Monday, August 25, 2014

Familiars: Introduction & Spells

In light of my familiar, Monkey Slice, passing away this morning.. I wanted to take a minute to explain the role familiars have and why we witches hold them so dear.

Monkey Slice
August 16, 2011- August 25, 2014

To the normal person, a familiar is nothing more than a pet, a furry family member. To a witch they are so much more. Familiars are our closest allies, our partners in crime. They help us with our spells, they know us better than anyone else, and they bond with us in ways no one else can. Familiars are also a witch's strong line of defense. They can and will take any hex, curse, or negativity sent at you without a thought... Even if it costs them their lives. These animals not only share their lives with their witches, but their energy, their knowledge, and their hearts.

The most common belief among non pagans is that a familiar houses a demon and was given to the witch by Satan as part of a pact.

However, we pagans know better. Most believe the soul of a familiar is a loved one that's passed on. Others believe it's the Fae. Regardless, these animals are not just pets; they are a part of our families and held close to our hearts.

Familiars are often the first targets a weak witch will attack when trying to get to a stronger opponent. Back in the days of Cunning Folk, people were hired to spy on, rob, and even kill a witch's familiar as it was believed that the witch stored some of their own energy within the animal.

when a familiar steps onto the Rainbow Bridge, it hurts as much as losing a child. It leaves a hollow feeling in the pit of your very soul, and you feel like you're missing a piece of your soul; in essence you are.

So today, I'd like to take a minute to delve into the role of the familiar as a final tribute to by dear Monkey Slice, who was called home by Artemis at 5:00 am this morning.

I hope these spells, prayers, and rituals help you with all you need concerning a familiar.

Finding A Familiar

This spell is best cast on or just before the full moon~ Best cast outdoors but can be cast indoors by an exit.

Preparation: Bathe in a warm sea salt bath

Cleanse your magickal space
Dress a pink or white candle with your favorite oil/oils
Burn cleansing incense like patchouli or dragons blood, or simply light the corner of a dried sage leaf and “smudge” your space
Light your oil dressed candle, reciting words to this effect, or make up your own incantation (Make sure you give clues as to what kind of familiar you would like.

“I ask the Great Mother to send me a special friend~
Bringing love that knows no beginning, and no end~
Claw and tail, and loving eyes~
Warm and gentle, wildly wise~
Let me know and let me see~
One with eyes for only me~
So mote it be!”

(Remember that normally the witches familiar comes to her, she doesn't "buy" a familiar or shop for a familiar)

To Bless A Familiar

Optional extras:
White candle (or any candle in the shape of your familiar);
statue or picture of Bast, Hecate, or another appropriate animal patron

Magic’s notes: Bast is the goddess of cats, Hecate is the patron of dogs and snakes. Herne is good for almost any wild animal, should you happen to have one for a familiar. If your animal will sit still for this magickal working, it is nice to have them there for the spell, but you can do it without them. If they are not present, substitute a picture.

“Furry and mysterious
You have blessed my life
And my magickal practice
With your sweet spirit
And the essence of your soul.”

“Be blessed and welcome
Companion and helper
As you boost my power
By lending your strength
And your own deep magick.”

“May we live together
And practice  together
For many years to come
And bring joy and strength
As we grow in our bond.”

“In perfect love and perfect trust
May we practice our magick
O blessed familiar.”

So mote it be!

Pet Protection Collar

Tiny amber beads with holes through them
Jeweler’s elastic

Best time to cast: Anytime

The Spell:

Collect the ingredients listed. Cast a circle around the area were you will do your spell. Cut a piece of stretchy jeweler’s elastic long enough to fit over your pet’s head. It shouldn’t be so loose that your pet can slip out of it easily, nor so tight that it’s uncomfortable around his/her neck. Leave enough elastic to tie a knot when you’re finished.

String the beads on the elastic, one at a time. With each bead say the following affirmation also: “{Pet’s name} is safe and sound at all times and in all situations, now and always.” Visualize a ball of white light surround your pet, keeping him/her safe. When you’ve finished, tie a knot and repeat the affirmation a final time. Open te circle. Slip the protection collar over your pet’s head.

Note: Get a name tag for your pet with your name, address, and phone umber on it and attach it to the gemstone collar.

Familiar Consecration Spell

To cement and/or formalize the psychic bonds between you and your familiar:
Cast a circle large enough to hold you, your familiar and any magickal tools that you wish to consecrate (these may include leashes, collars or similar pet paraphernalia, as well as spell components or ritual tools).
 Burn frankincense on the periphery of the circle.
Sit within the circle, with your familiar, until you feel that it’s time to come out. 
Repeat as needed.

Live dangerously! If your familiar is a cat, cast your circle with dried catnip and instead of frankincense, burn diviner’s sage to enhance your powers of prophesy. Let the cat play, while you allow yourself sudden bursts of inspiration.

Prayer For A Deceased Familiar

Mother Earth, we return to you
the body of one of your children.
Her spirit will return to her ancestors,
and she will continue to live in our memories.
We are thankful that we were able
to share our lives with her,
and give her to your loving arms.

Burial Ritual For A Familiar

(Taken from The Enchanted Cat by Ellen Dugan)
(You can substitute the gods/goddesses mentioned for your familiars deity)

Rosemary sprigs (for Remembrance)
Basil leaves (for love and devotion)
Lavender sprig (for protection)
A small tumbled amber stone
A small white charm bag or a square of plain fabric

Gather together your supplies. Tuck these into the white bag or tie in white square of fabric and enchant the bag with this charm:

I call upon the goddesses of the cat,
Sekhmet, Freya, Mafdet, Diana and Bast.
Accept now this token and welcome my friend
May they know love and happiness without end.

This token may be buried with your pet or if you live in the city or have chosen cremation, it  may be left as an offering to the cat goddesses in a wild place. Once your task is complete, give yourself time to recover.

(If there are things which you do not have you could always substitute for other things (ie herbs) which stand for the same properties or if the herbs listed do not resonate with you, choose ones which do. It is all about intention after all. Also add in words of your own as you knew this pet and you will do what feels right for you and your family at this difficult time)

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