History Podcasts

Odin on Sleipnir (Tjängvide image stone)

Odin on Sleipnir (Tjängvide image stone)


Viking stele showing Odin's horse Sleipnir.

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Odin on Sleipnir (Tjängvide image stone) - History


1680 Edda Oblongata
AM 738 4to



1812
Frederich David Gräter
's Hermode & Idunn
Hermod on Sleipnir


c. 1850 Carl Christian Peters


Odin Rides to Hel
1930 Charles E. Brock


1950 Dagfin Werenskjold



2009 Phillip Wilkinson


Loki and Svadilfari with the Master Builder
2012 Helena Rosova


An Apple for a Mother
2012 Helena Rosova


Sleipnir and Odin
2012 Helena Rosova


2012 Loki on Sleipnir
By Helena Rosova


2012 Odin, Loki and Sleipnir
By Helena Rosova




Geri and Freki


Tjängvide Image Stone

The Tjangvide Image Stone was found on a farm in Tjangvide to the west of Ljugarn, Gotland, Sweden in 1844. It was carved on the flat piece of limestone. The stone is 1.7 meters in height and is 1.2 meters in width.

Tjangvide Viking Image Stone

If we already have some knowledge about Norse mythology and the Viking age, we can easily understand what the image stone is trying to depict. The upper part of the stone is believed to depict Odin riding on his eight-legged horse Sleipnir to enter the gate of Valhalla. Why can we know that gate belonged to Valhalla? The figures around were the hints. The woman figure right in front of the eight-legged horse is presumingly the Valkyrie who was the female helping spirit of Odin. The Valkyrie might have been holding the drinking horns offering to Odin.

Tjangvide Image Stone depicting Odin riding on Sleipnir horse

Behind her was the warriors with the axes in the hands. So, Valkyrie and warriors easily provoke the thought of Valhalla to any of us. Plus, the four-legged animal and the bird above Odin might be the guardsmen of Valhalla. Because in Norse myth, Valhalla was guarded by a big dog and an eagle.

The lower part of the stone is filled with the image of a long Viking ship. The sail spread as wide as the ship.


Sleipnir

In Norse mythology, Sleipnir (Old Norse "slippy" or "the slipper") is an eight-legged horse ridden by Odin. Sleipnir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Sleipnir is Odin's steed, is the child of Loki and Svaðilfari, is described as the best of all horses, and is sometimes ridden to the location of Hel. The Prose Edda contains extended information regarding the circumstances of Sleipnir's birth, and details that he is grey in color.

Sleipnir is also mentioned in a riddle found in the 13th century legendary saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, in the 13th-century legendary saga Völsunga saga as the ancestor of the horse Grani, and book I of Gesta Danorum, written in the 12th century by Saxo Grammaticus, contains an episode considered by many scholars to involve Sleipnir. Sleipnir is generally accepted as depicted on two 8th century Gotlandic image stones: the Tjängvide image stone and the Ardre VIII image stone.


Modern influence

The horseshoe shaped canyon Ásbyrgi.

According to Icelandic folklore, the horseshoe shaped canyon Ásbyrgi located in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, northern Iceland was formed by Sleipnir's hoof. ⎦] Sleipnir is depicted with Odin on Dagfin Werenskjold's wooden relief "Odin på Sleipnir" (1945–1950) on the exterior of the Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway. ⎧] Sleipnir has been and remains a popular name for ships in Northern Europe, and Rudyard Kipling's short story entitled "Sleipnir, late Thurinda" (1888) features a horse named "Sleipnir". ⎨] ⎦] A statue of Sleipnir (1998) stands in Wednesbury, England, a town which takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon version of Odin, Wōden. ⎩]


A Brief Introduction to Animals in Norse Mythology

In a new series of articles about the mythological elements of the Vikings, I thought I’d start with a basic introduction to some of the more familiar animals from the Sagas.

Ravens hold an important place in Norse mythology and appear in many of the Sagas. They’ve even worked their way into the more coarse vocabulary of the Vikings: The insult Hrafnasueltir, for example, means raven starver. Seemingly inoffensive until you remember how important ravens are to Norse mythology anyone who starved ravens would be considered a coward and a fool. The dead on the battlefield were fodder for hungry ravens, and anyone who couldn’t provide this feast ie not fight was a coward.

