It can take a while for them to appear, sometimes as long as months. The other way you could call a Familiar is to write an advertisement for one in your magical diary. Sometimes it works right away, but generally it takes a while to gain their trust. Remember, be polite, don't make demands (always ask!) and don't make promises you can't keep. :)
Curious , what defines a familiar? I'm one of those geeks who read a lot of fantasy before getting the chance to learn about the real thing. Haven't had much experience ( as I'm still very new) but I'm curious about everything. Like what separates a familiar from any other entity? And since it's not a spell that summons them like you had said then what does? You mentioned that they are created , how and why? I'm bubbling over with questions here lol
AelfinLied - I find it depends on the person and their education in magic. My experiences with Familiars is that they are found, but probably can be created on the astral. Generally anything that helps you perform magic is a Familiar.. at least by the definition I was taught. I have a bird who does exactly that :)
By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable Mar 10, 2016
Post # 6
The idea that a pet is the same as a familiar came from back in the Middle Ages when old women who lived alone were often suspected of Witchcraft. If they had a pet and particularly if they talked to that pet, then obviously the animal must be their "familiar". This idea has been perpetrated in 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.
Aelfin, your question actually comes down to a matter of belief. Some people believe they are an external spirit which comes to aid the magic user, and remains with them. Some believe there must be a binding -- or calling, summoning, what have you -- which makes the entity stay. There are other beliefs related as well.
Some people believe a familiar is a creation, either beginning as a thought form or whatever, according to whichever of many differing beliefs.
Some believe -- and this is where things get a bit hard for me to swallow -- that either a pet can be a familiar or the familiar spirit resides within the pet. Some may also believe that a familiar is yhe spirit of a former pet.
I like most the expression that they are non-physical entities which are an adjunct to the magical workings of the person pracricing magic
Summoning aside, how often do you work with spirits in general? From where I sit with magic a familiar is a spirit who works regularly with you, so if you have some experience working with them you might see if one in particular shows up more often than others and see where that goes.
Personally this is my belief, take it how you like:
A familiar is a magical construct. The construct can be spiritual or physical, depending on the power behind it. But it s a magical creation given life through magic, nothing much else. You can use it for the things people raised above but they are not a pet.
A pet is a beloved, some times cuddley, animal. woof woof.
What I do believe is you can have "familiar bonds" with pets.
The pet is not your familiar but it has a very weak, thinner that cotton, mind link wih you.
The pet senses when you are ill and does what it can to help and you do vice versa.
My auric bound had one with her cat a few years ago and actually felt the cat slip away when the cat was put down.
I have a very weak one with one of my dogs, to the point we understand each other on a mutual instinct bases. If I want to sit down and rant, he's there on my lap giving me his get on with it then stroke me look.
If he wants to play but I'm upstairs, he wont bark, he nudges me through the bond and I come down he's bouncing around me like "yoh! biscuits now yoh!"
smile I do love my dogs.
Familiars are not an insant thing, it will take time, effort and willpower.
The greatness of te familiar depends on the effort you put in.
If you cast a spell and "expect" a familiar then you'll get one, but it will be so weak you'll not be able to sense or it or it will just disperse again instantly.