Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 2017 Eclipses: Written in the Stars by Susan Sheppard

August 2017 Eclipses: Written in the Stars by Susan Sheppard

There is a reason the ancients feared eclipses. Eclipses bring about deep and dramatic changes in our lives, usually changes we aren’t looking for. Before the ages of science and reason, humankind viewed the world in a figurative and symbolic way. In many ways, this was both a profound and poetic view that was not entirely wrong.

When ancient people looked up at the skies, they saw gods and goddesses and representations of life on earth. The largest planet, Jupiter, was the planet of kings. The moon was a mysterious woman, who waxed and waned, reaching full force during the full moon, then hiding shyly away as she seemed to diminish in the sky. Warrior planet Mars appeared red with blood and lust.

However, eclipses, both solar (sun) and lunar (moon) were more dramatic and also scarier than the smaller lights of the planets. Ancient peoples believed that a giant serpent was taking bites out of the sun and moon during eclipses, two orbs essentially vital for us to remain alive. It could be the end. After all, both were life-giving light… moonlight being more subtle and sunlight representing the light that sustains us.

In modern times astrologers know that eclipses do not end life on earth, there is no fear of that but they do represent changes in our “vision” and the way we view life. Eclipses are “wild cards” in the horoscope. Usually with an eclipse triggering the chart, it is often a forced change, something that comes “right out of the blue," a deep-noted wake-up call. All signs are affected by an eclipse, but none are as affected as when the eclipse falls on your birthday, indicating a momentous transformation in your life – such as a move, the end of a relationship and even having a child or grandchild in the coming year.

We usually have 4 to 6 eclipses in one year. They are not rare so we don’t need to play “Chicken Little” every few months.  Lunar eclipses are a more potent full moon and their effects tend to last about 6 weeks to six months. Solar eclipses, frankly, pull out all of the stops, you may feel as if you are tripping over invisible wires for six months to a full year. To me the most amazing thing about eclipses, their influences kicks in shortly before they happen, so this should show you how attuned our bodies and life circumstances are to the stars. “As Above, So Below!” 

May you have two fortuitous eclipses this month clearing the way for happier change. More than anything else, eclipses are all about change. 

Susan’s Eclipse Forecasts. Read your rising sign, as well, if you know it:

Aries (March 21-April 19) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Focus is on the 11th House, which is traditionally the “house of good will.” You meet all of the right people at the right time, however, one friendship or some social expectations may sink for you. You may be disappointed a short while. It’s a lunar eclipse so it’s not serious. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: A shift in your romantic focus, perhaps a surprise in that area and following that are major changes or upheavals at work.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: It’s all about how the world sees you and how you express yourself in a public way. This will be six weeks of wild transformations and exciting opportunities. Clear your throat and polish up those dancing shoes. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: There are some changes around your family dynamic. You learn something new or surprising about your “roots.” An elder in your family may need special help.

Gemini May 21-June 20) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Travels are at the forefront. You may visit a place of higher learning, or an area with old, historical buildings and churches. However it goes, for the next six weeks you will want to be free. Any restrictions will just annoy you.  Solar Eclipse on the 21st: You hear news about a legal matter or documents that may have been signed. It’s time to move on that, clear the decks for new action and put old matters to rest.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Emphasis is on the 8th House, huge transformations happening for all crabs, but really, it all boils down to how you manage yours and other people’s money. Expect intense dreams and psychic connections for the next six weeks. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: Again, you’re in the money – you now have the next six months for recouping some serious losses you experienced years ago. Also expect odd moves in your neighborhood and life changes around siblings. More love is also in store. 

