Hugin and Munin
I know that this one has been awaited...so I am happy to present Hugin and Munin! I think that Hugin and Munin are one of the few things in Heathenry, and Norse mythology for that matter that is nearly agreed upon by all people; I have never heard of people arguing about Hugin and Munin, which is a rare thing in heathenry!
Hugin and Munin are possible my favorite creatures in Norse myth. Why?
Well I do not think that I could really say, but this would be a good time to state that Hugin and Munin, for those of you who may not know, are a pair of brother ravens, more on that later. I think part of it is, I like to think that when I see two ravens flying near me, that Odin the All-father is watching me.
It gives me comfort.
So who are Hugin and Munin? Well, as I said they are a set of brother ravens. But they are not just any ravens. They are the "pets/familiars" of Odin. (Odin also has a pair of wolves, named Geri and Freki.) Hugin means thought, and Munin means memory. (They are pronounced Hoogin and Moonin...I believe.)
So why are these ravens important? Well, each morning, they fly from Odin's side, and fly throughout the Nine Worlds. They see, they hear, and they gather all of the information that they can. Then, at night they return to Asgard and Odin's side, well his shoulders actually, and report all that they saw that day. They tell him of the deeds of mortals, of giants, elves, dwarves, of wars and battles, of births and deaths. Hugin and Munin are the eyes of Odin. (However, do not forget that Odin can sit upon his throne and see all things.) So their job is very, very important. Odin is a very busy god! He cannot keep eyes on everything by himself, and Odin likes to know what is going on. So this way, he can do what he needs to do, and still at the end of the day know the happenings in the Nine Worlds.
Hugin and Munin are very popular in art. If you look for images of them, there are hundreds upon hundreds! They are also very popular subjects for tattoos!
In some tales and ideas, the two ravens of Odin are also his messengers, bringing his thoughts and messages to those who seem far away. One of Odin's many names is the Raven God, and this is for a few reasons:
After a battle, when there are corpses all over the place, ravens, are usually one of the first non-humans on the scene. This makes sense since Odin is one of the gods of war and battle, thus they participate in the "spoils." Hugin and Munin would also be reporting on the battle, who dies bravely, and such. Hugin and Munin have many functions!
In my personal experience, when I am asking Odin for guidance, for a sign, and I see two ravens-I do not know if ravens always fly in pairs, or Hugin and Munin are near me everyday, but I always see a pair of ravens-I know that this is the sign I was asking for, that Odin is listening, and watching. This gives me great comfort and the confidence I need to go about doing what I need to do.
Once, and file this under what you will, I was hiking with my cousins, in a place we had never been to, and we planned on it being a few hours. Well, 15 hours later we were lost and the sun was going down. I prayed to the far-wanderer for guidance, for him to aid me and guide me out. And then, the loud, unmistakable call of a raven, yet not just a raven, but two. They sat perched upon an ancient oak (go figure) and once we got closer, they took to the air. I decided, that this was the answer to my prayers, my sign, I decided to follow the ravens, and in an hour we were out, and on our way home!
Many people have their patrons, I believe that mine is Odin. Not because I think Odin is cool, or that he is the most bad ass of the Aesir, or like some people that just want their patron to be "the best." Far from it.
I think Odin is my patron because I feel we have a deep connection. I have had many dreams, and many situations in which signs have been sent to me, that I believe are from the All Father. I believe that he watches over me.
Well that does it for Hugin and Munin! Sorry for getting off topic there, but there is not too much to talk about with them...but I like this post! It is more of what my posts used to be like! =)
Hope you enjoyed!