Q. Why should I care?
A. You may choose a companion animal based, in part, on the desire to bring a particular energy into your life.
A. Recurring, chance, encounters with a species may be sending you a message.
A. Ditto if you encounter an animal under unusual circumstances.
COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED SPECIES:
|Bird: enlightenment, perspective, swiftness, vision|
|Cat: feminine energy, mystical power|
|Dog: companionship, health, service|
|Fish: miracles, providence, sea/water magic|
|Frog: healing, cleansing, messages|
|Mouse: frugality, rebirth|
|Rabbit: fertility, moon magic, speed|
|Ant: industry, community, remarkable strength|
|Bees: divine messages, love|
|Butterfly: rebirth, the soul, transformation|
|Dragonfly: good fortune, magic, vision|
|Grasshopper: nobility, prosperity|
|Spider: destiny, fate|
I have spent hours sitting at an old card table that is tucked into a corner of the shed; writing, planning my gardens, thinking, knitting and reading. Some time back, when I first began to study the Craft, I converted the whole thing to a witch's study. I was new to everything and had never conducted a formal ritual in my life. I kept everything I gathered to aid my studies out of my house and in this private, locked place. I needed to complete my preliminary research before I could expose my husband and children to witchcraft.
When I was finally ready to attempt a ritual then, I logically decided to bless and sanctify the shed. I was terribly nervous. I created a small, simple altar in the north east corner and began to fumble my way through anxiety and ignorrance. I felt open and raw and cycled through euphoria and dread almost faster than I could recognize the emotions. I felt Right & Natural; what would my mother say? I felt the presence of Spirit; what would my priest say? I felt a sense of control and personal power; what would my psychologist say?
Somewhere in the middle of preparing the altar, I began to hear small noises. I nearly quit. Instead, after a quick 'Hail Mary', I took hold of my active imagination and chose to ignore the sounds. I inventoried my instincts and realized that I did not feel threatened, just . . . accompanied. I finished my work and gathered up the materials I had used to perform the ritual. (Curiousity? A candle stub, a newly hand molded, clay Christian cross, some ashes, some sage, some salt, some water.) I wrapped everything in a white cloth and took the bundle outside where I buried it underneath a stepping stone that lies at the entrance to the shed.
Upon returning to the candle lit interior, my eyes met those of a small, still field mouse sitting on one of the low, exposed rafters of the shed. Thouroughly unnerved by her presence, I froze. She simply continued to watch me with tiny, bright eyes. I immediately realized that the noises I thought I'd been imagining had been caused by this creature. Again, I nearly left the shed. Though I adore animals, mice are not at the top of my list of favorites. A hundred thoughts ran through my mind. Was this someone's familiar? Was it my familiar? Was it a sign of wrong-doing? Or of right-doing? Was I completely crazy to be entertaining such thoughts?
I slowly moved toward her and toward the table where I have done my tarot readings for years. I assumed she'd skitter away as I approached. She did not. I sat and began to wash (shuffle) the cards, excruciatingly aware of her presence only a few feet away and above my head. I conducted a reading (another story entirely . . .) under her watchful gaze. Finally, my nerve broke and I began to gather a few items so I could leave the shed and think. I looked up in time to watch her tail disappear as she slipped behind some exposed insulation.
The following day, my friend Wynn came to my house. I coaxed her out to the shed and lit a fire so we could settle in and talk. As soon as I began to tell her about my visitor, the mouse began to rustle around. We never saw her that day. Her little noises were perceptable only when we fell quiet. Wynn helped me find a version of the table of correspondence you came to this story from. My belief is that the mouse was a sign of rebirth for me.
Since that chilly afteroon, I've never noticed any sign of the mouse. Much has happened since that first ritual. I feel as though I've found my way home. The journey to this place, however, was often unnerving and confusing. My witchcraft is now thouroughly integrated into my life. I don't need a locked shed anymore. In fact, I gave the shed to my daughter for her private use. She's never had any mice. Instead, she 'battles' a squirrel for posession of the space.