When you recommend spells to followers, (either because they asked or just for a new post). Have you done the spell yourself?
I tend to only give out spells I have a) used myself b) seen successfully used. However, sometimes someone approaches me with a wish that is something I have never done, a friend has never done, and the inquirer is very pressing, and I will just grab something from one of my favorite books. My preference 95% of the time is to only give out things that have worked for me or someone very close to me.
For the purposes of this question assume the following
Circle= a magical working done within a set space. (may be done by one person or multiple people)
Elements= Energies called up during a circle. ( for this question limiting it to the basic five a first learned with. Fire, Earth,Air, Water,…
The traditional size is 9 feet. If you are doing a traditional working you might want to stick with that, its been done that way for centuries and probably has a lot of built up power in it. The 9 foot thing is set up for calling demons and things. If you aren’t calling demons or doing traditional Wiccan work, then it might not matter, in fact a circle might not matter at all at that point. What is the purpose of the circle for your working?
To me that sounds like your fairy lover or a guardian. They are attached to you and both a part of you and separate. They watch out for you if you let them. I would show them appreciation and see if they start giving you a little more of an idea who they are, what they look like etc.
Your grandfather does sound like a traditional folk healer. And what you are stating is a type, the kind that absorb the pain of others. But it would likely be a cultural term for what kind of healer he was.
Yes, animal necromancy is a thing. My friend Lupa works specifically with skin spirits. She talks with the spirit of the skin, she helps theraputically with its death.She learns about the creature, what it liked, what it did, how it died. Then she asks it if it wants to be a part of something, like if it wants to have another kind of life as a ritual object.
My friend Sarah Lawless also does this kind of working. She has a large number of skull, furs, and bones. She uses them to commune with the spirits of the animals and learn their secrets.
I have taken what I have learned from both my friends (books, articles, blogs, workshops and conversations), and I have a few skulls and bones of my own that I use when I hedgecross sometimes to work with the spirit of the animal over in elphame as an ally.
I think I understand your question to mean the affect of Sabbatic witchcraft on pre-christian survivals of pagan folk magic. The way I see it, there were echos of the pagan folk magic (Diana, Pan, etc) that just barely survived into the middle ages. People still had their fairies and spirits of the woods. However, in the middle ages, conditions were so poor for people, that they turned away from the church rules and dogma imposed upon them for secret parties at night, rebellions against the prohibitions against just about everything that family life and traditions had been based upon. At that point Sabbatic Witchcraft was born. The Black Mass, heresies, and so on began to become mixed in with folk magic traditions. Wasn’t Diana alike to the fairy queen? Wasn’t Pan alike to Lucifer? After a point, the witches gained a lot of mysterious renown and power, and people wanted to bank in on that. So many people who practiced folk magic picked up dissertations on witchcraft and used them a grimoires. In that way the crimes of the witch trials became instructions for cunning folk. Some folks wish to strip all that away, but I see it as a part of the history of witchcraft and cunning folk that the witch’s sabbath began to define the power of the tradition in contrast to the suffering venerated by the church at the time.