What Is Your Old Norse Fylgja?
Have you ever thought about what happens to us after we die? We’re sure that you have, as it’s a common thought. Whether or not your soul lives on and takes another form is something that is commonly discussed in many mythologies. If you’re interested in Norse mythology, you may be interested in finding out about fylgja. This is the Norse mythology belief that a person’s spirit can take the form of an animal or human in connection to fate or fortune.
What kind of shape they take is anybody’s guess, as there are certain ones that have shown up in mythology. Spirits can appear different for a man or a woman, and a single animal can represent an entire family. You may have a family fylgjur that you don’t even know about.
Curious as to what yours would be? Take this quiz to see what animal fylgja or guardian spirit might be yours.
Old Norse fylgja are supernatural beings or guardian spirits that accompany a person in connection to their fate. It tends to either be an animal or a human. If it is a human, it can be shape-shifting to resemble different people. It is the Norse belief that a soul can take the form of an animal or human and go along on a journey. Upon death, another person's spirit can join someone else's body, or it can join a family member's. It is different for a male or female and the saga continues for generations. A fylgja may take the form of a tamed or untamed animal depending on a person's true character.
Examples of animal fylgja are an ox, goat, boar, fox, wolf, deer, bear, eagle, falcon, and more. The shape-shifting human can appear as multiple things — for example, as an old female or young girl. Gabriel Turville Petre cites multiple instances in lore and literature where an evil wizard has a fylgjur of a fox, as they are sly and cunning. Your fate isn't decided at any point, and the concept is that the owner of the fylgjur can change with their journey. Your family can be connected by fylgja. Fylgja are most frequently seen in dreams, according to mythology. It is similar to the fetch tradition in Irish lore.