I've written of this particular experience many times before, but in this post I will add some new descriptive and analytic commentary into the mix.
The experience (described poetically below) had nothing immediately proximal to it to do with ancestral memories or past lives. It may describe contact with my fylgja, a masculine divine psychopomp, my masculine "soul mate" (Lífþrasir) and/or a masculine kinfylgja.
Basic Description of the Experience.
A bit preceding and for time a bit after my birth, I was "accompanied by a kin-being with consciousness that can be described as a force without form. In earlier parts of my journey, he was just a voice calling me - a voice that in trying to locate it's source, and in following the sound of his voice, led me toward physical incarnation. It was a masculine voice, but I don't feel that he was my fetch. This kin-being was the force who "formed my physical form" for me to incarnate into, however (which seems somewhat fetch-like, yet ...that word just doesn't capture the fullness of his relationship to me). I'm not satisfied that this being was my fetch (fylgja). It was not "self" in the sense that I would expect the fetch to feel like. It felt more "kin-self", like a distinct part of me (as a fetch might be), yet very distinct from me - we were each unique beings of consciousness, yet at this point in my journey, we were still joined like two bubbles within one bubble of being (not literally a bubble, but this is the closest word I can think of to describe the relationship of consciousness).When I became born, my bubble was more distinctly me, while his bubble became more distinctly him apart from me - his bubble remained in the otherworld (although our singular bubbles are still even today joined by the bubble we share), and for a time, his voice could reach into my own bubble in this world, and likewise mine could reach into the otherworld into his (and thus, we could still communicate and have conversation). Also, I should mention, that we had very involved conversations for a period of time surrounding the events leading up to my birth and during early childhood - the relevance of this is that we didn't speak together in language as I learned it as a child of this world. We spoke in a pre-verbal language of pure meaning innate to the soul-being that I am - a language I didn't need to learn, it is a language perhaps directly partaking of elements innate to the soul. It almost seems that the more I learned to "talk with my tongue" and "hear with my ears", the less able I became to talk and hear through to the otherworld. I did for a very short time, talk with my tongue and hear with my hears, in conversation with him, but I feel this was gift for me that normally wasn't given, because I was being made to remember.
My Wyrd Ancestral Hamingja - Being Prepared to Receive It.
During the pre-incarnate portion of this experience, I wasn't seeing a "past life" pass before my eyes, I was seeing the general outline of my "future incarnate life" - of what was going to come and that is why I did not want to be born, I saw that my life would be very hard. Though I was seeing the general outline of my fate, the force with me was not preparing to detach anything - on the contrary, I was being prepared to receive what was being prepared for me (there is a different focus), and this force explicitly communicated that he would always be with me and instructed me to "remember!"
According to author Eoghan Odinsson,
the Hafskjold Stav tradition considers the Fylgya to be like an animal spirit guide.
Tradition further teaches that the fylgja may be "the conduit through which we speak to the gods" - like the point of interface which brings the person and the deity together (like - hello, this is the operator, I have a call for you, please stay on the line).
Additionally, this force stayed near to my in consciousness well into childhood - and though I could not "turn around" in incarnated consciousness and leave the sphere of this world as child like I could as a newborn baby before becoming solidified into my body to speak with the force, I could call upon and speak to the force in the sphere of this world. I could easily hear his voice even though I could not "see" him as before becoming solidly incarnated.
The Shamanic Psychopomp & the Tree of Knowledge.
Unlike a fylgja, importantly, when I was 5 or 6 years old, this force returned more directly and took me consciously in spirit (awake, not a dream!) on a journey throughout the worlds to the very edges of All that is - passing many noisy planets, cosmic systems and through vast stretches of the cosmos to its very end. During this journey I was shown everything and was able to comprehend how the deepest mysteries all fit together perfectly - all questions evaporated, complete knowledge was the very essence of my being. This experience is not the fylgja. It is Odin (or a similar divine masculine shamanic psychopomp like Heimdallr*, for example) who is with me, even now. In the poems below describing my childhood experience, I do think it may have been my fylgja who caught my attention "for Odin" through the mouse in the mousetrap (as the Fylgja is also the conduit through which we speak to the gods), but beyond that point with the mouse, it wasn't.
