animals guide

Page ten of the Survival/Metro Storm Boy: Ocean Studies Guide. The 25 page guide was included as a supplement in Metro Magazine in 1978. The guide includes ideas for excursions, activities, information about animals and a shell guide, using the film Storm Boy as the central text to inspire an exploration of the ocean.

(National Film and Sound Archive)

A Weirdling Bestiary: Part 1- Beasts of City and Suburbia

Some notes to start off with-

This is all a part of my personal UPG and world-view, which is a culmination of my individual experiences, upbringing, influences, and research. Although much of this personal mythology is based off of the biology and behaviors of the creatures in question, you may have different associations and feelings about these animals, and that’s totally ok. 

There are some animals commonly found in cities and suburban areas which have been left out of this section (like foxes, bats, deer, rabbits, snakes, toads, and all insects) because I’ll be covering them later in other chapters.   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Birds~

Blue Jay- Blue jays are fierce, clever and have complex social lives. They have deep ties with oak trees, which are regarded in several cultures as the Tree of Life, the king of trees, and sacred to many gods of thunder, lightning, and sky. They are excellent communicators, both vocally and physically, and can imitate the calls of other birds. Even though they’re quite common, much of their habits remain a mystery to those who study them. The beautiful blue color for which they are known is not a true pigment, but in fact an optical effect of light scattering within the cell structure of their feathers. They are birds of magic, illusion, mystery, and complex familial ties, and are emblematic of the element air and the realm of the sky. a well as bright, lively daytime energy. For offerings, give them acorns.

Canada Goose- Geese are the mortal enemies of business people and all Suits. They travel in formation and are loyal to their mates and comrades. As such, they are good animal guides for anyone who identifies strongly as part of a group or community and those who function as a team. Goose magic is great for sticking it to The Man. As they migrate in spring and fall, they also represent transitions and cycles. Admire them from afar and stay the fuck away from their babies if you don’t want to die a very painful death.

Crow- If you are outside, it is unlikely you are out of site of a crow. Fittingly, insight and observation are among their primary associations. Crows are smart, mischievous, and extremely common. Because they’re ubiquitous pretty much everywhere, they’re a reminder of the constant presence of magic in the world. 

Although each crow is very much an individual, they live in family groups and cooperate with and look out for those within their groups. At the same time, they regularly engage in bitter rivalries and battles with crows from other families. In spite of that, multiple families will come together and roost at night outside of the breeding season to socialize, network, and learn. Theirs is an entire society that exists alongside our own- both Other and familiar.

Do not take the presence of crows for granted. They are the little bits of the Other-realm that fly about by day. They are wonderful sources of magic, wisdom, and humor, and should be treated with respect. They’ll remember if you wrong them. They’ll remember those who were good to them. They are always watching. Crows are favored familiars among practitioners of the occult and any who seek to understand and manipulate reality at a higher level, as well as any interested in death magic or hedge witchery. 

Duck- Although their primary elemental association is water, ducks unite the elemental realms of water, earth, and air due to their ability to move through each. Ducks represent family (particularly parent/child relationships), adaptability, cheerfulness, emotional connections with others and at times- obliviousness. If you are having difficulty adapting to change and embracing new circumstances, or if you’re having trouble with family, ducks are helpful guides. They spend much of their time floating along on streams, totally comfortable half-submerged in that state of continuous change and renewal. They can help you learn to go with the flow.

If you wish to give offerings to ducks, choose cut up grapes, corn, peas, seeds, and oats- bread is bad for them and their environment and therefor bad for you and your workings.

House Sparrow- Although wild animals, these are birds whose natural habitat is outside of, on, and around man-made environments. They are ever-present wherever there are people, and tend to be quite tame. Their energy is significant because it’s so closely tied to our own, these birds having spread with us and our civilization as we’ve advanced across the world. If you wish to gain a connection to nature by feeding a wild bird from your hands, this species is a good place to start. Due to their intrinsic and obvious ties to the home, they can be regarded as home-guardians and fitting familiars to hearth and cottage witches. House sparrows are social, enjoy singing to one another, and will flock with other types of birds, and so embody a spirit of friendship, acceptance and joy.

