Animal witch- (A variant of Green) Magick that is strongly tied to the animal kingdom, which includes a deep appreciation for all animals, and most often: usage of animal materials in spell work. An animal witch will most likely be one who loves animals, a person who animals are immediately “drawn” to, and those who appreciate the natural world. Some animal witches might also use bones, wings, feathers, fur, skin, scales, (etc). from deceased animals in their magick, if they choose to do so.
First of all, this is just my point of few, I read a lot of blogs and did a lot of research. I wanted to gather just few things for you to get clear what a spirit animal or familiar spirit is.
Shamans believed that every being and animal were possessed with a spirit or a soul that could attracts parts of their soul (their spirit and powers) by mimicry. So, they dressed in appropriate animal furs, feathers, horns and fierce-looking masks while dancing and imitating animals. Shamans kept the same animal spirit until their death (at which time they would disappear) or passed on to aid the apprentice.
Deities were associated with various animals, Diana with the hound, Hecate with the Toad, Proserpina with the raven, Pan with the goat and Athena with the owl. The ancients believed that animals were closer to the nature than humans and could perform rituals and make offering to their spirits at their attempts to communicate with them
Wise men and women commonly used animals, wizards, magicians and village healers used them to diagnose illnesses, to find sources of bewitchment, to find lost property or treasure, and for other types of divination.
So what is a familiar? Animals are considered to be very sensitive to psychic powers and different vibrations, many welcome them into their circle for getting help to raise the power or help while spell casting. Familiars can aid with scrying, divination and contacting with spirits. Animals can act as a guard in psychic defence for their react to energy. Witches still uses familiars while doing their majick.
To me, my familiars has always been just companions. They comfort me and give me power, but now in that way I told before. I never want to use my little furbabies energy for something that I want to achieve. I just want to give the power, not take the power. There may be benefits for using animals for spell casting, but it is not for me. Familiars are spirit guides that helps us find the right path and choose the right decision. I want to believe that I have already met my familiars before and we shall meet again.
For what animal witch stuff comes, other than this; nature, spirit animals and bones are a big thing in my craft. My spirit animal is a lynx (I have a tattoo for it but it is not finished so no pic sorry). But there is coming another post about bones, stay tuned for to see my collection!
Among specific animals with witchcraft associations are:
Birds/Bats: In many parts of the world, a witch was thought to turn into a crow or a raven for her night-time adventures, so they could fly away in case of an emergency. The owl has always been associated with death, sorcery and the dark side of life. In the Middle Ages, demons or familiars in the forms of owls or crows supposedly attended witches, accompanying them on their broomstick flights and carrying out their evil commands. Bats were also considered a favourite for witches
to change into as they have good night vision and easily merge with the dark night-time sky.
Cat: In folklore, a cat (especially a black cat) is associated with witches. A witch or sorcerer was reputed to own a cat as a familiar, and they were believed to embody demons who performed the witch’s tasks. Witches were said to take the form of a cat nine times (a reflection of the traditional nine lives of a cat), and they were also used for spells. In modern witchcraft, the cat is a common pet and familiar, kept for its psychic sensitivity.
Cock: Cocks were used historically for sacrifice as an offering to the gods, as it was believed to represent light and goodness. They were also used as part of spells to raise rain and storms.
Dog: Witches were supposedly able to transform into a dog, or to send a demon familiar in the form of a dog to bewitch or
torment victims. Dogs known as “Black Shuck” (or “Old Shuck”) were known in English folklore to mean a demon, and the Devil himself was widely supposed to appear as a black dog.
Hare: In the British Isles, the hare was once thought to be a witch's familiar or could even be a metamorphosed witch in disguise. The belief was so strong that if a hare crossed your path it was considered bad luck. Many stories told of hunters shooting hares only to find that they had shot witches, who had returned to human form on their death.
Hyena/Leopard: In Africa, it was believed that a witch might transform herself into a hyena or leopard so that she could attend her gatherings unrecognized by other humans.
Ox: Farmers in England, would place an ox skull in a predominant position in the house or barn to appease the nature spirits, especially if they were having a run of bad luck or sickness with their herds. The farmer would then greet it every day to keep the nature spirits happy and his herd contented.
Sheep: A sheep's wool and heart were traditionally used in witchcraft. The wool was placed in the room that someone was sleeping in, as it was believed that this would absorb the person's breath, which could then be used to bewitch them. A sheep’s heart would be studded with nails and used as a form of sacrifice in France.
Snake: Snakes have long had a predominant role in magic-making. Live snakes may be used in rituals, and the skins, fangs and venom of poisonous snakes are common in spells and potions.
Spider: In folk magic, a spider eaten every morning will provide one with great strength and power, and storms could be raised at sea could by catching spiders in pots. They were also used as ingredients in folk remedies and as amulets.
Toad: Toads were used as ingredients in brews and as familiars. Toad skins were used by shamans for the poisons or hallucinogens which are secreted from their glands when injured or provoked (depending on the type of toad, a poison may just taste bad, or it may even kill). According to folklore, toads were used as charms and amulets, in brews and magic remedies, and also at witches’ Sabbats.Toads may be used as familiars, as they are considered intelligent, easy to tame and easy to care for, and are also thought to have psychic powers.
Tortoise: Tortoise shells were used as rattles and used in healing and fertility rituals by Iroquois dancers of North America. The noise of the rattle was believed to summon spirits to a ritual.Source
"Power animal" is a broad animistic and neoshamanic concept that was introduced into the English language in 1980 by Michael Harner in The Way of the Shaman. In Harner's view, power animals are much like the familiar spirits of European occultism, which aid the occultist in their metaphysical work. The use of this term has been incorporated into the New Age movement, where it is often mistaken for being the same as a totem in some Indigenous cultures. The concept has also entered popular culture in various forms, such as in the 1999 film (and earlier novel) Fight Club, when the narrator attends a cancer support group. During a creative visualization exercise, he is told to see himself entering a cave where he will meet his power animal. When he does, he imagines a penguin is speaking to him.
"Spirit animal" An animal who chooses you or you choose it to get guidance and learning to help you through life. The Native Americans believe in this.
Do you have a familiar? What is your thoughts for using familiars in magick? Do you know your spirit or power animal?