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What Would Your Dæmon Be?

Illustration for article titled What Would Your Dæmon Be?

In Phillip Pullman's masterful Young Adult novel, The Golden Compass, the heroine of the tale, Lyra Belacqua, lives in a world similar to our own, yet different. In Lyra's world, a part of your soul, (called a dæmon) follows each person around. Dæmon's can communicate with the human they're attached to.

This part of your soul appears in animal form, changing periodically at will throughout your childhood, prior to settling in one form once you hit puberty. The animal your dæmon settles in is supposed to tell you something about yourself. Certain professions have dæmon's settle in certain forms- for example, servants dæmon's are always dogs, whereas witches dæmon's are always birds.

Dæmon's also reflect an individual's sexuality. If someone is heterosexual, their dæmon is of the opposite sex they were assigned at birth. If someone is homosexual, their dæmon is the same sex they were assigned at birth. (I know that both gender and sexuality are fluid, but let's give Pullman some credit for acknowledging that love happens between two consenting adults regardless of their sex).

A dæmon and their human are connected, those that are severed from their dæmon are broken individuals, regulated to a horrid existence.

Essentially, pondering what your dæmon would be is a much more grown up version of "If I Was An Animal, What Would I Be?"

Pullman suggested once that you ask individuals that love you, but aren't related to you, that exact question.

Results of what my own dæmon would be, upon surveying my friends, have been mixed. The 3 animals that get mentioned the most are river otter, ocelot, or lion. So, Groupthink, for those who know me: what would my dæmon be? What would your own dæmon's be?

PS- For those who haven't read The Golden Compass or the trilogy the book is apart of, His Dark Materials, I highly recommend it. Even though it is Young Adult Literature.


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