What is a Familiar?

Now according to Webster’s Dictionary a familiar is, “a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person”, this is of course in witches terms. It is said that many witches had familiars serve them, it could be anything from just a small household pet to things like demons and imps. Like Agnes Waterhouse’s cat Satan for example it only aided her, but at what cost? In Satan’s case it was blood, but according to Carol F. Karlsen it was much more than that. She states in her book The Devil in the Shape of a Woman, ” who nourished themselves on her body” which could be blood or even her soul. Considering how demonized the term familiar seemed to be, many accusers of the witch trial times would call them grotesque disgusting creatures. There is so much lore that centers around familiar that goes back to Roman times even where they were called Daimons. In Roman times they were protectors of the household, just simple spirit guardians. So how did something so good get turned into something so evil? Even the Indians used them, they where such things as Totem Spirits, familiars are globally everywhere in history.

References

Book- The Devil in the Shape of a Woman, by Carol F. Karlsen

Website- http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/witch-familiars-spirit-guardians-and-demons-006261

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