Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Raven

In Norse mythology Odin has two pet ravens: Hugin and Munin- thought and memory accordingly. Each day they leave Odin and return from "Midgard," (literal meaning: middle enclosure) the mortal realm. The only historic pictures I've found of this show Hugin (thought) on Odin's right shoulder facing him and Munin (memory) on his right.

The Quran tells of a raven teaching Cain how to bury Abel and Native American traditions from the pacific northwest see the raven as both a creator and a "trickster" god.

The cross cultural significance of the raven is quite amazing but I find the Norse representation as the most interesting mostly for the news or information being that of thought and memory- very different from our understanding of it in contemporary culture. In the Norse mythology the "news" is understood to be subjective- interpreted through thought and memory.
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