“Huginn and Muninn fly over the vast world every day,” Odin informs us in the lyrical Edda Grmnismál. Huginn’s absence has me anxious, but Muninn’s is far more concerning. Odin is given information about the world by the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who soar throughout Midgard. In spite of their appearance, they have been given magical powers by Odin and can fly over Midgard in a single day. In addition, they are able to speak and understand men’s language. In addition to merely watching, they also give guidance to Odin. Slepnir, Odin’s horse, is guided and cared for by Huginn and Muninn during battle.

Old Norse words Huginn and Muninn, which mean “thinking” and “memory” respectively, are associated with wisdom. Indeed, ravens are a very clever species. They imitate wolves, for example, to entice them to difficult-to-open corpses. There is a particular bond between crows and wolves. The crows get the scraps that the wolves throw out. There have been moments when the crows have mocked the meal or taunted the wolves. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the wise god Odin accompanied himself with ravens and wolves.

Golden amulets, helmet plates, and shoulder brooches from the fifth century show the importance of the raven to the Norse and Vikings. They can be seen on the Oserberg Tapestry, which was recovered on board a Viking burial ship from the ninth century. Throughout Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and England, items related to ravens have been discovered. On the Nordic raven banner and in the broader symbolism of the raven by the ancient Germanic peoples, Huginn and Muninn’s role as Odin’s messengers is clearly visible. For many, their fylgja or hamingja is a raven. One of the most common types of spirits is a fylgja, which can come in dreams or in shamanic-like states. It’s comparable to a hamingja, but the hamingja is always present from birth, and it migrates to a family member upon death.

Others, from Tibet to Greece, believe the raven to be a god-sent messenger. It was common for the Morrigan and other war goddesses of the Celts to fight in the form of ravens. When the gods were about to arrive, the Chinese thought that severe weather in the woodlands was created by ravens as a warning. And the raven was revered as a divinity by Native American tribes. Huginn and Muninn were revered as sages by the Norse and Viking peoples, who wore amulets honoring them as a continual reminder of their significance. You can also find a few vikings pieces if you like this universe.