Leo (July 23-August 22) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Last year’s eclipse in the same general area of your chart brought into your life some challenges regarding romance and relationships. Expect this to continue. A relationship will end or move to higher ground, that means commitment. Some of you have found or are about to find true love. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: Ditto to what I just said, and this gets serious. Relationships rise to a new level. You also have chance to multiply your finances right after.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Look for shake ups around your work. Some of you may find yourself working in a medical field or at least in an area that takes a lot of concentration and know-how with lots of facts and details to master.  The trick will be to trust these variations. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: Really interesting information is coming forth that will change your life. You won’t be seeing matters exactly the same way afterwards. Following that, you opt for a new look or maybe an old one.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th:  Romance, children, parties, becoming loose and unfettered, take your pick, this eclipse of the moon is about to bring on some fun or even unnerving times. You may end up in some media storm. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: You gain strength in numbers, so when you take on this big project you’ve been thinking about, it’s important to form alliances and not go it alone. Your success is with others.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Family dramas and anything of a domestic nature will need your attention for the next six weeks. This may include some home repairs. The key now is balancing the outside world with your inner one. It may take six weeks to do it. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: You are about to shine a light on the world. It really is time to step to the forefront. Whatever you have been hiding for a while, may become a public matter shortly.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: Publishing offers are a possibility right now but if you are not looking to publish you may experience dramas in your neighborhood, how you get out and about, transportation and a major event with a sibling. Solar Eclipse on 21st: You may be called to perform something on a moment’s notice. Like it or not, you’re in the spotlight. A character from the past reappears. This is a strange one, or someone you didn’t understand well before but now you do.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: You’re getting a push to make some dramatic financial changes. In the recent past, you haven’t handled money as well as you should have and now you are getting a second chance. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: Ditto to what I just said, there seems to be a substantial amount of money coming your way. You didn’t handle things too well with a partner and now you have the time to rectify all of that and finally grow up when it comes to what you value and own.

Aquarius (January 20 to February 18) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th:  It’s a perfect time to take care of your own needs, especially health and even your appearance. You are searching for some changes when it comes to your physical self. Be vibrant and vivid. Stand out from the crowd. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: In terms of relationships, this is major. If you’re not involved romantically, a relationship is on its way. If you are hitched or attached, look for changes in the dynamic of the partnership. You may be tested but there is nothing to fear if the partnership is strong.

Pisces (February 19 to March 20) Lunar Eclipse on the 7th: You're looking for rest and renewal. For the next six weeks you may not have as much of a need to be around others. Expect something secretive or clandestine to surface. This secret may not have to do directly with you but you will be affected by it when the information slips out. Solar Eclipse on the 21st: A job or work project may end or begin now. It’s a good time to get balanced and your nutrition in order. When it comes to your health, your diet determines whether you feel sick or well. Avoid all indulgences. You may want to streamline your life. 

Look for Susan Sheppard's fabulous "Black Moon Astrology Cards" which will be available in early October 2017. They are being published  by Blue Angel Publishing. (Actually, the publisher should have them around September 15th).... Here is a link to read all about them. These are the only comprehensive astrology cards for divination to date: 

Black Moon Astrology Cards click here to learn more

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ballad of the Moon by Federcio Garcia Lorca

The moon comes to the forge,
in her creamy-white petticoat.
The child stares, stares.
The child is staring at her.
In the breeze, stirred,
the moon stirs her arms
shows, pure, voluptuous,
her breasts of hard tin.

- ‘Away, luna, luna, luna.
If the gypsies come here,
they’ll take your heart for
necklaces and white rings.’
- ‘Child, let me dance now.
When the gypsies come here,
they’ll find you on the anvil,
with your little eyes closed.’
- ‘Away, luna, luna, luna,
because I hear their horses.’
- ‘Child, go, but do not tread
on my starched whiteness.’

The riders are coming nearer
beating on the plain, drumming.
Inside the forge, the child
has both his eyes closed.

Through the olive trees they come,
bronze, and dream, the gypsies,
their heads held upright,
their eyes half-open.

How the owl is calling.
Ay, it calls in the branches!
Through the sky goes the moon,
gripping a child’s fingers.

In the forge the gypsies
are shouting and weeping.
The breeze guards, guards.
The breeze guards it.

