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1. Are these daemons exactly like in Pullman’s His Dark Materials series?The term ‘daemon’ is used here because daemonism as we know it was strongly inspired by His Dark Materials. We adopted a lot of Pullman’s ideas, such as animal forms, concept of settling in a form that matches the personality and some others, and then ran with it. With time the concept has evolved and daemonism diverged from the canon in some regards, but the term still describes best the connection most feel with their daemons. The idea of ‘daemons’ or ‘daimons’ has been around for centuries in one form or another, but we owe to Pullman for creating His Dark Materials, as his version of daemons is what we have chosen to base the whole community and practice on. You don’t need to read the books to get to know your daemon, obviously, but they are liked by many, give a good picture of what daemons can be, and most daemians would recommend the trilogy if you’re looking for a book to read. There are some things that were inspired by the books and stayed through the years, such as daemons’ shape-shifting, (mostly) animal forms, the concept of settling - but also the bond between the daemon and their human. Most daemians claim that their daemon is a part of them, not entirely separate or independent, and that together they form a unit. It’s also not uncommon that the daemon will act as a voice of reason, just like the books suggest. On the other hand, daemons in the real world are not corporeal, that means that they are at the same time limited by our own mind and not limited by their own body. I.e. there is no rule that they can’t change forms after settling, like they wouldn’t be able to in the trilogy; but on the other hand, they can only look through your own eyes and listen through your own ears. The idea of daemonism was inspired by the books, that is true. But the rules of the books don’t apply in the real world and there is no need to attempt to live by them. Real dæmons aren't restrained in this fashion; they're only restrained by your own imagination.
2. How do I talk to my daemon?You might discover that talking to your daemon can be much easier than it sounds at first, perhaps you’ve already been talking with them in a way! Many people carry on an internal dialogue as a way of working through dilemmas or chiding themselves. Usually it’s that other part of the internal dialogue that evolves into a daemon when you start the communication with them. Knowing your daemon can make these internal conversations more direct and flushed-out. How to recognise your daemon’s words? Well, practice makes perfect, the old saying is true, but here are some tips that will get you started! Remember, they are the other end of your internal dialogue - that faint voice you didn’t give much thought to, the fleeting mental note here and there. They voice might be especially apparent if you think about topics you’re torn, undecided about - conflicting opinions are easier to spot - or topics you are emotional about. The daemon is you, they have been there all the time, simply unseparated from you. The difficulty for most people comes in the birth of this new-found relationship, and over-thinking every word due to the novelty, instead of letting it come as a natural stream of conscious. "Talking" to your dæmon means acknowledging the subtle dialogue going on in your mind, and letting that other voice develop its own persona so as to better understand yourself. For some people projecting (imagining) your daemon makes the communication easier (check the next question!), but it’s not necessary to project in order to speak to them. The dæmon is often that voice yelling at you after you've done wrong, the faint voice that seems to whisper "C, C" before you circle it on a test, they may be that voice of conscience urging you to eat a banana instead of chocolate. Point is, you've heard them before. The only difference now is that you treat that voice as a somewhat separate person to talk to.
3. Can I see my dæmon?Yes, you can! You won’t see them in the same way you see a screen on which you read these words, however. Daemons are not corporeal and the only way to see them is with the use with your imagination, or in your mind’s eye. In daemonic terms, imagining your daemon is called ‘projecting’. In order to project, you need to imagine something that is not there. The shape of your daemon won’t obscure the objects behind him and will not be visible to others. Imagine what your daemon would decide to look like, what they would be doing right now, where they would be standing, were they corporeal. That’s it. That’s how the projection starts. For some, projecting comes easily, for others not. If you've never had an easy time imagining things outside of your mind, don't expect envisioning your dæmon to be any simpler - it'll take practice if you want to get better at it. However, you don’t need to project all the time, or at all. Your daemon is still inside you, no matter if you imagine them on the outside or not. Projection doesn’t need to be very detailed, either! You can work on seeing more details, but it’s not necessary, too. A helpful tip: some people find it easier to project their daemon out of the corner of their eye. Another word of advice, don’t start working on projecting by trying to find your true form to imagine your daemon as. Firstly, there’s a great chance that you’re not settled yet, and even if you are, finding a truly fitting form can take months, if not years. Secondly, there’s no point in making it more difficult than necessary. Consider trying out forms of animals that you’re familiar with, it’s easier to imagine their movements. Getting images and videos for reference works well, too. There’s also the fact that your daemon can change shape at will, even if you settle. Remember, there's no fancy trick. You're just using your imagination to imagine an animal at your side in a place that your daemon would choose if they had the ability.
