I am sure you are familiar with the typical figure of the witch and her black
cat. Witches have been using animals to help them with their magickal works for
a very long time. It is said that the familiar is the animal that the witch has.
The familiar lives with the witch and assists him/her in magickal works.
Traditionally cats are associate with witches. Other animals, like dogs,
rabbits, horses, and snakes, can be familiars too.
However, your pet is not necessarily your familiar. I have a small fish tank
with a Beta fish in my room where I perform most of my magickal works. Even
though I love it dearly, my red Beta fish is not my familiar. A familiar
represents all the good qualities of that animal, and it is attune to the witch.
It provides the witch with a link to the animal kingdom and the essence of their
Witches cannot always work with physical familiars due to many reasons. Perhaps
the most common one will be space limitation. Let’s face it, who can keep a
tiger in his/her house? Sigfried and Roy do NOT count! Therefore, many witches
work with their totem animals in the astral.
Totems are not specific animals but mystical powers. Totem animals are sought in
the astral world. Witches choose those power animals that closely represent
their higher selves. In other words, power animals are chosen by their affinity
to the witch. Power animals are used for specific purposes too. For example, a
Witch may choose the animal that lends to a specific kind of magick. Maybe the
spell needs some “medicine” from the Snake. Some animals are associated with the
quarters. Sometimes these energies are activated with the quarter calls. Totem
animals are great advisers. So if you are confused about something, call the
-part of the information was taken from: “Indian Power Animals and
Totems” by Marguerite Elsbeth, To Ride a Silver Broomstick and To Stir a
Magick Cauldron by Silver RavenWolf