-- Garcia Lorca 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Know When Spirits Are Trying to Communicate

By Susan Sheppard

When we pass from this dimension into the next one into that state we call death it is both a dramatic and a subtle change. It is dramatic in the sense that it is a tragic loss for those of us left behind but a subtle one for the persons who have passed on since they remain fully themselves. They simply lack a body but can move more freely than ever before. This is often a relief and a release.

I like to explain to others, as a life-long psychic medium, the way to think of communicating with the dead or loved ones who have passed on, is to imagine a bridge arcing over a river or a stream that separates two lands. You can’t see the other side that clearly but sometimes you are allowed to walk onto that bridge and look over it to see glimpses of that other life where loved ones are... and sometimes, if they wish, the dead are able to do the same.  It is a type of meeting place where the living and dead can connect again – mid way on that bridge.  This is why psychics are often called “mediums” – meaning to meet half way.

To do this in a dramatic way is what ghost stories and tales of connecting with lost loved ones are filled with because it is actually rare when a deceased person spontaneously appears and tries to communicate. We may only have a few such encounters in a lifetime. Some people never have any.  Psychic mediums may have this happen more often but a sudden encounter with a deceased loved one in spirit form or another soul is still a rare occurrence-- even for a psychic or spiritual investigator. 

Connecting with spirits happens in two major ways – in the outer way—that is seeing one—again, this is rare and is what Hollywood ghost stories are all about. Or--the inner way--- through psychic ability where one can connects with the spirit world inwardly through psychic gifts. That is, ones connect with the spirit world via their inner eye. Some speculate this is through the pineal gland, or third eye. 

But a talented psychic medium can do this in any place or at any time-- after all there is really no human sense of time or place in the spirit world or afterlife. Then there is also third way which comes about as messages. These can be easily missed if one is unaware of the ways the dead speaks to us because they tend to be subtle. Here are just some of them.


Dreams are by far the easiest way for the dead to communicate, especially when the living soul is open and attuned to spirit realm already.  It is universally believed that we all travel into the astral realms while we are asleep and the dead also travel in these realms. Sometimes we may dream of deceased loved ones and it really isn’t a message, it is just a memory or is something our unconscious mind is working out about their passing, this loss is always traumatic for those left behind.

However, when the dream is especially vivid about a loved one who has died, there is a strong sense of their presence upon waking, or there is a message in the dream, it is likely the loved one is making contact. Usually the message is to assure the living they are fine.

If you continue to dream repeatedly about a person who has died, either there is a strong message they want to convey, such as a warning, or they are worried about something in your life or the lives of people surrounding you. It’s very important to pay attention to such repeating dreams.

Recurring Thoughts

There are days when you cannot shake away memories and thoughts of a deceased loved one or friend.  You may pass a group of people talking or think you hear the voice of your deceased person or you may believe you suddenly see them in a crowd.  Television shows or songs may trigger memories of past times with the deceased person.  
Then there is a type of afterlife telepathy between you and your loved one. You can be assured when you have these thoughts they are also “thinking” (more like remembering) times with you.

Sudden Appearance or Change in Meaningful Objects

This change or sudden appearance of meaningful objects are usually associated with the person who has died. One day I walked past my curio cabinet and noticed that a 1920s picture of my grandmother had worked its way half way out of the frame. I was surprised because the photograph was behind the glass of the curio cabinet and also behind the glass of the picture frame. No one had touched it. Around the same time, my cousin went into her bedroom and found our grandmother’s handkerchief was lying spread out in the middle of her bed. It has been put away in chest with other old family objects. It wasn’t long after that a distant cousin contacted us that she wanted to meet her cousins. She was related to us through this grandmother.

