Old folktales, legends, and myths point to concepts like the Fetch, Doppelganger, and Vardøger and/or Fylgja, and Ka and so forth as supernatural doubles (or attendant spirits) that some people manifest at various points. A corporeal person has a body and a spiritual presence (that they may or may not be aware of). Modern occultism has often framed this folklore as a pre-modern understanding of “astral projection” and out-of-body experiences (OBE).
For me, I had persistent issues with engaging with Fetch that owe something to the disassociation I had between Body and Fetch. I pushed Fetch off and away, did my best to ignore the Body, and let Talker dominate. This (mostly unconscious and uninformed) choice meant that my Fetch wandered off into the Otherworlds. I’ve grown aware over time that she has been doing things: a lot of walking, meeting with others in the Otherworlds, scheming, lazing, aimless wandering, obsessed walking, exploring, leaving messages for Talker, and so on.
I know that Feri and other traditions (including the hermetic) associate the Fetch with a kind of low animal intelligence—“animal instincts” and all that. Language, after all, is the purview of Talker. However, as I’ve had flashes of what Fetch has been up to, still often is up to, I realize that Fetch can communicate and think and reason and more—but not in the same way as Talker. Or, at least, mine can. Maybe yours can, too. Maybe everyone’s can, but we don’t think about it and ignore it or miss it, or that side of Fetch is perceived as emerging from other occult processes. I would merely encourage you to imagine the potentialities and find what sings to you.
When I’ve written about “other attentions” here in the past, or about concurrent other lives I’m living, I suspect most of the time I’ve been writing about the glimpses into Fetch’s/Taniel’s activities as Talker is able to connect (all too briefly) and make fleeting sense of them. And I’ve wanted access to those “attentions” and memories and more, and bridging Talker and Fetch to do so has been an on-going process of alignment, integration, and contextualizing. Fetch knows things, or she helps me bridge to particular knowledges and selves and realities of self that I don’t have access to with Talker alone.
Now, the rationalist might say that these attentions and glimpses of Fetch have been “dreams,” “hypnogogic states,” “trance visions,” “hallucinations,” and more. And yes, all of that has occurred to me, but I have to then say that my experience demonstrates to me that, yes, Fetch exists. The best means I have to judge my experiences is to see what they force me to confront, to reflect on them critically while I try to find the truth and reality of myself and my life. After all, I’m not a materialist, but I also don’t want to occupy happy fun delusions—or paranoid ones!
My experience with Fetch has shown that, when she is Present with Body and when Talker is in-line and in the right state, Fetch is the adept one with energy and the more visceral aspects of magic: storing and manipulating energy; moving through and manipulating the Otherworlds; serving as actor in the theater of magic. Along these lines, I feel my experience has been fairly consistent with Feri, other than the Fetch wandering off for many years.
Talker & Conceiving Reality
How you conceive of the soul and these bodies—the symbolic apparatus and metaphors you use in trying to make sense of them—directly influences how you experience and frame your experience of these realities of your soul and spiritual bodies. To a good degree, this process begins and centers around Talker.
Via Victor Anderson and most every other Feri I’ve read on this topic, Feri typically conceives of Fetch as a dense electric body within and just slightly larger than the supposedly mundane corporeal body. Surrounding these two bodies (Body and Fetch) is Talker, which in Feri assumes a far more “aura”-like shape: something vaguely egg-like that goes out perhaps 2-3 feet. I’ve noted that many people tend to have fairly consistent auras that roughly fall into this “standard” type of aura: about 2-3 feet with a fairly well-defined border. For me, though, Talker/”my aura” extends further—maybe 10-12 feet, albeit rather diffusely and without defined borders. That which is within my “personal space,” to about arms-length (so 2-3 feet), is the most dense part of my Talker aura and space, but it continues on beyond that distance.
Now, here’s the thing: other people can perceive all of this differently. It depends on the sensory metaphors you develop (or encounter) in trying to articulate and imagine and make sense of these bodies for yourself and with others. Furthermore, how Talker conceives of you and your universe determines practically everything as far as how you conceive and perceive it all.
You can think of Talker as your conscious ego, but I would argue that’s one layer of Talker. She includes the cognitive and linguistic faculty, the subconscious dreaming, the unconscious responses and reactions you have on a mental level. Those responses include assumptions, expectations, beliefs, logical systems (-isms of all kinds, cultural and cognitive biases, etc.). Talker emerges from your idiosyncracies but also from the education, cultures, stories, media, experiences, languages, and more that you have accumulated all of your life. If Talker is a shell about you, then those experiences are akin to layers on the shell that affect how you experience/perceive/conceive exterior reality.These layers mediate your experience of reality.
Let me point to Augustin Berque who draws on Heidegger and others. Berque talks about “landscape thinking”: our experience of the world, including nature and architecture, is one of mediation. Berque proposes a way of considering the intersection of the social and the landscape through lococentrism: humans project meaning and significance on nature and locality, and humans experience locations/landscape through mediance, in which our understanding and experience of nature is itself an aesthetic and psychological and social reality. Humans project (trajected in Berque’s terminology) experience and emotion and mental life onto nature, which in turn affects human psychology. Put more simply, humans shape their understanding of place based upon what they perceive and how they perceive nature even as that nature then molds human experience simultaneously. Nature becomes a reflection, a mirror, for the psychology of people even as they are shaped/spurred by Nature and also understand themselves through their metaphorical engagement with that Nature, particularly in terms of local places.
What Berque is getting at is really a variation on the old idea of Microcosm and Macrocosm. If you replace Nature in the paragraph above with The World or Reality, you can probably see the spiritual aspect of these ideas. Our experience of Reality and the Otherworlds and this World is a process in which we reflect (and distort) what otherwise surrounds us. If your Talker, Microcosm, etc. sees the world as disenchanted and anti-magical, then you will have a hard time experiencing it otherwise (i.e., halthaya, psychic censor, etc.). If your Talker or Microcosm sees you as powerless and etc., then you will have a hard time experiencing life otherwise.
Next time, I continue with Talker, talk about the GD’s “Sphere of Sensation” and remaking Talker to serve your ends, or others’, if you let them.