Wherein I explain a few reasons why I like the wild and domesticated animals I do, and what (if any) things I do with them regarding magic.
My #1 animal at the moment is the owl, mostly because of the Owl (odd sentence construction FTW!). I’ve always admired owls, from the first time I saw one up close and personal (my childhood school system liked bringing in falconers and wildlife handlers for wholesome student activities. I always wondered why they didn’t crap on our bright and shining faces when they flew overhead.) Granted, they like to eat our chickens, but a BB gun scares them off for a good month or three. I still look up in awe at the graceful pale shapes ghosting through the dark, and peek out the window when I hear the Whooo? in the night. I never really did much with them, though, until the Owl came along. I don’t do much with “power” animals, nor have I previously done a lot to need a spirit helper. Perhaps this is an omen. Or perhaps I’ll just end up doing shots when the Owl is in his stoner plushie (don’t ask. Just don’t ask.)
Coming in a close 2nd, and in 2nd only because of the appearance of the Owl, is the sea turtle. No particular breed, just sea-faring turtles in general. A year or so ago I picked up a small sea turtle statue at a New Age fair. A few months ago I picked up the bigger version. Today I picked up a sea turtle plushie. Why? Because I adore them, and because they represent and intermediate between me and Manannan. This Tarot card (from the Shadowscapes Tarot) is my new favorite piece of devotional artwork. While I do have other favored sea animals, I think the turtle will be the most important for me. The plushie I bought? It fits exactly on my chest, nose to chin, and cuddles. A most excellent divine messenger.
#3 is the wild goose, most often embodied in the Canadian geese that fly overhead. Whenever (and I do mean whenever, i.e. at 6 in the goddamn morning) I hear the call of a flock overhead, I have to look for it. From a flock of 5 or 6 birds to a whole fat stripe of birds in the sky, I search them out and stand in wonder. While there is a tenuous connection to Manannan in my mind, mostly I think its the geese themselves. Domesticated geese have an attraction for me, as well. You never know if those beady eyes will judge you worthy of a bite or a nuddle (a sort of nudgy cuddle with a little preening, just because your feathers are so dirty, how can you stand it?). But its the song. The wild, free song that sings them across whole fucking continents. That’s what I truly adore. A sleek avian intelligence, a song on high, cold winds, and a flock of specks in a grey-blue sky.
#4 is the namesake of this blog, the humble hedgehog. They are not native to my part of the country (or, in fact, the US in general). I have only seen them in zoos. But, I do like the idea of it- a small animal most people see as a insect hunter being a valued magical ally. I mean, come on, its a hedgehog. The thing crosses over the hedge every night. It protects itself quite nicely from any attacker, physical or not, it can scare the crap out of you if you don’t know what it is, and the things are frickin’ adorable. Its an animal I would very much like to emulate. Very much a chthonic rooter.
I’m sure there are more that I could think of. I like plenty of animals and I think a lot of them have very worthwhile things they teach. But I’m not really into the “list every single animal I’ve had a vaguely interesting experience with as my great and powerful protector and majik guide” thing. These four are enough for me to concentrate on at the moment, and I’m happy with that. I want quality connections, not an astral zoo.