One evening I was in my studio typing on my computer when I glimpsed a piece of paper flutter to the floor. It appeared out of nowhere. When I picked it up, it was my father’s funeral notice. Incredibly, it was also the date of his death—February 20th.  (This funeral notice had been put away in a book in another area of the home.) My mother was to have a routine operation in a month or so. This gave me an eerie feeling. The operation ended up being a fatal one, even though my mother lasted three years in a nursing home. I believe it was my father warning me but I simply didn’t understand his message.  Whenever such objects appear or change locations--- that means something is about to happen that you need to be warned or cautioned over.

Finding the Same Objects Over and Over

These are usually coins or even feathers. Sometimes even postage stamps. It seems spirits have a proclivity for putting certain objects in our view, this will tend to happen repeatedly. For some reason, these are often dimes, nickels, bird feathers (pay attention to the color because the color is important.) In one instance, a very good friend of mine had passed away. He was a famous historian who did a great deal of research on the Underground Railroad and also the history of slavery in America. After he passed on, I kept finding postage stamps that were honoring Black History Month. I knew this was his message letting me know that he was happy and content where he was.

Spectral Touches

It can be disconcerting when a spirit touches you but it does happen. You can be patted, touched and even pushed by spirits in haunted areas. But when the spirit touches you in a soft or caressing way, oftentimes it is a deceased relative or friend. Sometimes it may feel as if a hand has been placed on your shoulder or waist, at other times it may feel as a full caress. Generally, if you are open or intuitive, it is even possible for you to discern who the spirit was to you in life. You will just sense it.

Apparitional Smells

By far, the most common way spirits manifest in the physical world is by smells, especially aromas associated with them in their lifetimes on earth. Also, scientists know that of all of the senses it is the sense of smell that is most linked to memory. With the appearance of a certain smell, we can be immediately transported back through time into your childhoods and earliest memories.

Usually after a person dies, the first thing members of the family may experience is the sudden appearance of apparitional smells. These may come across as a certain cologne or perfume, cut flowers, pipe smoke or cigars, maybe odors associated with the decedents past work history, such as gasoline, chemicals, the smell of wood or even coffee perking.  At times the appearances of apparitional smells simply mean, “I am with you” and “I have not left” and at other times they are also a warning of some imminent change, though not necessarily a bad one. 

Usually it is just the presence of the spirit that is being announced. But if you start noticing “smells that don’t belong” it would be wise to open to the possibility of a spirit in the environment or even a deceased loved one returning to visit.

Pets Act Spooked, Stare or Bark at Nothing

This is pretty typical when spirit activity kicks up in the home. Pets will notice it first. Dogs may bark at empty areas or whine close to certain windows of doors. Cats may stare at nothing or pace in specific areas of the home. Animals are sensitive to any disturbance in the energy of a house, especially when there is a change, the kind that happens when an area of the house is undergoing a haunting.

When You Begin Changing Things Around in Your Home Then Weird Stuff Happens

Like the appearance of certain odors or smells that don’t belong, paranormal activity beginning in a home can often begin when a family decides to renovate a house or at change what has stayed in place for a number of years. 

One theory is spirits find the change disturbing. Another theory is it is the imprinted energy of the house that does not like the change or alteration from what it once was. Paranormal activity simply means objects moving on their own accord, strange dreams dealing with people who may have once lived there, doors open and closing, the sound of footsteps or objects moving, and misplaced objects or even the appearance of objects you don’t recognize.

Hearing the Voice of a Deceased Loved One

This usually happens when you are involved in an activity where your mind has gone on autopilot and you are thinking of something else entirely. Behind you, you may hear someone say your name but when you turn no one is there, or the people present are involved in other activities or conversation. You may ask if someone called out to you, and usually the answer will be “no.” Sometimes the voice will be recognizable or only a faint whisper. 

Typically, you can determine the gender behind the voice, such as whether it is a man or a woman, or even a child. At rare times you may hear entire sentences, such as the time I heard my deceased mother say, “I used to sleep here on the couch.” Which she did.
Another way to hear spirit voices is through a type of “white noise” and that is when there are other frequencies in the room, blotting out the silence. 

