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Familiars come in many shapes, sizes and configurations. They can present themselves as animals, insects, fantasy creatures, plants, or even people. How they appear to you can tell you a great deal about yourself as a person and the kind of growth you’ll be pursuing with them.

You can also have more than one familiar.

Yep, you read that right. You can have many familiars. I work within a tradition that has three, one predator, one prey animal, and one carrion animal. Within this tradition, each type of animal appears when you undergo a particular kind of life change or challenge.

Predator:The predator familiar appears when it’s time for you to take charge and go after what you want. They often herald a time of high activity, hard work, and potential conflict but instead of being taxing or trying this familiar often signals that you will be coming into your own. Predators help you to dig deep, find your strength, and pursue your needs and desires avidly.

Prey: Prey animal familiars appear when it is time to learn to protect and love yourself. These animals can vary widely in the kinds of lessons they teach but whether it’s the gentle self-acceptance that deer teaches or the ability to think on your feet and change life directions on a dime that comes with a rabbit familiar, these animals are all about learning to make the most of your surroundings, your natural talents, and the base nature of those around you.

Carrion Animals: Carrion familiars are often those that elicit the most discomfort in people. Vultures, hyenas, opossums, and burying beetles may not be glamorous familiars but they are often those we learn from the most. These familiars are heralds of change, they symbolize a closeness with both death and life and as such often call us to kill those parts of ourselves that are no longer serving us. A carrion familiar will help you shed dead weight, release habits and thoughts that no longer serve you, and clear the way for a better, happier, healthier life.

Keep in mind, this setup of having three familiars is not the only way. Some people have one familiar, some have seven or twelve or two. Whatever configuration you find yourself with will be the one that is most suited for providing you with the most growth. You may find yourself with a land animal, and sea animal, and a flying animal. Or you may simply find yourself with a single familiar who has a tendency to shapeshift a bit depending on what it’s trying to convey to you.

All of these are good ways to have familiars! Please remember that your familiar is a way for your spirit to communicate with you more directly, there is no wrong way for your soul to try and reach out to you! Keep an open mind and whether you find yourself with a mighty elephant or a tiny fly, try to learn what this being has come here to teach you. It holds the key to greater knowledge, power, and wellbeing.