Some newbies may have questions about familiars. What is a familiar and how do I find mine? For me it's my cat. I knew right away that she was mine. It's a connection you feel and an animal who is always with you when you are at your alters. Has your cat or dog or any other animal in your house look at someone and just stare them down or they are so protective over of you you wonder what is up with them? They may be your familiar. You may also have more then one animal that does that. You can have more then one familiar which I found interesting. This website has really good information about familiars.
So, my cat (who I have known since he was a kitten, and he's roughly two and a half years old now) is very loyal to me. He always wants to be in my room, and other members of my family have stated that he is always waiting outside of my room when I'm not home to let him in. As soon as I get home, he comes to greet me. I know, pretty normal, right?
There's a bit more than that, though. For one, he's very "aware". When I speak to him, it's as if he understands what I am saying. One time I jokingly insulted him, and he got up, walked all the way to the other side of the bed, laid down there, and kept shooting glares at me every now and then. When I apologized, he came right back. There have been other instances like this, and I swear he rolled his eyes at a joke I made once. I understand him well, too. We have such easy communication- I've never experienced this with any other animal before.
In movies there are always animals and people that are "meant for each other" (like Opal and Winndixie in "Because of Winndixie.") I feel this way about my cat. He is social and is nice around other people, but I feel like my bond with him is different. I've also noticed that he's realized people were bad before I even knew; he hated my abusive ex, and I didn't realize why until after that relationship ended.
I can also call out to him. I focus on what he looks like and visualize him coming to me, as well as calling for him to come mentally and emotionally. Most of the time, he is there in a minute (if not sooner.) I have what I call an empathetic bond with him; we can communicate supernaturally, and I'm pretty sure he can feel my emotions.
I really don't know if he's a familiar, though. He has exhibited awareness far beyond that of the average cat- I even caught him staring at a spirit once (I could also see/feel it, and it was the ceiling, so I don't think there was any other reason he was looking there, especially when there's so much else in my room he's interested in.) It's also a possibility he just wants into my room because 1. the aquarium (he likes to drink water out of it when I'm not looking) and 2. my rodents (whom he loves to watch.) He is my therapy cat (not officially, but he comes to me when I am distressed) so maybe that could explain our bond. I am an Empath, though, so that could explain it too (I've formed empathetic bonds with people I've grown close too as well; he is the first animal this has happened with.)
My family has said he is very protective of me, and I've observed this myself. I first 'met' him when he was a kitten, though he was my sister's cat at the time. She's taken him and then given him back to us at least twice. He doesn't listen to her like he does to me, which makes her frustrated, I think.
My real question is- could he be my familiar (or have the potential to be?) If he is, what should I do?
What's the difference between familiar and friend?
Any animal can be raised and become loyal and loving to you. Almost all animals are capable and will display affection for you. So what meals 'familiar' more special in the case that it deserves it's own name?
I'm probably not the best person to speak on this, but the bond is different. I've loved many animals in my life to the point where I considered them my children. With my familiar, it is different. I can communicate with him so well it's like we speak our own secret language. He responds to supernatural phenomena, even when my other animals remain oblivious. He always wants to be in my magical space (in this case, my room) and he is 'smarter' than most animals.
Some people consider familiars to be otherworldly, and I say to each their own. I personally think familiars are just exceptionally perceptive animals that
1.) you have a very strong, unique bond with
2.) you can communicate with
3.) aid you in your magic.
Re: What is a familiar? By: Lark Moderator / Adept
Post # 10 Oct 19, 2015
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.