Strangely, spirits can use the energy and sound frequencies of running water or anything electrical such as fans in use in place of vocal cords since they have none. It is not unusual to hear talking or conversations when bath water is running, fans are turned on or even over heating systems or air conditioning. These voices are sometimes hard to make out, but they are distinct and can indicate spirit presences but also imprints, which are not really souls, but imprinted energies that can be played back when conditions are right.

If the voice is single, and it wakes you up or speaks in your ear, oftentimes it is only one ear that picks up the voice. For me it’s always my right ear. I’m left-handed and right-brain dominant so this makes sense.

Rapping Noises

These tend to echo like they are coming from inside the wall, or sometimes will thud as if someone if knocking on the door. This tends to happen fairly soon after a person’s death. It simply means, “Hello, I made it. I’m still around but I’m also in this other place. See you later.” If the rapping sounds continue they are most likely a part of the poltergeist phenomena, another type of haunting that might involve other disembodied spirits or even sporadic bursts of psychic energy which is a type of telekinesis.

Hearing Sounds that Belong In the Past

That might be hearing the sound of a train when there no longer is train service or railroad tracks, hearing someone whistling an old-fashioned song, radio shows playing songs or games from past times, the sound of wagons or carts, chains rattling, automobiles not there, etc.

What Small Children Say

Children often remain very pure because they are closer to heaven than we are. After all, they have just left heaven or the astral plane to join us in the visible world, the world of matter, DNA and physicality. Pay attention with small children will talk about relatives, people they have known or persons you knew but they didn’t.

Children may say things like “Grandma came to rock me in my chair the other night” or “Pappy came in my room and combed my hair.” Or they may see an old picture of a deceased family member and say, “I remember when they were in a fire” and it turns out to be true.

Do not shame them, they may more often than not be telling the truth. Sadly, as children grow older this connection to the spirit world is often lost or at least goes into hiding. 

Seeing Shapes and Forms in Your Peripheral Vision

It is rare to see a spirit dead on, as in a full bodied apparition. If you do happen to see a full bodied apparition, typically the person will look exactly as they did in life. They will either project themselves at the age your remember them, or they may manifest at the age they felt the healthiest and strongest. 

Typically when we discern spirits in our environment through our “sight,” we will perceive them as shapes or forms in our peripheral or “side” vision and not straight on. You may sense movement, see a form pass by but when you turn to look it has disappeared out of sight. Generally, this happens in haunted places but can also indicate the presence of loved ones who have passed on.
If you are blessed with the gift of mediumship, you can usually connect with spirits are any time just by focusing on them, and asking them for a message or a sign. It is important to remember that usually after loved ones have passed on, it is best to leave them alone and allow them to adjust to their new world, their new home and environment. It is very important to also let go of them. If you mourn or grieve too long, this worries them and disrupts their progress in the next world.

If they wish to have contact with you, you will be sent a message or a sign in the ways of these previous postings. Just remember, they are not gone, they are as alive as they ever were. You just can’t see them, at least, it is rare if you did. To be honest, in most instances it best to allow them to “rest in peace.” What they wish for us is our happiness knowing one day we will catch of with them in time. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fairyland, Witches & Souls of the Pagan Dead

Fairies as Souls of the Pagan Dead

by Susan Sheppard

Centuries after the Picts faded into oblivion the now Christian population of the British Isles began to view fairies somewhat as ghosts, since fairies were thought to be the unbaptized souls of the pagan dead. Much superstition surrounded fairies, and thus, they were not entirely trusted. In fact, fairies, such as banshees, thought to be the souls of women that died in during childbirth without given the proper rites by a priest, would visit curses on certain families. This was especially true of the families who did not honor the memories of these souls of the pagan dead.

Like the ghosts that haunted houses, it was believed fairies were not pure enough to get into heaven but were still too good for hell. Also, the souls of human beings were considered to be small and could crawl out of the body at night. Thus, fairies like ghosts might appear as small.

