Vörðr, the Norse Warden Spirit

The Old Norse believed that the Vörðr was a warden spirit that followed them everywhere from their birth to their death. Vörðr, or in Old Norse vǫrðr (pl. varðir or verðir), means: “warden,” “watcher,” or “caretaker.” In Old Swedish, the word is varþer and in modern Swedish it is vård. The English word ‘”wraith” derived from the Norse word vǫrðr, while “ward” and “warden” are cognates. The belief in them remained strong in Scandinavian folklore up until the last centuries. The vörðr is also believed to be the soul (hugr) of every person. <read: Hugr – The Nordic Concept of the…

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Are Odin’s Ravens Muninn and Huginn symbolic for his Mind and Soul?

The Norse god Odin has two ravens, named Muninn and Huginn. Each day the ravens, Huginn and Muninn, fly over Midgard (Earth) and then later return to bring Odin information about the happenings of that day. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning (chapter 38), the enthroned figure of High tells Gangleri (king Gylfi in disguise) that two ravens named Huginn and Muninn sit on Odin’s shoulders. The ravens tell Odin everything they see and hear. Odin sends Huginn and Muninn out at dawn, and the birds fly all over the…

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Hugr – The Nordic Concept of the Spirit or Soul

The Hugr is part of the Norse concept of the self. Most people, regardless of their religious beliefs, have a concept of the self in terms of it having three components: The Body, The Mind, and The Soul or Spirit.   The Nordic and Germanic folk have concept of the self that has a differentiation from the Body or the Líkami, the Mind or Will  or the Munr and what can be best described as their very being, much like a Soul or Spirit, the Hugr. (often called memory)   Hugr is an Old Norse word.  In…

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Draugr, The Viking Walking Dead

The will of the Norse appears to be very strong. Strong enough for them to draw their hugr back to their own body. Reanimating it so they can walk amongst the living again. These are the Walking Dead in Norse folklore. Draug are undead figures from Norse and Icelandic mythology/folklore that appear to retain some semblance of intelligence. They exist either to guard their treasure, wreak havoc on living beings, or torment those who had wronged them in life.  Thorolf Halt-Foot was known to have reincarnated as a draugr and become…

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