Thursday, September 22, 2016

Your Personal Traveling Companion - The Fylgja

Within Germanic/Norse thought, belief, and myth the fylgja is considered a spirit that follows or accompanies a human person through out their earthly assistance (Christianity conveniently picked up on this and called it a person's guardian angel).  But is our fylgja an animal or a female human, or both?  

In an effort to keep this simple, and in my opinion, your fylgja is "female" and has the form of a female person.  The idea of an animal fylgja comes down to us via our shamanic past; the belief that people could turn their "shape" into an animal.  If a person "sees" his animal fylgja in a dream or vision he is "seeing" an animal, representative of, or if you like, a reflection of his character, personality, and alter ego - period.  It is not your companion/guardian.  The only thing that the animal fylgja and female fylgja have in common is the name - fylgja.  And sorry, there is no such thing as a man/male fylgja.  I will not exhaust this essay with examples about animal fylgja types.  That is something for the individual person who wants to scratch his curiosity to do.  So what about the female?  

All of us have at least one female fylgja; families, clans, and tribes have more.  But for now, let's just consider the individual.  They are with us from birth (or at least after some kind of naming ceremony) and escort our Hugr/Munr, our soul complex, into some sort of after-life.  When allowed, they are our personal counselors, advisers, and companions (allowed in this sense refers to a person's efforts to contact and then maintain a functional relationship with his/her fylgja - a topic for another day).  Our fylgja can protect us and helps us gather and  manage Magan.  There are folks who believe that the fylgja dies when its human charge dies; that is incorrect.  That thinking is based on the animal fylgja concept, which is as stated above.  Our fylgja could very well be our personal Matronae/Disir of ancient Germanic/Norse myth and legend - that makes them minor Goddesses.

SHE, your fylgja, always is close to you, ready to protect you and give you sound advice; you belong to Her as much as She belongs to you.  And if you have an especially close relationship, she will morn your passing, and possibly hang around your grave.  And if her expression of grief is strong enough, the Old Germanic/Norse myth and legends tell us that She can appear to passers-by and frighten them away, much in the same manner as your surviving Hugr/Munr (see - Your Personal Ravens - Hugr and Munr, 9/20/2016 on this blog).  So here then, is another example of the so-called draugr/revenant of the Old Tales.  The whole zombie thing is misunderstood and so over-rated, don't you think?

Also see on this blog;  For Our Mothers - Modraniht ...12/20/2015  
                                    Matribus Germanis ..... 2/25/2016  

Author's Note:  It is important to remember that the Hugr/Munr reside within you and you can learn how to "send them forth."  The fylgja, while being attached/a part of you resides outside of you.  Also understand that your fylgja is not a slave.  You cannot order Her around like a  pet.  Should you attempt to do so, it is one sure way that She will leave you.  

                                                    Copyright 2016 @ Terry Unger

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