Yet the fairies could be terrifying. In Devonshire houses began to be by haunted what inhabitants concluded were Pixies. The Pixies and the Fauni (nature spirits) were reported to throw great stones, pieces of wood and clods of earth at inhabitants to drive them away from sacred groves and fairy mounds.

Fairies became associated with ghosts and spirits of the dead in other ways. It was thought the fairies, in a realm exactly parallel to our own, were helpers who assisted human souls into reaching the Otherworld, or Land of Eternal Youth after dying. Upon each human death, a disturbance would take place in the astral realms that the fairies could readily feel. When Celtic persons died the first spirits they were to meet were fairies coming to their aid for a peaceful transition. 
Fairies were also thought to attend births and christenings.

During Elizabethan times, the role of fairies grew diminished and the fae folk were shut inside the broom closet with witches, both no longer believed in. However, literary works, such as those by William Shakespeare continued to draw upon fairy lore as inspiration, even though the fairies were no longer the magical children of the pagan gods, or the fairy races as sentient beings. Fairies were no longer taken seriously.

Around this time, fairies began to shrink further in size. They weren’t giants or anywhere near to human size. In fact, fairies could be held in a teacup and people seemed immune to their blessings and curses. Fairies began to lose their power over the human imagination. By this time, it was thought if fairies were real, only children could see them.

Fairyland and the Dead

I have learned that whenever I dream of fairies someone is going to die. This may startle those who still view fairies as airy, winged sprites or as miniature angels, however, throughout history most especially in the British Isles fairies have long been associated witches and spirits of the dead. Yet the idea that links fairies with spirits of the dead should not cause alarm. It is all a part of the natural transition such beings have a part in.

Tales of human entry into Fairyland, mostly in Scotland, held that fairies attended to the dead, and were sometimes responsible for a number of hauntings in homes, or ghostly visits, acting as witch’s familiars. To some, fairies were souls from pre-Christian days cloaked in some astral form, not knowing how or deserving to get into a Christian heaven. In Celtic belief, it was thought Fairyland was the very first place souls would visit after death before moving on to an astral realm, guided by fairies into Summerland or Celtic Otherworld and the Netherworld of the Egyptians.

But in popular culture, this link has been largely forgotten. Death, and anything associated with it, such as ghosts or spirits of the dead, is an area of cultural and religious taboo. New age circles are not always so comfortable with the idea of ghosts or haunted places. We revere fairies while we fear the dead. The concept of ghosts remains disturbing to many and is erroneously associated with evil. It may seem hard to see fairies in such a place, but people in the past believed some fairies were in the land of the forgotten dead.

Some say that the communications with spirits upsets the dead and such spiritual interference should only be allowed during Samhain. In some respects, this very well may be true. But there are many spirits who still want to communicate with the living, and they will make their presence known until their message is received. This is what causes hauntings. Thus in our modem day, like the Banshee fairy that washes out the bloody clothes of her dead along waterways, fairies and their connections to ghosts have been rinsed of their powers.

Long ago, fairies and ghosts were viewed as much as the same, spirits neither good nor bad but something in-between. Even human beings were thought to be fairies if they showed special powers or unusual ugliness or beauty — much the same as witches. In Scotland, it was considered great esteem for a man to marry a woman who was a “fairy witch.” This could be dangerous as well since fairy witches were often blamed for blights and bad luck.

Yet in Ireland, where the ghosts were called Thevshi or Tash, Finarva, the King of the Fairies ruled over the dead. Again, there was danger that was associated with fairies and haunting ghosts. If not treated with proper respect, they might come back to wreak havoc on the living, thus, all fairies were referred to as “the little people” or the “wee folk” and the names of the dead were rarely spoken.

It was believed in the Celtic realm that when a soul leaves the body, it could be enticed away, at times, by fairies, looking for a new soul to join them in fairyland. Very small children were susceptible to this, because they fairies themselves are much like children themselves, open and natural to the world. In western Ireland, in Christian times, when a small child died, blood from a chicken would be sprinkled on the threshold so spirits or fairies would be enticed away from the body.

