Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sex and the Single Familiar

Welcome to Magickal Familiars & their Powers 5! We’re glad you could make it. Do check out the other Magickal Familiars & their Powers groups on other networks. We just finished an interesting week. Some weeks ago I became concerned about the increasing population of kittens around our place. My therapist got a printout for me of the home page of the local SPCA. They have a program, supported by donations, of free neutering and spaying of the pets of low income people. So I made some phone calls, received some vouchers in the mail, and set things up. I talked to an extremely nice lady named Rosemary and we set the whole thing up. Our friend Walt (the artist) made the supreme sacrifice of getting up at O-god-o’clock in the morning to take me and the cats to the SPCA clinic. The night before I took their food and water away, the next morning we put the twins in the carriers in the truck, and took them. Then today we did the same thing with Pyewacket and Dr. Livingston I. Presume. At 4:30 both Wednesday and today we picked them up, brought them home, and laughed a little at their wobbly attempts to walk around the room. Wednesday I comforted Frikki, and this evening I comforted Pyewacket. Comforting consists of letting the cat lie in my lap, stroking her, and saying nonsense things in a soothing tone such as “Wubba wubba wubba the girl,” and “Zooba zum zum zooba zooba birds.” I don’t know what it means, but it seems to make the putties feel better. If you have an animal, get it spayed or neutered. When I read the figure of puppies and kittens that have to be destroyed each year, it was over 7 million per year, and that was several years ago. I’m sure that the number has gone up by now to 8 or 9 million. The SPCA has a great low cost program, and around here, even free if you are low income like Stephen and I are. Also the animal lives longer if it gets spayed or neutered. Having a litter of kittens every few months takes a lot out of a female, and they’re also closer to their humans if they’re spayed. Same for boys. He doesn’t spray, roam, or get into fights where he could get abscesses that will kill him. He is also like the females a more affectionate cat. The only exceptions are if you have a pedigreed animal that you are prepared and set up to breed under strict control. Also use the SPCA’s adoption service, both to obtain an animal, and if you have excess puppies and kittens have them get them adopted for you.

We just used a bit of putty psychology. I had gone and gotten a little kitty kibble on a plastic lid, and fed it to Pyewacket. Then when she’d had all she wanted, we gave it to Frikki. When she was reluctant, we put some putty treats on the lid, and she ate that. We’re feeding Pyewacket special because she’s a bit on the scrawny side.

Familiars don’t have to be cats, of course. They can be dogs, horses, frogs, toads, and even plants and stones. A very fine rather blurry line separates the familiar from the totem animal. Raven Grimassi wrote an excellent book on the magickal familiar. You can probably find it either at Llewellyn.com, or at Amazon.com.

Familiars are basically extensions of the magician’s or Witch’s own personal power. The magician or Witch puts some of hir own power into the familiar, and works with it. S/he also projects a portion of hir own consciousness into the familiar. The familiar thus becomes an extension of the magick user’s own will, much like the wand, athame, or sword.

You can’t use it on very young kittens, but tea tree oil scares away fleas. It smells funny, so the cats hate it. This is a public service message. This is to encourage you to use herbs and other natural remedies whenever possible. It’s better for us, better for the animals, better for the earth. What other areas of working with familiars do you members want to explore?

For many years, Stephen had iguanas as familiars. The nice thing about reptiles is that they don’t have the dander that will set off an asthmatic’s allergies. The thing about lizards is that they have been used as familiars for many years Dragon familiars is what they’re called. How many of you have a love of dragons and dragon lore? The idea of dragons as familiars can be found in many fantasy based sources. From 19 89 until 1995, Tegwedd had a snake, a red-tailed Columbian boa named Tonantzin. She only gave her up when Tonantzin got to be too big to handle. But Stephen is sure there are non-fantasy sources as well for wizards and their dragon familiars. Do you know of any non-fiction sources for these? One fiction source is “The Harper Hall of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey. It’s about a harpist in training who attracts a bevy of fire lizards, who are attracted to her music. It’s really good. I recommend it.

