My experience with my daimon has been immediate, present, and profound. Like I said, he is right here, right now, smiling at me again out of those blue eyes, probably because I'm talking about him. No, that's not quite right, really; it's more that in talking about him I am talking about my authentic Self.
And not just because I'm opening up and discussing a subject that, well, if it is not exactly taboo, is still not generally mentioned, as it is unusual and often harshly judged (as well as a private matter), but because that is one of the daimon's roles: helping a woman to discover, to uncover, her authentic Self.
What am I talking about, I can hear you all wonder. Well, let's turn to the very excellent Caitlín Matthews and her book In Search of Woman's Passionate Soul: Revealing the Daimon Lover Within. She says:
[The daimon] is the inner inspirer of women: one who appears in male shape in their dreams, fantasies and meditations and plays a significant part in guiding and shaping their outer lives.
The soul of every human being is encoded with an image of desire. In men, the image usually appears as female; in women, as male. Throughout adolescence, the influence of this image intensifies like a burning glass, heightening sexual desire. In later years, this image exercises a strong influence in many areas of life when its features and characteristics are sought in sexual partners, in intellectual colleagues, in objects of spiritual veneration, and in creative inspiration and artistic fulfillment.
In the classical world, the word daimon was used to mean 'the inspirational spirit-companion or genius of a human being'. Similar to the Roman genius, the daimon was the spirit which was believed to be present at one's birth and which guided and protected one's soul. (From pages 2-3.)
She also says '[t]he role of the daimon and muse is to support, companion and guide the authentic self' (page 48).
Now the Muse (or daimon; I consider them the same thing, though of course the sex of one's 'image of desire' is going to depend on which sex one desires!) is often spoken of solely in terms of inspiring creativity; it seems to me that much of the time the sexual aspect is downplayed or ignored, sort of automatically assumed to be sublimated into something 'higher'. But in my experience it is all the same thing, inspiration, desire, longing, the urge to create, to explore: all expressions of the life-force, or libido if you will. Then again I'm also Pagan down to the deep bones of me.
So, then, if you are interested in exploring all this, how do you find him? (And please forgive me, lesbians and bi women, as I generalize the pronouns to masculine.)
He is the go-between, the messenger, between this world and the Other; or between the conscious and unconscious, if you prefer those terms. He comes in dreams, in visions and in meditations; divination (the process of seeing the divine, literally 'to be inspired by a God') such as Tarot reading is also a good way to open up a dialogue with him. He is the Soul Guide, the Psychopomp, and in my dreams at least he has opened doors, held the keys, bought tickets.
He always has a charge to him—he is the image of desire; how can he not? And that charge is how you know it's him. Now, depending on where you are in your acceptance of him, or where you are in your acceptance of your Self, more like, or, to put it another way, how well you are aligned with your own Soul's purpose or calling, he can come in positive or negative guises. If you are not listening to your Soul, he may very well come as an irresistible and unstoppable vampiric sort (and I suspect this is in large part what this society's obsession with vampires taps into); if you are working in accordance with your true Self, he may be a beautiful and fascinating lover. But the charge is always there, and he is always a profoundly compelling figure. Because he embodies, and brings, the call of the Soul.
Now I am personally very very very very lucky in that I seem to have such a clear connection to mine; even within a dream I know it's him. And part of all this, why I'm writing about this now in public (besides the feeling that if I held it in any longer I was just going to burst) is an almost evangelical fervor to share, much as I really dislike the 'spreading the good word' kind of thing. But I have found this working to be incredibly, unbelievably, helpful and profoundly healing and strengthening, as well as deeply compassionate and kind; and it has made me a much, much better person. I also do think it is something that, well, all humans have in common. I make that statement with some trepidation, as I do not wish to speak for anyone else; but coming from a psychological (okay, Jungian, perspective), if the shadow, and the animus and anima, and all the archetypes out there are common to humanity, then so is this.
Does this strike a chord in you?