Here is a very thoughtful study of Odin and his Ravens by artist Frida Widlund.
You can buy copies of Frida’s wonderful Norse art from this Druid Forest School web page, including Odin and his Ravens: https://druidforestschool.com/art/
The Raven – What an enchanting bird.
Odin, being mainly a war god, is well suited with wolves and a pair of ravens, given that both of them are the first animals to arrive on a battlefield. Or at least that’s what I have heard.
I have my own humble experience of ravens and first and foremost to me they embody intelligence and sense of humor. Which is the same thing, I guess.
It all started a few years ago while I was sketching on my very first Odin picture. I heard the characteristic sound of ravens outside the window. First, I didn’t bother so much about it. But the sound became so strong and intense it was impossible to ignore. I simply had to go outside and have a look at what was going on. A whole bunch of ravens sailed over the roof of my studio. And I assure you, they were talking to me. Showing of kind of. And that was the beginning of our acquaintance. I never interacted with ravens prior to this occasion. And now, I can’t even imagen a life without them.
But in fact, last winter they were suddenly gone for a few months. I was concerned and my walks in the forest was rather dull without their energy, flapping of wings, breathless plunges from high altitudes towards the ground and their absurd korp-korp sound.
Then one day in early spring I had asked in my morning prayers to be given a sign if I was on the right track with my rune work. It seemed to me I was somehow stuck. I went out on my daily stroll when the sky suddenly went boiling with an insanely loud korp-korp sound from countless ravens flying in all directions gathering up together above my head. As if saying we are finally back, don’t you worry, just proceed with your work. All is fine.
Thank you Odin, for letting me interact with your mighty creatures!
Following are my thoughts on Odin’s ravens, Hugin and Munin:
In Grimnismal, we read that Odin worries about Hugin that one day he will not come back from his long journeys around the many worlds, and still more he worries about Munin…
Still, I see the ravens as his power animals, inseparable from him, they are him!
Odin, from the very start thirsty for knowledge, has the invaluable help of Hugin=thought and Munin=memory. The Ravens aid Odin to know most things worth knowing in this world and more or less the whole of creation.
Daily, the ravens fly and seek the answers to Odin’s questions. What has happened, what is going on, what will happen?!
Thought precedes form. The invisible thought is the first step in the process of creativity a journey towards a goal, be it action or a material manifestation. Thus, the manifested has its origin in the unmanifested.
I imagine Hugin reading our thoughts, the collective consciousness, and reporting to Odin.
Knowing what is going on in someone’s mind can also reveal a lot about what will happen. But that’s far from knowing for sure what will happen.
Munin is superior in reading memory, all our and our ancestors’ accumulated experiences, that which makes up our history. All our thoughts, words and actions are energy that has made an impression on the ether, sometimes called the Akashic records, and exist forever as a band of energy around our world.
Odin is greatly empowered by knowing everything that has happened since time immemorial. From history you can understand a lot about present time as well as identify patterns and predict a possible future. But it’s not the same as knowing for sure what is going to happen…
Odin, obsessed with knowing everything about the future doom: the doom that will inevitably one day wipe out everything and everyone, Ragnarök. He wonders, does it really apply to the gods of Valhalla, his kinsmen?
Odin must know for sure. Even though deep inside he does know what is going to happen. But it doesn’t seem to count. Until he fully embodies unconditional love and trust to the creator God and get access to Wisdom, he needs to be shown the truth from some trustworthy source.
Odin sanctifies no means in his search for the truth about the fate of the gods. Not even bringing the dead to life for questioning.