A coin of Anlaf (Olaf) III Guthfrithsson, King of Jorvik AD 939-941 (Image: BBC)

Odin has two ravens who accompany him: Huginn (Old Norse: ‘thought’) and Muninn (ON: ‘memory’ or ‘mind’). The ravens fly around the world gathering information and reporting it back to Odin, as recorded in the Prose Edda (stories recorded by historian Snorri Sturluson, 1179 – 1241):

“The ravens sit on his shoulders and say into his ear all the tidings which they see or hear they are called thus: Huginn and Muninn. He sends them at day-break to fly about all the world, and they come back at undern-meal thus he is acquainted with many tidings.”

Image from an 18 th Century Icelandic manuscript showing Odin with Muninn and Huginn sitting on his shoulders (image: Wikipedia)

The Heimskringla (a history of the Norwegian kings, written by Sturluson), states that Odin gave his ravens the ability to speak:

“He had two ravens, to whom he had taught the speech of man and they flew far and wide through the land, and brought him the news.”

The Ninth Century poem Hrafnsmál tells the story of a meeting between a raven and a Valkyrie where they talk about Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway.

“How is it with you, ye ravens? Whence are ye come
with bloody beak at the dawning of day ? Torn flesh is
hanging from your talons, and a reek of carrion comes
from your mouths. I doubt not that ye have passed the
night amid a scene of carnage.’

The sworn brother of the eagle shook his dusky plumage,
wiped his beak, and thought upon his answer:
We have followed Harold, the son of Halfdan, the
youthful scion of Yngvi, ever since we came out of the egg.”

Archaeological evidence for the importance of ravens includes finds of bracteates, gold medals worn by Vikings as jewellery. The example below, discovered in Sweden and now in the Ashmolean, shows Odin and a raven.

(Image: Wikipedia)

There have also been military finds across the Norse world that include ravens: shields, helmets, armour, banners and longship carvings. Some scholars believe including a raven on your armour would allow you to harness the power of the Allfather.

Perhaps the most well-known horse in Norse mythology is Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse. Sleipnir is mentioned in many of the Sagas and is the offspring of Loki and Svaðilfari, a horse belonging to the builder of the wall around Asgard. The builder offers to construct the wall in exchange for the goddess Freyja, the sun, and the moon. The gods agree but place restrictions on him, including a deadline of no longer than three seasons to finish and no one but his horse Svaðilfari to aid him. When it looks like he’ll be done on time, the gods demand that Loki intervene. The day before the builder is to finish his task, Loki disguises himself as a horse and distracts Svaðilfari long enough for the builder to fail. A short while later Loki gives birth to Sleipnir.

The Poetic Edda (a collection of early Norse poems) has this to say:

“Of all the gods is Odin the greatest,
And Sleipnir the best of steeds”

Sleipnir is such an impressive horse that Odin’s son, Hermódr the Bold, rides the horse to Hel on a quest for the goddess Frigg.

Odin riding Sleipnir on the Tjängvide image stone (Sweden Image: Wikipedia)

Even Sleipnir’s offspring are exceptional:

“So the next day went Sigurd to the wood, and met on the way an old man, long-bearded, that he knew not, who asked him whither away.
Sigurd said, “I am minded to choose me a horse come thou, and counsel me thereon.”
“Well then,” said he, “go we and drive them to the river which is called Busil-tarn.”
They did so, and drave the horses down into the deeps of the river, and all swam back to land but one horse and that horse Sigurd chose for himself grey he was of hue, and young of years, great of growth, and fair to look on, nor had any man yet crossed his back. Then spake the grey-beard, “From Sleipnir’s kin is this horse come, and he must be nourished heedfully, for it will be the best of all horses” and therewithal he vanished away.
So Sigurd called the horse Grani, the best of all the horses of the world nor was the man he met other than Odin himself.” (Völsung Saga)

Other horses of note are Arvakr (ON: ‘early awake’) and Alsviðr (ON: ‘very quick’) who pull the sun chariot of Sól. It’s said that if Sól stops or slows down her chariot then Sköll, the wolf who is destined to destroy the world at Ragnarock will catch her and eat the sun.

