The Plant Spirit Familiar by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Christopher Penczak is one of those writers I over looked for quite a while and now I find myself becoming quite the fan of his works. In this book Plant Spirit Familiar Christopher Penczak gives the reader and easy to follow program that starts from step one and goes all the way through. For each and every step he gives an in depth historical background and he will relate his experiences using the techniques that he has taught.
One of the hallmarks of the witch was what is called the "familiar" the familiar served as sort of a servant or helper to the witch, according to popular conception which can be rather distorted. The familiar was spiritual ally that helped the witch navigate the spirit world, helped the with achieve things or taught the witch knowledge of magic. The witch got her familiar either by working with a deity (the Christians call it the devil) or the familiar came to them or the witch created the familiar. Often time owls, cats an even dogs were thought to be familiars of the witch.
Shaman in Siberia and Latin America also had their allies and usually they were plant spirits. These plant spirits taught the shaman how to heal and perform other acts of magic. With the help of their ally they could traverse spiritual realms to gain the knowledge that they need. Shamanic cultures also worked with animal totem as well. At times it was thought that the tribe or family gave the tribe birth or that the animal spirit was the guardian of the tribe.
In ancient days when someone got sick the plant spirit came to the shaman and told them how to cure the patient or would cure the patient themselves by giving the sick patient the spiritual medicine or energy they needed. The author discusses such techniques as Homeopathy and Bachs flower remedies in performing modern day cures. He gives detailed instruction on how to craft mild healing solutions.
Pulling techniques from Shamanism, Traditional British Witch Craft and his own Wicca. Christopher Penczak give the readers techniques and rituals that help the reader make contact with the plant spirit realm further the relationship.
Whether the reader intends to follow the program or modify it or just read for interest believe me it will be a great read. Witches of old used to make a plant familiar from a Mandrake root. This helper could perform magical acts for the magician or assist. Such an ally is easily compared to the alchemical homonoculous or ceremonial servitor. Once again Christopher stips the outer illusion of difference bare and exposes the the essential similarity that all three are different versions of the same thing.
I would have given a full five star review but the author does advocate the use of certain baneful herbs that I feel is not proper for most people reading this book. Substances like Belladona,Datura and Henbane should only be used in the accompaniment of an experienced Shaman or witch. Some of the recipes do not give exact measurements which is something I find a bit on the dangerous side.
I got this book from the Kindle lending library. Bet your bottom that I am taking copious notes before I return it.
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