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Being a Witch is called Practicing the Craft.
The word “craft” derives from a Germanic word meaning strength. A craft is something that involves making things by hand. It is a skilled profession. A craft implies artistry.
And that’s what being a Witch is. It’s something you practice, thus gaining skills and strength – spiritual and personal empowerment.
It is an artistic expression of being human.
Witchcraft involves the greatest craft there is: the creation of an exquisite soul.
A Familiar is an animal companion who chooses to aid her Witch in magickal work.
Traditionally, or at least in myth, black cats and dogs, ravens and owls are standard Witches’ Familiars. But you don’t need to limit yourself.
Familiars can be any species, although naturally domesticated mammals are the most helpful magickal partners. High intelligence and a great deal of love for you are the factors that can lead an animal to work in the magickal realms with you.
The most important thing to know about Familiars is that you can’t make an animal be yours. Being a Witch’s Familiar is a choice the Familiar makes for herself.
The best thing you can do, in order to gain a familiar, is to make yourself worthy. Treat animals with the respect due an intelligent spark of Divinity. Learn to listen to them. Learn to request their help, as from an equal or better — as from a spiritual teacher.
In time, they may be happy to work with you.
Copyright 2016 Erin Dragonsong, from the website Wicca Spirituality.
Also see Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler. This book, first published 30 years ago and now available in an expanded edition, remains the definitive history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo-Pagan subculture. Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States who find inspiration in nature, myth and ancient deities.