Re: How can you tell?
By: SilverVixen Aug 03, 2010
Post # 2
Making her your familiar would be a violation, however If your cat kiki is your familiar, you will notice she is around A LOT when you are practicing magic, or that she will hang out around your sacred space, and other small visual cues like this. Personally I have had 3 rats, only one of witch was my familiar. I knew he was because I not only felt it in my heart, but when I was doing a rite or a spell, or even just playing with herbs, he'd sit right at the edge of his cage until I pulled him out, then he'd sit on my shoulder, or on my altar and help me any way he could. It's very empowering to have a familiar with you, because you learn to work in unison with each other, and play off each others energies, the same way you would by working in a coven setting, or a with some friends or a loved one. This team work not only fills you with joy, but the energy that can build up can reach points of intoxication and make you feel as if you were high. I've found I feel extremely close to deity at this time.
This is speaking from my own personal experience though, and everyone finds their familiar in their own way. If kiki is your familiar you will know when the time is right.
Re: How can you tell?
By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable Sep 21, 2010
Post # 6
I'm not sure where the idea that a pet is the same as a familiar came from. I guess I have to blame it on some of the crop of poorly researched books on the market these days. But the fact of the matter is that our beloved pets and a Witch's familiar are very, very different things.
A Witch's familiar is an animal spirit or a magical construct created by the Witch or the Magician as an adjunct to their magical workings, as a repository for power, and if needed as a defense against magical attack from another magic user. A Witch or a magician can draw upon the energies of the familiar when they need an extra boost of energy in a magical working. Conceivably if the spell is important enough, the Witch could completely drain the familiar of energy causing it to "die" or cease to exist. And in the case of a magical attack, the attack could be diverted to the familiar so that it would be the familiar which is destroyed rather than the magic user. None of these are things that I think any of us would want to do with our pets.
Although Wikipedia is not always the best reference, in this case there is an excellent article on familars here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familiar_spirit
Animals are very sensitive to the energies around them and they may be drawn to us when we are working magic because they can sense the energy. They also want to be around their people, which again will make them want to be where we are..and that may be where we are doing magic. Neither of these things makes the animal a familiar or inherently magical in and of itself.
Lark, this may be true, but there are also possible physical representations of a familiar, granted I have a spiritual familiar I use as an energy source as well, but an animal that is attracted to your rituals can be a great energy aid as well, the therapeutic and comforting presence of a beloved animal (i hate the word pet....) can bring energy from within ones self, as well as the animals, some animals will provide their complete concentration on a ritual if you invite them in the circle, and others will just knock over candles, an animal that joins you in a circle is just as much a familiar as one created on an astral field,
Personally being a believer in reincarnation I believe that there is an animal spirit guide assigned to every witch. I had my spirit guide last incarnated as a cat I had as a child that came to my family on Samhain one year. When it was time for his body to go I let it go and I'm yet to find his current incarnation. No matter what you do find the animal guides physical form when it is meant to be in physical form and you know when it is meant to be there.
Re: How can you tell?
By: unknowntoall / Beginner Dec 12, 2010
Post # 9
all of your explanations are beautifully said but I believe larks explanation is more harsh in the matter of destruction of ones own familliar. Is a familliar not thought as a child created into this world to be loved and cherished, and if not created by you but just connected I believe you should cherish a semi physical semi spiritual bond more because you are both at choice.