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Author Topic: Familiars anyone?  (Read 4110 times)

AthenaiiseSofia

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Familiars anyone?
« on: August 10, 2011, 11:13:33 am »
Hearken back to the days when anyone who wasn't 'normal' was a witch. And said witches all had 'familiars' to do their bidding. If only that were so! I would love if my darling husky would clean up her own doggy stains. :)

How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?

I'll start out. I don't think familiars exist in the sense of critters who are bound to a person and are forced to do their bidding. After all, animals have free will too. Although my pets listen to me, they choose to, and most of the time they choose to have selective hearing. I believe familiars exist in the sense of psychic connections. My pets are too stubborn and silly to be connected to me. They just like food and coddling. And socks. However, I've always felt a connection with crows, ever since they started nesting near my house. Since then, they've followed me everywhere, even to Texas. I'm not saying the same three are tracking me, that's silly, crows have their own agenda. It just seems they always nest nearby, and their cawing soothes me. I know it sounds crazy, and I try not to entertain the thought that I am oh so special and crows love me. I just feel they are here to teach me something. I don't know. Enough of my rambling, please, share your thoughts!
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

Livia Indica

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 11:15:43 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;11985

How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?

I'll start out. I don't think familiars exist in the sense of critters who are bound to a person and are forced to do their bidding. After all, animals have free will too. Although my pets listen to me, they choose to, and most of the time they choose to have selective hearing. I believe familiars exist in the sense of psychic connections. My pets are too stubborn and silly to be connected to me. They just like food and coddling. And socks. However, I've always felt a connection with crows, ever since they started nesting near my house. Since then, they've followed me everywhere, even to Texas. I'm not saying the same three are tracking me, that's silly, crows have their own agenda. It just seems they always nest nearby, and their cawing soothes me. I know it sounds crazy, and I try not to entertain the thought that I am oh so special and crows love me. I just feel they are here to teach me something. I don't know. Enough of my rambling, please, share your thoughts!


I've had lots of my critters "help" me with a working at one time or another but I've never had one who always or even semi-regularly wanted to participate.  You'd think that with as many animals as I've had over the years one would have wanted to take part but no, not really, not in my experience anyway.

There are, however,  plenty of folks who say they have familiars so there must be something to it. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.

stephyjh

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 11:56:03 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;11985
Hearken back to the days when anyone who wasn't 'normal' was a witch. And said witches all had 'familiars' to do their bidding. If only that were so! I would love if my darling husky would clean up her own doggy stains. :)

How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?

I'll start out. I don't think familiars exist in the sense of critters who are bound to a person and are forced to do their bidding. After all, animals have free will too. Although my pets listen to me, they choose to, and most of the time they choose to have selective hearing. I believe familiars exist in the sense of psychic connections. My pets are too stubborn and silly to be connected to me. They just like food and coddling. And socks. However, I've always felt a connection with crows, ever since they started nesting near my house. Since then, they've followed me everywhere, even to Texas. I'm not saying the same three are tracking me, that's silly, crows have their own agenda. It just seems they always nest nearby, and their cawing soothes me. I know it sounds crazy, and I try not to entertain the thought that I am oh so special and crows love me. I just feel they are here to teach me something. I don't know. Enough of my rambling, please, share your thoughts!

 
My cat reacts to the energy when I'm working, but he doesn't participate--if anything, I have to stop him from disrupting, because he's nosy.

There's actually something to the crows nesting near you--corvids are among the few wild animals that actually have a better survival rate in human-populated areas, because it means that they may have access to human garbage, including thrown-out food that is perfectly OK to a bird. The human populations tend to drive out many of the species that compete with corvids for food and nesting space, as well as providing more chances for opportunistic little scroungers to score free meals.
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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monsnoleedra

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 12:55:25 am »
Quote from: Nuri;11985
..How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why? ..


Personally I think this another area that has been watered down and fluffized (not sure thats a word in fact).

