What Is A Familiar?
Popular lore has it that a familiar is a ‘witches helper’ and that the word itself derives from the Latin word for a servant. But that seems like a construct, stemming from a time in which people could imagine few other types of relationships.
If witches are shamans, who are aware of or journey in other dimensions, then the familiar is the creature who is familiar in these different realms. They are usually animals already credited with magical powers. Ravens have always been said to have an identity in this world and one behind the veil. Cats are also inter-dimensional.
Was the cat seen as evil by the medieval witch hunters because of their high status in old Pagan cultures? Ancient Egyptians revered them, and the Cat Goddess Bast was one of the most popular deities. Nearly every household had a shrine to her. Or, did the Church inquisitors and obsessed local councils demonize people’s bonds with animals in their eagerness to persecute?
Of Course, Witches Preferred The Company Of Ravens And Cats To The Malleus Maleficarum Crew
They mostly went after mature and independent women of means or young outlier girls. It seems understandable that those females preferred to hang out with ravens, cats or even wolves than with the Malleus Maleficarum crew.
“Three hundred years ago people believed in the devil. They believed if an incident could not be explained, then the cause was something wicked, and that cause was often a woman who was said to be a witch. Women who did as they pleased, women with propriety, women who had enemies, women who took lovers, women who knew about the mysteries of childbirth, all were suspect…”
Alice Hoffman – The Rules Of Magic
Familiars Travel Between Lifetimes
Anyone who has a cat will attest to their frequent intent gazing at things we cannot see. They’re attuned to dark matter, quintessence and other realms. A reminder; occult means hidden, that’s it. Animals are also more attuned to nature, the Schumann Resonance and lunar rhythms than most people. A close connection to a creature means some of that rubs off.
We’re fond of many companion animals, of course. But the familiars are the ones we form super-strength spiritual bonds with. They come into our lives via weird means, and we feel their presence long after they depart. The real familiars are always there, life after life. They are a comforting presence in times of transition. What is a Familiar? A guide or guiding intelligence in animal form, whose spirit is known to the person.
Bottom Image: Evelyn De Morgan