Animal Allies or Totems
Other powers: your Magic Allies
Anyone who has ever lived with a cat scoffs at the designation domestic. Cats will prove to you that animals choose us. Cats teach us how to joyfully access Earth's wisdom and bounty. You can't access Pure Magic if you're secretly afraid that taking pleasure from Earth or achieving success will endanger your soul. If you are uncomfortable reaping Earth's bounties, if you're not sure you deserve to be happy and successful, approach Cat for some lessons. Cats are among the most popular companion animals worldwide, however if sharing your life with an actual cat is not practicable for you, use imagery and visualizations to tap into the power. In this way, you can learn from Cat even if you or someone near you is allergic to their fur.
· If you're not sure you can trust Earth to be a place of goodness, if you doubt on any level that you deserve good fortune and you also don't like or are afraid of cats, Cat may be particularly important for you. Remember that you don't have to work with an actual living cat. Get some pictures or figurines and begin to untangle the mystery of your thoughts and fears. A statue of Bastet may be very beneficial.
Egypt's cat goddess, Bastet, was no minor deity but the subject of great religious veneration for centuries. Depicted as a cat or as a woman with a cat's head, Bastet's domain includes all of Earth's sensual pleasures: love, sex, magic, music, food and perfume. Bastet embodies the gentle power of the sun that nourishes and stimulates pleasure and growth. (Her sister, lion-headed Sekhmet, serves as her alter ego, embodying destructive, scorching solar power.) Bastet was considered the special protector of women and children.
Cat's main domains of power are magic and fertility. Cats have traditionally been associated with female sensual power. When this power was held in high esteem, cats were associated with goddesses. When this power became feared and denigrated, cats bore the brunt. The earliest record that exists for the execution of cats in connection to magic dates from 962 in France. Hundreds of thousands of cats would be killed in Europe until the last recorded execution in England, scant years before the American Revolution, in 1712.
· If you are afraid to express, contact, or enhance your innate magical or sensual powers, bring the image of Cat into your life as a healing force.
Maneki Neko. The Japanese Beckoning Cat Amulet. Maneki Neko, the Japanese Beckoning Cat, brings good luck. Virtually unknown one hundred years ago, Maneki Neko has rapidly become one of the most popular amulets, not only in Japan but all over Earth. The typical image of “the beckoning cat” depicts a Japanese bobtail cat holding up one paw in invitation. This amulet may be familiar to you as it beckons from the windows of innumerable sushi bars and mall stores specializing in Japanese toys, attesting to the belief in Maneki Neko's power to provide prosperity.
Do you long for a powerful amulet but fear that they are rare and expensive, beyond your reach? Don't despair. An extremely popular, accessible and powerful amulet takes the form of a cat. If you can't find one at the mall—and it's quite possible that you can—you'll find Maneki Neko at stores specializing in items from Japan.
Various legends attest to the roots of this image: in one, the cat saves a samurai's life, in another it brings prosperity to a monastery, in still another, it brings economic success to its namesake cathouse, a house of prostitution. Whichever legend you prefer, different types of Maneki Nekos exist to fill your needs. Maneki Neko should be placed near a door or window, looking out.
· A cat with a beckoning left hand invites business.
· A cat with a beckoning right hand invokes cash.
· Maneki Neko bells cleanse the aura while providing prosperity.
The cats are color coded for luck, too: a white cat brings good luck and happiness, a gold cat is best for attracting wealth and prosperity, a black cat brings spiritual protection while a rare red Maneki Neko attracts good health.
· A small Maneki Neko of any color worn around the waist protects against pain and illness.
· If the image is unavailable, even displaying the Japanese written symbol for cat is believed to bear some protective capacity.
Dogs came to live with us so long ago that the distinctions between dogs and their ancestor, the wolf, are largely based upon their relationships with humans. Some anthropologists believe that when humans began their initial migrations over Earth, they were already accompanied by dogs, who may or may not have been “tame.” We didn't domesticate dogs as much as they chose us. Even cultures that didn't domesticate animals, such as those of North America prior to European contact, kept dogs.
Dogs are our most faithful companions and devoted protectors. They are our intrepid psychic guides. Dogs are the creatures who travel with greatest ease between the realms of the living and the dead. In many cultures, it was believed that without a dog as a guide, the human soul would never arrive at the next destination. Sometimes a favorite dog was buried with a person. Perhaps more kindly, in ancient Mexico, clay statues of dogs were placed in the grave instead. Dogs also patrol the border between life and death, determining who gains entry and in the case of shamans, who can leave. Greek myths recount tales of shamans bearing dog treats to guarantee their exit, as three-headed Cerberus was reputed to guard the gates of Hades, the underworld.
