Now I know what you're thinking. "Your cellphone isn't alive!" "It doesn't have sentience!" "It's not a creature!" Yeah yeah. I've been over all that in my head. Let me make a few arguments for why I believe that I'm correct in assuming that my current phone has adopted the role of a familiar.
Lets start with the classical definitions of what a familiar should be.
A familiar spirit should be an altar ego of sorts, a personal companion - always closely linked with the individual. Historically, a pact or agreement was made with the familiar to work together for a length of time (which could be a very short time, or a lifetime). Typically the vessel for the familiar spirit was a cat, dog, snake, frog, or other creature - but this suggests to me that the spirit is simply inhabiting the animal - so why couldn't it do so with other things? A common use of a familiar was to do work for the individual on the ethereal plane, often leaving the practicioner in a state of trance while doing so (which sounds a lot like zoning out on your phone to me!).
- My cellphone is named and unique from other phones that I've had.
- It accomplishes goals for me, often on the material plane and the ethereal (the internet).
- I take care of it and give it what it needs (keep it charged, updated, covered) just like a spirit.
- I cover and protect it - keep it safe.
- It's always at my side.
- It can provide me with information that I otherwise wouldn't have had.
- It can help me to influence others to my needs, or to bring luck and success to me.
- It has its own personality, unique from other phones that I've had.
- Its even nice and black like my personal totem - the raven, and its screen is a background of dark black feathers.
At its core a familiar is a helper. A support team.
In this day and age of the electronic, the technical, the urban, we must learn to work with what we have. Not every witch is so lucky as to have the rural setting that I have - least of all the acreage. So what then is a city girl to do when there are no local creatures to connect to? Or someone not overly fond of animals? Witches are, and have always been, survivors. Willing to work with what they have as a means to an end. I would like for all of you to consider what is truly aiding you in your work these days, and look for the sacred in the mundane.
I'm frequently the kind of woman that has my hands in the dirt, or is working with the natural world, but if I am truly truly honest - my computer and my phone do more to get things done for me on both personal and spiritual levels. I can never replace nature in my heart but that doesn't mean that I can't respect the technology that gets me through my days, helps me seek out information that I need, and connects me to other witches - that, in and of itself, is invaluable.
So I leave you with this;
Take care of your equipment. Block the emails and phone calls that get you down just like you would negative energy of other kinds. Keep your machines safe and clean. Give them a "smudge" by clearing those histories and having a fresh start. Pull up Google and "scry" for some pagan groups in your area and see what happens. Turn on StumbleUpon and see what messages come to you from beyond the screen.
Until next time.
At the time of posting, Hex's familiar and phone Evagria had suffered a terrible screen related accident and is in the process of undergoing some repairs - we all hope that she survives this unfortunate turn of events.