Familiars in a magical sense were always non-terresterial magical based creatures or possessing supernatural powers who were summoned to do a magician's bidding and aide them.  Many times only viewable by said magician and included things such as Imps and other very minor creatures, many times demonic in association.  Demonic not necessarily being demonic in a christianized concept but similiar to the Daemon usage of the word in ancient Greece and Rome.

Witches had thier companions such as the perverbial black cat but they were not familiars in the sense of magical work.  They were not even familiars in the sense they possessed any sort of demensional abilities, aided the witch in any casting, potions or enchantments nor were they bound to the witch.  I can't even truly think of any archaic tales or stories that mention witches, sorcerors or the like who had terresterial companions that served in a familiar capacity.

I trully think modern notions of witches having familiars originates from the witch trials.  The so called blemishes that were used to feed the demonic (Christian usage here) creature's bound to the witch.  Even the very notion of familiars and its usage blurring between magicians and witches.

Yet today it seem's as if every witch out there has a familiar in the shape of their cat or Totem.  Totem being another exploited notion for another discussion.

Etheric1

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 01:08:24 am »
Quote from: Livia Indica;12153

There are, however,  plenty of folks who say they have familiars so there must be something to it. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.

 
I'm not sure I'd agree with that.  Plenty of folks come up with some really 'interesting' ideas about, well anything.  Just because there are a number of people that say their pet is a familiar, to me, is not good enough as proof.  Just like a lot of people claim to be psychic and are just full of it.  I have met some people that are very much gifted in one way or another, but just making a claim to something does not make it true.

While I do think some animals are sensitive to rituals and energy, I think 'familiars' is a bit on the fluffy side and made up to be something more than it is.  I suppose some animals may be more inclined to pay attention to metaphysical work, does not mean they all do.  For example, one of my cats I think is more sensitive to energies, and the other I am not so sure about.
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Lokison

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 11:36:05 am »
Quote from: Nuri;11985
How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?

 
Spiders.  Ever since my official "wake up" they have been a constant in my life.  I wouldnt say its a magic thing though vs a Patron thing.  I wear a spider pendant, to honor my Patron, not for any other significance.  I will not kill a spider and have stopped others and saved them.  Spiders tend to somehow know this as well, it creeps some of my friends/family out.  We had a nest egg hatch in our house and there was a TON of babies everywhere.  My kids freaked out... I went and got a cup and as soon as the cup would get near them, they would jump in.  That speaks to me.  

Generally when I have a lot of spider "meetings", I know to get on my toes.  Either my Patron is about to drop something good into my lap... or drop me down a hole for my own good.
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SariusImpariul

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 04:38:56 am »
Quote from: Nuri;11985
Hearken back to the days when anyone who wasn't 'normal' was a witch. And said witches all had 'familiars' to do their bidding. If only that were so! I would love if my darling husky would clean up her own doggy stains. :)

How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?

I'll start out. I don't think familiars exist in the sense of critters who are bound to a person and are forced to do their bidding. After all, animals have free will too. Although my pets listen to me, they choose to, and most of the time they choose to have selective hearing. I believe familiars exist in the sense of psychic connections. My pets are too stubborn and silly to be connected to me. They just like food and coddling. And socks. However, I've always felt a connection with crows, ever since they started nesting near my house. Since then, they've followed me everywhere, even to Texas. I'm not saying the same three are tracking me, that's silly, crows have their own agenda. It just seems they always nest nearby, and their cawing soothes me. I know it sounds crazy, and I try not to entertain the thought that I am oh so special and crows love me. I just feel they are here to teach me something. I don't know. Enough of my rambling, please, share your thoughts!

