Monday, April 20, 2009

More Than a Pet

I've never really had a familiar. That is, a creature that is my magickal partner, who works spells and rituals with me and lends its energy. It requires asking, dedication, and something in the creature, if it started as a pet, will change. I like my pets as they are and so never tried to make one my familiar.

On the other hand, I often don't have animals with me in ritual other than to simply be there. On occasion, my cat has chosen to help, and I could feel her energy working with mine, but those were always her choices and I like it to remain that way.

In Autumn of 2007, I purchased two anoles. My brother and I each had one as children, but I don't remember much beyond their names. These creatures were marketed as tame pets who enjoy being handled. The truth is that this is not so, but that was perfectly ok for my situation. If they were to escape my hands, it would mean death (specifically, death by cat).

So, I didn't handle them much at all, and they seemed happy. I joyfully watched them hunt crickets and bask in the warmth from their little tank light. The set up of my previous living arrangements put their tank within my ritual and spellworking circle. That's just the way it happened to work out. Somehow, I felt their fiery lizard energy in my workings. I got used to them being there, sometimes it seemed they would lend their energy, sometimes they would not. It was a choice, just as it was for my cat.

I felt a closer bond with the male, named Lord Nagafen. Maybe it was because he was less skittish around my hands and would occasionally sit on my fingers for warmth. Maybe because it was he who lent energy to my work. He was definitely the first one I picked in the store. The female, Lady Vox, mostly just came with him as a mated pair, though I learned to love her too.

In recent weeks, they had both shown a lot of activity. Nagafen molted and grew and they both looked full of life. Last Sunday, I woke to find Nagafen dead. His body showed evidence of terrible distress but, not being an expert on anole health, I could not really determine a cause of death. Of course, I worried that it was some negligence on my part. One of my roommates helped me remove him from the tank and bury him under the soft vines outside. Then, he kindly left me alone to cry as I cleaned the cage for Vox's safety.

It's heartbreaking to lose a pet, to lose a pet with no certain cause, and to lose a pet that you were particularly attached to. That night, I started a 7-day ritual. I burnt dragon's blood incense to help set my focus. I placed a blue candle on my altar and charged it with peace, that Nagafen may find peace where he is, and that Vox would find peace in his absence. The first three nights were focused on Nagafen's farewell, the last four were for Vox. On Wednesday, I took a piece of quartz that I had harvested from the local quartz vein and charged it with energies of peace, grounding, and good health. On Sunday morning, with the candle burnt out and the energies sent as directed, I placed the quartz under the tank so Vox may draw upon its energy when she needs it.

I learned a lot more about the care of anoles since trying to solve the mystery of Nagafen's death. I hope I have improved my knowledge enough to keep Vox happy and healthy for many years to come. All we can do is the best we can with the knowledge we have at time. Nothing has ever come closer to being my familiar than these little lizards. I wish Nagafen an easy journey to his next cycle, and I will honor him by doing my best to take care of Vox. It is my duty to them.

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