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Author Topic: Familiars  (Read 766 times)

Nixie-Tartarus

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Familiars
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:18:15 am »
I have been blessed with a cat I rescued that I believe has become my familiar. She takes avid interest in any of my spiritual working and I believe we've bonded enough that we can sense each others feelings a thoughts. Was just wondering what other peoples experiences were with familiars, what different animals you've had that bond with, and just general thoughts and opinions :)
\'\'My mother says I must not pass, Too near that glass; She is afraid that I will see, A little witch that looks like me; With a red mouth to whisper low, The very thing I should not know”

Faemon

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 04:43:46 am »
Quote from: Nixie-Tartarus;135268
I have been blessed with a cat I rescued that I believe has become my familiar. She takes avid interest in any of my spiritual working and I believe we've bonded enough that we can sense each others feelings a thoughts. Was just wondering what other peoples experiences were with familiars, what different animals you've had that bond with, and just general thoughts and opinions :)


The way I've come to use the word is very different than the witchcraft (although I guess it is still witchcraft) sense in that 1. my familiars are not always animals, and 2. my familiars are almost never physical.

They're just regular spirits that I work with, and have grown familiar with as they have with me (I hope). I guess other people call them guides, gods, or ancestors...but if I had also rescued an animal that seemed to take an interest in my spiritual activities, then I'd still call it a pet or at most an assistant because I've gotten used to the way I use the word familiar.
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SunflowerP

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 06:43:00 pm »
Quote from: triple_entendre;135272
The way I've come to use the word is very different than the witchcraft (although I guess it is still witchcraft) sense in that 1. my familiars are not always animals, and 2. my familiars are almost never physical.

They're just regular spirits that I work with, and have grown familiar with as they have with me (I hope). I guess other people call them guides, gods, or ancestors...but if I had also rescued an animal that seemed to take an interest in my spiritual activities, then I'd still call it a pet or at most an assistant because I've gotten used to the way I use the word familiar.

 
That'd actually be much closer to the traditional meaning of 'familiar'. The usage to apply to a living pet is a very modern one, and possibly would be better expressed as 'magical companion animal'.

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Gaudior

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 07:37:32 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;135359
That'd actually be much closer to the traditional meaning of 'familiar'. The usage to apply to a living pet is a very modern one, and possibly would be better expressed as 'magical companion animal'.

Sunflower

 

Ha, beat me to it xD

Familiars are spirits, and can take the forms of animals, but they aren't animals themselves.

Nixie-Tartarus

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 08:16:06 pm »
Quote from: Gaudior;135367
Ha, beat me to it xD

Familiars are spirits, and can take the forms of animals, but they aren't animals themselves.

 
Yes, I believe this too. I will not get into the whole story (quite long). But me and my cat were brought together by what I think were predetermined circumstances. I feel she is more then a simple pet (or family member like I feel about my other pets). I do think that familiars are indeed a spirit and don't need a physical form for someone to connect to theirs. And I am interested in learning about all familiar relationship if that be physical and strictly spiritual.
\'\'My mother says I must not pass, Too near that glass; She is afraid that I will see, A little witch that looks like me; With a red mouth to whisper low, The very thing I should not know”

AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 03:00:32 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;135359
That'd actually be much closer to the traditional meaning of 'familiar'. The usage to apply to a living pet is a very modern one, and possibly would be better expressed as 'magical companion animal'.

Sunflower


I agree. While I can't say my cat Itzer is a familiar in the spirit sense, I would definitely say he is a "magical companion." However, I have experienced familiars in the spirit sense, and they've always come to me in the form of crows, mostly in dreams.
 
Quote from: Nixie-Tartarus;135268
I have been blessed with a cat I rescued that I believe has become my familiar. She takes avid interest in any of my spiritual working and I believe we've bonded enough that we can sense each others feelings a thoughts. Was just wondering what other peoples experiences were with familiars, what different animals you've had that bond with, and just general thoughts and opinions :)

 
Both Itzer and Loki, my two cats, love "helping" with my magical workings. They watch so intently, and won't leave. Before I actually begin my work, they play with altar cloths and bowls. But as soon as I actually begin the ritual, they are so still and attentive. My mother has the same thing going on with her dog. While I don't think our pets are spiritual familiars, they are definitely in tune with what's going on.
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herenow

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 03:11:18 pm »
Quote from: Nixie-Tartarus;135268
.... Was just wondering what other peoples experiences were with familiars, what different animals you've had that bond with, and just general thoughts and opinions :)

 
Woodpeckers for me.
Long history of being guided to the right things by them.

Freesia

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 04:53:28 am »
Quote from: Nixie-Tartarus;135374
Yes, I believe this too. I will not get into the whole story (quite long). But me and my cat were brought together by what I think were predetermined circumstances. I feel she is more then a simple pet (or family member like I feel about my other pets). I do think that familiars are indeed a spirit and don't need a physical form for someone to connect to theirs. And I am interested in learning about all familiar relationship if that be physical and strictly spiritual.

 
My old tabby and I had the same relationship. He was the smartest animal I've ever met. I still tell people he was an elf or goblin who took the form of a cat so he could live out the end of his life in comfort.

SleepingCompass

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 01:35:26 pm »
Quote from: Gaudior;135367
Familiars are spirits, and can take the forms of animals, but they aren't animals themselves.


It just sounds like arguing about semantics to me.  

I kind of like how this person, Valentina Kaquatosh, answered a similar difference of opinion:

There is NO physical animal body involved in the traditional idea of familiar, BUT a new “type” has been defined in modern Witchcraft. This type of familiar is based on the concepts of animism — that there are no true separations between the physical and spiritual — animals, humans, spirits, etc., and each has its own unique soul, but we can share soul energy with each other. Every physical thing is spiritual in nature, but not everything spiritual is united together. We can have spiritual/psychic relationships with other souls whether they are living in a body or are in spirit form.

The concept of a physical or animal familiar is not really “new” to tribal peoples but is not historically traditional in western magical practice. I don’t want to bring race into it, but culturally I’ve had a difficult time trying to balance between the two belief systems. Eventually I had to go with my own personal experience — giving credence and respect to both ways, yet still voicing what I feel is right.

Not all Witches agree on what they term is a familiar, too. Some go by what is pure fancy, some go by the traditional like you do, then there are those like me who are influenced by American Indian traditions that teach us animals can bond with us spiritually here on earth…


The dog I grew up with is one of my familiars (I feel him sometimes still) and my current dog now is also one of my familiars.  

A bit of my soul is permanently bonded with both of them.

Redfaery

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Re: Familiars
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 04:16:01 am »
Quote from: Nixie-Tartarus;135268
I have been blessed with a cat I rescued that I believe has become my familiar. She takes avid interest in any of my spiritual working and I believe we've bonded enough that we can sense each others feelings a thoughts. Was just wondering what other peoples experiences were with familiars, what different animals you've had that bond with, and just general thoughts and opinions :)

I'd love to have a cat familiar, but right now, my familiars are both thought forms that I've created through years of intense creativity. They're characters from a story I've been writing for about nine years.

My primary one is good little Joren, a very wise little girl, who narrates most of the story. She is technically an immature hannya (a female oni) but is a very good little child and very sweet and helpful. It's impossible not to love her and fuss over her. Just look at her!

« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 04:17:42 am by Redfaery »
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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