I'm not sure if I do or don't believe in them. I have had connections and bonds to animals, animals physically and spiritually have connected to me multiple times but I can safely say that I don't have a familiar. I don't know anyone with a familiar that I know of. Still, I like to keep open minded about things until I know for sure that they do or don't exist. I do have animals I feel connected to though. Moth, butterfly, tiger, phoenix, wolf, cats.. phoenix I feel only a slight connection to because of one dream I had years ago that involved one. Tiger is my chinese zodiac, and whenever I read the descriptions of it, there have always been parts that fit me rather well. With butterflies and mothers I would prefer not to explain the reasons, they are personal. Cats? I've been surrounded by physical and spirit cats for so long, so many years by now I should feel at least a little connected to them or have a powerful urge to cat hunt. With wolf.. it's always something that's sort of stalked me.. Thankfully I've never been physically stalked by one. One of my three favorite animals is a dolphin but I don't feel any connection to them at all..

oenothera

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 04:08:23 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;11985

How do you feel about familiars? Do you think there is something to them, even if only an animal you feel connected to? Or do you think it's a bunch of silliness?Why?



I don't know about pets as familiars, but I do believe that, like humans, animals can be empathic to varying levels. A person with an exceptionally empathic cat or dog may well call him/her their "familiar," although I'd be skeptical that the pet is a familiar in the real sense of the word, such as assisting in magic or doing biddings.

Livia Indica

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 01:28:37 am »
Quote from: Etheric1;12168
I'm not sure I'd agree with that.  Plenty of folks come up with some really 'interesting' ideas about, well anything.  Just because there are a number of people that say their pet is a familiar, to me, is not good enough as proof.  Just like a lot of people claim to be psychic and are just full of it.  I have met some people that are very much gifted in one way or another, but just making a claim to something does not make it true.

While I do think some animals are sensitive to rituals and energy, I think 'familiars' is a bit on the fluffy side and made up to be something more than it is.  I suppose some animals may be more inclined to pay attention to metaphysical work, does not mean they all do.  For example, one of my cats I think is more sensitive to energies, and the other I am not so sure about.


Slow down, I wasn't referring to "proof" as you are. I just said I thought there might be "something to it".
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 01:29:03 am by Livia Indica »

Catherine

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 12:03:14 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;12165

Familiars in a magical sense were always non-terresterial magical based creatures or possessing supernatural powers who were summoned to do a magician's bidding and aide them.  Many times only viewable by said magician and included things such as Imps and other very minor creatures, many times demonic in association.  Demonic not necessarily being demonic in a christianized concept but similiar to the Daemon usage of the word in ancient Greece and Rome.


This is pretty much my understanding of familiars too.

To the OP.
I'm not going to say that they don't exist, or that it's impossible for someone to have a familiar, or that a familiar couldn't take the shape of an animal, but I think it's extremely unlikely.

For the most part, I think people confuse their curious house pets with familiars because they don't really know what an actual familiar is supposed to be. I think it's just because there's so much bad information out there.

I can't keep my cat away from my altar when I'm doing something. She sits right next to me and watches every move I make. If I'm cleansing my home, or setting wards, she's right there at my heels. Whatever I'm doing, she has to be a part of it too. Going by the definitions found in most 101 books, she definitely fits the bill, but she's not a familiar. She's just a very curious cat who likes to hang out with me if I'm doing something interesting to her. Sure, she might be attracted to the energy, or feel it in some way. Most likely though, she's hanging out because she likes the sights and smells.

Don't get me wrong, she and I are very close. And yes, I am the crazy cat lady who has conversations with her pet! But I'll believe she's a familiar the day she either morphs into something else, or starts speaking English, or something. After 16 years, that's not likely to happen.;)

Personally, I don't see the point in calling our pets familiars. It's just a little too woo-woo for me. But hey, lots of people feel the same way about using the word witch, so... YMMV.

hufflee

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 12:23:01 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;13039
This is pretty much my understanding of familiars too.

To the OP.
I'm not going to say that they don't exist, or that it's impossible for someone to have a familiar, or that a familiar couldn't take the shape of an animal, but I think it's extremely unlikely.



I couldn't have said it better. I think, for the most part at least, that the people who claim to have familiars do so because they think they're SUPPOSED to have them.

