The Witch’s Familiar

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is a “Choose Your Adventure” practice, which means going back through the topics and picking one that you haven’t covered before.  As I’m new to this channel (and responding to it) this was very easy for me as there were many, many topics to choose from.

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My Chosen Topic for the Week of 8/12: Do you have a familiar? What does that mean? How do you know if an animal companion is a familiar or is familiar material?” including “The roll of pets, if any, in your practice?

The definition of a familiar is when a spirit possesses or takes the form of an animal in order to provide spiritual/magickal assistance and guidance. To me, I feel that the primary role of a familiar is to be a guide within the liminal space, astral plane, and spirit world.

Because I feel this way about the role of a familiar, I do not believe that a living being is suited for this task, and so I do not view pets as familiars. They are companions and a deep bond can be created between a person and their pet that transcends the “keeper/pet” dynamic. Pets can even be a part of one’s practice. But, I do not think that the primary role of what a familiar is can be filled by a living animal 99.9% of the time.

That said, I do think that spirits and energy can possess or embody a physical form. So, I suppose it could be possible.  I also, though, think it is extremely rare and that most who call their pets “familiars” are misusing the term.

I do have a cat.

Miss Luna has no interest in my spellcrafting, nor in the tarot. She also has no interest in my altar or hanging out in (or on) any of my sacred spaces. In fact, she is very careful to give me space and observe from a distance during any tarot time, spellcraft time, and ritual time I have.   She often sits right in front of the entrance to the room I am in during these times, and from there she will watch everything very closely.   Then, when I am done, she will return to be closer to me and following me around (which is her usual modus operandi).

Meanie, my previous cat, was much the same in this behavior.

 

 

The Dreamer’s Path

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long and focused on what they named the concept of “coming home”.   That is to say, that meditation is, in essence, the act of “coming home” to one’s body.  On focusing your energy inward and finding peace within for the length of your time in meditation.

I had a hard time with this one namely because of what they called it.   I understood and agreed with the concept, but every time the guided meditation spoke the term “coming home”, I was yanked from my meditation an brought back to memories of the past.

I’ve mentioned this before, but as a child, whenever my father’s negativity really brought me down and got me worked up to where I’d end up crying, I always retreated to somewhere small and private and repeated again and again in my head “I want to go home. I want to go home.”  Even now, those words illicit tears, and typing them made my eyes water up.

I don’t know where I got this from as a child. It just happened.   And it didn’t stop happening until I’d emancipated from my parent’s home and was out on my own.

So, today’s meditation was not all that relaxing, as you might imagine.   NOW in my life, I am home.  I am no longer that little boy searching for the safety and security of “home” that he didn’t have back then.   But for some reason, the phrase “coming home” caused me to revisit him again and again.   It was very uncomfortable, and I may try a different meditation later today.

 Today’s draw is the Seven of Cups, which is a representation of progress, making choices, and the unknown, as well as looking outside the self, and the entrance of spirituality within the area of one’s emotions, creativity, intuition, and relationships. For example… being presented with choices and opportunities that have the potential to lead to progress.

The polar bear on today’s card is defined in the deck’s guidebook as representing fearlessness, independence, intuition, courage, patience, and balance.

What I see within this card today is daydreams and ideas that inspire creativity swirling in the sky, filled with possibility.   These possibilities require choices, but sometimes you have to take a moment to pause and listen to your gut to know which path to choose, and which choices are the best for you at this time, in this moment.

Today’s card is a reminder to pause and look over the choices instead of just going with whatever is the usual, habitual choice may be.  It’s a time for exploration of ideas, and seeking out what is calling out to me from within rather than with logic.

It’s a good message, and one I’m going to strive to incorporate into my day and today’s activities.

There is one decision that I have already made today, though, for my personal health and emotional well-being.  I’m going to stick with this deck, and put the Visions of Life Tarot away for now.  As much as I love the Visions of Life deck (and find it absolutely hilarious), the tongue in cheek humor is not speaking to me in the most positive of ways at the moment.  I may re-visit using it for daily draws in the future, but for now, I’m going to set it aside.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot

 

Revisiting Fear and Indecision

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I wanted to revisit the topic of fear after my post from yesterday and the topic of the meditation that I did yesterday.

Yesterday’s meditation was about indecision, which I definitely do not have a problem with in any way, shape, or form.   But I feel like my post made it sound as if I don’t have fear, which is definitely not the case.

I do, absolutely, have fear.

I fear losing my home to the point where I obsess over work and push myself beyond my limits at times in how much work I should take on. (Thank goodness that I’m also someone that likes their creature comforts, or that fear might rule my entire life.)

I often have issues around fear when it comes to some of my scars (particularly the one on my face) and how people react (or may react) to them, which has gotten better over time as I am no longer trying to seclude myself into my home… but I know I still have a long way to go on this.

I fear my ex and the day he will be released from prison.   I fear my ex, as well, in his conniving “other” ways of trying to reach me even while he IS in prison.

I’m goddamned well -terrified- of spiders, even though my logical mind tells me I shouldn’t be.  You can add piranhas to that list, too, ever since as a kid I saw that first original Piranha movie.

The point is, I do have fears, and I didn’t want my post from yesterday coming off as some kind of bravado or something.  It’s just that fears do not inspire indecision for me.

For me, indecision doesn’t come from fear.  It appears when I am feeling extremely vulnerable, which can put me in a place of “I dunno, you choose”, and it appears when I have not managed to gather enough information or had the chance yet to think something through.