These are two poems (Suddenly and Epiphany) I wrote a long time ago to describe that experience:
hey you, what are you looking at
the mouse seemed to say silently, to me one day
hidden in the closet, coming close to see
where land meets sea, isolating some field of awareness
distracting the mind toward some special duty
hey you, what did you say
you talkin' to me?
hey you, what do you hear
the mouse seemed to say silently, to me one day
hidden in the closet, coming close to hear
wandering around this anomaly of conversation, suddenly plucked up
toward the task at hand, wiping off all others
hey you, do you hear what I hear
who goes there, talkin' to me
when I was six and
something happened, in my closet
finding a mouse, dead
in the closet
not afraid of mice, beginning to pick it up, stopped by
its eyes, open
I could not stop looking
I could not stop wondering
it meant something more
beyond what I was
looking at me
what what what what
could not move
I could not move
mashing together, collapsing into my gut
cutting the bursting emptiness, when
eternity into a split mo-ment
a rush of
more than I could
ever understanding at once
coming out through my insides
in the closet
to hold this treasured possession
in my mind of edges
trusting and letting go
these going out
such a strange thing was this doing
I was doing
turning inside out
becoming being within
of infinite place
above without end and below without bound
Line of Attachment.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to my body when nothing much of me at all was in it during this experience, even though I did remain attached to it through some kind of very thin structure which I used to contract myself upon and slide back down into my body when returning from the journey.
Oddly, it took a little time to come fully down, and didn't complete until after I got up, left the closet, and was standing in my bedroom. In my bedroom, my conversation with my companion on the journey continued for awhile, but after this experience, I never heard his voice again like I had been able to all through childhood. But during this conversation, he did tell me he was holding (in safekeeping) the knowledge for me (as the knowledge would not fit into my biological mind at that point) for use at some "appointed time" in the telling of my story. I was promised it would be mine again - it belongs to me, it has my name on it. But, in oath he is holding for me like keeping it in a trust fund until the appointed "time" arrives.
Not an egregore.
I'm not an expert regarding an egregore, so I'm not sure what it really is other than a collective thought-form made manifest. With this understanding in mind, my experience was not contact with an egregore. No humanoid form of any kind was associated with this being during this experience (or has ever been in my experience). It was humanoid only in the sense that he was "a he" in the same way I am "a she". We were both made of the same "stuff." A thought-form lacks the complexity of being that characterizes "the stuff" human beings are made of. Neither did I experience an "astral vision." My experience was one of action, not mere sight. My complete consciousness left my body and was pulled up into the very heart of the Cosmos by the familiar masculine "personality" known to me from before I was born and who had been experientially "with me" all through early childhood. This being had independent will and was spiritually cohesive similar to that of a "person." I'm not a psychologist, but I imagine that an egregore, being the thoughtform construct of a collective would be a bit on the incohesive side (given the multiplicity and diversity of the people who construct the thoughtform) and not as psychologically cohesive as an entity existing as a being in its own right.
Cycles of Ragnarok - The Connections.
This little bit of lore could also fit my experience in an esoteric sense, so perhaps I need to study the deeper significance of the Ragnarok mythos:
The fact that the mouse in my experience can link to the rising up of the common ancestor of all mammals (after the extinction of the dinosaurs) is wyrdly congruent with the concept of Ragnarok as well, as both the extinction of the dinosaurs and Ragnarok mark grand turnings of the cycle of evolution - the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.The Odin Brotherhood: According to the legends, one man and one woman will escape the holocaust of Surt by taking refuge in "The-World-Tree-of-Knowledge."
*UPDATE - Old Norse Heimdallr, equivalent to heim(r) home, world + dallr, perhaps cognate with Old English deall bold, renowned. - Reminds me of the bit from the old Star Trek series:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before.