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Familiars
lemur
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Post: #1
Familiars
Hey guys! I searched the forum for info on familiars, but found mostly that snippet in kahoku's article, and someone mentioning they suspected they were a familiar (that, and unrelated usages of the word "familiar" aha). I'm just wondering what your personal opinion/knowledge/ideas about them are, and if you have any information (books, sites, etc) you'd particularly recommend with different perspectives. Thank you in advance. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
2010-01-29 14:06
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kahoku
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Post: #2
Re: Familiars
there are some people on ok.com who identify as familiars/guardians, and i think there was a discussion about it. can't check right now, ok.com is currently down.

what exactly would you like to know?

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2010-01-29 14:33
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lemur
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Post: #3
Re: Familiars
Right now I'm still looking for information in general, but off the top of my head I can think of some questions:

1. What would you say a familiar "looks like"? Do they have any particular form, do they shapeshift (e.g. looking like a person one second and a bird the next and so on), do they *always* take the form of animals? This might sound like an awkward question, but so far I'm only coming across references of familiars who take the shape of animals or, according to Wiki, humans (and I have no clue if this is from an actual source or if it's just a [citation needed] part). Not just what is mentioned in sources, but your views on this too. Is the animal part always accurate? Do familiars have that form inherentely or what? Stuff like that. I'm guessing shapeshifting and having appearances other than animals but I have no idea if it's anywhere close (I just googled that and apparently, during a witch trial in England a familiar who supposedly took the form of a little boy was noted, but I have no clue if that was just ye olde paranoia or remotely close).

2. Are there any forms of classification among familiars? Probably a pointless question.

3. I can't actually think of anymore specific questions, because right now I'm still only down to reading general information and different accounts (though most older accounts I find are waaaay too Malleus Maleficarum as they're mostly a) based on accounts given by witnesses at witch trials or b) accounts by judges and such).
2010-01-29 15:49
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Post: #4
Re: Familiars
I suppose it depends on your definition of "familiar". In Wicca, if I remember correctly that is, a familiar is usually a household pet or animal that you have a lot of contact with that can help with magical rituals. I'd be more inclined to think that a wild animal/totem/spiritual entity/etc. would be more like a spiritual helper than a familiar.
Dictionary.com has this to say: familiar spirit: noun; a supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend on or serve a person. Also called familiar. Origin: 1555–65

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2010-01-29 16:37
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lemur
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Post: #5
Re: Familiars
As far as I recall there was a bit of controversy on another thread about familiars being actual household pets. I also think that doesn't make much sense, and as far as I can see it's mostly a Wicca thing anyway (and I'm just not into Wicca, at all. No offense to anyone, I'm just not into it). I was referring more to familiars (at least in the context of this thread) in the "supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend on or serve a person" sense rather than the "household pet that might help with rituals". Also I've been reading of several people relating animal totems and familiars but I have no idea how accurate that is (especially because I have no clue about animal totems beyond the general idea). To what extent do they help? I've always thought animal totems would be more of a spiritual guide (?).
2010-01-30 9:21
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Post: #6
Re: Familiars
lemur Wrote:1. What would you say a familiar "looks like"?

that's like asking "what does an animal look like?" - you can't really answer it. familiars come in all sizes and shapes. the only thing they all have in common is a job description. familiars are entities that accompany and assist another being, thus they can be animal, spirit, demon, whatever.

in my case, i was not an animal nor did i have an animal shape. *shrug*

Quote:2. Are there any forms of classification among familiars? Probably a pointless question.

indeed.

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2010-02-01 8:32
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Post: #7
Re: Familiars
Sometimes when I sleep I will have invisible critters jump on me . They kind of have cat like weight and size maybe but they're not cats . I can't see them and they don't seem to be out to hurt me . Perhaps those are familiars in spirit forms .
2010-02-03 6:46
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Post: #8
Re: Familiars
Though the folklore definition says this: "Familiar - noun - an evil spirit constantly attending someone and typically dwelling within an animal; also, the animal within which such a spirit dwells", I believe the word 'familiar' describes a job not a being. A familiar can take the form of an animal, (wild or domestic) or could be humanoid, angelic etc. To me this is a creature who's intentions are good, they only wish to help you be more than you could be alone. They could be in solid form or spiritual.
I believe that the reason they are seen as evil/demonic by some is because traditionally they are associated with witches and witches were always thought to be followers of the Devil.
For me they are guides, guardians, helpers or protectors. Like a kind of guardian angel or spirit guide.
2010-06-06 0:44
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Post: #9
Re: Familiars
The question is how you define familiar?

For me familiar is lower ranked demon (=weaker than me) than me that I can command to do what I need hir to do.
Maybe constructs could be counted as familiars too but I aint sure about that, depends on how you define familiar, I guess.

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2010-06-16 6:16
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