There is quite a clear distinction between the two and no reason at all why you cannot have both as they both perform an entirely different function. Generally a familiar is a physical creature, often a pet of the witch. Historically the familiar was said to house the spirit of the witch, but more commonly these days a familiar will refer to a companion of the witch, likely one with a close emotional connection and possibly one who assists with magic.
Animal spirit guides (sometimes referred to as totems) relate to a mental rather than a physical companion. The spirit guide may have qualities that an individual either aspires to or finds solace and support in. A spirit guide may have lessons to teach and friendship to offer. A person may have several different spirit guides in a lifetime, learning different things from each of them. Usually, you can discover your spirit animal through meditation.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1386345 (echiax)
Is it possible for someone who is Catholic to find herself drawn to healing and natural things found on your site and others? Does the belief in one preclude the belief in the other? Is it possible to believe in both?
Very interesting question. My gut instinct is to say there is no issue. The God you worship is as valid as those I do or anyone else does and I think if what you do is guided by your own morality and your own belief in what is right and wrong then working with nature and healing can only bring positivity into your life.
There are witches who follow a Christian path and incorporate magical practises into their work (try having a look at the excellent Christian Witches FB page) and they seem to harmonise the two elements very well together. Obviously as a practising Catholic there may be some areas of magical practise that do not feel "right" to you and you may prefer to avoid the darker areas of cursing and hexing. But in terms of exploring a love of the natural then I personally do not think it goes against what you believe as a Catholic.
But I would also add that while witches may well believe there is nothing wrong with the blend of witchcraft and Catholicism, the Catholic church may have a very different idea. I looked up their beliefs on the internet for you and found this statement by the Catholic church:
"All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity."
I don't feel I can speak for the Catholic church but their opinion of magic doesn't seem very high. However, neither the Catholics nor the Witches have a monopoly on truth. We're all just feeling our way through the world and nobody at all can claim to have knowledge of any one true path. So my advice to you is that if you feel genuinely compelled to merge two belief systems on your own personal path, nobody can tell you that you are wrong to do so.
QUESTION - Hello, I am in need of a love binding spell, I have found two and I'm not sure which one to use. I would like a spell that would suit me better. The spells are not erotic as I know you would not answer such a question.
(For information, the first spell is poppet based and involves a physical binding of the poppets together and the second spell is energy based candle magic.)
ANSWER - I think poppets lend themselves very effectively to love magic, but I don't like the wording of the spell at all - its just too generic. I think you should use wording of your own, personal to you and your love (even if your words don't rhyme). The wording needs to conjure up a visualisation personal to yourself which creates the mental image of long lasting love in your mind. This is the essence of your intent which will become the energy of the spell.
I think with the two spells being so dissimilar there is actually a good case for taking the best bits of both of them. Keep the poppets and the binding, but adapt it slightly so you actually knot the poppets together - don't just wrap the cord around them, secure them properly. Then integrate the idea of the candle magic. I'd personally use pink candles and anoint them with sandalwood and rose oil (basil isn't a key ingredient in love spells to my mind, more so for luck, though that might just be personal opinion). Carve the names of yourself and your love into the candles (ignore the Venus Star business) and let them burn down. Use the wax from the burning candles to seal the knots securing your poppets together. Say your original spell words as you seal the knots and hold the image of the two of you together in your mind. (I'd miss all the personal item stuff out - its unnecessary, though you might want to personalise the poppets with hair/clothing fragments belonging to each of you.)
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