(Fun fact: in Iceland there is a horseshoe-shaped canyon called Asbyrgi, said to have been formed by Sleipnir’s hoof).

Asbyrgi Canyon, Iceland (Image: Wikipedia)

The most famous wolf in Norse mythology is Fenrir (ON: Fen-Dweller). He is another of the sons of Loki and is the father of Sköll and his brother Háti (who is destined to eat the moon).

When the gods learn that Fenrir is prophesized to kill Odin at Ragnarok, they bring him before the Allfather to be restrained. Three different fetters are made to bind Fenrir, each one progressively stronger than the last. The last, and strongest:

“…was made of six things: the noise a cat makes in foot-fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird.” (Prose Edda)

Fenrir insist he would remain still while the last fetter was laid on him. In fact, he said he’d be so still that someone could put their hand in his mouth and it would be safe. Týr volunteers and loses his hand when Fenrir snaps. The movement, however, tightens the fetter, trapping the wolf.

17th-Century manuscript illustration of the bound Fenrir (Image: Wikipedia)

Sköll and Háti have already been mentioned, the sons of Fenrir and the grandsons of Loki.

“Then shall happen what seems great tidings: the Wolf shall swallow the sun and this shall seem to men a great harm. Then the other wolf shall seize the moon, and he also shall work great ruin the stars shall vanish from the heavens.” (Prose Edda)

Odin not only has two ravens who accompany him, but also two wolves. Named Geri and Freki (both names mean ‘ravenous’ or ‘greedy’), Odin feeds them food from his own table, choosing instead to only live on wine. Like ravens, the two wolves prowl battlefields in search of flesh to eat: “Vidrir’s hounds went about the isle slaughter-greedy.” (Poetic Edda – Vidrir is Odin).

And A Squirrel

One of my favourite Norse creatures is Ratatoskr (ON: ‘Drill Tooth’), a squirrel who runs between the eagle at the top of, and the serpent Níðhöggr at the bottom of, Yggdrasil. Ratatoskr listens to the eagle and serpent talk about each other, then carries the slanderous messages back and forth.

Ratatoskr, from a 17 th -Century Icelandic manuscript (why he is depicted with a horn is unknown. Image: Wikipedia)

There are dozens of animals in Norse mythology, some with a purpose, some merely mentioned in passing in the sagas. Next time I’ll be discussing the animals who live in the world tree, Yggdrasil.

The Northern Queen – Available in USA, Canada and UK


Santa’s Family Tree in Pictures

Santa Claus has an old and lively family. Like all families, it is filled with stories, but here I want to focus on the images before the stories. Following multiple branches through time is not easy to represent, and I’ve opted to move first down a secondary branch from Odin to Santa Claus and then back up the heaviest branch of the family (with several strange forks) to Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (modern-day Demre, Turkey). These sixty-six images from Santa’s family tree represent all of the basic characters and secondary branches within the these two primary ancestral lines:

Above: Tjängvide image stone (dated between A.D. 700 and 1000) which features Odin riding his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

Above: Detail from the Tjängvide image stone focused on Odin and Sleipnir. Odin was often described riding through the sky with animal companions in the Wild Hunt. Some have suggested that Sleipnir’s eight legs inspired the original number for Santa’s eight reindeer (before Rudolph joined in the 1900s and made it nine).

Above: These three figures from the Skog tapestry (dated to the 1100s) have been interpreted as the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Freyja.

Above: Illustration of Odin with his two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, from a 1760 Icelandic manuscript.

Above: Illustration of Odin on his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, from a 1760 Icelandic manuscript.

Above: “Odin Rides to Hel” by W.G. Collingwood, 1908.

Above: “The Wild Hunt” by August Malmström (lived 1829 to 1901), illustration of Odin riding with his wolves and ravens.

Above: “Odin in the guise of a wanderer” by Georg von Rosen in 1886. (Appeared in the 1893 Swedish translation of the Poetic Edda.)

Above: Frontispiece to John Taylor’s pamphlet “The Vindication of Christmas” from 1652 (printed date 1653).

Above: Father Christmas in an illustration used by two Josiah King pamphlets (1658 and 1678).

