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Familiars: A Witch’s Companion Spirit

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

In the world of mysticism and magic, “Familiars” are fundamental and multifaceted core idea. The term “Familiar Spirits” belongs to very old traditions and it is used to describe “friendly magical entities”, or generally, supernatural entities that willingly follow and cooperate with magicians and witches out of their own volition.

According to tradition, the term “Familiars” was used to describe demonic entities that were sent by the Devil, with the sole purpose to help, protect, and empower wizards and witches that had made a pact with him, in order to fulfil their satanic mission. This is a stigma that people have overcome in recent generations as we now know that “traditional” witches do not make pact with the Devil or are malevolent. We have a better understanding of facts and we do no longer support mediaeval propaganda.

Familiars seem to bond with their magical human partners, especially on occasions where there is a mutual understanding and respect, to the point that there “service” exceed the boundaries of duty and it becomes a lifelong partnership that lasts until the death of one of the parties.

According to legends and mediaeval fairy tales, familiars’ form had not specific shape or size, it was as if they were balancing between two worlds, but when they had to interact with outsiders in the physical world they preferred to take the form of everyday animals. These animals were usually cats, rats, bats, dogs, and more rare occasions even spiders, snakes, and owls. Their true form though was not compromised by that, as according to legend they usually transformed in shadows, fog, and even take atrocious forms when their master needed them to do so.

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Even though the term “Master” is used, we need to make clear that familiars, even in situations where their “Master” insisted on one of their command, familiars still remained autonomous and free by nature, and this is what separates them from the “lower status” demonic entities which magicians use the control by force with the use of bindings, charms, contracts etc.

Practically speaking, one can argue that familiars were simply naturally “smarter than average” animals that due to their domestication and constant involvement with humans they managed to develop a more human-like personality and behaviour. For example, massive dogs that protect their owners, big black card that attack anyone who annoys their owner, even strange birds that select to bring gifts to humans or specific houses to make arrests. After all which-folk were always close to nature and very welcoming to her creatures. They respected life in all forms and shapes and it is only natural that animals would feel more safe among them.

Based on everything said above, there are three commonly occurring questions, usually among people who are new to the occult and the magical crafts. These questions are:

  1. Is it possible for me to get a familiar, and how?

  2. If yes, which one should I choose?

  3. Will this affect my life?

The most simple answers we can give to that are the following:

1) Yes, it is possible to get a familiar, but one has to understand that this is something extremely rare. Perhaps only a handful of people that are alive today can genuinely say that they have encountered such entities and even less can claim that they are in partnership with one.

A familiar, if it comes, it will come on its own. As a further advise, do not try to force one or get involved into trapping demonic entities.

  1. As we mentioned in answer one, a familiar is not something that one can choose. Of course, if one is lucky enough to get familiar they can cooperate with it and choose the forms it can take.

  2. Obtaining a familiar by any means surely changes one’s life. Either by having a familiar coming on its own or forcing a being or demonic entity to take its place, it is a life changing experience. In the first case it could be the start of a loving lifelong partnership, with mutual understanding, teachings, and development. The second case though is a bit different. This could be a very dangerous path that will probably lead to infuriating the enslaved being and causing it to take its revenge.

In our day and age the term “Familiar” is quite blurred. The difference between a simple pet that seems to have some special traits and perhaps being a “host” for something supernatural, is simply there “owner”. We live in an age in which is very common to have a pet, as people have come closer to animals and it is no longer considered a rare occasion for humans of any social class and background to have a furry, or not so furry friend. There is always the possibility for someone to select an animal of their choice, and through their symbiosis have it obtain the role of a familiar. The stronger cases of course, are those which are created when an animal selected human companion. For example having a stray little cat or dog following your home, or a bird that keeps visiting you and sit on your windowsill. Of course this is not always the case but then again it does not mean that you cannot form a familiar bond with an animal through symbiosis, especially if this happens when the animal is still young.

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If you choose to adopt an animal, keep in mind that most domestic species that have been born around a human environment carry less wild instincts within them, which makes them much easier to handle and bond with. The best option is to adopt an animal in need. Animal shelters are always a great option, and they make a great opportunity to find a forever companion and bond with someone who really needs you.

Please try to avoid choosing your animal companion from breeders, as this is not only an ethical practice in most cases, but also these animals tend to have higher levels of stress and problems with their behaviour.

Also, try to abstain from the idea that the familiar should be a wild animal that cannot be easily found or an exotic species. Please understand that it is harmful to try and capture a wild animal, especially species like owls, ravens, wild lizards, squirrels, and more. If one of these animals follow you though, then this is their choice and perhaps it is meant to be.

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Here is a list of some of the most popular, and suitable animal companions:

1) Cat

The association between cats and humans has a long religious and traditional history for the past 10,000 years. They have a strong, unique personality, they are always on guard and they have a fascinating potential. Cats, contrary to other species, have the unique characteristic that “they cannot be taught”, but there are still able to learn. By their nature, they have an aristocratic, independent, and almost human-like personality. They have beautiful personality traits that they express especially when they coexist in a harmonic relationship with those around them.

2) Dog

Dogs have been, in time immemorial, man’s best friend. Their potential can range to the extremes, and it is not rare, especially in smaller communities, to hear about strange stories of dogs who have portrayed unusual or even mysterious behaviour. In many traditions, dogs, were the embodiment of otherworldly beings as well as physical form preferred by supernatural entities and shape shifters. To observe dogs with behaviours and personalities such as these mentioned in stories, one is more likely to do so if they are around villages, small communities, rural areas, and nature, as dogs that live in the city tend to be more disconnected from their natural instincts as they tend to live far from their natural habitat, and they usually only socialise with the members of a single household.

3) Parrot

Out of all the bird species, parrots, are perhaps the most suitable ones as a human companion. Especially the ones who are hand-fed from a young age, tend to form extremely strong bonds with their human partners and in some cases they can stay in the same family for generations, as some species have much larger lifespans than that of humans. Parrots are extremely smart and they can be fully integrated the daily life of the family whether you live in the city or the countryside, plus their feathers (when they are naturally shed) they can be used for all sorts of charms and other magical crafts.

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Familiars though, are not only the animal species mentioned above, and in some cases they might not even be any of the animal species at all. Especially when one is referring to “True Familiars” natures spirits can take all forms and sizes. Most of us have sported “this odd house” with the glorious garden that gives off an “eerie” feeling. I’m talking about the type of house that seems to hide the secret, or many, and the flora in the area seems to have taken over completely, encasing it and making it look like an enchanted forest.

Gardens themselves are made of plants and plants are forms of life which are capable of supporting and hosting other life forms. From leaves, roots, flowers, and branches, to bees, warns, bugs, another little critters, a garden can host one or many familiars, or the entire entity itself.

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