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The Witches' Familiar [Paperback]

Raven Grimassi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

6 July 2003
Since ancient times, witches and magicians have worked magic with the aid of Familiars, or helpful spirits. Familiars may take the form of a beloved pet, a totem animal, or even a helpful nonphysical entity. Explore the fascinating history of Familiar spirits in The Witches' Familiar. Written by one of today's leading authorities on both Wicca and traditional hereditary Witchcraft, this book is your complete guide to finding and working with a Familiar. You'll read about the three types of Familiars: physical, astral, and spiritual. Learn how to call a Familiar to you, and how to choose an appropriate name. Discover how to use magical seals and sigils to command or release a nonphysical Familiar. Protect yourself and your loved ones by asking your Familiar to guard your home. Make your magic even more potent by enlisting your Familiar's aid in spellwork and ritual. Keep your bond strong, and find out how to release a Familiar when its work is done or it has passed from the physical plane. This is the first book to present never-before-published traditional Craft methods for working with Familiars as well as historical examples from Western ceremonial magic. Your magic will be even more powerful when you combine forces with a Familiar face.


Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S.; 1st ed edition (6 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738703397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738703398
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In this chapter we will explore the occult concept of the Familiar spirit in Witchcraft. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Proven Ways 8 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This new book presents a traditional and empowering approach to the topic of the Witches' Familiar, as opposed to the airy-fairy self-styled methods so prevalent in modern Wicca. As with all of Grimassi's books, the reader is treated to rooted-ness rather than silliness. In this book Grimassi offers time-proven methods instead of the usual self-delusional "fluffy-bunny" stuff found in most books on modern Witchcraft and Wicca.
I think this book provides a wonderful and necessary foundation of myth and old magic. In addition the book contains some very distinctive designs and devices that help the reader feel more empowered to explore working with Familiar Spirits. Grimassi goes to extra lengths to present the depth of relationships possible concerning Familiar Spirits. Rather than focusing on what is already known and used, Grimassi goes far beyond the basics and the commonplace.
Unfortunately the simple-minded who are ignorant of authentic occult phenomena will probably miss the point and fail to see the great depth of knowledge and experience shared in this fascinating book. Such readers will no doubt look at the material and wonder "Why so difficult?"
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why So Difficult? 27 Dec 2003
Format:Paperback
Raven Grimassi explores the Witches Familiar; how the familiar has been viewed in the past both in myth and history. He then gives instruction in what familiars are, how to work with them and use them.
Mr. Grimassi presents us with his perception of the three types of Familiars: the physical kind, the astral kind and the spiritual kind. He teaches you how to find your familiar and even how to find a name for that familiar.
He then shows how to use your familiar in your craft, how to bind your familiar, how to control and command your familiar and how to eventually release the familiar.
The book contains sigals and rituals for the binding and spell working aspects of having a familiar. Mr. Grimassi discusses the various types of spell working you can use with a familiar. He also discusses bonding with your familiar.
The table of contents is quite in depth and makes up for the skimpy index. There are four appendixes on keyword associations, classic familiars, names of familiars (which includes Pyewackett, how predictable), and the Witches Alphabet. The book also has a bibliography.
While the book may reflect what may have once been considered the role of the familiar in the craft, I personally believe the role of the familiar has evolved beyond 'step and fetch it' that this book presents. Today's craft person keeps their physical familiars as companions rather than tools, and as Mr. Grimassi even states at one point, today we see the role of the familiars we have as more cooperative guardians and guides than something that we need to bind and command. Some of us do not see a need to bind something that has come to us freely and is just as free to leave once the lesson is learned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Oct 2013
By Theresa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a great read, lots of information, it came quickly and i would definately recommend it, i liked how it was written as well
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting 10 Sep 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had not seen a book out on this topic before so I was excited to come across it. What a little treasure this book is! It is very practical and informative. I especially liked the images of magical seals and the exercises. It was refreshing not to see the same old thing again in a Witchcraft book, but instead to see something that speaks of authentic Witchcraft.
The Witch's Familiar is written mostly about working in a traditional way with familiars, and is not a cutesy or light and fluffly book. The author provides many different uses for familiars including healing, contacting people at a distance, and protection of home and person.
All in all, this is a very interesting book, and you won't be disappointed.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work! 1 Aug 2005
By Raven Digitalis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. It provided a lot of information on the familiar which I didn't know. It's approached lightheartedly, not strictly, and explores animal guides in depth. It's very informative and I recommend it for any Witch's bookshelf. It's not a scholarly, in-depth study of the history of the Witch's familiar, but it doesn't need to be. It's clear, accurate and well-written, in all honesty. It's a relatively small book, but this is expected for the content explored. How much can be said about familiars? I believe that which can be said, Mr. Grimassi says here.