Above: from The Book of Christmas by Thomas Kibble Hervey with “Old Christmas” shown riding a yule goat, 1836.

Above: Father Christmas with the Yule Goat (date and source unknown).

Above: “Christmas and his children” by Robert Seymour, 1836.

Above: A colorized edit of an engraving by John Leech in 1843 for the “Ghost of Christmas Present” in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (illustration from first edition).

Father Christmas from the Illustrated London News 1847.

Above: “Christmas with the Yule Log” by Alfred Crowquill (Alfred Henry Forrester), 1848 (Illustrated London News).

Above: “Father Christmas” by Arthur Rackahm (c. 1900).

Above: “Old St. Nick” by Aarthur Rackham from 1907. [Note: This image could fit below among the Saint Nicholas branch of the family, but I include it here because these two illustrations by Rackham show how Father Christmas and St. Nick are two distinct figures. This image of “Old St. Nick” also demonstrates a critical secondary-branch in the Saint Nicholas clan where the human saint is replaced by an elf or a gnome-like creature, often from the far north and living underground. This is the source of the “Jolly Old St. Nick” name that later becomes associated with Santa Claus along with ideas about where and how he lives.]

Above: Saxon postcard c. 1900 from the Kemper Chambers Collection.

Above: illustration of Father Christmas from the Victorian era (1837-1901, exact date and source unknown).

Above: illustration of Father Christmas from the Victorian era (1837-1901, exact date and source unknown).

Above: Father Christmas from a 1919 Tuck postcard (by the London company of Raphael Tuck & Sons), Photo Oilette series number C7513).

Above: The first Father Christmas letter by J.R.R. Tolkien to his children, 1920.

Above: Illustration of Father Christmas by Pauline Diana Baynes in the 1950 first edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (colorization added).

Above: Illustration of Father Christmas (date and source unknown).

Above: Illustration of Father Christmas (date and source unknown).

Above: Contemporary image of Santa Claus. [Note: Although Father Christmas and Santa Claus are separate figures, several indirect influences on Santa Claus can be noted from the above members of the family. Below, after two more contemporary Santa images, the images from here on will reverse direction in time as we move back up the main branch in Santa’s family tree toward Saint Nicholas.]

Above: 2015 photo that I took at my Orthodox (Antiochian) church showing a cross decorated by a child with a Santa Claus.

Above: One more contemporary image of Santa Claus.

Above: 2014 reconstruction of Saint Nicholas by Dr. Caroline Wilkinson with Face Lab (Liverpool John Moores University). Based on thousands of minutely-detailed measurements and x-ray photographs (roentgenography) from the skull and other bones of St. Nicholas’ (at the request of the Vatican) by anatomy professor Luigi Martino when the bones were removed temporarily from their crypt in the Basilica di San Nicola (Bari, Italy) during the 1950s.

Above: Initial reconstruction and computer generated image of Saint Nicholas by Dr. Caroline Wilkinson from 2004 (with Image Foundry Studios and Anand Kapoor).

Above: young Kris Kringle (later Santa Claus) from the 1970 film “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.”

Above: young Kris Kringle (later Santa Claus) from the 1970 film “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.”

Above: German girl dressed as the Christkind in a traditional German protestant Christmas celebration. The name “Kris Kringle” comes from an Americanization of Christkind (German for “Christ Child”). This character developed after Martin Luther introduced it to refocus German Christmas traditions away from Saint Nicholas and back toward God’s incarnation as Jesus Christ. However, the Christkind developed into its own figure as an angelic child that sometimes appeared alongside both Jesus Christ and Saint Nicholas.

Above: Santa illustration by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola in 1959.

Above: Santa illustration by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola in 1934.

Above: another Santa illustration by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola in 1931.

Above: Santa illustrated by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola in 1931.

Above: Card featuring Saint Nicholas printed in Germany c. 1908. Given as a comparison to the developments taking place in the United States.

Above: cover of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a 1902 children’s book written by L. Frank Baum (best know for authoring The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark.

Christmas color postcard with illustration of Santa Claus inserting a frightened child into sack c. 1900 (Missouri History Museum, photographs and prints collections, ID: N39366).

Above: “N. Pole Wireless Co Santa Claus Proprietor” c. 1900 from the Kemper Chambers Collection.