We still retain dogs for protection on the physical realm: whether for our families, homes, property or ourselves. Dogs will provide spiritual and psychic protection, too, if you let them. When embarking upon any psychic exploration, whether contacting unknown allies, expanding your magical faculties, practicing astral travel, divination or shamanism, encourage a canine presence to accompany you. This can be your own dog, who might enjoy stretching his magical powers alongside you, or if this isn't possible or comfortable for you, use canine imagery.
· Envision a companion canine guard. Because this dog will be a spiritual guardian and companion, not responsible for actually guarding your home, whatever breed makes you feel safest and most comfortable is best for you, whether it's a huge mastiff or a cute teacup poodle.
· Keep photographs, drawings, statues or toy dogs close to you while working magic. Tuck a small photo of a dog into a dream pillow for extra safety while you sleep.
· Roman gravestones utilized images of dogs to symbolize love and fidelity beyond the grave. If you are attempting to contact those no longer among the living, use dog power to facilitate and protect you. Keep a canine image near where you work, whether photograph, drawing or statue. A photograph of a beloved, trusted dog who has also passed over may be most effective.
Over the years, special dog amulets have evolved for the purpose of reaping the benefit of Dog's protective qualities without actually having a living dog. In some cases, these amulets are believed to maximize the dog's shamanic and protective power. The most readily available include:
· Traditional Mexican clay figures, based upon ancient Toltec images. Place them near where you practice divination or anywhere in your home that you perceive as spiritually vulnerable.
· Statuettes of Anubis, Egypt's black jackal-headed guide and guardian of the dead.
· Chinese Fu dogs. Fu means luck, and yes, they're actually is such a breed, considered to be the living link between Chinese wolves and other modern Chinese dog breeds. Believed exceptionally auspicious, stone and porcelain images of Fu dogs placed near doors serve as house amulets providing spiritual protection and good fortune.
Horses are more than vehicles of transportation, they're vehicles of transformation. Horses entering a culture provide sweeping change. Horse power entering a life opens doors and possibilities. The general consensus among traditional philosophies is that horses contain more magical power and vitality than any other species. Merely being in their presence increases your own vitality, stamina and magical ability. The most common animal allies found in fairy tales are horses, who typically accompany and assist the hero, often able to speak, but only in the hero's presence. Horses enter our lives to help us achieve our destiny and to help make our dreams come true.
Riding a horse, at its finest expression, creates a fusion of human and animal, the two becoming as one. That physical expression may be the single finest example of human/animal energy transmission. If you do ride and have never yet considered magic, try it, you may be surprised at the reservoir of magical potential awaiting you. However, working with horse magic, absorbing its energy, is not limited to horseback riding, neither now nor historically. The magical relationship between horse and human is not limited to riding. Humans venerated horses long before they saddled them.
· Horse power increases the quantity of our magical ability. Being within their presence or surrounding yourself with their imagery increases the magical power you possess to draw upon. Horse images can be wonderfully specific. Toy stores sell collector's toys that reflect the wide variety of the breed. What's your fantasy horse? Do you long for a massive, stolid, dependable draft horse or is it a fast, flashy Arabian stallion that kindles your imagination? The type of horse you envision reveals something about the type of magic most important to you right now.
· Horses also provide stamina: if you find yourself always almost reaching your magical goals, consider keeping a horse charm or some equine image nearby to replenish your resources and provide help and encouragement.
· In addition to Pure Magic, horses also encourage the full expression of both male and female power. They also encourage both men and women to accept and appreciate each other's power. Women who wish to access and harmonize their full spiritual and sexual powers and men who have difficulty accepting women as equals or who are uncomfortable with expressions of female power might consider keeping horse imagery in close proximity.
While beneficial actions towards an animal individual or species engenders good will from its presiding spirit, any harm caused may likewise lead to unwillingness to provide you with assistance and power. Usually it's quite clear whether you've bestowed kindness or harm. Horses are a special case. You may be unaware of participating in any cruelty toward them, however, one of the most popular modern menopausal “remedies” is created from the urine of mares kept perpetually pregnant, their young taken away, the males usually sold as meat. By ingesting such a product, your ability to tap into horse power is limited or curtailed, ironically, as menopause is traditionally believed to herald great surges of extra magic power.
If you have been involved in any action detrimental to an animal, horse or otherwise, you can remedy the situation by ceasing the harmful action, immediately participating in some positive act benefiting that animal and, perhaps, petitioning the presiding animal spirit for forgiveness. Continue with these acts until you receive a response.