Re: doubt about familiars By: wiccanery / Beginner
Post # 2 Sep 26, 2017
You don't exactly "make" your cat your familiar. A familiar is a specific spirit (sometimes can be incarnated in a pet, yes, but that doesn't make every pet a familiar) that you have a particular and strong connection with and that helps you with your magic in different ways.
If you want a familiar, the best way would be to meditate on it and wait to see if a familiar comes to you. Not everyone has a familiar and sometimes not everyone is "meant" to have one.
As a final note, I'm not sure if I'm confusing "companions" with "familiars", sorry if I rambled on the wrong thing.
Okay, I skimmed through a book about familiars, so most of this is just what I remember...
There are two types of familiars. There are Astral ones and Physical ones. A Physical familiar was described in the book as a pet that you have a connection with. An example the author used was that when she was doing a ritual her cat would interrupt it if the cat knew the ritual was going to fail or she was doing it wrong. So it's just a "Pet" that you do magic with, or you have a special connection.
A Spiritual familiar is something you meditate to "gain". I didn't read that far, but I believe it is somewhat like Astral projection; you go to an astral (forest, field, lake) and you speak to the animals there.
The book was Animal Magick by D.J.Conway and I highly recommend it. ^^
Re: doubt about familiars By: Weatherwax / Knowledgeable
Post # 8 Oct 01, 2017
DJ Conway is about as trustworthy as a shady dealer in a back alley - I actually would trust the shady dealer more than her information.
Familiars are Spirits that are in service to a Witch - they are workers, you can form good bonds with them but at the end of the day - they do your work/help with your work.
You get them in many different ways, through Summoning them, asking a Demon to provide you with them, meditation and journeying to find a spirit that would want to work with you.
Now real animals in relation to magic is interesting, mainly because animals have better senses to the movements of the planet than we do - such as knowing when to flee before disaster srtikes, they are more sensitive to vibrations - now in relation to interupting rituals and magic - it can come back to that - they could feel the vibrations and decided it would harm their owner more than help them - there is where Animals fit into magic in that sense (Apart of their remains being used in Magic)
But a physical animal is not a Familiar - your pet isn't your 'servant', your pet won't go out and spill ill will onto a neighbour, but they may scare some lesser spirits/beings away.
Re: doubt about familiars By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9 Oct 01, 2017
D.J.Conway is not a reliable author and frequently writes absolute rubbish in her books. She is not recommended for anyone who is looking for accurate information on magical subjects.
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.
There is a really great article about familiars written by our own Weatherwax that you can find at