Lascaux cave art

Lascaux cave art

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Huginn and Muninn, Symbols of the First Function



I have recently been dwelling upon the relationship between Woden and His ravens Huginn and Munnin and came across a most interesting passage in Edred Thorsson's Northern Magic. Rune Mysteries and Shamanism. I initially read this book many years ago but only recently have I begun to appreciate its full merits. The primary focus of the book is on the Younger Futhark, a rune row which is very much ignored in mainstream books on runology. Edred follows the Dumezelian tripartite division of the Aesir/Vanir into the First Function (Sovereignity), Second Function (Warfare) and the Third Function (Production/Fertility). He divides the First Function into law, governed by Tyr and magic, governed by Odin.

"The first function is that of judgement, rationality, law, and measurement (embodied by Tiw/Tyr) and of inspiration, intuition, and transformation (embodied by Woden/Odhinn). These two together form the sovereign and intellectual part of the world and of the human being-consciousness. They are the Gods of the ancient kings, judges, poets, and magicians." (Thorsson)

This division of the First Function has a direct parallel with Woden's two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (thought and memory). Hugin represents the rational and that which can be objectively observed whilst Muninn represents to the Collective Unconscious, the Blood Memory or Racial Memory. The synthesis of the two parts is surely the objective of the Woden initiate? An indepth study of our sacred literature and runelore supported by the development of the intuition and psychic abilities should be at the forefront of the initiate's endeavours.

"The true Odinist-that is, one who follows the particular path outlined by the character of the living god Woden-is a person who seeks to understand the deepest cosmic mysteries and then to put these mysteries into a communicable form to be expressed in the world at large. This is part of doing the work of Woden. The path of Odhinn is one which combines the intellectual with the intuitive-but which in both cases strives toward the objectively real and powerful. The highest aim of the Odinist is self-transformation-according to the mysto-magical model provided by Odhinn." (Edred)

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