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Animal magic is the use of an animal for its symbolism and energies. Animals can also be animal spirit guides. Similar to spirit guides, they are used for their properties (of strength or skill) and guidance. Symbols of these animals can bring their properties to spells.
Zuni Bear-good health
Hopi Hand-life, creative, healing Cactus-nature's reservior
Steer Skull-silent testimony Kokopelli-fertility, joy, music
Thunderbird-caller of rain
Buffalo Skull-sacredness, reverence for life
Shamrock-Irish symbol S
tar of David-union, heart, love
Angels-guardians of hope and wonder
Yin & Yang-balance, harmony
Celtic Knot-long life, eternity
Pegasus-carrier of lightning Smiley Face Peace Sign
Dove-love, peace, gentleness
4 Leaf Clover-good luck
Parasaurolophus-parallel crested lizard
Stegosaurus-the covered lizard
T Rex-lizard king
Triceritops-horrible 3 horned face
Cat-independence, grace, healing
Elephant-long life, self-preservation
Polar Bear-fearlessness, power
Gorilla-brute strength, adaptibility
Hippo-linking water and earth, survival
Lion-power, strength, respect
Bobcat-fierce, loner intensity
Water Buffalo-enormus strength, hard working
Ostrich-fickle, fast moving
Pelican-ever watchful, grace
Alligator-aggression, survival, adaptability
Ant-team player, worker
Armadillo-active, nocturnal, protection
Bat-guardian of the night, cleaner
Bear Paw-strength, mobility
Buffalo-sacredness, life builder
Butterfly-metamorphisis, carefree, transformer
Coyote-prankster, insight, playful
Deer-love, gentleness, kindness
Dolphin-kindness, play, bridge man to ocean
Eagle-divine spirit, connection to creator
Elk-strength, agility, freedom
Fox-cunning, provider, intelligence
Frog-connection with water element
Goose-faithful, communicative, traveler
Grizzly Bear-hunter, nature's pharmacist
Hawk-messenger, stopper of time
Horse-stamina, mobility, strength
Hummingbird-messenger, stopper of time
Lizard-conservation, agility Loon-solitude, song, romance
Moose-headstrong, unstoppable, longevity
Mouse-timid, secretive, sneaky Otter-laughter, curiosity, truth, patience
Owl-wi LuIgI says:
Pheasant-confidence, attrsction, perseverance
Quail-sacred spiral, ceremonial, Holy Rabbit-alertness, resourceful
Raccoon-bandit, shy, determination
Ram-new beginning, teacher, hoarder
Road Runner-speed, agility, cleverness
Salmon-instinct, persistence, determination
Skunk-wary, conspicious, intense
Snake-shrewdness, transformation Spider-creative, pattern of life
Squirrel-trusting, innocence Swan-grace, balance, festive
Turtle-self-contained creative source
Whale-wisdom, power, cleanser
Wolf-loyalty, success, perseverance
Wolf Paw-freedom, success, guidance
Power animals are & are not a part of the Wiccan or Witchcraft Traditions.
They are used by Native Americans, Shamans & other tribal organizations & traditions. Covens usually have a totem animal that is only known to those within the group. In the Astral, you can merge with your totem & become the animal with your own intelligence intact. This is called Shapeshifting. There are two ways you can meet your power animal in the astral plane & discover which animal medicine is right for you.
First, you could write & perform a ritual to call the essence of the animal that would suit you best & assist you in your present magickal workings. If you are not comfortable with the ritual format you can go into the familiar meditative state, walk through the astral forest & meet the animal. When the first technique is used, that of the ritual, you will most likely see the animal in its natural form. There may be a synchronistic conversation where the topic is of the animal, or you find a book about the animal, etc. When you catch that first glimpse of that particular medicine, you will know it in your heart. If you meet the animal in the meditative state, converse with it.
Anything is possible in the astral, right? So ask questions & get to know your new partner. If you have seen the animal after a ritual, plan sometime to go into the meditative state to cement your relationship & get to know the animal & the essence it represents. Now that you've got the animal, what do you do with it? Power animals are great advice givers, often representing our higher selves that we haven't been paying attention to lately. In a meditative state you can ask for their assistance on problems that have been nagging at you.
At times, two power animals can work in conjunction with each other, as long as they want to. Silver has had some truly interesting & fruitful conversations with hers. Power animals can assist you in the waking state as well. Perhaps you are trying to teach someone a particular theme & they are having difficulty understanding. Ask wolf for assistance; she is the great teacher. Remember the old adages: clever as a fox, strong as an ox, etc.? Perhaps you need camouflage - then ask Brother Fox for assistance. If you seek wisdom, ask the Eagle.
