Eagle / Hawk
Solar and celestial symbol, this king of birds accompanies or represents the gods and the biggest heroes. Archetypal image of the father and the initiator.
The dual eagle is the symbol of the eagle strengthened representing the supreme power.
- Blodörn (” the eagle of blood “): put to death which consists in separating the ribs of the vertebral column and in spreading them as the wings of an eagle by highlighting lungs, to take revenge for an enemy or more particularly avenge a father.
- Hraesvelg (” swallower of carrion “): huge eagle which lives at the end of the world, in the top of Yggdrasill, and which produces the wind by beating wings. Because of its gigantic size, he is also called and quoted among the giants.
- Vedrfölnir: hawk situated between the eyes of the eagle Hraesvelg in the top of Yggdrasill.
Night, lunar and tragic symbol of the vital force, the libido and the fertility. Animal object of sacrificial rites, among which the killing and the consecration in a divinity are according to the myth, followed by a resurrection allowing to enter in touch with the gods.
Tanngrisnir (” the one who shows teeth “) and Tanngnjostr (” the one who grinds teeth) is the billy goats which pull(fire) the tank of Thor.
Symbol of the fertility, the rates of growth, the revival and the royal dignity. Associated with the tree of life by his branches, he is a mediator between the sky and the earth(ground).
Dainn, Durathror, Dvalar (or Dvalinn) and Duneyr, are 4 deers which graze in the branches of Yggdrasill.
Eikthyrnir (” the one who has wood of oak “), deer which is held on the roof of Valhöll. He grazes the sheets of Laeradr. The extremities of his wood drop drops in the source Hvergelmir which feeds all the rivers of the world.
Made sacred animal bound to the war, to the monarchy and to the divine (mortuary rites, sacrifice to the gods) in the air, in the earth in the water and in the fire.
Frame and draught animal, this animal is sacrificed during parties in honor of the gods by the Vikings. The consumption of its meat was an element of opposition between the heathen rites and the Christianity.
- Alsvid (” very fast “): one of the horses, with Arvak, which pull the tank of the sun in the sky, led(driven) by the goddess Ground. The horses which pull the sun possess two bellows under shoulders to cool them (” cooling of the iron “).
- Arkvak (” awakened early “): one of the horses, with Alsvid, which pull the tank of the sun in the sky, led(driven) by the goddess Ground. The horses which pull the sun possess two bellows under shoulders to cool them (” cooling of the iron “).
- Blodughofi : horse of Freyr.
- Falhofnir (” the one who has light yellow clogs “): one of the horses of Ases.
- Gisl (“the radiant”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Glad (“the merry”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Glaer (“the light”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Gullfaxi (“golden mane”): horse of the giant Hrungnir which will be killed in duel by Thor. Thor makes then present of the horse to his 3-year-old son Magni. Odin will blame him for not having he it donated.
- Gultopp (“golden nerve”): one of the horses of Ases, and according to Snorri in particular that of the god Heimdall.
- Gyllir (“the one who has the color of the gold”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Hrimfaxi (“mane of the wintry weather”), horse of Nött which brings the night and which every morning, recovers the earth of a dew stemming from some foam which drips with its bit.
- Hofvarpnir (“the one who gives blows of clogs”): horse of the goddess Gna.
- Léttfeti (“the one who walks of a light step”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Silfrintop (“mane of money”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Sinir (“the nervous”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Skeidbrimir (” the one who shines / sniffs during the race”): one of the horses of Ases.
- Skinfaxi (” bright mane “): horse of Dagr which brings the day and which lights(enlightens) the sky and the Earth with its mane.
- Sleipnir (” the one who slides “): horse of Odin engendered by Loki (become mare) and the huge standard(stallion) Svadilfari. Sleipnir is grey, has eight legs and runes on teeth. Sleipnir is described as the best horse of the gods, capable of jumping over the fence(close) of Hel.
- Svadilfari (” the one who makes a precarious journey “): stallion which, with Loki transformed in mare, engenders Sleipnir, and which helps to build walls around Asgard.
Symbol of the nursemaid and the initiator.