4. Can my daemon interact with the physical world, move objects and touch people?No, they can’t. The daemons in the real world are not corporeal, they have no physical body that would enable interactions with the physical objects. You can project them as sitting on a chair, but they will not be able to move said chair on their own. Some daemons choose to observe most of the rules of the physical world, avoiding walls, obstacles on their way and other people; other will not ming phasing right through a window for a shortcut. It all depends on personal preferences, as the only thing that limits the projection is your imagination.
5. I don't know my dæmon's name. How do I figure it out?Daemons don’t have any predetermined names to discover, just like with anything newly created, they are nameless until given a name. You and your daemon must decide on the name together, by mixing up favourite letters or sounds, looking up words that have a special meaning in other languages, use a random name generator or simply picking something that sounds nice. Sometimes daemons suggest a name themselves, but it’s rare. Don’t worry if it takes time to find something perfect for you. It’s perfectly alright to use temporary nicknames, change names or even not use a name at all. Daemons’ names are often quite distinct from those of humans, because of the way people come up with them, but it’s no rule. Some people come up with a longer, formal name for their daemon, and shorter versions that act as a nickname, but that, again, is by no means a rule.
6. What should be my daemon’s gender?There is no rule that you have to follow. Usually, the daemon has the opposite gender to their daemon, but every possible combination is possible and valid. Your daemon’s gender should be what comes naturally to you and is best for your communication. It might be that you feel comfortable hearing the voice of that gender or you seek this gender’s company, or any other reason. Most daemians couldn’t explain their reasons if asked, but they would tell you it came naturally to them. Just like with daemon’s names, don’t worry about having to stick to the first choice. It’s alright if your daemon changes their gender or even doesn’t identify with any at all. Long time ago, there was a theory that the gender of your daemon indicated your sexual orientation. It is no longer the case, especially since throughout the years the community has come across more "exceptions" than rules.
7. Is it possible to have more than one daemon?Yes, it’s definitely not impossible. Usually people have one daemon each, as it’s optimal number for their internal dialogue. However, some people feel more balanced-out with more daemons present; in that case it would be counterproductive to expect them to stick to just one. Sometimes a daemon will split into two, sometimes another one might show up - and sometimes two daemons can merge back into one, too. Mind, not all constructs and voices you talk to have to fill the role of a daemon, they can be another kind of a headmate (to put it simply: someone you can talk to inside your head).
How does it work?
8. Can anyone see other people’s daemons?The answer is no, neither you, nor your daemon can. Other people’s daemons, if they even know them at all, are a part of them and do not exist outside of them. As long as humans are unable to read minds, we have no way of telling what such other daemon would be doing if projected. It can be fun to imagine what we think other daemons would look like and do, but it’s just our guesses. Only their human would know.
9. What does my daemon know? More than me, or less? Are they smarter than me?Your dæmon is you. You know each other inside and out even before you have your first true conversation. They know your friends as well as you do (even if they might not feel the same about them), know your most embarrassing moment, all your secrets and silent hopes. They can access all your knowledge and experiences but nothing else. On the other hand, while we're caught up in the moment, our daemons can be unaffected in any direct way and can "stand back" and be objective. For that reason they can appear wiser, more rational, and that allows them to give better advice. This may be why some people call them their conscience. Daemons might be quicker to retrieve suppressed or forgotten knowledge, but they can be only as smart as we are.
10. Do daemons sleep?They don’t physically need to. As they don’t have the physical body, they can only share your own tiredness. When you’re asleep, they will be technically asleep, too, because your internal dialogue won’t be happening then. At the same time, it can happen that they will be projected as sleeping or sound groggy when you talk, but they don’t really ‘go offline’ in these moments.
11. Can daemons be injured?Having no physical body, daemons cannot sustain an injury any more than an imaginary friend can. They also don’t get sick, lucky them! However, they can appear injured or sick to reflect our internal or external state, but even then, they can appear so one second and completely fine the next.
