Animals have always played an important part in our lives, especially in ancient cultures when people lived more close to, and in harmony with, nature and the natural world. In these old cultures, like the Sami Culture, the Native American culture, the Aboriginal culture and the Celtic Culture animals symbolized powers that we as a humans could posses if we listened and learned from the animals. In the Norse Culture of Scandinavia animals were seen as messengers from the spirit world trying to guide us through life. So let us take a closer look at these animals of the north and try to understand what message it is that they are trying to convey.
Bear was seen as the forefather of man. The Norse Gods Thor and Odin often took the shape of a bear to visit the human world. The bear stands for strength, healing, inner wisdom and balance between the seen and the unseen world. The female bear was the symbol for the feminine aspect and principle and the male bear was the masculine principle. Similar to the Chinese Yin and Yang.
The polar bear, or Ice bear as we say in Norway, is the animal that will unblock suppressed emotions so that they can flow freely. The polar bear helps us to overcome difficult challenges and to be flexible.
Moose or Elk
The moose, or the elk, is known in Norway to be the King of the Forest. He carries within his spirit the deep knowledge and mysteries of the forest. The elk will help us to find this inner wisdom and inspire us to be more confident and appear with grace.
The Roe deer is the animal that carries within the power of the Goat willow or the selje as we say in Norway. Selje means victory. The ancient mystique Rune associated with Selje is Saille:
The Roe Deer remind us of our spiritual growth. It tells us that we have a soul that longs to grow and expand beyond our body.
The Lynx is the guardian of deep secrets and hidden knowledge. This animals symbolizes the power to see beyond what is right here in front of us. It reminds us to explore the depth within ourselves and see what is hidden in our hearts.
The Hare is a moon animal. It carries intuitive messages, and tells us to listen to our intuition.
The hare is associated with the Common Gorse and the mystique rune is Onn:
The Red Deer carried a lot of meaning to the Norse people. In Norse Mythology we hear about Dunøyr, Duratro, Dvalin and Dain, three Red Deer who graze in Yggdrasil, the tree of Life. The Red Deer is associated with the healing touch and the resurrection of the spirit. It is the messenger between our world and the otherworld.
Horse is associated with the Oak tree and the mystique rune for horse is Duir:
The horse had a deep significance to the old Norse people. We find strong horses in Norse Mythology, like Odin’s horse Sleipner:
Skinnfakse and Rimfakse were the two horses who pulled the wagon of Day and the wagon of Night across the sky. Svadilfari was the stallion who built Asgaard.
The horse is the animal of strength, vitality, nobility and intelligence. It is a Sun Animal and symbolizes endurance and faithfulness.
The Wolf is an animal of protection. The wolf is a Moon Animal associated with renewed energy and wisdom through connecting with our inner child. In Norse mythology we hear about Odin’s wolves Freke and Gere who bring him news from Earth.
The Raven is Odin’s animal. Odin has two ravens called Hugin and Munin. Hugin is thought and Munin is memory. These ravens help Odin to rule the realms and give him wisdom.
The Eagle is associated with the Birch Tree and its rune is Beith.
In Norse mythology we find Vidofnir, an eagle sitting in Yggdrasil, the world tree. The Eagle is Odin’s animal and associated with him. The Eagle is a Sun Animal symbolizing Light conquering darkness, justice, victory, spiritual power and magic. The Eagle helps us to see hidden spiritual truths.
Verfolne is the name of the hawk that sits between the eyes of the eagle Vidofnir in Yggdrasil the world tree. Hawk is a sun animal and is the messenger between worlds.
The owl is associated with Hawthorn and the mystique rune is Huathe.
The owl is the guide to the underworld, it helps us to see in the spiritual and actual dark, and it shows us how to look inside the darkness in ourselves and find a way out of it.
The Mountain Goat
The Norse God Thor has two male goats Tanngrisner and Tanngnjost pulling his wagon across the sky. We also hear about the goat Heidrun grazing on the roof of Valhall.
The male goat symbolizes the creational force of nature and the seeking of truth. The female goat symbolizes the fertility of the earth.
All the images have been sourced at Google.no