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Familiars in Witchcraft: Supernatural Guardians in the Magical Traditions of the World by [Maja D’Aoust]
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Familiars in Witchcraft: Supernatural Guardians in the Magical Traditions of the World Kindle Edition

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Length: 166 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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“Guiding us gently through the realms of black cats and demon lovers, sibyls and oracles, earth angels and falling stars, Maja D’Aoust consistently returns to history and etymology as she reveals how familiar spirits, in their various shapes and forms, have always lived among us.” (Mikita Brottman, author of Phantoms of the Clinic and An Unexplained Death)

“In Familiars in Witchcraft, Maja D’Aoust brings together a vast wealth of lore, history, and incredibly useful insights with such readability and grace. In a subject cloaked in mystery, the author reveals her life experience and devoted education in what should be considered essential reading for the serious occultist and seeker alike.” (Gabriel Dean Roberts, author of The Quest for Gnosis)

“Maja D’Aoust has a unique talent for taking esoteric subjects and presenting them in a way that is lucid and insightful to the contemporary mind. Familiars in Witchcraft is useful to both scholars of the occult and the un-familiar.” (Brian McGreevy, author of Hemlock Grove)

“Maja D’Aoust writes from the depth of her personal experience and never offers simple opinions or conjecture on her subject matter. Instead, what she gives us is background and evidence. Maja is not only a visionary practitioner but also a scholar with an oracle’s ability to draw out what’s important. The magic of Familiars in Witchcraft, and all of Maja’s writing, is the way she pulls knowledge from the vast well of history and presents it to us in a clear, modern, conversational tone. After years of public lecturing, Maja is able to present ideas that can often seem arcane or impenetrable in a way that seems almost effortless. Her work serves as a bridge for lost or ancient wisdom, making it useful and accessible for the reader today.” (Ron Regé Jr., author of The Cartoon Utopia) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1. The Witch’s Familiar

The Soul Mate has captured the imagination of countless individuals who pine and long for a relationship of this deep nature sometime during their life. The soul mate is generally thought to be something deeply connected to you through some magical fated string of providence in the woven blanket of time and space. When most people think of a soul mate, they think of a person, and more specifically a lover or Romantic partner. But what many people feel uncomfortable recognizing is that almost every primitive culture has stories of animal and plant soul mates, or non-human spiritual soul mates and counterparts as well as soul mates who are spirits of the dead. These are most widely known as a “familiar” spirits. The soul mate has taken a multitude of forms in ancient versions of this entity and wasn’t nearly as restrictive as our modern conceptions. Many tales of the Saints address their forming a special soul mate relationship with a mountain, tree, or even a flower. Some Buddhist scholars have put forth that Siddhartha Buddha formed a spiritual link with theBodhi tree he sat under to claim his enlightenment. Some researchers feel it was the tree that instructed him on how to attain his Buddhahood, like a kind of assistant or mentor. The ancient Religion of the Celtic Druids held similar beliefs, that Trees could educate, inspire and Love humans and many Native American tribes claim trees in their ancestors and direct family lineages.

The concept of a special bond with an animal or natural thing symbolizes a bond with the natural world, and the outside universe aside from humanity. Cities and even parts of land or rivers are said to have Familiar spirits to them as well as stars and phenomenon in outer space. Many ancient cultures taught that through the unification of consciousness with animals or other living things in nature, humans enable their consciousness to unite with a larger living force, that of nature itself. When our consciousness unites with this force and we begin to identify with things other than human, our concept of what we are can powerfullygrow out of our ego limitations. This same idea can be applied to the Spirit familiar as well, that by relating to and identifying with a supernatural being, we thus widen our horizon of what our limitations are. A type of a relationship between human beings and either animal, nature or supernatural spirits are mentioned at some point in all ancient cultures, and are not particular to witches. The captivating concept of the soul mate, or a higher spirit level of relating is one that extends so deeply into humanity it would appear to either be a real phenomenon (due to the girth of its extension) or simply an inherent need within us seeking expression.

What exactly is a familiar spirit and why is it called familiar?

It is helpful to examine the word familiar itself and look into the etymology. We find that this word comes from famulus, which is also where we get the word “family”. The word famulus, actually means “servant”, or more specifically a female servant who leads a household through her indentured devotion. This definition of family takes on new meaning when we look at the traditional role of the female housewife as bound to her duty.

The familiar then is a kind of servant to the person with whom it is connected. It is hard not to recognize the hierarchical dominating implications of this idea. The familiar seems more like Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter under this meaning. We can certainly see the same idea of humans “ruling” over nature in the Judeo-Christian bible. In the creation story, Adam earns the privilege of naming all the things on earth, and through his ability to name them he gains dominion over them. This same idea is discussed at length in early Egyptian literature and the origins of animal husbandry and how it was the early people came to domesticate and live together with wild animals in harmonious existence. The domestication of Cattle in order for humans to rule them even had Gods who represented this ability, Hathor for example, the Golden cow goddess who enabled man-kind to calm and castrate the wild bull in order that they might use its strength to plow their fields. Even the word “Domestic” relates back to the concept of Family and home, and the ability to domesticate an animal is really to make them one of us and allow themto enter into our home, our domicile. This is also where we get the word Dominate, an important consideration since if one were to domesticate an animal, you would have to use a strategy in order to ensure it would not attack you. This would be in keepingwith the concept of the familiar as an animal servant, much like Adam wrangled and domesticated the animals by calling them by their name, the witch gains the servitude of the familiar through a special type of taming bond.

This bond that is formed through the domesticated spirit and that of the witch is a bond of trust. It is a relationship between two things based on an understanding and an exchange of services. Familiar spirits can also be literally “Family” spirits, as they can take the form of dead relatives. Ancestors play a huge role in the identity of many Familiar spirits around the globe, and the worship of the dead while keeping relations in them is a highly practiced form of divination. Some of the religious institutions such as Taoism and Hinduism advocate feats of self-domination in order to attract the more powerful Familiars, such as fasting and abstinence. For when we become rulers and dominators of ourselves, we attract those willing to serve and follow us. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 9448 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 166 pages
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1620558467
  • Publisher : Destiny Books (16 July 2019)
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • ASIN : B07JZK6HG1
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 14 ratings
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