nista, Ysla. :) All wolves.

Grey
April 6th, 2003, 02:15 AM
Hes a big gray cat, male, fixed. Hes name is skitter, cause back when we first got him the little guys couldnt say "citter cat". Hes really smart, sometimes I feel more like Im his human.

As for the totems, I often find black bears appear alot in my meditation, but Ive never done anything with them or felt any outside energy come in from a "bear" source. I think I just really like them.

labgoddess
April 20th, 2003, 02:30 AM
I seem to attract most animals that I encounter. At this time I 'look after' 9 cats, 6 cockatiels, and three fish. I have an incredibly intense bond with one of my cats in particular - MacDuff.
He does not sleep unless I am home or have checked in to say I'm alright. He cries if I miss my 'usual' home coming time. At night time, he crawls into bed and snuggles with me until I fall asleep. If I have a particularly fitful sleep (very common as of late) he will waken each time with me and give me a quick lick and purr until I pass out again.
Would he be considered as one?
Or do I just have a really greatful kitty who I bonded with the day I brought him home?
any ideas?

LdyWolfPrints
April 20th, 2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by Mystic Twilight

If so, what is it?

My familiar came to me in a bizarre way. She was the "family" dog, yet she was mine. To this day, she is stuck to me like glue. She senses things I don't and is even with me in my circle. Funny, I've often read that dogs are more in tune to energy changes and shy away from them. Not her. And I trust her sense of judgement when it comes to new people I make. If she doesn't go to them right away, I tend to shy away from them as well. Don't know if that makes sense, but she is my "leader" in that aspect of my life.

She has also taught me what it means to be loyal. A lesson everyone should learn.

Bainidhe Dub
April 21st, 2003, 03:56 PM
Whether one calls them familiars, animal spirits, totem animals or whatnot.. I have a few lol.

On the physical plane, I have Tigger, who, even though he's not my cat at all and would normally not go in my room, will find my space very interesting when I am working and come and sit next to me, watching. Kinda scared me the first time lol because I certainly wasn't expecting him to be there at all!

I've always been in love with horses, but quite recently one has started to appear in my dreams. His coat is a deep ebony color and has either pearly white or iridescent silvery mane and tail. I've also had dreams for several years now in which a black wolf with amber eyes will come to me during times of extreme stress.

Then there are the animals/creatures I feel a bond with; dragons (I have numerous dragon statues/knickknacks that adorn a temporary altar once in a while), the Phoenix, and ravens to name a few.

Unfortunately, bassets don't make good familiars at all, so poor Custard is banned from my room when I'm working. Lol and she lets me know exactly what she thinks of that too. I figured it wasn't meant to be when she grabbed my bread off the altar and ran away with it and the altar clothe in her mouth. Needless to say, I had a huge mess!

Tora B Wolf
May 11th, 2003, 12:29 AM
My familiar is a spirit familiar as well. It is a Tiger. A white one actually. We are just getting to know each other.

cydira
May 12th, 2003, 01:09 AM
Well, I don't know a thing about totems. I was raised in an atheist household and the extent of my knowledge of *any* Native American theology/spirituality is limited to some legands of the Iriquoi from the area where I grew up.

As for familiars, I'm honestly not sure. I was *very* close to my recently departed cat Sandy. She tended to walk in and observe my rituals often. Sandy, however, was more my father's cat then mine.

I tend to get along better with cats then most other animals. However, I understand birds fairly well on an empathetic level. <shrugs> I actually think I've had a few conversations with them.

Ravens will come to me on the eve of some big event in my life and they also show up when I'm going to recieve a particularly important message from the gods. Aside from that, I've a fondness for hawks, but I doubt that there's any sort of spiritual or magical connection for that. I just think they're absolutly stunning birds. :)

On the matter of spirit guides/companions, I've several. I don't know if they and I chose to be wandering about together or if I was assigned to them or vice versa. All I know is that there are certian things that they need to teach me and that I need to teach them. In the case of one of them, there's also some healing that I need to help with. <shrugs> I've friends that are not exactly human or physically on this plane, dragons don't exactly incarnate that often, especally on *this* level.

<shrugs> I don't know if that makes sense or not. But there's my 2 cents. This is a really interesting thread and I'm enjoying it greatly. :)

Xentor
June 9th, 2003, 05:56 PM
There's plenty of me around.

zakzekezedd
June 18th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Well, whether or not they qualify as true familiars, I can't do any sort of ritual, even just a daily devotion without the cats participating. My one little black cat is very attentive any time I do ritual, and on occasion she has been adamant (I have scars to prove it) about my NOT doing something at a certain time. Otherwise, after her manadtory cat dance around me and the altar she seems content to curl up and purr next to me. I should probably note that this little girl "chose" me, and normally is not particularly demonstrative, it's just when I do any sort of ritual work that she includes herself.

Aspasia Sariel
July 10th, 2003, 11:47 AM
I had to pick no, even though at one time I did. My cat since I was three, she was put to sleep a little over 3 years ago. I miss her a lot.

LadyOak
July 10th, 2003, 11:51 AM
I have several, earthly and otherwise. My earthly familiar is Charlie my 1 yr old Tiel. She and I have a very close friendship. We preen each other and she will let me know when I am not preening her correctly. She has shown an interest in my altar but is mad at me because I won't let her play on it. A few of my wooden Runes have chew marks on them.

I know a tiny Dragon I call 'Tinker'. She is with me most of the time and will let me know when she thinks I am out of bounds on something. The Great Blue Heron is my Totem/Spirit Guide, and the Black Panther is my Guardian Spirit.