• David Crosby

Norse Mythology

Updated: May 3, 2019

Several of my prints are based on Norse Mythology. This can be complex and often barbaric. The following are summaries and some of the nastier bits are left out!

The best on-line reference in my opinion is https://norse-mythology.org

Fenrir Breaks Free Fenrir is a giant wolf (a child of Loki). The gods are scared of Fenrir and try to bind him by tricking him into showing off his strength. However, Fenrir breaks free of even the heaviest chains they bind him with.

Tyr's Hand The gods then turn to the dwarves to create a thread that appears light but is very strong. The gods again goad Fenrir into showing his strength. However Fenrir fears a trick and only allows them to bind him if a god puts his hand in his jaws. The god Tyr agrees, Fenrir is bound and cannot break free. Tyr loses his hand.

Chasing the Sun Skoll (Mockery) and Hati (Hatred) pursue the chariots that carry the sun and moon, in the hope of devouring them. I have added a third wolf “Prejudice” in some versions – and all three are pursuing the sun chariot.

Huginn and Muninn Odin the ruler of the Norse gods has two ravens that fly around the world everyday before breakfast to report back on events. They are the embodiment of Odin’s “thought/memory/mind”. Philip Pullman uses a similar concept for his Daemons in His Dark Materials.

Odin and the Runes Odin wants to learn the secret of the runes, powerful symbols for communication and magic. The runes are inscribed on the finger nails of the Norns who look after the one tree Yggdrasil. In order to discover the secrets he hangs himself from Yggdrasil for 9 days and nights hovering between life and death.

Soul of a Norseman The Norse “soul” was considered to be made of four parts:

  • Hamr- appearance or shape

  • Hugr - thought or mind

  • Fylgiaanimal familiar

  • Hamingja - luck


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