Witches,Familiars,Sabbats and Shaman Lore
Animal familiars work on the same basis as animal totems,power animals,spirit animals and spirit guides.Some familiars serve as a spirit guide rather then just a guardian or servitor.These practices are more focused on a shamanistic practice rather then demonic consorts.During the witch trials,some witches claimed they went into a trance and travelled to the spirit world to battle spirits to protect their crops and villages from illness.This is a form of the witches sabbat.
Familiars were and are needed to healing and magickal powers.Some of these familiars are sent into battle with and for witches.They also battle another witch’s familiar in witch wars.
Servitors can be created for this purpose however you can summon your own familiars for yourself.
Witches and Familiars
European tales speak of witches having familiars such as ravens,toads,cat and rabbit.These creatures are significant in the craft.Witches would make an evocation to bring forth elementals and the ‘devil’ grants their wish.These can be a number of living things such as animals,plants,trees and stones.They are to do the bidding of the witch,transport her and accompany her to sabbats.Some familiars take on a dream form while others take on a living flesh form.Others can be servitiors or ritual thoughtforms sent out to do the work of a witch.
To make a spell thoughtform or servititor,draw out the sigil of the form you wish it to take.Sigil should be charged with sexual fluids.If a vampiric one,charge with blood and sex fluids.You can create a familiar with bat wings,body of a lion with the head of a cat with the face of a mouse if you wish.In the dream world,you can appear to have many spirits and animals swirling and doing your bidding.
I have always had the traditional cat familiar and have a few others.I am expanding into a few more for a specific purposes.I travel with one or more familars almost every time which a few have witnessed.There are a few demons who give good familiars.I personally have never used a demon to gain familiars .Many things can be done with this concept.One daemon does transport me places easily.I view him much as a familair spirit.
Witch’s Guardians and Familiars
In myth and legend,witches always had familiars and deamons that did her bidding.Today,its a very much lost art.Familiars can refer to a witch’s pets who may do her bidding at times.I have several animals that aide me. Some are servitors and some are flesh.Familiars can be other spirits though.You could have an individual fae spirit or a tree.You can have an individual were wolf spirit that you take into your custody.These creatures can be your familiar,your own army.I am not referring to an energy of an entity such as Lucifer. There are four ways to gain individual familiars.One is a servitor spirit which most are familiar with.The second is a summoning rite where you summon a creature for a purpose.Third is to ask an entity for a creature of your own .Fourth is through a spirit vessel binding which can be by force or choice by the spirit.Spirit vessel bindings can include any type of spirit including both living and dead souls.I am not against using an enemy soul as a slave or battery.You can gain many kinds of spirits for yourself which is a more personal relationship.You may have a close connection with Lucifer however its not the same as having your own dragon working with you or for you.These types of familiars may be yours by claiming them,by pact or an exchange.Mine choose to stay on their accord.Some may enjoy the comforts of a home or affection.Everything is personal and individual.Make your practice your own.
A familiar is a creature that regularly helps a witch with her craft.They can be corporeal existing in blood and flesh and incorporeal existing in a spirtit/astral form.
Corporeal Familiars are usually common pets that have a special working relationship with the witch.It is forged by mutual trust and love.At times,they are fed the witch’s blood.A witch may have one or more corporeal familiars who make themselves useful when the witch is crafting.My dog has been fed my blood to link us and we are linked.
Incorporeal familiars are considered an imp,fae ,daemon spirit that gives the witch or her workings special powers or effects.Spirits of the Goetia fit the familiar description nicely as they are able to manifest and act as a familiar.
In voodoun,familiar spirits can be housed in a lidded jar that is decorated.Fancy sugar bowls,empty liquor bottles,animal or odd shaped jars can be used as spirit vessels.Fill these jars with hair,nail clippings and your blood as well as spirit attrcting herbs associated with your type of familiar.Charms can be added or a fed lodestone.A drawing powder,sugar or honey is a good additive.Some approach a deity or higher spirit to obtain a familiar.Others do a summoning spell.I summon.Once a familiar is obtained.It is best to feed them.Standard food is bread,milk,honey or alcohol mixed with your blood.Dress your familiar’s jar up,make it look nice.Put it in a safe place with offerings around it.Feed it at least once a month regularly.You can call your familiar forward to complete tasks,add it’s energy to your craft workings or have them teach you the craft.Familiars can be attached to jewelry and certain stones.In fairytales,familiars are given in crisis.I feel you can have them arrive that way but you can summon them just as well.
Witches,Familiars and Lore
The word familiar is based off of the latin word meaning servant due to the familiar’s role of serving the witch to whom they are attached.As an attendant,some of the familiar’s role are to protect,guide,teach magickal/healing arts and to do the witch’s bidding to complete sinister deeds.Most of the time,the familiar as an animal that is often seen as a pet or companion that aids in magick.To some,the familiar exists more as a spirit and is never an animal.Lesser demons,nature spirits,fairies and hobgoblins are the most common familiars.Even the dead can be in service to the witch.The practice of familiars is more prevalent in England,Scotland and Spain.Familiars are seen usually in the form of comfortable animal forms.
Toads are the most common in lore with the black cat right behind them.They are dressed and given bells.Some are made to dance at the witch’s request or demand.
Familiars work mostly for food.Other familiars are ferrets,weasels,rodents,rabbits and insects.Familiars can be passed down through families from parent to child.They can be gifted from a powerful spirit from the Other world.
Demons as familiars.Fae have been equated with demons,Most say they are the same being.I have a demon familiar who is my main familiar.We have a rough play relationship.Our relationship can be challenging with many rewards.Some recieve familiars from the Fae Court or the Devil himself.
One of the most powerful gifts conveyed from a familiar is the ability to assume its form to travel and complete tasks.I have a few familiar spirits that are easy while one is challenging,it is one of the most rewarding personal relationships I have ever experienced.