12. In the books, daemons cannot walk away from their human. What about my daemon?In the books, humans felt a “pull” when their daemons walked away from them, preventing them from separating. In reality, daemons are inside us and will not leave us by physically walking away, no matter where you project them. You can imagine your daemon being in a place that you can’t see like a room behind the wall, and you can imagine your daemon soaring far above you, but they will still be able to talk to you as easily as ever. Some people don’t feel comfortable with such projections but that’s a personal preference.
13. What about forms of aquatic animals? What if you settle in one?The rules of the books do not limit our daemons. If they take aquatic forms, they do not have to stick to the local bodies of water - daemons can swim as easily in the air as a fish in the water. If you can imagine it, your daemon can do it, simple as that.
14. Can dæmons take a human form?Projection, that is imagining your daemon, is limited only by your imagination, so there is no reason why they wouldn’t be able to appear as a human, or a plant, or a rock, for that matter. Most daemons seem to have their preferred appearance in their human form, too. Some daemons use their human form quite often, others don’t use it at all. If you’re wondering about settling as a human, then in both current form finding systems that are used in the community, analytic and Pullman, human form is considered unviable. Humans differ too much from one another to create an analysis of the species, and it would be difficult to pinpoint the cultural symbolism of human population in general. The only person who could perfectly reflect who you are is yourself, and that would be just a little redundant, wouldn’t it? Human forms may make great comfort forms, we just don't believe they can function as the settled one.
15. Can my dæmon take a form of a dragon or other mythical creature?You can project your daemon as anything you like, and many daemons enjoy the forms of mythical creatures, both for fun and comfort. Dragons, unicorns, phoenixes, anything goes! When it comes to settling, it depends on the form finding system. The analytic form finding is based on detailed research on animals in question, and in the case of mythical creatures, there is simply no way to gather reliable information to base the analysis on. Everything would have to be a guess, and that’s not the analytic approach. However, Pullman system focuses on symbols and folklore. Unicorns and dragons are sure rich in those, and that makes them Pullman-wise viable.
16. My daemon shows up as one specific animal, what does it mean? Is there a meaning behind their chosen colouring?The fact that your daemon always appears in one specific form doesn’t mean anything more than that it’s a form you’re probably both comfortable with. It does not necessarily mean that it’s a form that fits you, even though it might be a good idea to consider your daemon’s suggestions while form-finding. Their chosen colouring, too, doesn’t have to have any meaning behind them. Analytically, the colouring has no significance. In the Pullman form finding system, the colouring might add some associations to the ones connected to the species, but even then, the fact that your daemon likes to be projected in said colour doesn’t automatically reflect on the form that fits you best.
17. I don’t think I ever talked to myself. It feels forced when I try. Is it possible that I don’t have a daemon?If you don’t usually have the internal dialogue, talking to your daemon might be more difficult, but don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible! If you’re not used to talking to yourself, try imagining the daemon first to have somebody more substantive to talk to. Experiencing it as forced in the beginning is not uncommon, but when you get used to organising your thoughts in a conversation instead of monologue, you might discover that it can come naturally. Though everyone has the possibility to connect with their daemon, at least to some extent, not everyone needs to find communicating with their daemon useful on a regular basis. Daemonism is a useful tool for many, but there is no pressure to employ the tool if it’s not beneficial to you.
18. My daemon doesn’t speak to me at all. Are they mute? Am I doing something wrong?There are many reasons why the communication with your daemon might be obstructed, stress is a very common one. Some people say that it becomes harder to talk to the daemon when their thoughts are occupied with something emotionally-heavy. If you want to start communicating, it might be worth trying to relax first, in whichever way you like. Another common reason is… trying too hard. If you’re focusing too hard on hearing groundbreaking words in your head, you might silence or miss the fleeting comments that have always been there. Don't force the words, stay relaxed, and let their thoughts flow to you naturally. Sometimes no words are necessary and projection or nonverbal messages are enough. Words don’t have to be every daemon’s preferred form of communication and it’s absolutely alright, too. If you want to coax your daemon to speak anyway, you can try asking them funny questions, playing word games and listening for their answers or asking for their opinion on whatever is happening around you. There are many possibilities to try, don’t get discouraged when the first one doesn’t work, surely you’ll find one that’s best for you two.