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman is another book or series of books that has familiars in the plot, only these are called daemons, and are dangerously close to being totem animals. There are other fantasies where familiars play a role. If you have your favorite fantasy that has familiars, we’d like to hear about it. A TV show that died long ago, but you might be able to catch it if you have cable or satellite, is “Beastmaster”. What I remember was that the guy had a great ass, and looked great in a loincloth. He could see from the pov of a tiger and an eagle. He also had two trained ferrets. Then there were the 2 Dr, Doolittle films. Then there was “Bardic Choices” by Mercedes Lackey, where the main character had a relationship with an intelligent bird creature who sang along with her. It just serves to point out the love relationship between a magick user and hir familiar.

According to Ann Moura, the term familiar comes from the familiar servants retained by churchmen, and so they would call the Witches’ companion animals by a term they were themselves, ahem! familiar with. The term has come down to us from the confessions of these supposed Witches, obtained as they were through the use of such tortures that would make today’s water boarding resemble being tickled with a feather by comparison. The movie “Bell, Book & Candle” also featured a familiar who was a male Siamese named Pyewacket. The name Pyewacket means lively spirit, and comes down to us from the broadsides of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, who had published an account of a Witch he had apprehended. The name Pyewacket is neither masculine nor feminine. I have had two cats named Pyewacket, and now have a third. .

There are 3 animal decks which Stephen strongly recommends: Druid Animal Oracle by Druid and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. The second is Beasts of Albion by Miranda Gray. Miranda Gray is a heavy hitter and a class act. If you are a member of some of our other groups, elsewhere on the internet, you’ve seen her name before in connection with books on Celtic history, legends, and magick. Then there’s the Celtic Oracle by Gerry Maguire Thompson, which includes animals. I too have a couple of animal decks. I have the Magical Menagerie. Sorry, don’t know the author, so can’t tell you who it’s by. But I think it’s a Llewellyn deck. The other animal deck I have is the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson, published by Bear & Co., Santa Fe, NM. Then there’s the Animal Tarot by Ted Andrews. I own a copy of the White Cat from Lo Scarabeo, an imprint of Llewellyn. The artwork is by Severino Baraldi. Stephen feels that the deck has a jesoid vibe and I feel that Christians have no business dealing with the Tarot. It is a Pagan mystery.

Then there is the Cat People Tarot by Karen Kuykendall.. I met her at a SciFi convention back before my daughter Janvier was born, at least I thought that’s when it came out. But Janvier was born in 1982, and the copyright isn’t until 1985.. She was a very nice middle aged lady dressed in one of the costumes the humans on the cards were wearing. They reminded me of noble and Imperial Byzantine dress. It was the deck in my collection that Janvier selected to use to do readings with when I taught her how to read tarot at age 7. It was with this deck that she gave Stephen a reading at a party after the New Age fair, and knocked his socks off.

.We mentioned dragons above. There are several dragon Tarot decks. One such is by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt, the Celtic Dragon Tarot. I like it because the humans are all dressed in medieval garb. Another dragon deck is the Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson and Peter Pracowith. If there are other dragon decks, please let us know. Then there’s the Dragons’ Tarot from Lo Scarabeo by Manfredi Toraldo and Severino Baraldi.

