By Lonnie Hanshaw
The Fetch (aka Fylgja and Familar) Following Spirit, is part of the Soul complex in the Northern Tradition then houses the individuals Animal self, Tutelary/Contra-sexual self, the Doppelganger or Double and Abstract Geometrical self. Of these for only forms 1 through 3 are directly explainable but the fourth can only be experienced. The fish were most part is a really recognized it has little role outside of the magical or mystical for the individual.
Approximately 99% of people have one in various stages of development and cognition. There are a 1% who have been born without a Fetch in those poor souls tend to be the very dull in the utterly materialistic of people who have little to no potential beyond a worker drone. the fetch is also the repository all ancestral an individual experience for the past present and possible future events. In the northern tradition it is this part of the individual that is passed down through the family lines. It could be considered and compared to a condensed reader's digest of every individual it has ever been a part of especially if it was recognized at least partially by the person it was connected to in the past and including the present.
The Fetch is also your direct connection to Wyrd or Örlögr, the great web of causality conceived as layers of past presidents that shapes and conditions but does not determine the present and future of an individual. The Fetch facilitates this by linking the individual to their personal Norn (dealer of that which is, that which is becoming in that which should be) through them to Urdhr (that which is), Werdandhi ( that which is becoming)and Skuldr (that which should become), known in the Northern Tradition is the weavers of the tapestry of Wyrd, in their Old English form as the Wyrrd Sisters, if which even the Gods are subject to them. The Fetch is also your connection to the Gods and Goddesses and is symbolically reciting in their realms and all the nine worlds simultaneously. in the individual is paired with another part of the Soul, the Haming( Hamingja) also known as luck, The faculty of personal power. Through that connection it is able to influence the Hamr (shape) or Shield-Skin, the Odr or Wode the facility of inspiration, ecstasy and sometimes referred to as the Seidr-fire and the Ond or vital breath. Through them to the other parts of the Soul-Body Complex.
So let's get started on the first aspect of the fetch, the Animal Fetch (Deersfylgja). I will cover the other three in forthcoming articles as each part is in need and deserves an individual explanation.
The animal Fetch is the very first aspect of the Fetch which is the only part that completely belongs to you in this lifetime is it is literally the individual as an animal a direct link to the Beast or totemic deities (such as Bear, Fox, Wolf, Raccoon, Squirrel, etc) also colloquially referred to as the Animal Companion. It is a guardian, guide, teacher, best friend and vehicle for both spells (Sendingr)and Spæ-craft. The Animal Fetch is also the collective power and repository of your instincts, your inborn talents and gifts. For Hermetic and Ceremonial Magicians you can think of the Animal Fetch as your Holy Guardian Angel or Augoedies in beast mode, with a bit more savage disposition. The Animal Fetch reveals your True Will on the instinctual and non rational level. Gaining knowledge and conversation of your Animal Companion or Fetch is a wild ride and can take years for you to completely come to terms with it. Great care must be taken with it as its power is animalistic and can get out of control and overwhelm you. An example of this is the beserkergangr, where those who's Fetch is predatorial ( traditionally a bear or wolf) takes possession of them, either willingly or by accident.
It's estimated that under possession from a predatorial Fetch you go from only being able to use 15 to 20% of your body's entire muscle ability to closer to 60 to 80%. It can destroy your rational mind so must be approached of care and utmost respect. From the point of view of practical and operative Magic it is viewed as the most important aspect of your Fetch. Each person typically has one Animal Fetch, some have more than one that are truly the exception not the rule. what your fetishes says a lot about you as an individual and the traditionally has a name never to be revealed to another person. and make sure you know this that anyone may know the species of your animal fetch but never the name it tells you. That's the equivalent to let's say a connecting Sigil between you and it! I'm going to reiterate that and say never let anyone know what the name of your Animal Fetch is period! No exceptions for one is disrespectful to the Animal Fetch and will also give somebody an easy opening to cause you great, great harm. Having knowledge of conversation with your Animal Fetch gives you insanely powerful guardian, guide and truly the deepest of friends! It can act independently without your direct knowledge in order to protect you. interesting to note the Fetches gender is always your true but not necessarily your biological gender. In my experience, transgendered individual's Fetch has always been the same as their gender identity. An individual who is in contact continually with their Animal Fetch can learn magic directly from their animal. Such individuals are colloqially referred to as (insert species)-Sorcerers, an example would be a Fox Sorcerer and it is considered a badge of honor among those who specialize in their Animal Fetch's Magic. As a side note, the Animal Fetch is not the same thing as the core shamanistic power animal. Power Animals ( sometimes referred to as a Hamingjar) are independent guides teachers and allies they have a specific lesson to teach in may or may not stay with the individual after they lesson is learned.
Making contact off your Animal Fetch can cause extreme turmoil in your life as it instinctively tries to put you on your path of heart but is ultimately beneficial in the long run sometimes that very long run! Once it is revealed a species to you avoid books on Totem Animals in Totem Magic, these books are typically written from a very specific tradition and may or may not have the same context within your personal culture. After contact its best 2 focus on folklore and scientific analysis of its behavior and its environment. Like what does it eat, is it a carnivore or is it an herbivore? This quick description is only scratching the very surface of your Animal Fetch as volumes could be written about it and every individual has both traditional and individual ways of working with it that are beyond the scope of this article.