I have heard about how helpful one’s fylgja (in my case a Barn Owl) is supposed to be during trance/journey work; however, only here in the early stages of my trek into the Norse magick and mysteries have I had the opportunity to experience and appreciate this help in my own travels. Barn Owl has already made many of his roles apparent to me (for all that they are and all that they are not). I address a few of those roles below with the full understanding that my relationship with Barn Owl is young and I therefore have much more to learn about him and about our work together.
As a denizen of the otherworlds, my fylgja serves as an excellent informant and guide. He is knowledgeable of the roads and paths to various locations, which he demonstrated on my journey from Jotunheim to Midgard (see my Catskin Sisters blog entry at http://catskinsisters.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/midgard-bound/ for more details on that journey). He also demonstrated his ability to receive messages from other spirits, deities, and beings when he communicated to me that my trials in Ironwood and the utgard-type space between Jotunheim and Midgard was indeed an important test orchestrated by one of my “patron deities”, in this case Odin.
Luckily, I have not been in enough trouble to require this service on a regular basis. Given that fact, only once have I seen Barn Owl serve as a protector of my “physical” person and that was when I nearly fell from a high, narrow mountain-side path between Jotunheim and Midgard. Barn Owl caught me by my outer layer of clothing and kept me from falling. While I may not have died, I am sure the fall would have been unpleasant! One could argue that in his role as guide he doubles as a protector ensuring my spiritual safety. I truly believe that in my most recent encounter with Nerthus (who is most emphatically the Norse Lady of Sovereignty, Sacred Boundaries, and Holiness), by demanding that I bravely meet my appointment with her Barn Owl kept me from offended a Mighty and Dangerous goddess! For more information on that encounter, check out the Catskin Sisters blog entry at http://catskinsisters.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/entering-vanaheim/.
Hail all fylgjur, sacred allies!