Familiars, Kami, Shinto

Snake as Familiar

Meditation and White Foxes

Recently I have began to meditate and communicate with Inari-Okami more often. In a recent meditation she approached me and told me to be ‘more careful’. When I asked what she meant, she said that I need to protect myself when meditating so as not to attract negative entities. I always pray before I meditate but it seems I need another level of protection.

In this meditation Inari-Okami had originally approached me in the form of a small white fox. Although Inari-Okami is not a fox, she does take the form of one when communicating with me – I feel this is because I have a closer connection to animals than humans.

A small fox spirit jumped out of her and onto my shoulder. It quickly changed into the shape of a white snake and wrapped itself around my shoulder. I remember it clearly – It was wearing a protective bib, had magenta eyes, a bright blue tongue and mouth and a blue flame on it’s tail. When I asked what I should name it, Inari-Okami said ‘It’s name is Kon’. “Like in anime?” “Yes.”

And so, Kon has been around me since then. I feel they are genderless but I tend to refer to them with male pronouns at times. They can be as small as a regular corn snake or as large as a dragon. Here is an image I drew of what Kon looks like:


Spirit and Physical Familiars

I own three snakes at the moment and I have always felt Ceridwen, my snow corn snake, was a familiar. She responds to spiritual energy a lot, becoming very active when I am performing prayers or reading tarot. Ever since she was a baby she’d especially been attracted to my tarot cards. Here she is ‘protecting’ them while I was writing a blog post!

I strongly feel that Ceridwen is the physical form of Kon, though they are not exact in colouration. Kon certainly did resemble a corn snake in appearance.

Snakes in Shinto

Snakes have a rich mythology Worldwide and are also present in Shinto myth. They are not considered familiars of Inari-Okami but can be traced back to be associated with Uka-no-Mitama-no-Okami. This Kami is part of Inari-Okami’s essence and thus through this kami, it could be said that snakes are associated with Inari-Okami.

Snakes present on an oefuda from Fushimi Inari Taisha

You can read more about this particular oefuda and the symbolism on it on this post at Myoubu.com.

The snake in Japanese myth is associated with the creation of life, death and fertility. It most likely became associated with rice kami because it is a natural predator of the mice and rats which were detrimental to the rice crop. Therefore it can be seen like the fox, a protector of the rice fields and thus the worker’s livelihoods.

Snakes are associated with many other kami besides Uka-no-Mitama-no-Okami. They are considered to be a messenger and symbol of the dragon kami Ryujin and are also a form of the kami Okuninushi no Mikoto.

In fact snakes are so prominent in Shinto that I think they deserve an entire post! So I’ll wrap this one up for now!

You can read some more about snakes in Shinto here, if you are curious.

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