Or am I the only one who thinks ‘Hmmm’ when people discuss familiars?
After reading Loren Morris’ post on cats and familiars on today’s Samhain’s Sirens website, I thought ‘Hmmm.’ You may even say I balked at the idea of familiars until I recalled my encounter with what may or may not have been a familiar.
By the by, Samhain’s Sirens hold their October giveaway fest as I write this. Today’s giveaway is a delightful plaque entitled “You are entering familiar territory” by Loren Morris of Saga’s Cottage. The plaque features two cats doing what they sometimes do best — looking cute when they aren’t chasing you. There are numerous ways to load entries into the cauldron pot — including blogging about the giveaway. Which comes in handy if you’re undecided about what material you will use for today’s blog post. I think you know what time it is right about now, so I’ll continue with my Humpday post.
Some time ago, I sat in a Wiccan class, where some participants had been initiated into a degrees path (for lack of a better phrase). Some of the witches began to talk about their familiars, and being an Aries, I naturally thought ‘If they have familiars, why shouldn’t I have one as well?’ It doesn’t take an Aries long to jump into the excitement, and I soon blurted, “Well, I want one, too!” Within minutes, the class leader, a high priest, smiled and told the class to look over my shoulder. I looked, too, but neither saw nor felt anything. Not seeing anything hardly bothered me, for when I was a child and as a teen, it was not uncommon for me to feel a presence while appearing to be alone in a room. The idea that I could not feel anything made me a little skeptical even as I asked others in the class could they see or feel anything. Except for the class teacher, no one said he or she could see anything — but two or three ladies answered they could feel a presence. The high priest refused to tell me what he saw, but one woman mentioned “it” reminded her of a hedgehog.
I shuddered, for when I was a teen, I saw something that looked somewhat like an unwashed hedgehog. Hedgehogs, however, did not zip through the air in a young girl’s bedroom. I had no name for the creature that disappeared in mid-air before it collided with the wall opposite from where it first appeared. For years afterward, I would not go near any book on witchcraft. The memory of how witchcraft felt so natural did not leave me, however, and I returned to the Craft eventually. I made it a point, though, to never hide my aversion for the thing that resembled a spiky, winged hedgehog. Let the furball grace another witch’s territory, I decided — although it would be years before I called myself a witch.
In reflection, Mr. Hedgehog Knockoff may have been a witch’s familiar en route to answer its companion’s call. I’ve noticed that witches tend to depict their companions as charming, as in the case of a cat or bird or spider (the last one must make for an incredibly short-lived companion. At least in the case of a spider, you don’t have to worry about a vet bill). This is not the case, if Mr. Hedge-sque was indicative of how familiars appear.