There are many different interpretations of what a familiar is and in order to teach this subject adequately, it’s important to distinguish between them so that you know what this course is, and is not, about.
The modern interpretation of the familiar is one of a physical animal. This creature is typically a domesticated pet who “helps” the witch in some way or another. This interpretation, however, is quite new and is likely borne of representations of witches having control over animals such as cats in movies, books, and tv shows.
This is not the interpretation that I will be teaching about.
Instead, I will be discussing the traditional interpretation of the concept of the familiar as an animal spirit that works with the witch in a variety of ways. Familiars are immensely helpful beings to the savvy witch and can provide companionships, magical learning, and personal growth for an entire lifetime.
A familiar is not a pet and in most circumstances, it’s not even a physical being. There are exceptions to this rule as spirits can occasionally possess physical beings but this is typically to the detriment of the animal being possessed so I DO NOT recommend pursuing this.
A familiar is not a slave for you to manipulate and control. These beings are very real and have free will. You would do well to respect their decisions, be polite and treat them as your equal.
A familiar is not a toy. Again, these are thinking and feeling beings and if you wish to work with one and have it benefit you then taking care to be respectful and kind is important.