Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Daemon, schmaemon.

okay, kids.

i gotta tell ya, im really excited about the golden compass movie. i know there are purists out there that are upset about it and are boycotting it and all that kinda crap, but hot damn, itll be pretty!
its playing at the cinerama here in seattle (big screen, what!) so i think we should get a group to go.

and if youve read the books and are as excited as i am, you should play this game and then tell me what your daemon is. cuz its kinda crazy. i mean, 20 questions and you know what my soul looks like? yeah, right. but still, its kinda cool.

and if you havent read the books, lemme know so i can get you a copy of the first one, stat. then you must read it (well, all three of them) immediately, and then we can talk.

but until then...
every person in the world of these books has a part of them, a daemon familiar, that is a separate entity outside of themselves and takes animal form. when growing up (until puberty or, more correctly, loss of innocence) children's daemons can change shape depending on mood or necessity. your daemon's form is very indicative of your personality and can betray what you are thinking/your motives more easily than your face. it always takes the form of the "opposite" sex as yourself and thinks separate thoughts and has separate emotions and sometimes separate experiences than you, but you two are of the same stuff, you share a soul and the connection between you is the strongest bond in nature and you cannot be physically separated by more than maybe ten feet (unless you are a witch...) or you both will feel physical pain--your hearts will ache severely and you will get nauseated to the extreme.
upon reaching maturity, your daemon will settle into a specific animal form and no longer change at whim. this form speaks volumes as to the type of person you are. so this means that people, upon first meeting you, can learn a lot about you just by looking at your daemon. which is kinda disconcerting to me, but well, its a fantasy world and is supposed to be working on image-based metaphors, so i should just let it go.

but this idea of having a daemon made its way into my psyche somehow, and i really do think of the world in terms of what type of daemon people have. its the first question i ask people when i learn they have read the books: whats your daemon look like?

once my friend shoe (or 'xiu') asked me what my three favorite animals were, and why. and i thought about it for a second and answered as follows (i think this was the right order):

the raven, cuz it is a big, awe-inspiring dark thing that is so striking against the sky. and its loud. and it can FLY, for gods sake. and it has been a nickname of mine starting in jr high. (and i love e.a.poe.)

the fox, cuz it is effing beautiful, and mysterious and nimble and wiley. like a wolf and a cat mixed, or something. and my moms maiden name is fox. and well, to tell you the truth, i was in love with the disney robin hood as a child. (ive always had a thing for red-heads...)

the raccoon, cuz it is cute and playful and smart and stubborn. and in grade school i had a dream that became a story about where their masks and tail-rings came from. one of my best pieces of writing as a kid. and i once bonded with a roving family of raccoons in grinnell. we shared some ice cream.

After I answered, he smiled and told me that it was a psychological test. The first animal was how I see myself, the second how I am seen by others, and the third is who I really am.

at which point i laughed ruefully and became totally amused that i tend to go by 'rayvan fox' and wear a grey and white hat with black ears attached to it...sheesh.

[drawing by clyde petersen]

and now this game has told me i am:

spontaneous, modest, competitive, sociable and fickle.
(which, you know, is not wrong...per se...)

and therefore, i have a jackal daemon. named cleon.
(how close are jackals to foxes? pretty damned near, id say...)

a jackal sounds slightly more sinister, but maybe its just trying to be a combination of a raven, a fox and a raccoon. ah, well. ill take it.

(i think i got an ermine before, when i took it months ago when i first learned about the movie website...but i always said my daemon hadnt settled yet...)

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