A couple of nights ago, Andy and I watched The Golden Compass. Andy saw it on the flight from Paris in 2008, but this was my first time seeing it. I loved the idea of the alternate dimension parallel to our own where everyone had a daemon, a physical manifestation of their soul and that the daemon takes on an animal shape. After watching the movie, I started wondering what my daemon would look like and is a daemon anything like a familiar.
According to the author of Northern Lights, the book upon which the movie is based, daemons have an upper limit to the size they can obtain. He also states that a daemon will “settle” on the form of the animal which the person most resembles in character. So with that information, I started thinking about possible animal manifestations of what my daemon would look like.
After thinking back to my childhood, I have come to realize that there are 3 animals that are reoccurring constants in my life. The horse, the feline, and the rabbit. Since daemons have an upper limit to size and in the movie no one has a daemon larger than a snow leopard, that rules out the horse as a possible daemon. After reading some shamanistic writings about the feline and the rabbit, I have come to realize that I most closely resemble a feline. I don’t know what type of feline my daemon would take, but I’m pretty sure that is what my daemon would be. According to shamanistic writings a feline is adaptable, reminds all to be true to your soul, and to accept your destiny. Very admirable traits.
As for a daemon being a familiar, that is a tougher question to answer. Traditionally a familiar is an animal who helps it’s human, usually magically. I think daemons can be a familiar but a familiar is not necessarily a daemon. Like a daemon, a familiar can take just about any animal form and you never see any reference to it being larger than a wolf. A familiar is a companion that a human has connected with closely. In that context I think a daemon is a type of familiar.
Now it is your turn, what manifestation would your daemon take, and why?