According to Lady Wilde, in her 1897 book Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland that starting on All Hallows Eve, “the dead would spring up in their shrouds and rush out into the moonlight with mad laughter to join the fairies.” On the last night of November, it was especially tenuous between the living, souls of the dead, and the fairies. It was this last night (believed by the Irish) that fairies would dance with souls of the dead on hillsides before they must return to the chilled, cold earth. Certain tales indicate fairy witches joined them in their dance.
Individuals who died at twilight would find themselves in Fairyland and could visit the living as ghosts. It is interesting to note that modern ghost researchers say the most opportune time to investigate ghosts and hauntings, is to start around dusk since this is the time spirits tend to show themselves to mortal human beings. Once again, with the coming of night pulls us into a twilight world, a ghostly dreamtime.

Fairies As Witch’s Familiars

Familiar spirits are ghosts, or discarnates such as fairies, that contact human beings routinely and can be used for magic. The most recognized familiar in witchcraft as in popular culture has to be a black cat, followed closely by a raven or a crow. Native American familiars arrive in the form of a totem animal more likely to be a bear, eagle or an elk. The animal’s body is possessed by another spirit or divinity that is primarily an imp, a ghost or a fairy. When called upon, the familiar may wish to assist a sorcerer, magician or witch, or rescue a person who needs help.
The name “familiar” was first used in English and Scottish witch trails, believed to appear as an attendant to witches and sorcerers. Familiar comes from the Latin word familiaris, meaning intimate, friendly with, as is related to one’s family or someone very familiar. The first used of familiar, as in a “familiar spirit,” imp or fairy, was written down in1584.
The animal familiar is mostly found in England where accused witches were thought to have familiars that were really fairies, demons, imps and elves, and sometimes ghosts of evil people invading the body of an animal. 
Familiars could be kept as a pet, or even a spider or a toad found inside the house of the accused witch. The idea of familiars traveled to America to show up in some of the Salem Witch Trials later.

By 1598, beliefs in fairies appearing in the guise of animals was firmly solidified, when a man in Aberdeen claimed he had met with the Quene of Elphen (Queen of Elfiand) along with her cats wandering along the rode at Twilight.
At this time, in Gaelic lands it was believed that anyone who passed away around at Twilight, his or her spirit could get lost, ending up in Elfiand only to return as ghosts. Fairies were very much like the undead, or the nosferatu, whom some believed they shared tombs with while in Elf or Fairyland.

Fairies and familiars exhibited related psychic powers, they have the ability to divine the future, and leave their realms, just like ghosts who want to interact with the living. They are also described as ghosts very early on, as in a green glowing light, rather large or small and inside a moving shadow. In British occult lore, it was believed that sometimes when the Devil appeared, he did as a handsome man dressed in green, a color primarily associated with fairies. The Devil would then vanish in the form of a black dog, of course, associating him to the banshee’s Black Shuck and other British hobgoblins.
What is lost on our culture today is fairies became a part of demonology after the witch trials. 

It is only when the Victorians cleaned up fairies, and their associations with witches and the dead, that they were re-introduced as very much watered down creatures.
It was once feared that when there was no water or milk left out for the fairies or familiar spirits that visited the home, they might have to drink human blood. The most common name for a witch’s familiar in England was “Robin.” It is interesting to note that the legendary figure of Robin Hood, like the fairies so often, is always portrayed wearing green clothing.

