I have checked around the site, seeing if there were any previous posts in this. Physically explaining What a familiar is, I didn't find slot, so I decided to give a summary. Included, I have provided a couple of links for further study.
What is a familiar? :
A familiar is a spirit that is in the shape of a animal form. This familiar defination is typically a animal spirit, that helps the witch, or magician with their magic workings, and is often a companion in terms of their studies.
Back in the medieval times, especially in Europe. A familiar was said to have extremely vivid colors, and could also sometimes be in a human form. Thus due to these aspects, and the associations with witches back then, these familiar beings were often known as, "demons".
In forms such as Shamanism practices, these animals were not even a real animal form. They were just fully based on the persons subconscious form, or a spiritual entity.
How to find a familiar:
Sometimes people see weird animals, thatthey have never met, but they keep showing up. This can be your familiar, or spirit guide, they are with different.
In order to find knew, you can use such routes as dreams, divination, and possibly the form of the divination work, called "scrying ". Another way is to ask for a familiar to come to you. Also different methods such as "altered states of conscious" and meditation methods.
In all honesty, it's more complicated that just a "spirit that looks like an animal". I won't waste anymore precious words, but here are links that are more effective on research, rather than just Wikipedia, and even if you copy and paste the "links" you have provided, they would be a dead end because they don't work.
This post was very interesting. I do believe that everyone has a familiar. Even when some don't know. Besides that, I don't think that a human being can live without a familiar. You would be too lonely.
Re: A Intro On Familiars By: insertjoke / Beginner
Post # 5 Dec 25, 2014
oh thats completely all partial information, to put it simply a familiar is a familiar spirit one that you regularly work with a familiar spirit if you would calling a spirit a familiar is the equivalent of talking to a person on a first name basis, nothing more nothing less, than again the familiar definition has been warped a lot in the media and internet but what i said is the historic definition, and the asosiation with animals is because spirits tend to take a form preferable to the person who they are working with and the vivid part is because you have a spiritual connection with it so to speak so it basically is the same as good cellphone connection
it's a spiritual bond between you and the animal. i have read some people have trained animals to join them in circle, becoming that of a familiar. personally, while i feel you can train certain animals to sit beside you while meditating, or stay inside the circle, not all are willing to. cats for example, i feel are either born your familiar, or you're out of luck. Deborah Blake [an author i like] owns 4 or 5 cats, only one is helpful with her spellcasting and circlework. all the others are sent to a spare room when her coven is over. [my cats the same way, he has to be placed behind closed doors, otherwise he's walking in and out of the circle, batting at the incense, and knocking things over]
if you do choose to train a familiar, spend time getting to know the animal, discover if it can sit still for a long period of time, or understand what to do inside the circle. best to go with the reward system when training since you don't want any 'bad blood' between you two. [like your dog sits by your altar for a minute, give him a treat, and slowly build up the time from there] as with humans, sometimes animals don't want to sit still for an hour meditating, so observe and understand your familiar. don't always go 'it's three, we meditate now' when your pet clearly wants to play.
The pet as familiar thing is bunk. Even just a little research will support that a familiar is a spirit rather than a literal animal. Your best bet for finding one, rather than train a pet to join you in circle, would be to meditate and reach out to communicate and see what comes around to chat.