Above: 1889 cover of the songbook “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” by Katharine Lee Bates (best known as the writer of “America the Beautiful”).

Above: “Hello Little One” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1884.

Above: illustration of “Santa Claus” or “St Nick” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1881.

Above: “And to All a Good Night” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1879.

Above: “The coming of Santa Claus” (the “Jolly Old Elf” arrives to the pets) by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1872.

Above: “Visit of Saint Nicholas” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1869.

Above: “Santa Claus in Camp” was the first of the many Thomas Nast illustrations of Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly. This was the cover on January 3, 1863. This Civil-War-era image was the most critical step in the development of a unified nation-wide identity for Santa Claus.

Above: another image of Thomas Nast’s “Santa Claus in Camp” from 1863.

Above: Small demons on swans pull “Santa Claus” in a strawberry sled in this 1870s post card from the Kemper Chambers Collection.

Above: a Dutch celebration of a traditional visit from “Sinter Klaas” accompanied by Zwarte Piet (Dutch meaning “Black Pete”). This traditional figure among largely Protestant Dutch colonists in New York city (originally called New Amsterdam) likely provided the primary basis for the name “Santa Claus” as well as for his basic features and costume. [Note: this tradition of Zwarte Piet has sad and hurtful aspects with regard to the portrayal of different people groups. See next image. Many other “companions of Saint Nicholas” showed up in other countries throughout Europe: Père Fouettard (French), Knecht Ruprecht (German meaning Farmhand/Servant Rupert/Robert), Belsnickel or Pelznikel (German meaning “Walloping-Nickel”), Kriskinkle (German for “Christmas woman”) and Krampus (a fearful figure in Austria, Bavaria, South Tyrol, Slovenia, and Croatia probably originating in the pre-Christian Alpine pagan folklore).]

Above: a contemporary cartoon by Andy Warner (2013 for an article the-magazine.org) showing the concern of parents at the troubling associations with Sinter Klaas as he is typically surrounded by numerous figures in costume as Zwarte Piet. Although the idea was much older in other parts of Europe, the idea that Sinterklaas had a servant was first printed in Dutch within a book by Jan Schenkman called Sint Nicolaas en Zijn Knecht (English: Saint Nicholas and His Servant, 1850).

Above: Illustration from Jan Schenkman’s book Sint Nicolaas en Zijn Knecht (English: Saint Nicholas and His Servant, 1850).

Above: one more image of a traditional Dutch Sinterklaas costume. [Note: Another theory sometimes given for the name “Santa Claus” is that it was an American mispronunciation of the saint’s name as used by Italian immigrants: “Sant Nikolas.” However, given how early “Santa Claus” appears in print in New York city, it is most likely derived from the Dutch “Sinterklaas.”]

Above: illustration from page 1 of “Old Santeclaus with Much Delight,” an anonymous children’s poem published in New York in 1821. [Note: A few other publication dates to note are: 1809 with A History of New York by Washington Irving (a satirical book that described the Dutch settlers’ Christmas traditions including a jolly St. Nicholas who delivered presents and flew over houses in a cart pulled by horses), 1823 with “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (better known subsequently as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) by American Bible scholar Clement Clarke Moore (first published anonymously and then under Moore’s name in 1844 and with some arguing that the poem was actually by Henry Beekman Livingston, Jr. from a few years before) and 1836 with “The Knickerbocker’s Rescue Santa Claus” by James Kirke Paulding (1778–1860) from The Book of Saint Nicholas.]

Above: Looking again at contemporary developments outside of the United States, this is a German “Christkind” illustration from 1893 (Stadt Gottes, Illustrierte Zeitschrift für das katholische Volk, Sammelband). Children are throwing open a window to watch an infant Christ and angels descending to them with a Christmas tree.

Above: “Knecht Ruprecht und das Christkind” from the 1800s in Germany, showing how the Protestant figure of the “Christ child” was mixed with older figures such as Knecht Ruprecht (one of the German companions of Saint Nicholas).

Above: Krampus in a Victorian era Christmas card. Krampus was first connected to Saint Nicholas in the 1600s. After a period of repressing this figure in many areas, postcards featuring Krampus were extremely popular again in the 1800s and 1900s.