19. How do I know if that’s me or my daemon talking? I’m worried it’s not really them.It’s true that sometimes, especially in the beginning, one might put words into daemon’s mouth, words one expects or wants to hear, and it’s important to remember that daemons are not here to only say things we scripted for them, they should speak for themselves. However, the irony is that the more worried you are about wrongly ascribing words to your daemon, the more likely you are to be too controlling over their thoughts. Don’t stress too much about that, let yourself explore your new bond and your daemon’s personality, and when they grow, you’ll be able to tell your words apart with more certainty. Besides, what’s the worst thing that can happen if you get it wrong? Your daemon is a part of you, the thoughts are flowing freely between the two of you, it can sometimes be difficult to put a clear line in between. Don’t worry, you’ll just get it right the next time.
20. My daemon keeps saying hurtful things to me! He’s rude and really unpleasant to talk to. What is happening?Not every voice inside your head will be a daemon. One possibility is that these thoughts mirror your current self-esteem or guilt, or some other negative feeling. They’re probably not the words of your daemon but the result of things you might want to process to feel better, and your actual daemon can help you with that. However, if your daemon is simply calling you out on things you try to ignore, well, it’s worth listening to them. They’re always there for you, like a true friend, and that sometimes includes saying the harsh truth.
21. I've lost my dæmon! I can't see him or talk to him anymore! What should I do?First of all, remember that you can't "lose" your dæmon. Whether or not you communicate with yours, they will always be with you. Your dæmon can never be taken from you and if they’re temporarily out of your reach, it’s simply a matter of reconnecting with them after a break. Times of stress may weaken your bond, but you'll come out of it together if you try. You are one. If you desperately want to speak with your dæmon, they want to speak with you, too. Pay close attention to the quick comments that are easy to miss, or instead of waiting for such a moment, you could just ask them simple questions directly. Projecting them beside you might remind you of their presence, too, and watching them react to your thoughts, feelings and actions will make the reconnecting easier. It can happen that after a break your daemon will change - not just in their projected form, but it’s not unheard of that a daemon changes their gender, personality, or find their name not fitting anymore. Allow them to change and grow, you’ll see that you will be a great team no matter what.
22. I want to try this daemonism thing but I’m worried that it will go wrong. Can I quit after I give it a try?Yes, you can. There are plenty of people who simply stopped talking to their daemons and went back to how they organised their thoughts before. The daemon, being created out of your internal dialogue, will simply merge back with you and become unseparated. Many people say it feels impossible to even imagine quitting daemonism, both because they got attached to their daemons, and because thinking in a dialogue seems so natural to them now - but not because they couldn’t decide differently. The friendly daemian community is another reason it’s hard to quit, it’s a great place to make great friends.
23. Do dæmons always settle? When are they supposed to settle?Settling is somewhat open to interpretation, and there are some people who doubt that it’s even possible to have a fixed personality. If we assume that everyone at some point stops changing their personality (which is not the same as never changing behaviours) then yes, settling happens to everyone. The second question doesn't have a definite answer. It's different for everyone, but the range is mostly between the teenage years and early adulthood. In the books by Phillip Pullman daemons settled at puberty, but it is not the case in our world. There is no need to rush the process, take your time and use it to learn more about yourself. What does settling mean for a daemon? Not much. There’s no rule that they should stick to the settled form, like daemons did in the books, even though many enjoy the fact that their shape reflects their daemian.
24. How do I know what my dæmon's settled as?First of all, we need to make it clear that finding your true form is not as simple as finding a form that your daemon enjoys most when projected. The projected form can be absolutely anything, your imagination is the limit. You might project your dæmon a certain way just because you like that animal, are familiar with how it moves, find it comforting, or for any other reason. The settled form, however, is always the animal that best represents your personality. The community uses two form finding systems, analytic and symbolic, and you can find only one settled form per system. You can’t have more settled forms, but given the incorporeality of dæmons, you can still envision them changing shape even after you settle. Some people take years and years to find the right form while others get it right the first time. It will for sure require research, honesty with yourself, patience, and probably a bit of advice from more experienced daemians, but the process of learning about oneself is even more valuable than the result. You can read more about that searching for a true form in our Form Finding Guide.