Heidrun: goat which is held on the roof of the valhöll and grazes the sheets of the tree Laerad. Of his udder pour crystal clear mead in the cups of einherjar.
Symbol was bound(connected) to the earth, to the water and to the moon, he is the guide of the deaths in the afterlife, the guard of hell.
However, in the Scandinavian mythology, the dog played so to speak no role, the same step as the sacrificial animal, except Adam of Bremen who describes dogs hung during the sacrifice of Uppsal.
- Garm (“howler”), dog chained in front of the cave Gnipahellir which roars. Other possible naming of the wolf Fenrir.
- Geri (” the wolverine(glutton) “): one of the two dogs which keep(guard) the doors of Hel. Also name of one of the two wolves of Odin.
- Gif (” the monster “?): one of the two dogs which keep(guard) the doors of Hel.
Solar symbol of pride and vigilance warrior. The song of the cock has for function to warn the gods and to wake the deaths.
- Fjallar: light red cock which lives at the giant’s Eggthér’s and sings.
- Vidofnir (“the one who tramples trees”): cock perched in the branches of the tree Mimameid in the house of Menglöd and the only flesh of which can calm the guard dogs which are held in front of.
- Gullinkambi (“crest dor”): cock which announces in Ases by its song the dawn of ragnarök and lives in Valhalla.
Divine messenger symbol of perspicacity.
- Huginn (” the thought “) and Muninn (” the memory “): ravens perched on the shoulders of Odin which tell him all that they saw or heard during their journeys worldwide integer every morning.
The name Huginn is often attested in texts and is the common naming of the crow.
Ravens are called ” birds of Odin ” and Odin is the god in ravens Hrafnagud.
Ravens are the birds of battlefields and the deaths who go to the valhöll are also called ” sustenance of ravens “. So, ravens, birds of the battles, were often represented on the banners of the armies Scandinavians of times. Vikings named Hrafnsmerki.
Ravens are also the auxiliaries of Odin in its quack’s role of horses.
The dragon is an element of hell, place of reclusion.
- Nidhögg (“the one who knocks resentfully”): dragon of the deaths which drinks their blood and devours their corpses. He lives under Yggdrasill, the cosmic ash tree, at roots of which he eats away. Between him and the eagle perched on the branches of the ash tree, there is a squirrel Ratatosk who arouses the disagreement. After ragnarök, he will live in the new and beautiful world, in the place called Nidavellir.
- Fafnir (“the one who hugs”): name of the dragon killed by Sigurd.
Divine, quick, agile and conciliatory messenger.
- Ratatosk (“tooth which drills”): squirrel who runs along the trunk of the cosmic ash tree Yggrasill and who passes on in the dragon Nidhogg, the holiday cottage of which is near roots, words of the eagle perched in branches to stir up ill-feeling.
Symbol of savagery and greediness. In the Scandinavian mythology, the wolf is more particularly devouring of celestial bodies.
The skins of wolf dressed one of the brotherhoods odiniques in warriors, ulfhednar (“warriors dressed in skins of wolf) often associated to the warriors berserkir.
- Fenrir (” living in swamps “): wolf engendered by Loki and the giant Angrboda, raised by Ases then, become too hardly, chained with the chains Loeding and Dromi that he breaks both. The dwarfs make then the chain Gleipnir, light and flexible, and Ases attaches Fenrir on the island of Lyngvi. When the wolf notices that he cannot break the chain, the god Tyr loses the right hand that he had placed in his mouth so that Fenrir agrees to be allowed chain. The gods attach Gleipnir to another chain, Gelgja, and this one to rock Gjöll which they push in the earth in the area of the stone Thviti. At the end, they place a sword between the jaws of the wolf which push dreadful roarings. His saliva forms the river Van.
He will free itself only in ragnarök, will fight Odin.
- Freki (” the wolverine “): one of the two wolves of Odin which participate in the banquet of Valhöll at the foot of their master.
- Geri (” the wolverine “): one of the two wolves of Odin which participate in the banquet of Valhöll at the foot of their master. Also name of one of the two dogs which keep(guard) the doors of Hel.
- Hati (“resentful”): wolf which runs(roams) in front of the sun and pursues Mani, the god of the Moon, whom he(it) will eventually gobble up.
