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CREATING ANIMAL FAMILARS

For millennia people have sought to connect with and share the abilities and senses of our animal brothers and sisters through shamanic journeying and creating links with familiars and animal totems. This is a 'give and take' relationship wherein one makes the connection to an animal in order to partake of the animal's strengths and powers while pledging to protect and honor the animal thereafter. A familiar can be either a physical, living animal such as a cat or a wolf or a legendary animal such as a phoenix or dragon. What we are connecting with is the energy essence of the animal to create a circuit whereby we can draw upon the energies/talents of the creature and so that we can feed energy and our own senses back to the animal as well. Here's how to do it:

Prepare yourself by spending the day in quiet contemplation of the animal you have chosen, gazing at pictures of it, eating lightly but specifically of something that the animal itself likes to eat if it is a physical animal, communing with it physically by petting it and talking to it if it is a pet in the home, listening to recordings of it (such as wolf howls or whale singing) if it is not an animal in your home, in other words, making an associative and emotional connection with it throughout the day.

During this time decide on the physical link between your self and your familiar. What will be the signal for the connection between the two of you later? Will it be a word or a name; a position that you hold your fingers in that triggers the connection; a piece of jewelry that you don or a stone that you hold? It can be any kind of signal you want to use that signals your subconscious which tells it that it is time to open the connection - you just want to decide on the signal or link prior to this working so that you key it during the ritual. When it is time for your ritual, unplug the phone, take care of any physical plane needs you may have (go to the bathroom, put on warmer clothes), then cast your circle in your usual way. On your altar, place a picture of the animal (or if it is a pet in the home, allow it to be in the room with you), light 3 purple candles and ignite some incense of a God or Goddess who has a connection with the animal you are connecting with. For example, if you are connecting with a cat, you could burn some incense of Bast; if you are connecting with a stag or wolf, some incense of Cernunnos, if you are connecting with a sea creature, some incense of Neptune, if you are connecting with a winged creature some incense of Rhiannon. If you are linking with a legendary creature burn some incense of the element associated with it, for example, Fire incense when connecting with a dragon.

Make yourself comfortable in a chair or lie down on a pallet on the floor and begin focusing on your heart-rate and breathing - slowing and synchronizing them. Begin to build the image of the animal in your mind's eye with as much detail as possible, thinking about the habits of the animal, its strengths, talents, powers and the way that it interacts and moves in the world. Now, in your mind's eye, fill in its habitat or favorite place outdoors and see it moving through its world with all of its senses fully engaged and feeling invigorated and excited by its environment. Become aware of your solar plexus (abdomen/diaphragm) and, as you breathe, begin filling your solar plexus with hot energy. Once your solar plexus is full of this energy, imagine a cord extending from your solar plexus reaching out and connecting with the heart of your familiar. Begin gently pumping this hot energy from your solar plexus through the cord to your familiar, filling the animal with healthy, loving, powerful energy. Become comfortable with this sensation, then begin sending your awareness, your consciousness through the cord to the animal as well. Feel its heart beating, feel the wind through its fur or feathers, the cool water on its skin if it is in the sea or a river/creek, see through its eyes, smell through its nose and begin to comprehend the world through its unique way of interpreting these sensations. Open your mouth and sing out the triumph of this experience of two becoming one in the voice of your animal.

Now is the time to key the signal that you will always use in the future when you are going to connect this way with your familiar. If it is a name or a word, repeat it in your mind over and over now. If it is a way that you hold your hand or fingers that you touch in a certain way, do this now and hold the position. If it is the wearing or holding of a specific piece of jewelry or stone, hold that piece now and charge it with this connection. Thereafter, at least once a month, make this connection with your familiar/totem and receive energy from it and feed energy to it.

As a way of honoring your animal familiar, always treat it with respect and affection if it is a pet in your home. If it is a wild animal, think about donating time or money to an organization which cares for or works on the behalf of the species with which you have your connection.