The 7 puttiettes are now up to exploring the house. I named the first to venture out of Stephen’s room Magellan after the great explorer. So I’ll put the question to you: Why have familiars anyway? Why bother with the muss and fuss? I’ll answer for myself, then Stephen will answer, and then you can answer. And remember, we want to hear from all of you, not just a few. For one thing, familiars, if they are animals that go both inside and out, they can be our eyes and ears on the ground, so to speak. Also certain toads, of the bufano genus secrete a mucus that is hallucinogenic. From all reports, it doesn’t taste very good, but it does produce a powerful trip. I don’t recommend it though. If they are indoor creatures, they serve as temple guardians. Cats are especially good for this. When I was hanging around Thelema Lodge and the Supreme Swamp a lot there was a woman named Caitlin who was breeding pocket sized cats as temple guardians. Astral nasties have a natural aversion to cats, because cats can sense them and take them out before we humans with our limited senses can detect their presence. “It’s fun to have an extension of yourself that isn’t human,” says Stephen. “I personally enjoy critters, in some cases more than I enjoy people. So I see it as a logical following to have a familiar to love.” I can see where he’s coming from. I would rather have the company of a cat than 95% of the human race. “Our putties are the 5 elements, and this house is Puttyhaven. Putty Central. This is the headquarters for the putty conspiracy.”

Familiars can see the spirit-world. I’ve already mentioned this in passing in the previous paragraph, but Stephen wants to make a point of saying it. A lot of people have familiars because they want to have contact with the spirits. According to the old traditions, the magick user would put hir consciousness in the critter, ad be able to sense what the critter does. Another example would be the falconer and hir hawk. If the falconer is also a magick user, s/he can fly with it. Another connection is that with dolphins or whales. Another connection is what which cats have with the dream world, because they love to sleep, and they do dream.

I’ve already said that there is a very fine blurred line between familiars and totems (animal allies). The concept of totems comes from shamanism, which is very close to Witchcraft. In fact, while the term shamanism refers to the magick of people in tribal cultures, Witchcraft is the shamanism of north-western Europe. The familiar is the animal ally of a western or European shaman. Popular totems or familiars of Northern European shamans before the devastating advent of Christianity were the wolf, the bear, and the raven. Odin, the Norse All-Father himself had 2 ravens named Munin (memory) and Hugin (thought). If those aren’t familiars, Id like to know what is! Traditional familiars were not really animals but imps or nature spirits, that is, if you want to believe the Witch hunters and confessions of “witches”. As we now know, the “witches” were willing to confess to anything the sick twisted perverted minds of the interrogators could come up with. These “imps” had a trickster nature, rather like the Native American Coyote, and were parasitic upon the “witch”, using body marks like moles to suckle blood from her. Thus the Witch hunter would go about with a special retractable pick that would recess into its handle so that the pick would not penetrate the skin of his victim or draw blood.

Here’s the situation: Jason Rosenthal, probably a Christian Republican, the new CEO of Ning, intends to put the Ning networks on a paying basis. That means no more free networks, no more joining other people’s networks for free, either because you know that the owners of the paying networks are going to pass their exorbitant costs onto us. What do you say to that? Make a noise, make a big noise. Make a noise so big and loud that Rosenthal can hear it. The next noise he’ll hear is the thundering of many footsteps as we all leave. We have to fight for our rights. We can’t let assholes like Rosenthal dictate to us. This kind of fascist BS should not be allowed to happen. We should do a letter writing campaign to fight this a-h. We have to fight this biotch. This fascist crap cannot stand. We have to get going right away. If everyone protests, it’ll make him go broke and he’ll be fired. We got support for our position from an unexpected quarter. A friend of mine, whom Stephen can’t stand, both because of his politics and his lovestyle (he’s a Reagan Republican and a Gorean) said that what Rosenthal was doing in phasing out the free services was a bad business decision. “People would be coming to him from the free services to get the premium paid services, but he’s cut that part of his Market out. He should keep both.” Let’s boycott Ning, and any of the networks that cave-in to his Gestapo tactics. If any network says you must pay to play, just say no, and get all your friends to say no too. Spread it around, tell everyone you know. Don’t keep it a secret. I have been sending my blog to all the Ning networks I’m on. “We have to stop this neo-Ning fascism,” says Stephen.

