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Michele

Feeding and Awakening Familiars and Thought-forms

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I know this is a pretty old post, but perhaps we could get some fresh insights into this topic?

 

I liken the fetch or familiar as similar to creating an artificial elemental in the realm of ceremonial magic. It's creating an entity with a specific purpose and design in mind. For example, I've made an artificial elemental of earth for help in finding a home.

Edited by GoddessOfTheCraft

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The fetch for me is not thought of in the same manner ans many think of them.  For me and my the fetch or familiar if you rather are found within nature itself; the various plants and trees, and the insects and animals that reside within.  This is accomplished for me by re-establishing the organic communication between humans and other than humans that primordial humans once maintained.  This communication has been put on the back burner more and more as technology advances. 

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Jaesin, that is a familiar by definition, not a fetch. Familiars are found, fetches are created.

 

 That is dependent upon which tradition you follow (if any). And how it is defined. 

 

In Appalachia a fetch is usually only seen as someone nears death. It is almost a doppelgänger of sorts. An exact image of another person, but is spectral in natural. It is usually a harbinger of death soon to visit upon the individual. A lot of times the fetch will appear standing behind the right shoulder of the person soon to die. Or appear standing behind someone as they look in a mirror. 

The fetch isn't "created". But appears as a warning. It is a separate type of "being" from an astral projection or a bi-location form of someone. 

 

Whereas a familiar could be anything from a land/plant/river/etc spirit, nonhuman (daemon/angelic), or a dead human spirit, who has decided to work with the witch. 

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I created a thought-form fetch once. I was following Peter Paddon's instruction (was quite new to witchcraft at the time).

 

I set an intention for the animal, gave him a name and an "expiration date". His task was to help me get back some money that was owed. By the time his deadline rolled around, a little over half the money was paid back. Never did get the rest. I figured that was better than nothing but Ive never felt the results were spectacular enough to repeat the spell for another task. Had more luck with other spells

Edited by RapunzelGnome

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 That is dependent upon which tradition you follow (if any). And how it is defined. 

 

In Appalachia a fetch is usually only seen as someone nears death. It is almost a doppelgänger of sorts. An exact image of another person, but is spectral in natural. It is usually a harbinger of death soon to visit upon the individual. A lot of times the fetch will appear standing behind the right shoulder of the person soon to die. Or appear standing behind someone as they look in a mirror. 

The fetch isn't "created". But appears as a warning. It is a separate type of "being" from an astral projection or a bi-location form of someone. 

 

Whereas a familiar could be anything from a land/plant/river/etc spirit, nonhuman (daemon/angelic), or a dead human spirit, who has decided to work with the witch. 

I have never seen the two as separate entities.    In my path the familiar is the 'thing' itself, while the fetch is the 'spirit' of that thing/being per se.  So I have always seen them as two halves of one whole.  One does not exist without the other.  But as you stated above, It is dependent upon the tradition you follow.  As always, what I post is of course in my own experience and path.  I never insist that mine is the only way.  I only give my humble two cents.

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Jaesin, that is a familiar by definition, not a fetch. Familiars are found, fetches are created.

I have to agree with RavenFlyer's reply with this.  It is highly dependent upon ones path.

 

In my path, familiars are indeed those very things. The fetch is not something that one creates in my path.  It is the spirit of those very things.  They are two halves of the whole..... in how we see them.

 

But then again, as with all my replies/posts, this is only my knowing and not binding upon everyone else. 

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Interesting the variations of definitions of terms according to tradition. In my reading I have always seen "fetch" used to mean a thought form created, usually by intent, to perform a task. I think the same idea as an Egregore/ golem/ or tulpa. I think there are actually nuances that separate those terms but without Rabbi Loew to clarify, I'm not quite sure:).

 

Whereas the use of "familiar" varies wildly. The two major categories of "familiar"I have heard discussed are either as a physical living thing that functions in harmony with the witch, usually assisting in some way and that assistance can be similar to the types of things thought forms are used for. Probably most famously discussed in witch trials where the cat, bat, or rat would feed from the witch's teet or witch's mark. But usually today is used to mean a pet or wild animal that shows up as an omen or that accompanies the witch in her workings and seems to have special knowledge of the witch's workings.

 

The other use of "familiar" is referring to any non-physical being that assists, inspires or supplies knowledge to the witch. Again, just my understanding of the terms.

Edited by Oroboros

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I've heard of the person's fetch, or spirit, showing up as an omen of their impending death before.

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Is that the same as a doppelgänger in that instance?

I've heard that about dopplegangers. I think the story is said that if you see your own it's a omen of your own death. When I was a kid and teenager my mother and a couple other people saw "me" on several occasions. No one died in that case at least. I never saw myself though:). It scared the shit out of my poor mother the first time. She saw "me" walk through the house, then a few minutes later the real me came out from a completely different part of the house. She jumped up and screamed bloody murder. Which of course scared me too, since at the time I had no clue what the issue was.

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I've never heard of it in the sense of a doppelganger.

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The fetch as similar to a doppelgänger comes from Scotland and Ireland. And in that came to the Appalachia via the Scottish settlers. I had never heard the term fetch refer to anything but a doppelgänger type sighting until I came o these boards all those years ago.

 

It's hard for me to think of fetch as anything other than a vision of an impending death. Because death has come to fetch the person.

 

Here is a link from Wikipedia:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetch_(folklore)

Edited by RavenFlyer

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I had been taught that a fetch was an entity created by the witch to go perform a specific task without the witch having to focus on it. Usually an animal form because that's an easy way to visualize and focus the energy to the task. You'd send a dog to "fetch" you money or a squirrel to find a new home or a raven to find jewelry that was lost, etc. You feed it with your energy which is why it is wise to give it a deadline so that it wouldn't go on and on feeding off you indefinitely. I see it also referred to as a thought-form.

 

I've seen "familiar" used to describe actual animal companions or demonic companions that aid the witch in their workings. These were usually gifts from a deity or devil (as referred to in the witch trials).

 

But as mentioned, it seems that these terms are different for different cultures. Oh the joys of learning secret arts passed down by oral traditions with the threat of burning at the stake if found out! What's important is the concepts behind these terms, rather than the labels we give them.

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Growing up like i said a Fetch was one specific thing. A familiar could be a couple of different types of entities (but not ever a thought form, at least not in my upbringing). A familiar could be a demon, daemon, elemental, non human spirit, past human spirit, etc. It was a link to the other world, and would be able to assist the witch in his or her workings. 

 

A thought form creature of the witch was never really called anything. It was just something that witches did very rarely to my recollection of stories I heard growing up. No one I knew ever created a thought form creature.  So as you can imagine as I explored other traditions and saw that thought form creatures are a thing other witches do still to this day I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I work with a couple of very strong faithful familiars, so I have not ever felt or found myself needing to create another creature out of my thoughts. 

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