The English are known as a nation of animal lovers, and English witches are definitely no exception. Most of the ones I know not only have pets - or would like to have pets - but frequently use animal magic as part of seasonal rites and celebrations.
This can be through using the symbolism of animals in pathworkings and creative visualisations, journeying to meet animal guides, drawing on the powers that animals represent for spells, or allowing your own cat, dog or other pet to be present at rituals to add their energy to the event.
A lovely new book by Rachel Patterson called Pagan Portals - Animal Magic shows a whole variety of ways in which you can work with both real animals and spirit guides.
The chapters include meditations and spells to find familiars and spirit guides; shamanic techniques of shape-shifting; animal spell working; divination, omens and superstitions; animal magic in rituals, animal deities and animal symbolism. She also covers using animal parts in magic - but this definitely doesn't mean sacrificing them - it just means using things you might find in nature and, if you eat meat, making sure leftover bones and so on are not wasted.
As publisher Moon Books says on its website, the book offers: "An introduction to the world of animal magic; how to find, recognise, connect and work with the power of animal magic."
Rachel Patterson is well known for her friendly and easy-to-follow style of writing, and this book is a great addition to her range of previous titles including Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch, A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food and The Art of Ritual.
You can order Pagan Portals - Animal Magic: Working with Spirit Animal Guides via Amazon.
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