Familiars in Witchcraft

Books

Exploring the history and creation of a “witch’s familiar,” also known as a spirit double or guardian spirit, Maja D’Aoust shows us in "Familiars in Witchraft" how there is much more to these supernatural servant spirits and guardians than meets the eye. She reveals how Witches are not the only ones to lay claim to this magical assistant, and examines how the many forms of witch’s familiars are well known in folklore throughout Europe and America as well as in Shamanic and Magical traditions around the world.

You'll learn how familiars are connected with shapeshifting, and how the classic familiars of the medieval witchcraft tradition are related to the power animals and allies of shamanic practices worldwide, including animal guardian spirits of Native American traditions and the daimons of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Maja also examines the fetch spirit, also known as the fylgia in Scandinavian tradition, and how the witch or sorcerer draws on their personal sexual energy to give this creature its power to magnetize and attract what it was sent to retrieve. She looks at incubus, succubus, doubles, doppelgangers, and soul mates, showing how familiars can also adopt human forms and sometimes form romantic or erotic attachments with the witch or shaman.

Reviewing alchemical, Hermetic, and Egyptian magical literature, including the nearly forgotten alchemical works of Anna Kingsford, D’Aoust explores their instructions for procuring the attention of a supernatural assistant as well as an extensive description of the alchemical wedding and how this ritual joins the magician and familiar spirit into a single unified consciousness. Exploring fairy familiars, she reveals how a practitioner can establish a “marriage” with a totemic plant or tree spirit, who, in return, would offer teachings about its medicinal and visionary powers.

Delving deeply into the intimate relations of humanity with the spirit world, Maja shows how forming connections with living forces other than human enables us to move beyond the ego, expand our magical abilities, as well as evolve our conscious awareness.

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