Fairies and Poltergeists

When considering poltergeists, and how we view them in our modern day, it is not so different than the way common folk used to see fairies. Fairies, like spirits, could cause havoc and mayhem in the household if not given the proper respect. Fairies could also move objects and hide them in the most unlikely places. At times, they even threw things, like glasses or cups and might splash food or liquids in people’s faces to show their unhappiness. Sometimes the fairies might drum to keep residents awake all night, tap or knock on doors or walls in order to draw attention to their plight or just to show their disapproval at homeowners. Others were reported to run a cane up and down the headboard of a bed or made loud invisible footsteps in homes. Unruly children might cause the fairies to slap, to pinch or push. Mysterious lights or shadows appear and disappear in the home. This was all just a part of fairy mischief.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it should. The unseen type of fairy, the kind that plays tricks, is very much like our everyday poltergeist. Of course, in German, poltergeist simply means a rapping ghost or meddlesome spirit. The appearance of the poltergeist tends to occur in cycles, and never appears as a person, or a personal ghost, with a face or a history or a name. (They may lie and respond to any name given though.) Some may mistake their poltergeist for a person that they know of that died in the home or perhaps a relative who passed on. Such unsettling occurrences, such as doors slamming, shelves crashing and empty footsteps must be explained somehow. But it usually is not. Poltergeists may be our own volatile and erratic psychic powers unleashed, and are typically associated with an adolescent boy or girl.

Therefore, the popular theory explaining poltergeists over the past fifty years is, that poltergeist phenomenon is fueled by dormant telekinetic powers found within the human brain. 
The stress of adolescents may stimulate the poltergeist activity that at one time could easily be mistaken for the powers of fairies, witches or spirits of the deceased. What is intriguing about linking poltergeists to fairy hauntings in the distant past is that poltergeists are generally not thought to be spirits of the dead, either. They are a form of haunting all on their own, but generally associated with other types of hauntings.
In fact, I have found during my own ghost investigations that the appearance of poltergeists are often a pre-cursor or a “firing up” to other major types of hauntings, which may involve actual ghosts or spirits of the dead. Where you have poltergeists, you will most likely find actual ghosts. There must be some synergy between the human mind and spirits, and other type of spirits, for instance fairies, earth energies, and elementals.

Imagine what might happen to the owner of a home plagued with poltergeists during the times of the witch trials and executions. It would seem insane to admit to poltergeists (as fairies or ghosts or imps) in the home to anyone, most especially authorities who could put you on trial. And a number of witch inquisitors, when visiting the homes of many supposed witch’s home, reported having their hats knocked from their heads, having their shins kicked and their pockets turned inside out. In any event, the only way to save oneself was to point a finger at the “real witch” responsible for the haunting.
Fairies as Elementals: Spiritual Expressions of Earth Energies

Elementals, or natural earth energies representing the four elements of fire, earth, water and air, have much in common with fairies. They are ethereal forms of life and spirit that are not usually seen by the human eye but are also expressions of earth energies. In fact, many believe fairies are just that — elemental spirits that are really not human in any way, but can be contacted by psychic visions and by other powers.

One could hardly call elementals supernatural since they are very much a part of the natural world. But they sometimes appear as balls of light, colored gases and cloudy lights, the rippling silver of waves on water, or even in the simple stirring of a blade of grass. Such energies have personalities and it is the tradition of witchcraft that interactions with elementals will benefit crops, will cause gardens to be more abundant and will generally make life on earth more pleasant for human beings. After all, elementals are in the primordial phase of all creation on earth and in our solar system. Yet they are not impartial to humans — they are in essence helpers.

Earth Elementals govern the physical realm of sinew, bone, mountain, muscle, grass and rock. Air Elementals govern the ethereal realms, such as wind, storms, the influencing of stars, planets, oxygen and spirit. Water Elementals represents the astral realm, just beyond the earth realm. They rule emotion, empathy, mediumship and ghosts.
As the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas once wrote: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower, drives my green age. Behind nature, perhaps, is where the spark of divinity lies. Such could be said of the elemental forces found in the natural that are apart from the human mind or soul, and yet also a part of both.
However, in more ancient times, it does not seem probable that that the beings country folk claimed to have communications with were spirits of nature. They saw fairies as very similar and related to human beings, sometimes wicked, other times mirthful and filled with wit, fairies could extremely ugly and yet at other times shining and beautiful beyond compare...