Black cats doing a witch’s bidding have been a long time association with witchcraft. The majestic black night sky fur of a cat with yellow eyes lurking in the shadows of magic is a cliche that has haunted witches for centuries. But how many modern day witches actually own a black cat anymore? Is it fair to say that cats have since been replaced? I’d like to present my thesis that witch’s familiars have been replaced for the modern day cell-phone- iphone, android, tablet, ipad. Think about it- a witch can weave spells on her twitter timeline, hex those on Facebook, cast glamors on Instagram, and hide behind a veil of anonymity and secrecy on social media, allowing her to hide her true intentions and identity.
Familiars come from the Latin term ‘familiaris’ meaning a household servant. They were mentioned in the bible referring to the spirit guides of sorcerers and necromancers. Modern day technology has since become servants to everyone, including magickal folk- transforming itself from a piece of glass and plastic- to an enchanted talisman. The internet has become the modern day version of a grimoire- Google is essentially an encyclopedia for any topic, and witches, wiccans, pagans you name it, are able to find their covens online. The internet has allowed mystical people all over the world come out of their broom closets.
Witches typically received familiars as an initiatory gift into their coven. Our society today is a coven of globalization- and as a result people all over the world own cell-phones and communicate with each other at any time and any place. Familiars over time have been portrayed as mischievous and cunning- not unlike social media today where bullying and hatred seems to take comfort.
Familiars would often appear as a black cat or other small creature as marginalized women who were often accused of being witches would have small pets. They would appear to be harmless, but because of their association with outcasted women- they took on a more supernatural guise. Online predators who hide on social media to pray on the vulnerable reminds me of this concept.
A familiar will use magic and intelligence to form a very special bond with its companion in order to better assist them, and to also feed off their energy. Think about those online who form relationships and friendships even though they have never met in person. Can you be sure the person on the other side of the computer has pure intentions? Maybe they’re parasitic entities feeding off your vibes? I don’t mean to scare anyone, but harmful magic does exist, even if you don’t identify as a witch, pagan, or new ager. You can also see this special bond with social media. People are obsessed with taking selfies and photo editing apps to disguise and alter photos for the purpose of receiving more likes and follows. This shows the blind worship of superficiality, a.k.a glamors. We all know this can go too far, and it’s thanks to our familiars that deception is literally at our fingertips.
Ultimately, if you have a strong emotional bond to an animal or object that can be considered a familiar. Consecrating your pets or objects with love, and intent is all it takes to turn them into handy helpers to do your bidding. You don’t need a black cat named Salem to do your dirty work for you these days, all you need is a seemingly harmless device.