Hummingbird- Hummingbirds are largely solitary and territorial little creatures. They’re highly intelligent and have exceptional memories, and the largest brain-to-body ratio of any bird. They are insanely fast and are able to hover in place and  maneuver almost instantaneously in any direction. They groom themselves meticulously, build exquisite, tiny nests of lichen and moss, and feed mostly on sugary nectar. They come in a dizzying array of beautiful and jewel-like colors and will  fearlessly defend what’s theirs. Their energy is fiery, valiant, joyous, vibrant, individualistic, and creative. As an autistic witch, I relate strongly to hummingbirds. They make great animal guides for creative people, introverts, bold individualists, a range of people on the spectrum of neurodiversity, and anyone who wants to bring some flash and vibrancy to their lives. 

Mourning Dove- Mourning doves are fairy birds. With their muted pastel and iridescent feathers, melancholy calls, and lifelong partnerships, they embody magic, romance and devotion. They have strong ties with Aphrodite and love goddess archetypes in general, and their feathers are excellent for use in love and beauty spells. You may be blessed in love if a pair nests close to your home. If you wish to bring their energies into your life, offer them seeds, soft words, and safe places to build their nests.  

Pigeon- Pigeons are place guardians, observers, and navigators. Pigeons Know The Way. Seek out locations where pigeons gather (those which are not obvious sources of food), for you can be assured there’s magic to those places. The gratitude of pigeons is a wellspring of magical power to be drawn from, so be both respectful and wary of Pigeon People. Pigeon magic is of finding things, of home, love, and attuning with the spirits of places. If you wish to bond with the spirit of your city or town, carry pigeon offerings like seeds or other morsels, and be especially kind to any one-footed pigeons, should you spot them.

Seagull- Gulls are bold, opportunistic, and equally comfortable in sky, sea, or urban sprawl.They’ll snatch food from the mouths of larger animals, grab it from the hands of humans, and are even known to steal milk from lactating seals. In spite of many unflattering nicknames, they’re graceful and adaptive creatures. They are most iconic when pictured in the liminal space of the horizon- between sea and sky. From gulls, one can learn to make the most of what they have and to take nothing for granted. They can teach us to soar above all limitations and to fly along the currents of life’s events and emotions with ease, transcending all worldly concerns. They make good animal guides for beach bums, dreamy sea witches, and cerebral literary folk.  

Starling- Starlings are gregarious, social, communicative, and can imitate human speech and a variety of other sounds. They live in huge flocks and defend their nests fiercely. They represent the power of social ties and group identities and the safety in numbers. Interestingly, starlings wouldn’t even exist in North America if it weren’t for a group of Shakespeare enthusiasts who released a flock of a hundred in New York, with the desire for America to have every species of bird ever mentioned by their beloved playwright. In a way, they can be seen as representations of the power of dreams and fantasy to reshape the real world. Their feathers have a multicolored sheen and their eggs are a vivid, beautiful blue. Starlings are fitting animal guides for outgoing, sociable, extroverted, and theatrical types.  

Tufted titmouse- These cute, inquisitive little mohawked birds are known to remain in their territory in pairs and small family groups throughout the year, hoard food to prepare for the harsher seasons, and to curiously look in on human habitations through windows. They make comfortable homes for themselves in tree holes, and often line their soft nests with the hair and fur of other animals. They’re another excellent bird familiar for those focused on the keeping of their hearth. Their energy can assist in making one’s house truly feel like a home, and in making sure you never lose interest in what’s going on in the world around you. 

~Mammals~

Coyote- Coyotes are monogamous and tend to mate for life. Originally from plains and deserts, they’ve since spread and are now thriving in many urban areas across North and Central America. They’re omnivorous and opportunistic feeders that eat everything from carrion to bugs to berries. Coyote has figured prominently in the mythologies of many cultures across North America, in a vast array of roles. From savior of humanity, to teacher and trickster, to coward, to inventor of death, it’s hard to find an archetypal role which coyote has not, at some point, embodied. As such, their element seems to be chaos- both harmonious and discordant. The prevailing essence of coyote within the collective unconscious is that of humor, intelligence, carnality, and expression. They have a broad array of vocalizations, many of which sound eery, otherworldly, and almost fae-like. They are ideal animal guides for waste witches, desert druids, and punks. 

Opossum-  Possums are the ultimate survivors. They’re omnivorous, so they can live off a broad range of foods. They have opposable thumbs and prehensile tails, and are equally at home in trees, on the ground, in burrows, and in man-made and man-altered environments. They are highly resistant to a variety of poisons and toxins as well as rabies, and manage to rid themselves of most ticks and parasites. When threatened, they play dead and exude disgusting scents, repelling threats with minimal effort. Females have bifurcated vaginas, and males have dual-pronged penises, making them interesting symbols of duality and taking different paths in life. 