I recommend this book alongside Ted Andrew's classic "Animal Speak" for any Earth-based spiritualist.

Thanks, Raven, for another good book! =)

~Colin Smith~

Missoula, MT
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An involving, "user friendly", highly recommended advisory 14 Sep 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Informatively written by Raven Grimassi (a Wiccan teacher and practitioner of magical systems with thirty years' experience), The Witch's Familiar: Spiritual Partnerships For Successful Magic focuses upon how to call an appropriate kindred companion to aid in spellwork, ritual, the protection of one's home, and more. Physical, astral, and spiritual familiars, the proper choice of a name, vitalizing one's spellcraft, and learning how to release one's familiar when its work or existence on the physical plane is complete, are all discussed in this accessible, involving, "user friendly", and highly recommended advisory.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 27 Jun 2005
By Flame Keeper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
With this book the reader is introduced to a powerful system of working with familiar spirits. Grimassi indicates in the book that he created this system, and presents it as one way of working with familiar spirits. His system involves a variety of magical seals and invocations that are steeped in traditional occult principles of magic. The ethics of working with familiar spirits is highly emphasized throughout the book.

Most of the book involves "spirit familiars" as opposed to physical animal familiars, although there is a chapter on pets as familiars. At a lecture I attended by this author, he mentioned that he didn't want to emphasize physical animals out of concern that people would obtain a creature simply to use as a physical familiar. He was concerned about the treatment and well-being of animals in such a light. This is a responsible approach.

In this same spirit, Grimassi provides a "Notice to the Reader" which is:

"In the following chapter appear the concepts of "binding" and "controlling" familiar spirits. Please note that these are old traditional magical terms and have been used here in keeping with the style of an antique Grimoire. For the purpose of this book the term binding refers to "connecting" or "housing" in order to provide a physical base from which to operate. It does not mean to imprison or hold captive. The term "control" is used to indicate "directing" and is not intended to suggest domination against personal will".

On page 58, the author also writes: "In a merged state you can then communicate with and direct the spirit consciouness of the animal. Bear in mind that this is a mutually advantageous relationship and not one of servant and master".

One reviewer wrote: "Raven Grimassi's appraoch implies a "one right way" to do a spell and, worst of all, doesn't treat familiars with a lot of respect. He suggests a spiritual familiar over a physical one because it requires less work, and sees no problem with using magic to interfere with the free will of what he describes as a sentient being."

Having read this book twice, I can only wonder if the writer of this review skim read and missed the points made, or is intentionally misrepresenting what the author provides in this book.

In any event, this book is an exceptional and unique work, and is highly recommended for beginners as well as the experienced. However, readers who are unable to grasp the most basic elements of Witchcraft and magic will probably find this book to be only a little useful.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Old and Something New 29 Oct 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This new book presents a traditional and empowering approach to the topic of the Witches' Familiar, as opposed to the airy-fairy self-styled methods so prevalent in modern Wicca. As with all of Grimassi's books, the reader is treated to rooted-ness rather than silliness.
I think this book provides a wonderful and necessary foundation of myth and old magic. In addition the book contains some very distinctive designs and devices that help the reader feel more empowered to explore working with Familiar Spirits. Grimassi goes to extra lengths to present the depth of relationships possible concerning Familiar Spirits. Rather than focusing on what is already known and used, Grimassi goes far beyond the basics and the commonplace.
Unfortunately the simple-minded and inexperienced will probably miss the point and fail to see the great depth of knowledge and experience shared in this fascinating book. Such readers will no doubt look at the material and wonder "Why so difficult?"
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