As a practising witch, you realize you are going to have to possess a familiar. Don't get alarmed, though. This does not mean you will necessarily have to saddle yourself with a pet such as a dog or cat if you don't want one for whatever reason. There are several different types of familiars, or magistelli, to give them their more correct title. Magistellus is Latin for "little master," and the word is often used by witches strangely enough to designate one of their small, magical servants. The term "familiar" is one coined by the ecclesiastical authorities during the persecutions, implying merely an intimate friend or servant.
Basically, there are three types of magistellus. There is that which is used as the coven "totem" animal, mentioned earlier in connection with the symbolism of the witch bracelet. This symbolic animal form is decided upon at the formation of a coven by mutual agreement among the members and after much introspection and divination. The chosen totemic animal form or forms, for there may be several, is then ritually "assumed" by coven members during the chain dance at the Sabbat itself, and also should they at any time wish to indulge in the practice of "sending for the fetch," commonly known as astral projection.
Omens and auguries of coming events may also be drawn by the seasoned practitioner from the appearance on the scene of one such specimen of a coven totem, a grey bird maybe or a large black cat. Part of this witchlore may have filtered out in the past and now be responsible for the common public beliefs about lucky or unlucky black cats crossing one's path, and so on.
The second type of magistellus in a witch's repertoire is simply the aforementioned pet animal with whom one enters into an emotional rapport. Should the animal be of the same species as one of the coven totems, then of course it takes on an added witchly significance. If you own a pet you may wish to make use of it as a power object. By charging it with a curse or blessing, as the case may be, specifically directed at someone, that person on coming into contact with the animal will discharge the spell and receive the full impact. Be wary of your witch friends' cats or dogs - be sure you are wearing an amulet of some sort before you cosy up to them!
The third, and to the individual witch, most important type of vigilant robot, programmed solely to watch over the mentioned earlier in Chapter 1. This may be a demonic entity such as Vassago, who has been "bound" to some magical instrument such as a show stone or mirror, permanently or temporarily. It may also be an elemental creature formed by the combination of your witch power and some natural phenomenon. This type of magistellus becomes the protective spirit or Watcher, a magical guardian for the home. They take time to formulate, but really can prove to be of tremendous value. For unlike the general Earth spells which are effective to guard your home from general bad vibrations, to guard against out-and-out magical attack, a magistellus is ideal; it possesses a definite will of its own, the entire aim of which is to protect the house and those that dwell in it from all offensive sorcery. As such, it is really a magical type of vigilant robot, programmed solely to watch over the safety of the home. A sorcerer's watchdog, in fact. Two simpler types of magistelli of the elemental variety you should be conversant with are made from plants.
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