First, I want to apologize for taking a day off on blogging -- my parents decided to put away the Christmas decorations -- and that costs a lot of energy and will power. Sometimes it becomes a little irritating to work with people who become easily angry when things don't fit together just right or come apart exactly so... I was left feeling entirely uncreative, and being that it was late in the day, it was all I could do to pay attention to someone speaking. I'm back though, and I'm hoping I can pick up from here. Let me tell you -- it was a strange day, not writing a single thing. I don't recommend it.
So for this post, I want to discuss something that tends to be incredibly vague in books and in research -- and I think it is mostly because each account is a personal experience -- and that is acquiring a familiar.
||I thought of this first, too. Ahah.||
There are some assumptions we make -- first, that familiars are going to be cats. This is not the case. Second, if we want a familiar, we will get one. Not so -- it usually isn't up to the witch which spirits and familiars need to aid them at a specific time.
So let's basically define what a familiar is -- according to me, a familiar is an animal on the same physical plane as the witch with a strong spiritual attachment. A witch may be able to understand their familiar as if they speak the same language, and vice versa. A familiar can display extraordinary abilities or tendencies -- or appear alongside the witch on their astral travels. They can seem "smarter" than ordinary, or particularly attached to the witch in a household that may have many other people. They may also have no problem being in ritual space and probably won't cross out of the circle/sacred space, but would have no problem crossing in to join you. In short, this will be a witch's pet with a very strong spiritual connection to the witch, to the point where that connection is almost tangible.
Is there a difference between a familiar and the pet of a witch? Sometimes. Can a witch have more than one familiar? Sometimes. Can you cast a spell to call your familiar? Sometimes. Is your familiar always an animal? Mostly, but no -- not always. Can pets living with a witch change in weird ways? Absolutely. Do I know everything about the subject? NOT. AT. ALL. So feel free to correct me or add on to this.
Let's first dwell on how a witch might acquire a familiar. Some of my favorite tumblr stories are the ones where a pagan blog posts about finding theirs. And the term I use is finding, but it is really the opposite way. The familiar finds them. The ones I always stop to read have to be the ones where a sweet stray cat absolutely waltzes its way into the life of the witch -- at first, it just seems like any other stray, until the witch goes outside. Then, it doesn't act skittish or fearful -- it doesn't hide. It takes its place right next to the witch and walks with them. Then, of course, the witch slowly begins to make this crazy connection and soon -- even though the stray could go anywhere in the world, it would rather stay right there, and will for the rest of its mortal life.
I don't know about spells used to call familiars -- but I have heard of them. I feel like they are more along the lines of guides -- you will reach a specific point in your life where they are needed, and they will appear only then. I am not going to be quick to say that I have a familiar. I'm less likely to believe that I do, as opposed to connecting very well with certain animals -- and I'll explain:
Witch's pets, and I say this from experience, do end up being very strange and very smart. People think of cats mostly, but my parents' cats are not familiars. Not to me. In living with me, they've become nothing less than eccentric. But, they aren't technically my pets -- I do not take care of them when I am away at school. I have three parakeets though... those are always with me. Two of which have been with me for just about a year now. Think about pet store birds. I know you've seen them. Merrily cheeping and jumping about -- scared to death of humans putting their hands near the cage. You may have had one as a child -- and unfortunately, it refused to have anything to do with people and did derpy things once the cage was opened like flitting around the room and clinging to curtains high above the tallest person's reach...For me, it only took three weeks or so to tame down the first one -- before the second one arrived. The second one only needed about four minutes of my time to trust me. The newest one is leery still, but much younger than the others were when I got them. He's been sitting with me. It took about a day.
The birds are strange now. They have attitudes that are just a bit more pronounced than other birds I've met.They don't seem to function on "eat food and don't get eaten" motives in certain cases -- for instance, at school they live with two witches. They constantly do all they can to troll my roommate. They love her to pieces and remember, even after the long summer and winter breaks, her voice and mannerisms. They remember when she was supposed to wake up last semester and let her know she shouldn't oversleep. With me, they've remembered a few words (Gimli has said Crazy Birdies to his reflection in the armoire twice in my presence) and sound effects (Quill makes a kiss sound, which takes a whole-body effort, and Gimli has remembered the beat to my laundry alarm -- Pirates of the Caribbean theme.) This is not to say that other birds can't do these things -- but they react to my own voice and energy differently, even though they love people in general. They love their own cage, to be sure, but they've made a point to jump on to my shoulders on my worst days. On their own accord. And my better days --? They just sit with the cage door open daring me to bother them. They've found ways to distract me after hours of homework. They've composed songs they play at certain times of day with certain bells on certain toys -- but not on others. They play the cover of their food dishes like a drum for certain songs. They reacted to a couple of spirits and a deity that were present during some of my workings. And, last, but not least -- when I do not speak my words for magic, they are there to sing. When I speak my spells, they keep their beaks closed.
Are these birds familiars? I wouldn't say so. Will I eventually find one? I may. I may not. I don't see it as my choice -- but my fate. But they are strange. They live differently, and we can't do without one another -- and that is enough, I suppose.
What do you guys think of the idea of Familiars? Do you have any strange pets? How and why? Feel free to share.