25. How can I know when we're settled?No one other than yourself can tell you if you’re settled, because no one knows you as well as you do. There’s no age limit for settling, and even though a poll once showed that most dæmians claimed settledom at 17 years of age, it is just an average of the small number of entries and some people might’ve still changed at some point after taking part in the poll. It can happen earlier, it can happen much later, and there is no need to rush with claiming settledom. It doesn’t give you any kind of respect in the community. Be honest with yourself regarding how stable your personality is, and whether or not you've experienced much of life outside of school. Being truly independent for the first time might change you in unexpected ways. If you have found a form you think you might settle in, remember that it’s supposed to describe all of you, not just a couple of the most noticeable traits. You should also look into different forms, to avoid falsely seeing yourself in the very first form you stumble upon. It’s good not to go purely by analysis, too. The analysis is one person’s interpretation, it’s valuable to research the species on your own and understand where the interpretations come from. If you're trying to cling to a form purely because you find it cool, you'll know it. You can see the beauty in your true form no matter what it is, as it describes all of you - flaws and strengths. You should be able to look at the animal and accept the entirety of who you are (but that doesn't mean giving up on improving).
26. What if you claim settledom, but you’re wrong and later change anyway?Such an event is called false settling and it happened to many daemians. Sometimes you personality feels stable for a longer period of time and you even find a form fitting all of your current traits, and you have no way of knowing for certain whether that’s it or not. Sometimes the form you’ve thought to be most fitting, after looking at the issue with fresh eyes, doesn’t look as fitting as a different animal you’ve now discovered. It is not unheard of that a person claims settling more than once because they realised that what they thought before is not true anymore, and it’s alright. The important thing is that you shouldn’t lie to yourself and keep an open mind even after you announce you’re settled. You never know what the future might bring.
27. It looks like my true form might be an animal that I dislike, I really don’t want to settle in it! What do I do now?Your true form describes your personality traits and if a species fits you best, your preferences won’t really change that. Remember that it’s just a symbol, you don’t need to project that animal if it makes you in any way uncomfortable. However, getting to know your form better sometimes can decrease your aversion to it. People fear things that they don’t understand, and researching the animal can help you understand it, and maybe even get to like it.
28. Is daemonism connected to or against any religion? Is it a religion on its own?Daemonism is not a religion, most daemians would refer to it as a concept or philosophy. It's just a helpful way to organize your thoughts and experience your mental life. Instead of having a monologue, you change it into an internal dialogue and give a name and personality to the other half of it. One need not be religious to talk to their daemon, whether someone sees them as something spiritual is up to them and not a unified experience. There are people of different religious beliefs among daemians: agnostics, atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans and many others. They can all be dæmians, because this philosophy doesn't conflict with religion. Dæmonism as a concept is religiously neutral. As far as we know, no religion is against imaginary friends, and morally it is no different. Your daemon can support you in your religious beliefs or be indifferent, the experiences differ. We’re not a cult, either, just to put your mind to rest. We’re not trying to brainwash anyone, force them away from their current beliefs, we don’t even share convictions about most things. We all adore our dæmons, but know they are not something to be put on a pedestal and worshiped. The dæmon, at the core, is us. Just that special and just that ordinary.
29. Isn’t that the same as Dissociative Identity Disorder? Can it be harmful to your mental health?Talking to one’s daemon is not the same as Dissociative Identity Disorder or Other Specified Dissociative Disorder. While having two personalities inside one's head might make it look similar, there are no amnesia gaps involved, inability to recall information is involved and daemians don't experience any trouble functioning in any life areas due to developing their internal dialogue, as daemonism is not a disorder. Communicating with a daemon doesn’t mean that they will automatically be able to front either, that is, take control over your body. Some daemons can do that with daemian’s agreement, but it’s not typical, and definitely not required. However, it can be argued that daemonism lies somewhere on the plurality spectrum. Plurality covers all the experiences of having multiple headmates, voices or personas in your mind. There is no specific kind of plurality that daemians identify with - some feel rather separate from their daemons and identify as multiple systems; some find the description of median system more fitting, which means that they feel like they and their daemons are separate facets of the same whole. Other daemians will not consider themselves plural at all, having a strong sense of daemon being a mental construct, not a developed facet or persona. The experiences can vary strongly from person to person. No matter what one identifies as, daemons can be quite beneficial to one’s mental health. Daemonism should not be confused with schizophrenia or any other mental illness that causes hallucinations and delusions. Projecting one’s daemon and talking to them requires wilful imagination and does not occlude what is happening around us. On the contrary, daemons are often allies in the care for one’s mental health. They provide support, help us work through intense emotions, teach us to be more mindful and are ready to call their humans out if their thoughts are going in the wrong direction.
