A plate from a Vendel era helmet featuring a figure riding a horse, holding a spear and shield, and confronted by a serpent

Odin’s Ravens Huginn and Muninn

From Grimnismal:

20. O’er Midgard Hugin | and Munin both
Each day set forth to fly;
For Hugin I fear | lest he come not home,
But for Munin my care is more.

That’s the only mention of the ravens in the main poems about the gods; however, their names became generic terms for ravens throughout the heroic Edda poems and the poems of the skalds, so they were an important part of the iconography of Odin, god of knowledge, war, and death, and the wider mythology.

Huginn’s name means “thought”; Muninn’s translates to “memory”. We learn from Snorri’s Edda in Gylfaginning that the birds fly throughout Midgard beginning each morning, they learn of all there is to know about the world and report back to their master at dinner time.

Images of Odin with Ravens go back almost as far as we have found images of Odin, found on carvings, bracteates, and, as featured at the top of the page, on helmets.

Odin riding Sleipnir, while his ravens Huginn and Muninn, and his wolves Geri and Freki appear nearby.
Odin riding Sleipnir, while his ravens Huginn and Muninn, and his wolves Geri and Freki appear nearby.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s