Also, it doesn't seem the least bit curious to me that our pets are interested in energy work. They [animals] tend to be more intuitive/instinctive than people in general. Chances are your dog will know that a storm is coming before you will (barring The Weather Channel of course). Your cat will know there's a mouse inside your wall before you will. They know when you're happy, they know when you're sad, they know when you're mad.

I suppose you could attribute this all to their heightened senses, but what is magic if not a "heightened" sense of our own?
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monsnoleedra

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2011, 12:44:22 pm »
Quote from: hufflee;13041
I couldn't have said it better. I think, for the most part at least, that the people who claim to have familiars do so because they think they're SUPPOSED to have them. ..


That I think is very true.  Especially given how many books say a witch and her familiar type thing (usually a cat if I recall correctly).  If not a familiar then a totem animal but that is another discussion.

BlyssfulWitch

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2011, 05:02:19 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;13045
That I think is very true.  Especially given how many books say a witch and her familiar type thing (usually a cat if I recall correctly).

 
I always thought that a familiar was anything (be it animal, insect or anything else) that the worker had a deep psychic connection with. Kind of like 'mind-reading'.....very close, intimate and telepathic. So I do believe they exist, but I don't believe is is really all that commonplace.

Malkin

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 03:12:02 am »
Quote from: Catherine;13039
This is pretty much my understanding of familiars too.

To the OP.
I'm not going to say that they don't exist, or that it's impossible for someone to have a familiar, or that a familiar couldn't take the shape of an animal, but I think it's extremely unlikely.

For the most part, I think people confuse their curious house pets with familiars because they don't really know what an actual familiar is supposed to be. I think it's just because there's so much bad information out there.

I can't keep my cat away from my altar when I'm doing something. She sits right next to me and watches every move I make. If I'm cleansing my home, or setting wards, she's right there at my heels. Whatever I'm doing, she has to be a part of it too. Going by the definitions found in most 101 books, she definitely fits the bill, but she's not a familiar. She's just a very curious cat who likes to hang out with me if I'm doing something interesting to her. Sure, she might be attracted to the energy, or feel it in some way. Most likely though, she's hanging out because she likes the sights and smells.

Don't get me wrong, she and I are very close. And yes, I am the crazy cat lady who has conversations with her pet! But I'll believe she's a familiar the day she either morphs into something else, or starts speaking English, or something. After 16 years, that's not likely to happen.;)

Personally, I don't see the point in calling our pets familiars. It's just a little too woo-woo for me. But hey, lots of people feel the same way about using the word witch, so... YMMV.

 
That has always been my understanding too - and the only one relevant to my own practice - and I always used to raise an eyebrow at people who claimed their pets had any kind of capacity to aid their magical work. Then I met a very wise and experienced Golden Dawn magician who claimed that his cat was his familiar. I asked him if he was serious, and my High Priest said, "Have you met his cat?"

After having met her, I don't know if I quite believe that she was sent to him by the Hidden Masters or anything like that - but it's clear that she's exceptionally intelligent, likes to lead humans in rituals, and uh...can occasionally speak English. :eek:

spoOk

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Re: Familiars anyone?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 02:00:39 am »
Quote from: Malkin;19230
That has always been my understanding too - and the only one relevant to my own practice - and I always used to raise an eyebrow at people who claimed their pets had any kind of capacity to aid their magical work. Then I met a very wise and experienced Golden Dawn magician who claimed that his cat was his familiar. I asked him if he was serious, and my High Priest said, "Have you met his cat?"

After having met her, I don't know if I quite believe that she was sent to him by the Hidden Masters or anything like that - but it's clear that she's exceptionally intelligent, likes to lead humans in rituals, and uh...can occasionally speak English. :eek:


not perhaps exactly what you were looking for O.P.,but my bestest doggy pal of 15 yrs passed on recently and I was actually kinda looking forward to seeing if he might show up to my workings now that he's in the other.
it doesn't hurt that he was a black smooth haired medium sized dog and I've been working a lot with hekate lately.
I'm curious to see if he decides to pay visits or not.
Ize bel zafen.
Ize bel daleen.

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