Working with a Plush Familiar

This article is going to be something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but I had no experience so I held off until now.

A familiar is normally an animal (a real live animal) that you work with when doing magickal workings. They are like a friend and companion with whom you have a strong spiritual connection. Some people believe they give your magickal workings a boost, other people just feel that they’re nice to have around. Nothing says “classic” like a witch working with their cat, right?
I’ve wanted a familiar for a while. I have a spirit guide/animal – the owl. My owl is nearly always present during meditations and visualizations and I know that they’re there with me always, but still. I wanted a being here on thisplane with me. However I can’t have any furry pets. (I do have a fish named Poseidon, but it’s not really the same – sorry little guy!)
So, if you’re like me, and can’t have a cat, dog or other little critter what do you do? I came across this idea of having a plush familiar, a stuffed teddy bear or other animal that resonates with you. At first I thought it was a bit odd – how do you communicate with a bit of fabric and polyester stuffing. Would the plastic safety eyes that most stuffed animals come with really be able to hold the mystery and magick of a real animal? I admit, I didn’t think so. I thought it was nice, for other people, but not for me.
Until Geronimo. Hefty name of a tiny, pink bunny, but it works all the same. My fiancee wanted a stuffed rabbit in time for Easter, so we went off to Target and she found these two cuties – one purple and one pink. At first it was no big deal and we went home with them, and they sat on the couch, cute little decorations for Ostara and then for Easter.
One day, while sitting on the couch, Geronimo fell into my lap. I smiled pet him a little and then put him back. My fiancee was quite drawn to Bucky, the purple one. She chilled with Bucky while watching T.V., playing with is fur since it’s purple with frosted tips, so if you move it just so the color looks like it’s changing.
I found myself doing the same to Geronimo. I stared into his little plastic eyes and I was happy. He’s cute, soft as heck and has a calming presence. I can pet him instead of the cat that I really want, but can’t yet have. Over the next few days I spent more time with him. I snuggled him as I slept at night, much like the teddy bear I had when I was younger. I sat with him on the couch while reading, watching tv or just messing around with his fur some more.
Then we decided to give both him and Bucky “baths.” Into the washer they went and when they came out both had little “wounds.” Bucky’s was on his ear and Geronimo’s paw seam had come undone. I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread so I thought “ok, sew them up, no big deal.” Then, I had an idea to put little gemstones in them before I sewed them up. My fiancee looked at me and said: “So, we’re making them magic bunnies?”
Heck yeah. Magic bunnies. Geronimo’s wound was on his left paw, and I always associate the left to the Goddess. His paw made me think of when I cast a circle and I channel the energy of the Earth into my left hand and out through my right. Geronimo wanted to be a magic bunny.
So, my fiancee went through all her little gemstone chips and found a bunch that would be appropriate for each bunny; in they went and I sewed them up. That night I sat at my altar with Geronimo in my lap and made an incense blend. It felt different. Like I had a little bunny on my lap, being grounded while also lifting my spirits higher.
For the few days after the “wounds” and up to now I’ve been nearly inseparable from this little bun. When I’m at home he gets tucked into the shoulder of my shirt so he can perch on my shoulder without falling off. Yesterday in fact, I had to run to the store and I walked outside with him still on my shoulder until I noticed the neighbor giving me a funky look. He still came on the car ride and then went into my purse for grocery store run.
Right now I’m at work and I brought him with me. Any customers that come in think he’s just a nice Easter decoration on the desk and he’s giving me the boost I need right now.
Every now and then I reach over and give him a pat and it seems to be working. My magickal workings have come easier, spell work seems to be second nature right now instead of me trying to plan out what I want to do.
I guess we’ll see where this goes, but for now I’m happy with Geronimo and he seems to like sitting here.
Love and Light
Ristoria (and Geronimo)

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