I think I was speaking to the idea that there are was reading into the original post that there were two types of fylgja, one being an individual spirit in it’s own right, and the other being part of one’s spiritual makeup like a higher self, but manifesting as separate. Or maybe, just different ways that word can be used.
There’s other overlaps between the folklore of the British Isles and Scandanavia, like the Seal-folk/Selkies so it made sense to me, based on the follow the family, female, not a part of the higher self but a separate familiar spirit aspect that this was a fae, a spirit of the Earth. I think, there are more uses of the word fylgja, and they’ve been confused and conflated a lot.
So, I looked it up in my copy of Elves, Wights and Trolls by Kveldulf Gundarsson - there’s a mention of the Story of Helga, daughter of Bardr, who floated to Greenland on an iceberg, and is assumed a troll by the people settled there. She enters a fylgjulag, a fylgja-contract or concubinage with a human called Skeggi. She later uses magic to help him overcome some battle or something, but this is not really sound like she’s Skeggi’s higher self. She’s not actually called a fylgja, that’s the name given to her relationship with the huamn. Which leads me to wonder if a fylgja could also be used to refer to all sorts allies that enter into magical pacts with humans. Some places go so far as to compare them with familiars, others with totems - two very different things. I’m not feeling these are good analogies, but neither is ‘higher self’. This is something quite unique to the Norse model of human spiritual anatomy.
There’s no more mention of fylgjas until the glossary, which also separates the meanings into two:
“fylgja - usually either a supernatural ally who holds/manifests luck (often ancestral luck) for a human (fylgjukona), OR [capitals added] a person’s inner nature manifested in semi-independent form, usually as an animal
fylgjukona - “following woman”, a female fetch, ancestral fetch, or spiritual ally.”
Going back to the first question:
My question is how would you know if a female spirit “fylgja” is attached to you and why or could you have an attendant spirit without knowing you had one?
I thoughts at first this was talking about the Helga-style fylgja, a separate being that came into a relationship with the man when he was an adult - eh, one would probably notice this at the time. So, maybe not, and I was after a red herring for a while there…
I’m curious about the topic of higher selves etc…
I don’t see that a fetch, the kind that’s part of you, attained at 9 days old and "intrinsic to the personal wyrd ( friggasweb.org) is anything like a higher self as I relate to higher self as a concept.
For one thing, a fyglja can a) be lost, and b) comes into the infant at 9 days old? How could one lose a higher self or not have it part if them - it IS them. But a flygja, apparently, can become so disillusioned with the person, it - or she - leaves, taking it’s luck and other benefits with it. Which makes me ask, what would happen to a person who didn’t get a fetch at 9 days old? Or had a fetch and lost it? What’s the difference between a person with a new fetch, and one they already had from previous lifetimes?
My personal and current model of what a higher self is, is the idea that, when a being chooses to condense through the layers of density to incarnate into a human body, they divide into multiple parts to do so, to make it easier to fit what is a rather enormous amount of energy into these teensy tiny bodies. A common divisory number is 12: 11 of the parts incarnate, as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the 12th part stays non-incarnate and allows communication between the incarnate parts and Source. That is the higher self. This also means, that in any one incarnation there are 10 more aspects of you, running parallel lives, with different aspects of your energy, and you can talk to them. They could be anywhere in time but are probably on the same planet as the same type of being. My feeling is that the number is probably more variable than that - why not 144, why not 1?, and the leaving behind of a part to be this higher self is optional. I guess it depends on how confident a spirit is in their skills to awaken and connect once human. After years of communicating with entities from inanimate objects through crystals, animals, the higher selves of other people, to sprits of place, devas, ascended masters and gods, I don’t appear to have a higher self, I’m pretty sure I would have had a few conversations by now if I did, which is why I think it’s an optional step. These ideas were channeled through a new age Group of entities which feels suspiciously like none other than Azazel and his Nethers, they didn’t even change their names much. Dude gets around.