Although they doesn’t really list up in my tool case, for some reason I do want to talk about snakes and spiders and their connections to witchey world. First of all – I like them. So it is rather frustrating to me to see all the negativity that runs around them.
I grew up hearing my grandmother talk about their pet viper. It wasn’t a pet in its general sense, but a working animal that lived in the household and hunted rats in the granary. They used to put milk out for her and when we were young and visiting our great grandmother, we also put milk out for them. It didn’t mean they were safe and we were always warned to watch where we were stepping in long grass so not to be bitten by them, but I don’t recall them ever being referred to as something abnormally evil or scary. You just had to stand still and wait until the snake decided you were not a threat and went their own way.
In Estonian folk tales, snakes are considered to be smart and clever animals. There are many fairy tales about snake princess, who asks to be served for three days in return of some gifts and wise wife in the end. Or stories about a snake king, who knew the answers nobody else knew. You could recognize the king by it’s small crown.
I guess that’s why I can’t see them as something entirely evil, because to me they are the representatives of the clever and wise. To know the “parseltongue” as Harry Potter was something as real as you learning Spanish. In reality, I now see it more as understanding the animal’s behavior and the sound effects they do in certain situations.
As witchey as one one can be, I do not believe or like snakes being used in alcoholic beverages to observe their power. That is just cruel. Eating the meat for food and using the parts if the animal is dead is one thing, but that snake-in-alcohol thing is where I draw the line and say out loud “NO, that is disgusting and stupid.” . There is no excuse in any level to use them like that.
Spiders are the closest of power animals as I have. I prefer them in form of amulets, pendants and silver spider earrings are the only kind of earrings you will ever see me wearing. The legends surrounding them are creepy, but to me they are the most adorable little things you can get in the animal world. That until you show me next bug that looks like teddy bear.
Spiders are the symbol of hard working animals, who don’t give up and who do their own thing. The dreamcatcher is a story of a spider, who webs the circle to help protect you from bad dreams.
You should keep friends with them. By the stories from China (like always, these days you don’t really know if they are true or if they follow it there, but Li said they do and I believe that man) you are never to kill a spider indoors or it will bring you bad luck. I don’t know if the bad luck part is true or not, but I am eager to never find out. Better help them out and be nice than kill such a useful creature inside. They catch those nasty flies, who keep you up in the night after all! But as I do like clean house, I do not let the rule go for spider webs. Or at least until I’m sure it has been abandoned…
As of mixes for mojo bags and in potions – as I said, if the animal is part of food or I find it dead or any parts of it, it goes in the cabinet. If not, well, there are alternatives :).