We need at least $3000 to move. 916-455-2267 is Stephen’s number for multimedia readings. Just 93.75 readings would do the trick. Don’t stand by and figure that your neighbor or your friend will do it, so you don’t need to. We need your donation too. Every little bit helps. Don’t forget that you can donate to Stephen’s Paypal account. abbottsinn@gmail.com. Also call 1-800-ASK-KEEN and ask for Stephen6580. Or call 1-800-280-8496.Stephen 1580 Stephen now has.$250 in his account which is not enough to pay rent.

One of the psychic reading services that Stephen works for has changed hands. Zodiac (Celebrity Psychics.com) has changed hands and names. It is now Psychic Power. They are recruiting new readers. Stephen gets $50 for anyone who signs up and $100 for someone who signs up and racks up 500 minutes.

Stephen’s done it. He’s gone over to Chase with me. It came to a head because an agent at Bunko de America told him that he had enough money to write $900 in checks to our landlady to pay off his back rent when he didn’t have the money. Now you should understand that Stephen is even more math challenged than I am. He was sick for 5 days with asthma symptoms and wasn’t able to call them to ascertain his balance, or he would have caught the error sooner. They charged him $900 in overdraft charges, and paid everything except for the Rhapsody charge, and his porn. Now I can understand why they wouldn’t have paid the porn one, but the Rhapsody? Why didn’t they pay that one? He just called Bunko de America, and they still won’t own up to any of their responsibility in this. SSI plays a role in this whole thing too because they toyed with him for two hours, letting him think that they were going to cut him an emergency check, then reneged on him. Now folks, this is two hours when he could have been doing readings, and getting his overdraft down. And they turned around and called the sheriff on him. So maybe now you understand why Stephen is so depressed and angry. I realize that you’re probably all out of compassion. I know I am. But the need is real, and the need is dire. He is no longer suicidal, but another setback could send him over the edge again. Of course I have a plan of action now if he turns suicidal again. I’ll call 911, and have him go in on a 5150. In this state, that’s the code for in danger of harming himself or others. This way he’ll get the help he needs.

Now I’m in need of readings too. I need to put in my share of our moving money. My PayPal account is tezra.reitan@gmail.com. For a donation of $5, I’ll send you a copy of one of my books, and for $32, I’ll give you a reading by phone. For $20, I’ll send you a copy of all five of my books. 916-457-7476 is my number. I can’t give you a multi-media reading, because I don’t have my webcam and headset hooked up yet. For that, you’ll have to call Stephen at 916-455-2267.

Our friend Julie Maahs has a book out called the Serpent and the Stag. It can be found at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10619. I urge you strongly to buy a download, and tell your friends. She is publicizing it through viral marketing; or what used to be called word-of-mouth advertising. She’s directing the book towards a Pagan audience. It’s a murder mystery with nice contorted twists and turns. When I read it, I saw it as though it were a movie and I was the lighting director/art director. If you review books, contact her at julie@your-taxes.com and she will send you the free coupon code so you can get a free download. She wants a copy of the review, so send her a copy. I sent her a copy and also posted it on Blogger.

There are four putties we need to give up. Ordinarily I would’ve said “free to good homes,” but a very wise friend told me this past weekend that we should charge something for them so that the prospective owner demonstrates that s/he has enough disposable income to care for a pet. So we’ll charge the nominal $10. We’re looking for people who love cats as much as we do. Soon there will be five more puttiettes that need homes. Oreo had seven kittens about a month ago, but 2 are spoken for already.

We greatly fear that Isaac Bonewits, founder of the ADF, and foremost Neo-Pagan, may be dying. We are trying to keep a positive spin on this in line with the Secret, and the Law of Attraction, but his doctors are not hopeful. They came out and said , “This man needs a miracle,” so we have been doing rituals towards that end. We talked to Brigit on the Goddess phone and everything. I realize full well that losing many people that you love is the price of longevity, but I’ve lost too many recently. To lose Isaac on top of losing Robin Goodfellow is just too much for me.

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