As they are nocturnal and often nomadic, they make good animal guides for people who travel off the beaten path in life. Mystics, drifters, and anyone living off the grid or involved in nightlife would do well to consider possum their kin. Honor opossums by spreading knowledge of how wonderful they are, as they are often the targets of human cruelty.

Raccoon- Raccoons are portal masters, the roamers in the night whose clever hands can open gateways, pick locks and catch that which lurks out of sight. They are highly tactile, mostly nocturnal, and very smart. With their masked faces, dexterous paws, tenacity, and nocturnal tendencies, they are the ideal animal guides for thieves, foragers, craftspeople, and anyone who makes use of obscurity. Their hook-shaped penis bones make powerful magical charms, especially useful for protection, potency, and invisibility. Raccoons also have ties to liminal and magical spaces. It’s easy to imagine them disappearing into a trash can on one side of town, only to emerge from a dumpster on the other side. Follow raccoons at your own risk, you might find yourself lost somewhere just sideways of here. 

Rat- Rats are fantastic animal guides and companions for the misunderstood and the underestimated. Although they can and do act as vectors of disease in some environments, they are still themselves smart, adaptable, social, and caring creatures who watch out for their own, sometimes even at their own expense. They are wizards when it comes to getting into and out of tight and difficult situations, and in the lab and home are known for their ability to navigate mazes and learn tricks. Domesticated rats are often very clean and sweet animals that “laugh” when tickled. Wild rats are enterprising survivors. Rat energy is powerful when it comes to overcoming adversity, hatred, and poverty and making the most of limited resources. They love to nest and hoard, so they’re another good familiar for the homey witch, as well as the grungy witch and the standard witchy witch. Really, you can’t go wrong with rats- just never have only one. 

In spite of being wonderful creatures, the negative perception of rats and the darker side of their nature makes them conceptually very useful in dark magic. One could, for instance, imagine a rat carrying one’s curse to a target like it would a parasite or disease, or use the image of a rat as a servitor in hexwork. 

Skunk- Skunks are masters of alchemy and pacifist defense. They do not have to fear, nor must they take violent action to protect themselves. Look to skunks for unconventional solutions, self-assurance, calm in the face of adversity, or as animal guides if you’re a chemist or alchemist. Skunk magic is also great for use in spells meant to repel others or keep them at bay.

Squirrel- Squirrels are creatures of balance and resourcefulness. Not only do they balance themselves expertly as they run along branches and leap from tree to tree, but they balance their time between play and planning, activity and rest. Even though much of that activity is spent burying nuts they’ll never find, those same nuts will grow into trees which will one day house and feed the squirrel’s numerous decedents. Ultimately, none of their time is wasted. Squirrels are the animal guides of people who both work and play hard, and squirrel energy is useful to anyone who’s trying to adjust their work/life balance or just learn to have more fun and enjoy themselves.

How to know it’s a familiar and not just an animal that you ‘really like.’

A lot of people have this issue. They fall in love with an animal – like this critter is family, as all pets should be, or they rescue a wild creature that they just naturally click with. How do you know if this critter is your familiar? Or is it something totally different (totem companion??)? I’ll give you some quick tips below.

Your Familiar Will:

Challenge You - You will be able to think your opinions, feelings, and ideas, and will often hear a retort as your familiar comes near. It may be a cat, bird, rat, horse, whatever – when you are within their reach and are thinking about an issue, they will come near you, and the voice of reason will pervade your thoughts. 

Connect With You- When you are ill, they may be ill too, or even feigning symptoms. When you are upset or scared, they will often show these traits, and if you are going through something and need companionship, your familiar will be in your lap or by your side before you can think to beckon them.

Identify With You- Often (but not always) you will share a birthmark, a hair color, an eye color, or a backstory. You may be an orphan that finds another orphan, or a person with a single streak of blonde who finds an animal with a similar look. 

Share Memories- Your familiar 9 times out of 10 will be a being you worked with in a previous life. They may have been a pet, or even a human in that life, or perhaps a spirit guide! You will feel familiar with this animal, like you have been with them several times before.

SO…

Your animal has very few or none of these facets but you’re still extremely close? That entity is a TOTEM COMPANION.