- Hrodvitnir (” glorious wolf “): father of the wolf Hati. Other likely naming for Fenrir.
- Managarm (” devourer of the moon “): wolf native of the iron forest Janvidr, given birth by Iarnsarxa and Fenrir.
- Sköll (“mockery”): wolf which pursues the sun, personified by the goddess Ground, during its running(race) in the sky and which will eventually gobble up him.
- Thodvitnir (” wolf of the people “): naming of the wolf Fenrir.
- Vanargand (” the monster of the river Van “): possible naming of the wolf Fenrir. The river Van (or Vön) formed from the slaver of the chained wolf Fenrir.
Symbol of the spiritual authority. Sacrificial animal to bless the harvests and by which the meat accompanies the deceaseds in their last journey. It is even nowadays the symbol of the Swedish monarchy.
- Gullinborsti (“the one who has golden silks”), called also Slidrugtanni (“the one who has dangerous defenses”): wild boar who pulls the car of the god Freyr, faster than any horse in the air and on the water, in the daytime and at night, thanks to its gleaming silks. Gullinborsti was made by the dwarf Brokk.
- Hildisvini (“wild boar Hildi”), wild boar been astride by Freyja and who is in fact Ottar transformed in animal.
- Saehrimnir (“marine monster covered with soot): wild boar who is daily renewed in the valhöll, prepared by the cook Andhrimnir in the cauldron Eldhrimnir to feed widely all the warriors of the Valhöll.
- Slidrugtanni (“the one who has dangerous defenses”): other name for the wild boar Gullinborsti.
- Sonargölt (“wild boar of élévage”): wild boar sacrificed in the evening of Jule during a sonarblot (“sacrifice of Sound”), during which we make wishes (heitstrengingar) by putting him hands on the back to obtain a good harvest. The sonarblot, the sacrifice of a wild boar, is originally a sacrifice offered to Freyr, god of the fertility whose attribute was the wild boar Gullinborsti.
Very former symbol in the worship of the fertility and the death. Spirit of the first water, the source of life.
- Midgardsorm (” snake of Midgard): snake living in the primitive ocean which surrounds the world and which makes the tour of this one. He is the son of Loki and the giant Angrboda, and the enemy of Thor. Thor entices with a head of ox the snake of Midgard and wants to kill him with his hammer when the giant Hymir, terrified, cuts the thread. The snake of Midgard and Thor also meets during of the ragnarök during which Thor kills the snake but dies in his/her turn poisoned by its poison.
Other naming: Jörmungand (” enormous monster “), Orm, Nad.
- Goinn (” ground animal “?): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage(shelter) under the roots of Yggdrasill and live(remain) in the source Hvergelmir
- Grabak (” grey back “): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage(shelter) under the recines of Yggdrasill and live(remain) in the source Hvergelmir.
- Grafvitnir (” wolf of graves “?): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage(shelter) under the recines of Yggdrasill and live(remain) in the source Hvergelmir.
- Grafvöllud (“the one who digs under the plain” or Grafvöldud, “the one who reigns in the grave”?): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage under the recines of Yggdrasill and remain in the source Hvergelmir.
- Moinn (“animal of swamps”): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage under the roots of Yggdrasill and remain in the source Hvergelmir.
- Ofnir (“the one who winds”): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage under the roots of Yggdrasill and remain in the source Hvergelmir.
- Svafnir (“the one who dives into the sleep”?): one of the snakes which have their holiday cottage under the roots of Yggdrasill and remain in the source Hvergelmir.
Taurus / Cow
The bull is symbol of power and creative strength. The cow is symbol of the earth(ground) feeder mother, of the life and the abundance.
- Himinhrjod (” the one who destroys the sky “): the biggest bull in the herd of the giant Hymir. Thor tears away the head of this bull to entice with the snake of Midgard.
- Audhumla (” cow without horns rich in milk “): primitive cow arisen from some cast iron of the original ices. Of his udder poured four rivers of milk which fed the first human being, the giant Ymir, whereas Audhumla put three days freeing the ancestor of the gods Buri by licking the salty ice.