You know, there's very little that makes my skin crawl more than the phenomenon of "pet psychics." People who commune with the pet and tell their owners what they're thinking. It's so new age, so fluffy, so ... ignoble.
But when you think about it, how many of us magicians use our magic on our pets? I treated a cat of ours who we got from a family with an ADHD boy who had terrorized the poor thing. For years she wouldn't let us touch her, pet her, play with her. She would eat and meow to go outside, and that was the sum total of our interaction with her. She wouldn't even chase the red-laser pointer thing. We kept the kids off her, gave her her space, let her heal, and showed her love when she would let us. Then I did some magic to communicate with her, and sort of let go of her early life's pain, and she's now a normal cat. She demands attention and affection, she chases the red light, and she even lets my daughter rub her belly and hold her paws like they're old friends.
And I use the skills I've developed magically with other pets. I was out collecting food for a food bank with the scouts, and one house had this mean-looking little border collie all chained up, malnourished, and practically feral outside their house. My son ran up to the house, and the dog went for him. My son froze. I communicated friendliness and good will to the dog, and you could see his demeanor change. He stopped running with his teeth bared, and just sort of walked up to my son and sniffed his hand, licked it, and whined a little.
The way I see it, we're responsible for pets. We've bred them, whether as hunting companions, guardians, or to keep the rodents out of the grain houses in Egypt. In the Bible, the first thing Adam had to do was name all the animals. We are stewards of this world, shepherds of the resources and companions we live with.
But Pet Psychics? All the ones I've seen make my skin crawl. That glimmering shine of madness in their eyes, the face-breaking smiles, the ... leftover 60's bullshit and the new age twaddle that comes out of their mouths. Feh.
So my boss has this dog, this beautiful, loving, wise animal who has been her faithful companion through life's shit. She's getting old, this dog, and is falling apart. My boss wants to find someone who can ask the dog whether she wants to live, or if she's ready to let it go and be euthanized. Ungh. Tough call. I wouldn't do it, honestly. Even if it wasn't my boss, I've seen what the passing of a dog companion can do to a woman in her late 40s. Complete and total emotional breakdown. Grief. Grieeeeeef. Bleah. I really don't want to get any of that on me.
But I understand the service it provides. Pets are a part of our culture, and the bonds between humans and owners are strong. As magicians, we can make familiars of our pets because there is a connection. Familiars are useful because animals can do things people can't, go places and see things we don't. Cats in particular are great because they can sense spirits, and can pass through the spheres with us. (First time I saw my cat in the heavens, I was all upset that my brain was producing images that weren't valid, and the angel I was talking to explained she had come along on her own and had as much right to be there as I did, because I was impacting her life with my Work as well.) Dogs aren't that great, ferrets are like little bi-polar freaks, and reptiles are primal beings. The little manifest ones are next to worthless. The higher intelligences are wise and can provide good input, but the individual snakes and lizards and turtles I've interacted with are too focused on the moment to be useful. They don't have a very well developed understanding of "the future," so they can't be sent places very well. They're easily distracted, and make poor familiars if you have anything for them to do that will take place beyond five minutes from now.
The Communion Between Mage and Beast
Using the Modern Angelic Grimoire to Talk to your Pet
Create a Lamen for your pet. Write its name above the hexagram where you would normally write the Angel's name in Hebrew/Celestial Script. Write the name in English, unless your pet is Jewish, in which case Hebrew/Celestial script letters are appropriate. You may affix a photo of your pet in the center of the hexagram instead of writing its name the second time, or affix some of its fur if you like.
Conjure the pet's spirit using the standard conjuration with appropriate modifications (i.e. “In the name of the blessed and holy Trinity, I conjure you, spirit of [Pet's Name], that if it is the divine will of Tetragrammaton, the Holy God, the Father, that you take the shape that best reflects your celestial nature, and appear visibly here in this crystal, to the glory and honor of his divine Majesty, who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.)
Communicate with the spirit of your pet.
The intellectual capacity of pets is scientifically estimated to be approximately equivalent to that of a 4-year-old human child. Their spirits, in my experience, are not limited by these scientific estimations.
Animal spirits are organized hierarchically, in my experience, similar to the angelic hierarchy. There is a House Cat Intelligence, there are officer-class House Cat spirits, and there are the actual manifest spirits of individual animals. There are Intelligences of Genus, and there are Intelligences of Species that can be contacted. I've found the Intelligences of the Species to be roughly equivalent to my experiences with the Totem Animal spirits in my new age shaman-esque period.
Animal spirits don't always communicate in words. Sometimes when you ask them questions, they respond by taking you on a romp through a symbolic world which you then have to translate into meaningful communications. Don't be surprised if you ask your pet why it's limping and you end up with a vision of hunting through a dark forest for a shining rodent, only to have your paw caught in a trap. This could simply be the cat not paying attention while it chased a mouse, and stepping on a thorn, twisting tis ankle, or something like that. They do the best they can in communication, but humans and other animals have different ways of expressing themselves.