Totem Companions can be perceived as the animals that bring their variety of medicine into your life. This is a being that is meant to teach you lessons, bring you healing, or help you on your journey some how. Look up ____ symbolism or ____ medicine using the type of animal (ie. owl medicine or orange cat symbolism) to learn about the types of medicine and help they are known for bringing into your life. These animals can be just as important as your familiar and should be treated with the same love and respect, however they are not here to be your counterpart, but rather teachers on your journey, and friends to inspire you on your way.

Keep on loving your friends with paws and claws, feathers and scales, and treat them like royalty. Time spent with critters is never time wasted.

A Guide to Break Ups ...

by Congressman Sean Reeves (Political Animals)

Step 1. Marginalize one of their most painful life experiences.

Step 2. Forcefully reject any attempt on their part to make you feel better or touch you.

Step 3. Insist the entire relationship was nothing but sex. There was no emotional attachment on your part.

Step 4. Insist that even the sex was repulsive.

Step 5. Tell them that they are nothing but a joke. Self worth is highly overrated anyway. They don’t need any.

Step 6. In case Step 5 missed it point, reiterate that they aren’t good enough. You want more than they can ever offer.

Personally, at the end of this, I wanted the congressman’s balls on a platter. Unfortunately, we can’t always get what we want.

@steverogersnotebook @onceuponardj @writersblockstanfever @marvel-at-stucky @lbarrsxs  @sebastianstanchrisevansuniverses@f0r-the-l0ve-0f-marvel-men@marvelmistress2015

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Haytham petting animals.

Familiars

What are Familiars?

The concept of Familiars can be found in European Folklore dating back to the early Medieval period. Familiars have appeared throughout history in multiple forms but often being in the form of an animal such as cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Some cases even describe them in human form or humanoid form. Others even describe them as being faeries.

Familiars are described as being companions to witches and assist them in their magickal work. In early times, familiars were feared to be lesser demons that fed from the blood of witches and assisted in malevolent magic. They were even considered to be imps, bestowed upon witches by the Devil. Many cats were killed around the time of the Black Plague which only brought more death in Europe. The cats would eat the mice and rats carrying the fleas that spread the Plague. The mass murder of cats caused an increase in the flea population leading to more deaths. Almost poetic justice.

How do you choose a Familiar?

Familiars are not chosen; they choose the person. Typically, a strong link or connection is felt between the person and their Familiar. This can be with any animal the person feels an affinity to but in modern times, is typical a household pet. These pets are treated as a member of the family and are often considered magickal partners.

However, some people do not discover their Familiar in the physical realm but instead accumulate pictures, statuary, or other research of an animal or creature that they feel strongly drawn to. This can be a Familiar that has reached out to you from the astral plane.

You may also have more than one Familiar. It is not uncommon to have a connection to multiple Familiar Spirits as they all may have a different function in your life to better assist you.

Magickal Workings with Familiars:

As partners in the Craft, Witches tend to treat their Familiars with respect, love, and wisdom. You can learn a lot from having a Familiar, such as patience, love, understanding, partnership, respect, and gratitude. These creatures can not only teach us about ourselves and our own Craft but also about nature and the Universe.

They can assist you in ritual or with spells by bringing with them a certain mood or tone you wish to set within Circle. They are able to enter and exit the Circle without breaking the energy surrounding you. Sometimes, they allow you to use their fur, scales, and nail clippings within your magickal work.

Familiars are beneficial mentally and emotionally. They provide stress relief and help keep people emotionally balanced. They tend to know our moods and will often act on a course of judgement to put their partners (us) in the right frame of mind so that we can continue with our path.

Familiars can also assist us on the astral plane. Since they live between worlds, they can enter with us on our shamanic journeys. In this plane. They may appear in a different form or even be able to speak. They can guide us to the answers we seek in our Craft.

Honoring Your Familiar:

Familiars are our partners, not our servants. The idea of a Familiar and their role in the Witch’s Craft has greatly changed over time. At first, Familiars were believed to be servants to Witches, doing their bidding without hesitation. Since the New Age, that thinking has changed. It is accepted that we show our gratitude towards our guides and honor them. This can be as easy as giving them love and attention during the day.

I, personally, spend time with my Familiar every morning and every night. I give him love and affection, I brush his fur, I brush his teeth, I keep him fed and healthy, etc. I also keep a small statue on my altar just for him. You can even work with Familiar Magic which helps strengthen your bond. Brown is the traditional color for Familiars if you wish to use candle magic. There are also stones and herbs that show your appreciation. Go out and buy your kitty a new toy or some catnip. Or you can get your dog a new rawhide.

