Huginn and Munnin : What do ravens represent?

Huginn and Muninn, are the two ravens in Norse mythology who are helping spirits of the god Odin.

In the heat of battle, Odin was in sometimes facing dilemmas. He had critical decision to make -- one that would either bring victory or defeat to him and his fellow Gods in Asgard. In this situation, he needed counsel; especially from those that could trigger his “thought” and “mind.”

Yet, in a world of gods – including Thor, the god of thunder and his trusted son, and the rest of the Aesir – Odin relied on two unlikely deities to give him the wit and wisdom to lead his forces to victory : his ravens Huginn and Muninn.

Huginn and Muninn were not gods; they weren’t even angels, nymphs or fairies. They were ravens with symbolic names. While some text referred to them as pets, their importance to Odin – the most powerful Norse God – was beyond such designations.

He relied heavily on these winged masters to act as his eyes and ears over the great domain he ruled, as well as for the battles he fought. And, despite being mere pets, they received more attention from him than his heavenly and mortal subjects did.

 


Every morning, Odin called upon the ravens and sent them flying over the world to observe what was going on in his kingdom -- which included Asgard and Earth. They returned to him, sat on his shoulders and whispered in his ears about the things they observed during their flight.

Translated from Old Norse, Huginn meant “thought” and Muninn, “mind.” They came to symbolize Odin’s vast knowledge and omnipotence and were responsible for expanding his wisdom.

Not only were the ravens revered by Odin in the Nordic mythology; in reality, they were worshiped by the Nordic people. They were often depicted with Odin on numerous artifacts from the era, which included shields, plates, bracelets and jewelry.

The raven is a dark, elegant bird that translates nicely into a jewellery piece. Like most animal designs, the raven is usually deeply symbolic to the wearer. It can be designed in many different ways to convey your personal meaning and suit your personality.

The raven is a symbol of intelligence and wisdom. The raven craved jewellery can represent both the good and bad in its wearer.

 

What Do Ravens Represent?

Common associations with ravens are:

  • Protection (because they watch over events)
  • Magic (usually dark, Pagan, or otherworldly)
  • Future (their bird's-eye-view gives them a kind of omniscience)
  • Secrets (for the same reason they can see the future)
  • Death (not as a cause of death, but perhaps as an omen)
  • Shadows (literally and psychologically; ravens represent the unconscious, unknown side of a personality)
  • War (they arrive to help clean up the battlefield)
  • Prophecy (because of their all-seeing vantage)
  • Memory (they represent the shadows of all the people and events of the past)
  • Misery or Pain (perhaps because of their association with war and death)
  • Intelligence or Wisdom (of course, ravens are extremely intelligent creatures)

 

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1 commentaire

  • I love to wear my pair of the raven skull hair decorations in bunches – like having Huginn and Munnin on my shoulders ! x

    Clare

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