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Familiars? real or not???

Forums ► General Info ► Familiars? real or not???
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Familiars? real or not???
Post # 1
Are familiars real? And I so is there a way I can get to know mine? Thanks
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Re: Familiars? real or not???
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

The idea that a pet is the same as a familiar came from the centuries when poor women who had only a pet for company were often accused of being Witches.. It has continued in modern times because 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? real or not???
By: / Novice
Post # 3
i've heard different things so i guess you should research and decide for yourself. historically [as Lark pointed out] the familiar was the pet [usually a black animal like a raven, dog, or cat] of some 'creepy old lady'. something bad happens, someone notices the womans pet suddenly it was her fault.

i've heard familiars are animals you have a sacred bond with, animals you put extra energy into, your own energy [not physical] in the shape of an animal, or an animal who can help with magick and/or sense energy. [personally i believe the spiritual bond theory.]

i did read in Alaric Albertssons book To Walk A Pagan Path you could train you pet to join you in circle, meditations, spells and other magick workings [depending on the kind determines what extend of course] if you have a pet you could try bringing it into your practice. on the other hand, Deborah Blake [an author i love] mentioned how she has a couple cats and only one is understanding of circle [the others need to be put behind closed doors during coven meetings] so again, it depends on the animal. there is a bond i feel you should have, so observe you pet, understand sometimes you want to meditate but they want to play.
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Re: Familiars? real or not???
Post # 4
I would advise against "training" a living animal as a familiar.

Beyond the fact they're a distraction. Magik is a mental/energy endeavor. If you experience negative effects, the animal will experience it too.
As for my older cat, she just hangs around when I practice. I'm sure she's aware of what I'm doing, yet hasn't shown any objections.

I'd suggest creating one, either with a bought object or handcrafting one. You'll be in full control of the energy you store within, and draw out.
I prefer this method.
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Re: Familiars? real or not???
Post # 5
My experience and knowledge with them is limited, but from what I do understand is that, in addition to creatures known as familiars, there are animals that one is spiritually connected; perhaps from having a past life as one or having animal guides that are moving us towards what we need.

In other cases, I myself have noticed that something as innocuous as a favorite animal tells a lot about yourself, including the favorite animals of your family. Each animal is known for a symbolic traits and, looking honestly at oneself, it can be very interesting what animals influence your life.
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Re: Familiars? real or not???
Post # 6
I have a familiar. It's a cat, I've had her my whole life. She only leaves my side when needed.
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