Protecting your Familiar:

Most people look at the Familiar as their protector. They are protectors but they also need it too. You can place protective amulets or charms on their collar. I actually enchanted my Familiar’s collar so he would be protected even when I’m not home. I also have a certain space for him in the house where he can go to a be protected. You can do this by enchanting their bed.

Protection Enchantment

Materials:

  • Collar (blank or with symbols)
  • Brown Candle
  • Salt
  • Bowl of Water
  • Incense such as mugwort or St. John’s Wort for protection and calming
  • Markers (optional)

Begin by creating a salt and water protection Circle around you (and your Familiar if present). You may cast any Circle you wish. At this time, state your intention within the Circle and light your candle and incense. If you have chosen a blank collar, you may wish to draw your own protection sigils upon it or you can simply proceed with the next step.

Pass the collar through the four elements. Sprinkle the color with the Salt of the Earth and state your intention.

Pass the collar over the flame, but not too closely, and state your intention

Sprinkle the collar with the water and state your intention.

Pass the collar through the smoke of the incense and state your intention.

The collar has no been imbued with the power of protection from the four elements and is ready to be worn by your Familiar.


I would like to introduce my own Familiar as I find him quite the character. His name is Salem, a 2 year old Tuxedo who rescued me from the animal shelter. He loves creating magick with me! I’d love to see pictures of everyone’s Familiars if they would like to share!

Expert's Guide To The Many Wonderful Classes Of Fire Emblem

Lord
-normally starts with an OP weapon
-also likely doesn’t have the stats to immediately use it well
-death results in either a game over, a soft reset, or turning the game off whilst screaming profanities
-if you find a lord who has blue hair, whose name isn’t Marth, they’re probably good to use in bulk

Cavalier
-centaur with attitude
-comes in many different flavors, but usually cherry and mint
-is mediocre all around, with one stat better than the others

Myrmidon
-le edgy katana user
-sanic fast
-“WHY DID YOU LET THAT FIGHTER KILL YOU!? HOLY SHIT FUCK THIS GAME OH MY GODDD!”

Fighter
-slow, inaccurate, bara af
-should never be able to hit Myrmidons
-somehow always hits Myrmidons
-let me axe you a question

Mercenary
-the every man
-ranges from game breaker to living trash
-wields big friggin swords
-still manages to be the second most pointless enemy reinforcement, only beaten by….

Soldier
-bait
-free exp
-the FE representation of the enemies that populate Dynasty Warriors games

Archer
-gimmick unit
-completely useless on enemy phase
-thinks they’re Legolas
-they aren’t even close

Pegasus Knight
-muh winged horse
-dies to everything, except magic
-unless it’s a game that has wind magic
-were only actually good in Gaiden

Dragon Knight
-muh winged lizard
-every english game calls them Wyvern Knights
-in the GBA games, the mounts were dragons, not wyverns
-PoR got the classification right
-Radiant Dawn changed the name to Dracoknight, fucking it up again
-legit really good units

Thief
-sneaky sneaky
-???
-that’s all

Mage
-the elemental spirits
-they’re kinda boring, unless they have a personal spell
-no mage will ever be as good as Ced

Dark Mage
-“I’m blatantly evil”
-except Canas, Niime, Sophia, Ophelia, Pelleas, and Henry
-hits harder than mages, but the animations take SOOOOOOO long

Healers
-they heal shit

Bandits
-they plunder shit

Knights
-they’re shit
-except you, Oswin. I love you.

Dancers
-prime waifu material
-makes you move again with the power of DANCE

Transformers
-animals in disguise
-use at your own risk

SMOKEY QUARTZ

My favourite quality is that it teaches you to leave behind anything that no longer serves you. It is a settling and nurturing stone that connects us with a sense of homeliness. It gives us a connection to plants and animals and guides us to learn from working in harmony with them. Cleanse with Earth, as it is a strong grounding stone. Linked to the Base/Root Chakra. 

  • Grounding & Anchoring Stone
  • Raises Vibrations during Meditation
  • Neutralizes Negative Vibrations 
  • Blocks Geopathic Stress 
  • Relieves fear & Lifts Depression
  • Promotes Positive & Pragmatic Thought
  • Relieves Pain & Cramps 
  • Aids acceptance of the Physical Body 
  • Earth Star Chakra
  • Awakens Primal Self