New Book on Witches, Sorcerers and Their Spirit Companions

Familiar Unto Me: Witches Sorcerers and Their Spirit Companions is a new title from occult author BJ Swain. The posted description says:

“The familiar has been a staple element of the image of the witch for centuries. Despite its ubiquity in folklore, art, books, movies, and television depicting witches and magicians, familiar spirits are an under explored element of modern magical literature. Familiar Unto Me changes that by presenting a comprehensive look at familiar spirits.

“The book is divided into three parts. Part One introduces and discusses the concept of the familiar spirit. The basics of acquiring, maintaining, and working with a familiar are presented. Considerations for planning your own rituals for obtaining a familiar spirit are discussed, and example rituals are presented. The focus in part one is familiars for witches and sorcerers; the defining elements of each approach to magic and how it impacts acquiring a familiar are discussed.

“Part two explores the concept of familiar spirits in Pagan and NeoPagan contexts with a focus on mythology, faerylore, and the history of the familiar in trial evidence and folklore. Copious descriptions of myths, folktales, and faery stories are presented along with detailed exploration of historical figures, literature, and folk beliefs to paint a picture of the worldview and history of ideas surrounding the familiar spirit. Contemporary approaches to working familiars, fetches, and fylgjur are discussed and analyzed along with traditional lore to explore new and innovative magical concepts adjacent to the familiar spirit. Methods for acquiring a faery familiar are discussed along with the presentation of an early modern ritual for encountering a faery queen.

“Part three explores the adventure of a group of magicians acquiring a familiar spirit for their lodge. It presents the rituals, details of planning and execution, and a discussion of the experience. This exploration becomes the basis of exploring the role of familiars, and positive spirit possession in contemporary revivals of magic as a path towards creating living spirit traditions rooted in historical European magical practice, informed by the wisdom and experience of living spirit traditions in the Americas. Part three also explores often overlooked role of spirit magic in the Victorian magical revival and the evidence of sex magical practices related to familiar spirits. Rituals for an elemental lover round out the collection of rituals.

“The text provides nine rituals. Two of the rituals are presented with variants for the elements so that the magician can work directly and conveniently from the book. An additional traditional ritual is described and analyzed in detail along with comparison to a description of the ritual in a folktale. Each ritual has either some analysis of the ritual, explanations of why it is designed the way it is, or discussion of experience executing the ritual.

“The book discusses spirit assistants from antiquity through today. Modes of working for grimoire magic, traditional witchcraft, NeoPagan witchcraft, Paganism and modern ceremonial magic are all presented or discussed.”

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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