Huginn and Muninn Ravens, Odin
1 ⅞" x 1 ½" (47×38 mm)
Huginn and Muninn Ravens
Huginn and Muninn (“Thought” and “Memory”) are twin ravens from Norse mythology. They are the servants of the god Odin. According to the legend, they are sent every morning to collect news, then return to Odin at dusk. Every evening they report on events from all over the world – they whisper these messages into Odin’s ear.
Ravens and crows are not a happy sign in general. In most cultures, these birds are a symbol of disaster, war, or disease – they have often been seen flying over the battlefield or feeding on the fallen. Despite these negative traits, people have also seen the extraordinary intelligence of ravens – birds that often symbolize messengers (or news), as in the case of the Huginn and Muninn ravens.
Odin is the highest Nordic god of the Æsir dynasty, the god of war and warriors, the god of wisdom, power, poetry, and magic. He was married to the goddess Frigg and father to Thor. All three gods were worshiped in the Uppsala Temple. Together with Freya, he led fallen warriors at Valhalla. In Germanic mythology, he is also known as Wuotan/Wōtan. Baldur, besides Thor, was also a very beautiful son of Odin – extremely popular and admired by the gods for such rare qualities as subtlety and delicacy, died as a result of the intrigue of a jealous and insidious Loki. Another son, Thor, was considered to be the second most important god of northern Germans, next to Odin. Mythology also mentions younger sons: Widar and Wali, who were to rule after the death of Odin and Thor.
One of the nicknames of Odin is Yggr or Ygg (Terrible). This nickname is a part of Yggdrasil’s name referring to “Tree of Life”, which included Asgard, Midgard, Utgard, and Hel. Odin’s attributes are raven, wolf, and spear. He has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, and two wolves, Geri and Freki. Odin sits on the throne of Hlidskjalf, from which you can see everything that happens in nine worlds. Myths suggest that Odin has often changed his physical form. The images depict him mostly as a well-built middle-aged man with long, curly hair and a long, thick beard. One of Odin’s eye socket is empty after he gave his eye for the water from the source of wisdom.
Odin’s spear – Gungnir – brought victory to the side on which it fought in a battle. The Draupnir ring was a sign of abundance and wealth. Odin owes its performance to the dwarfs Sindri and Brokk. In a gesture of despair, he threw a ring at the funeral pyre of his son Baldr, who later returned it from Helheim through Hermod.
Odin’s symbol is a cross placed in a circle, known as the sun cross, and three triangles joined together to form a symbol of fallen warriors – Valknut.