The Lynx knows the art of keeping secrets & the Swan guides one into dreamtime. The Panther is a good protective animal, though she does have a sarcastic, laid back nature. Power animals are not limited to mammals. The reptilian & insect kingdoms can be just as helpful. Children can also be taught to work with animals & have a great ideal of success with them. Dragonfly tells us how to break through illusions & how to gain power through our dreams & goals. She teaches higher aspiration. The act of honoring an animal is not an act of worship, but is the acknowledgment of their power & their being as brothers & sisters of the entire universe. The energy of the animals, birds & other creatures that assist us should be honored.
For too long, we have subjugated these creatures who are our equals in the system of the Universe. The Native Americans leave tobacco as a gift, scattered on the ground. You could also burn incense in honor of the animal.
When honoring - leave a gift of some sort. A crystal or gem on your altar is also a lovely gift.
Many modern Witches have animal familiars, usually cats, which are their magical helpers. Some also have dogs, birds, snakes or toads. Witches do not believe the familiars are "demons" or spirits in animal form but simply animals whose psychic attunement makes them ideal partners in magical workings. Some Witches say that it is possible to endow pets with magical powers and turn them into familiars, though others don't believe it should be done.
Still others believe familiars are never "pets" (and should never be treated as such) but are animals who volunteer to work as familiars and are Karmically attracted to Witches. Witches who do not have familiars send out psychic "calls" to draw the right animal. Familiars reputedly are sensitive to psychic vibrations and power and are welcomed partners inside the magic circle and other magical work.
They also serve as psychic radar, reacting visibly to the presence of any negative or evil energy, whether it be an unseen force or a person who dabbles in the wrong kind of magic. Familiars are also given psychic protection by their Witches. Some Witches it seems also use the term familiar to describe thought-forms created magically and empowered to carry out a certain task on the astral plane. Sorcerers and shamans in cultures around the world also have helpers in the form of spirits. Dispatching them on errands to heal, harm or kill - called sending.
The physical shape of a familiar varies. New Guinea sorcerers rely on snakes and crocodiles, while in Malaya, the familiar is usually an owl or badger passed down from generation to generation. Throughout Africa, the wild creatures of the bush are said to be Witches' familiars: for the Lugbara, they are said to be the toad, snake, lizard, water frog, bat, owl, leopard, jackal and a type of monkey that screeches in the night; for the Dinka, they are black cobras and hyenas.
The Zulus' familiars are said to be corpses dug up and re-animated with magic; they are sent out at on night errands to scare travelers with their shrieking and pranks. In Shamanism, a novice shaman acquires his familiar spirits, usually manifesting in animal, reptile or bird shapes, when he completes his initiation. He or she may send them out to do battle in his or her place, but if they die, so does the shaman.
Familiars usually stay with their shaman until death, then disappear. Among certain Eskimos, the familiar is embodied in an artificial seal, not a live animal. In closing, what I usually instruct in this area is that the student of magic who feels that they have found a familiar is that they should practice an exercise called "Trading Places" by Keith Harry. This exercise is simple enough to memorize and to practice, and though it was not written specifically for bonding with an animal familiar it was designed for becoming familiar with an animal, and inducing a mystical experience. I think you will readily discern its value in the acquiring of a familiar.
Trading Places Exercise Objective:
To trade places (mentally) with a dog or cat, or other animal.
Setting: Home, Zoo, Wilderness, etc. Instructions:
1. Relax your body as completely as you can.
Calm your mind, eliminating all thoughts which do not relate to your intent and purpose. Sit so that you are comfortable, and as nearly as possible on the same level with the animal you will be working with. Lie down if you like. The important thing is that you are able to comfortably make eye contact with your animal partner in this exercise. It is also important to satisfy yourself that the animal is likewise comfortable and secure with you.
2. Take a deep breath.
As you slowly exhale, look into the animal's eyes, and imagine that a part of your awareness is being transmitted through your breath into the animal's mind. Watch the animal breathe, and imagine that a part of its awareness is being transmitted into your mind.
3. Continue looking directly into the animal's eyes until you fell your consciousness merge with the animal's consciousness.
Benefits: As the boundaries between you and the animal dissolve, you may feel as if you've really traded places with a member of another species, as though a part of you has become the animal - this is the height of subjective merging. You may begin to feel compassion for another species. You'll also probably recognize some of the artificial differences between the human and animal worlds.
You may be able to feel or sense the actual flow of the animals emotions and mental imagery. Should you accomplish this then it should be no trouble for you to contract with the animal to serve as your magical partner.
Asking another to become such a partner also places upon you the responsibility of becoming its partner. I would not recommend contracting an animal to become your familiar and then treating the animal as a pet. A pet is something you possess, own.
A Familiar, to my way of thinking, is an individual who has entered into a mutually beneficial relationship (partnership) with you, and therefore should be afforded the respect and consideration due a partner.
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