Inner Demons, Hamingja, and the Gods of War

In a vivid dream on Wednesday night, I met a few of my inner demons. They took on the form of wild boars, smaller in size than the real thing, with glowing red eyes and razor sharp tusks specially designed to tear up my insides. There were perhaps a half-dozen of them skulking low to the ground in the left-hand corner of the fairly large room we were occupying. The air surrounding them was a misty brownish-black, like a cloud of smog. My boarish demons were very menacing looking, although they seemed unconcerned with my newfound awareness of them. As long as I did not interrupt their work, I got the impression they would not wreak active havoc on my waking consciousness.

I think that I would not have even been able to see them had I not been rummaging around in a part of my psyche where protection against them is kept. The whole reason I was in the room was to search for the instruction manual for my “daimon” (the label used in my dream) – the being that would help me control the demons, gain power over them, maybe even harness them for various other purposes (not revealed to me in the dream). I carried my search for this instruction manual to a workbench which was lit with a very bright overhead lamp. Someone essentially said “there it is” and I saw the manual on the workbench; it was a little booklet, not nearly as extensive as I expected it to be, detailing the who, where, what, why and how of my daimon. I remember being confused because it was Coyote and not Barn Owl who appeared in the manual as my daimon. The confusion passed after a few seconds and I accepted Coyote as the daimon – the good spirit – who would aid me in the battle against the black boar hoards.

The dream was quite memorable for several reasons, but especially because it reminded me of a meditation over one year ago in which I battled my demons – in the form of anthropomorphized black swine – in an open field at high noon. I was totally being crushed when I began praying to Athena. I could feel her power pouring into me. I was essentially aspecting her in the meditation, complete with armor, helmet, spear, shield, and sweet battle tactics. I was also flanked by Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror), the very helpful but highly unexpected attendants of Ares. The two of them along with Aspected Athena helped me fight the onslaught. When the battle was complete, Nike came with Athena’s chariot to whisk me away. It was a very intense meditation, scary but empowering. During it, I realized that I could face whatever darkness dwelling in me; I knew I had the power!

The Wednesday night dream was similar to that meditation in that the demons took similar forms (swine = boar) and I had the resources at hand to overcome them (myself, deities, various helpful spirits). In the case of the dream, Coyote was there and he is still around I think to help me with the battle. Considering that I do a lot of spiritual work within a Norse/Germanic paradigm, I started wondering about how Coyote might fit into the Heathen soul complex. Since Barn Owl is currently filling the Fylgja position, I pondered where Coyote’s might be in the scheme of things since I don’t think one person can have two fylgja. Then it dawned on me, after some reading, that he could potentially be my hamingja in animal form. According to Paxson as well as The Troth, the hamingja is a person’s store of psychic power and luck, an energy source for intuition or the fylgja itself and a guard for the hamr (the hide) which is an amalgamation of some of the soul parts, separate from the lich or physical body.

Hmm, lots to think about.

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3 thoughts on “Inner Demons, Hamingja, and the Gods of War

    • I felt like Coyote might be more than an animal guide but I was at a loss to figure out exactly what more he might be, since the role of fylgja was being happily filled by Barn Owl. When I went back and did some more research, it started to come together. Now, like with Barn Owl, I have to figure out how to work with Coyote as Hamingja – you know establishing sacred space, giving regular offerings, visiting him in the astral more frequently, etc. Much to do!

  1. Are you aware of the North American Indian concept of Coyote, the trickster god? It was the first thing I thought of when I read your post. I know that you mean it as an animal, but Coyote of course appears as an animal in North American Indian lore. He’s also the head honcho for coyote shapeshifters. 🙂

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