How to Name Your Magic Familiar

How to Name Your Magic Familiar

Nothing in this post is meant as a rule about how to name a familiar. Magic has endlessly diverse expressions. That includes how to name a familiar. My experiences naming familiars helped lead me to a magical relationship with my pets. That, in turn, helped lead to doing powerful magic with them. So perhaps my experiences might be useful to witches other than myself.

Before we get to that, let’s look at a few basics about familiars in case anyone needs them to understand the main topic.

What Is a Familiar?

A familiar is a witch’s magical companion, helper, and even guide. A familiar can be any animal. Witches tend to be attuned to nature and its sacredness. So animal companions often suit witches. Animals have a wildness and innate magic that they are happy to lend to the spells their witches cast.

Usually, a witch doesn’t have to ask a familiar for their help. A familiar will, for example, enter the room when a witch starts a spell, then lend its magic to the spell without the witch doing anything to cause that. There are more ways familiars help magically, and I hope to write a blog about that. And with that, here’s the topic at hand:

Discovering Your Familiar’s Name

You can apply my methods to any animal, by and large. Most of my familiars have been cats, so I’ll focus on them here, but the way I’ve found their names is not specific to the feline species.

Note I’ve written “found their names,” not “decided on their names.” I believe animals I meet already have names, in the same way each one already has a distinct personality.

Or, if the animal is very young, so might not have chosen a name yet, I want to find it with them.

No one taught me that a pet telling me their name is often better than my choosing one for them. But it makes sense. Cats are independent, making choices about everything they do. So they sure would want to choose their names. Other animals make their own choices, too.

Our Pets Have Magic Power

Animals are not stupid. Far from it. They are magicians. And that’s another reason it makes sense to let them choose their names. Let me explain.

One of my favorite bits of cat lore is an Italian story about a fairy who disguised herself as a cat. The British Isles also has stories about fairies disguised as cats.

There’s real power to the idea that cats and other animals can be fairies. I want to honor that by discovering their names instead of forcing one on them.

(As a fairy who is often disguised, I get along well with fairies disguised as animals. Are you secretly magical, too, and hang out with other secret fairies?)

How to Help Your Magic Familiar Tell You Their Name

My magical kitties let me know their names.

Here are the two easy steps I take so a cat can tell me their true name.

1) I choose a tentative name. Here are a few ways I might do that. I select a name based on the cat’s personality. Or, if their personality reminds me of any magical lore, I might take a word from that lore as the name. Or perhaps a name will pop into my head. Or a friend will suggest one. Or the cat was named by a previous owner, so I use that name as my starting out point.

2) Then I say the name to the cat and watch their response. Perhaps they ignore it, or they pay attention. If they ignore the name, I look for another one.

Or perhaps they respond by walking away. That’s a pretty clear sign that they don’t like the name.

Or I say a name to them, then have a feeling that they like or dislike it.

Mind you, I did have one familiar for seven years who didn’t care what I called her. That was interesting. No reason a familiar must have a name if they don’t want one … or perhaps don’t want to let you know it.

Again, I share my above steps for naming a familiar as possibilities, not rules. I post my theories about familiars’ names as my beliefs, and I encourage you to cleave to your own if they differ from mine. If you prefer another method for naming a familiar, you should use it. If you have found it’s better to name a familiar than to let them name themselves, trust yourself. The Fairy Gods support you to do what you think is best.

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