30. How is dæmonism different from therianthropy, otherkin, or totems/spirit guides?Most spiritual therians and otherkin, to put it simply, have some spiritual connection with their animal theriotype or kin, or even believe that they were this animal in a past life. Non-spiritual ones will likely tell you they identify as their theriotype or kin, up to the point of feeling that at a core level they are this animal and feel trapped in their human body. All in all therians and otherkin feel that something about them isn't quite human. Dæmians do not believe they are the animal that they choose as their true form. Being settled as a lion doesn’t mean that one feels a connection to the wilderness of a lion, experiences life as accidentally put in the wrong body or identifies with the animal. If a daemian says that they’re a lion, they mean it as “a symbol of a lion describes me best”. It’s interesting to note that you can be both a daemian and a therian or otherkin, and that a therian's theriotype and their dæmon's form are very rarely identical. The issue of totems is simpler. Basically, totems are believed to be independent of one's mind, unlike dæmons; they are believed to be an external spiritual force aiding the human and acting in their lives. The dæmon is not an animal spirit, but a part of your own consciousness projected in a, usually, animal form. One can project their dæmon as a human or an inanimate object as well. And while totems come primarily in dreams or during meditation, your dæmon is constantly there with you and doesn't require any special trance to communicate with. You can know your dæmon whilst also having totems or spirit guides, and the species of them all don’t need to overlap.
31. When is a daemon born? At what age can you meet your daemon?In the books, daemons were born at the same time the human was. However, real daemons come from the internal dialogue in our minds, and we can safely assume that newborns do not have the ability to have a conversation with themselves. Some daemians say they’ve known their daemons from as long as they remember, even if they didn’t call them daemons back then. There is no set age at which you can first meet your daemon, it’s individual for each and every person.
32. Do people from the same family have daemons with similar forms?There is no such rule. We sure do pick up a lot of personality traits from the people who raise us, and the more time we spend with someone, the more they influence us, but genetics does not determine our personalities. We don’t inherit the true form from our parents. Even twins can end up having very different personalities, and even smaller differences than that can lead to completely different true forms.
33. Do people with certain dæmons react to each other the same as the animals would in the wild? For example, would someone with a mouse dæmon fear someone with a cat dæmon?Not at all! If that was true, it would also mean someone with a prey dæmon is afraid of everyone they meet with a predator dæmon. Personalities and how they get along matters more than interactions between actual animals. Two people settled as domestic dogs could easily get on each others nerves instead of becoming best buds. A mouse-soul might admire cat’s independence, while a cat-soul might respect mouse’s perseverance.
34. How do you make the æ symbol on your keyboard?The symbol is called an 'ash' in English, and is a letter from the Old English alphabet. In Classical Latin it usually denoted the long i sound, making dæmon pronounced die-mon. But in modern times the ash is often simplified to just an 'e.' To make the symbol in HTML you type &-#-230-; but without the dashes. But to get the symbol in everyday typing you hit Alt + 0230 on your number pad. Alt + 145 should also work. Alt + 0198 and Alt + 146 get you Æ. &-#-198-; will get you Æ in HTML.
35. Even after reading the resources, I'm having trouble believing in dæmons. What can you say to convince me?It's a good thing you’re reading this FAQ, then! Reason being that dæmons don't require a "belief," per se. There's nothing extraordinary to believe in, because your dæmon isn't an external force that you have to believe in the existence of. They're not an independent spirit residing in your body. They're just you. Knowing your dæmon means choosing to appoint a personality, gender, and a form to a part of your mind, to the point where it becomes a (useful, fulfilling) habit. When we say you and everyone else already has a dæmon, we are referring to that part of yourself that constitutes the dæmon. ‘Not believing’ in daemons would be the same as saying you ‘don’t believe’ in one’s ability to talk to oneself and apply a name to the other part of internal dialogue. You might not think it’s useful, or you might not want to spend time trying to connect with your daemon yourself, but it’s definitely not something out of the scope of your abilities.