There’s no easy answers to cross-species relationships.
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men. — Alice Walker
I don’t live with any non-human companion animals, but often wish I could. Allergies to every fur-bearing mammal I have ever encountered and the adamant veto of my dear husband has kept our home petless for most of our family’s existence. (There was a series of companion rodents about a decade ago, but I gradually became allergic to them as well, and pets in cages never really agreed with us anyway.)
Perhaps my hominid-only life is why I’m repeatedly drawn to the topic of animal magic; while assembling this issue I discovered to my surprise that this is the fourth time this topic has been covered by one of our magazines. Reading through our previous efforts, I was struck by the number of articles we’ve featured focusing on specific animals, including insects (“Welcoming the Multi-Legged Goddess”), horses ( “The Divine Charger”), and ravens (“To Fly with the Raven”)1 as well as ferrets (“For the Love of Ferrets”), wolves (“Wolf: from Mammal to Metaphor”), bats (“Bats: the Cutest Superheroes You’ve Never Met”), and bears (“The Bear Whisperer”).2 There’s even an entire issue dedicated to cats!3 (That one can’t be attributed to personal interest, since I am so not a cat person.)
A seedling reaches for the sun.
“Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”
—Old English doggerel describing the items in a good luck charm for a new bride
Like most of our publishing ventures, Witches & Pagans was born from equal parts of necessity (always the great-aunt, if not Queen of Invention), inspiration, and perspiration. Back in April, I wrote a business-like letter to PanGaia subscribers detailing our decision to fold PanGaia into newWitch to form a new, bigger magazine, which, at the time, we dubbed newWitch: Creating Pagan Community. The intention was (at least) two-fold: to reduce our scheduled frequency to one I could actually manage (two quarterly magazines, plus one twice-yearly journal) and to reunite our readership (previously divided by style and perceived age.)