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Familiars?

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> Familiars?

Familiars?
By:
Post # 1
Iread somewhere thats witches summon familiars. What are familiars? And how do i summon them, can someone explain it please?
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Re: Familiars?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 2
In the early Christian days,when witchcraft was heresy.people would "report" witches; usually any strange old woman who lived alone. A witch was said to be able to "change" into an animal; usually an animal she kept as a pet. These were known as "familiars". So any old lady who had a pet cat, or dog, or mouse. or any other animal. was considered to be a witch.
There are some people even today who believe in "familiars".
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Re: Familiars?
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

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.

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.

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Re: Familiars?
By:
Post # 4
Do you know the spell for familiars, or where i can read about different spells about them?
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Re: Familiars?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 5
What you are saying may well be true, Lark. But it's not what I said! Many, many times, in England when witchcraft was classed as heresy, quite a lot of women were condemned as witches simply because they owned some animal or other that was "claimed" to be a "familiar".Usually old women, who lived alone, and perhaps were unpopular in the village. Or were just a bit "strange". It was all nonsense, of course, but many women were Tried for heresy because they kept a pet animal.
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Re: Familiars?
By:
Post # 6
the main problem of old days is religion, thats why those "some" people being a short thinker and claim that every women that have a pet (toad, cat, owl, etc) is a witches.

But, modern day's main problem is politics, and people become more opened about their faith system.

about familiars, it could be an animals or spirits, depends what you like, if you like animals, give your blood on their food (only once) it means "to be ONE" and connecting your will to it.
if you want spirits, hmm.. its hard to tell you openly. BUT, the point is, you put a piece of your soul and bind it into something (jewels?) its up to you.

thats how they'll be assistant for our magick, and understand our will.
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Re: Familiars?
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7

Brysing, you are absolutely correct from the historical standpoint. Older women often kept pets of some sort to keep from being lonely. And they might well have talked to them since they had no one else to talk to. This of course led to charges of witchcraft as of course one just knew that you couldn't talk to an animal and be understood! It was one more way in which the unscrupulous or superstitious could bring charges against someone whose property they covetted or who they just didn't like.

Somehow this has been taken up in modern books as a misunderstanding that these pets were familiars. So we have a lot of misinformation floating about in books on the Craft where we are being taught that physical animals are familiars, when in fact they are basing their assumptions on the Christian viewpoints about witchcraft during the witchcraft trials.

On the other hand, within Ceremonial Magic, there were workings to create "familiars" which are in fact not physical beings at all. They are more like a "servitor" or a "fetch". And so the confusion continues with the truth being overlaid by Medieval superstition.

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Re: Familiars?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 8
Yup,Lark! I'll go along with that!
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Re: Familiars?
By:
Post # 9
you can't 'make' nor 'force' some poor animal into being your familiar.
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Re: Familiars?
By: / Novice
Post # 10
Familiars are in line with David Cunningham's work: "Creating Magickal Entities"

Does this seem correct?

~Thor
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