Monday, December 7, 2009

The Trials Of Familiars

The Trials Of Familiars Cover One reason why they may not have executed pets is because the law assumed that these creatures were Supernatural beings - by definition. If the animals had been captured, brought to court, examined by authorities, etc., it would have been difficult to avoid the conclusion that the witch's cat or dog was, in fact, no different from any other cat or dog. In addition, according to folklore, these animals could not be killed by ordinary means because they were spirits. We have found one account, for example, of a suspected familiar (a poodle dog called Boye, belonging to Prince Rupert) being killed by a silver bullet fired by a 'soldier skilled in necromancy' at the battle of Marston Moor in 1642. Also, perhaps it was assumed that the familiars would perish as soon as the witch was executed, since they were assumed to depend on her/him for nourishment (coincidently, of course, the animals probably didn't survive for long once their owners were incarcerated and executed). However, I agree with you that the fate of these animals is somewhat Mysterious. My guess would be that the witch's neighbours dealt with them swiftly and discretely, but I have no evidence either way. I wasn't aware of the Salem dog execution but will now look into this. In the bestiality trials, the animals were not generally executed as criminals. Rather they seem to have been regarded as polluted creatures which might have a corrupting Influence on public morality if allowed to remain alive. Thus, there was a particular incentive to identify these (real) animals and kill them.

Suggested free e-books to read:

Aleister Crowley - The Litany Of Satan
Captain William Morgan - The Mysteries Of Freemasonry
Asatru Free Assembly - The Lessons Of Asgard
Reynold Nicholson - The Mystics Of Islam
Franz Cumont - The Mysteries Of Mithra