Above: Krampus in a Christmas card from the 1870s.

Above: Krampus in a Victorian era Christmas card.

Above: Saint Nicholas and Krampus visit a Viennese home in a 1896 illustration.

Above: 1863 illustration of a visit from Saint Nicholas and Krampus by Otto von Reinsberg-Düringsfeld in Das festliche Jahr in Sitten.

Above: traditional iconography showing the story of Saint Nicholas saving a man’s three daughters from slavery by secretly bringing them money during the night.

Above: traditional icon of Saint Nicholas. Prior to the 1600s, images of Saint Nicholas were all religious icons used for prayer and veneration (primarily within the life and services of local churches). These icons contained only the saint (with no companions, although he was sometimes surrounded by smaller images of fellow saints as well as his Lord Jesus Christ).

Above: traditional icon of Saint Nicholas.

Above: traditional icon of Saint Nicholas.

Above: traditional icon of Saint Nicholas dating from 900s. This icon is from the monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai, and it is the oldest image of the saint that is still in existence.

To recap, the images above represent these two main branches of Santa’s ancestral tree:

1. Christian and Wider-European Folklore Branch: Saint Nicholas of Myra (the town of Demre in today’s Turkey) lived from A.D. 270 to 343. He grew to be deeply loved throughout the Christian world (including Africa and Asia). Many stories and figures were connected to him in later European folklore. Key names from this family clan:

  • Saint Nicholas
  • Companions of Saint Nicholas
    • Knecht Ruprecht: German meaning Farmhand (or Servant) Rupert (or Robert)
    • Belsnickel or Pelznikel: German meaning “Walloping” and “Nickel” (from “Nikolaus”)
    • Kriskinkle: German for “Christmas woman” a variation on Belsnickel
    • Zwarte Piet: Dutch meaning “Black Pete” a serving person who was a Spanish Moor [Note: this and the French equivalent below clearly have deeply sad and hurtful aspects with regard to the portrayal of different people groups.]
    • Père Fouettard: French equivalent to Zwarte Piet
    • Krampus: Austria, Bavaria, South Tyrol, Slovenia, and Croatia a fearful figure probably originating in the pre-Christian Alpine traditions and sometimes accompanying Saint Nicholas
    • Christkind
    • Kris Kringle (developed from “Christkind” later in the United States)

    2. British Pagan and Folklore Branch: Stories of Odin likely developed among (or were introduced to) the Germanic Iron Age peoples. With over 170 names, Odin is the god with the most names among the pantheon of the Germanic peoples. Key names from this family clan:

    • Odin
    • Yule Father
    • Father Christmas

    This family tree culminates in the images and stories of Santa Claus as they developed in the United States. Do in large part to product marketing and popular entertainment, these stories and images of Santa Claus have also spread to many other parts of the world (including back into many of the originating countries such as Holland, England and Germany):


    Bibliography

    DuBois, Thomas. 1999. Nordic Religions in the Viking Age. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia.
    Ellis Davidson, H.R. 1993.The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. Routledge: London.
    Ellis Davidson, H.R. 1988. Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe: early Scandinavia and Celtic religions. Syracuse University Press: New York.
    Ellis Davidson, H.R. 1965. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Penguin: England.
    Sturluson, Snorri. The Poetic Edda. trans. Lee M. Hollander. 1986. University of Texas Press: Texas.

    Riley

    Riley Winters is a Pre-PhD art historical, archaeological, and philological researcher who holds a degree in Classical Studies and Art History, and a Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor from Christopher Newport University. She is also a graduate of Celtic and Viking. Read More


    The Sleipner Symbol Meaning

    In Norse mythology, eight-legged horses are used to transport souls to the afterlife. Sleipnir is linked with the afterlife and his eight legs are interpreted as “an indication of great speed or as being connected in some unclear way with cult activity.”

    Sleipnir is symbolic of speed, surety, and perception. The Sleipnir symbol also represents eternal life, transcendence, and good luck in travel. The symbol is particularly meaningful to travelers and athletes—equestrians, especially—as well as those who have lost loved ones and those who long for spiritual enlightenment.


    Watch the video: Manowar SleipnirTo Valhalla, To Odin (December 2021).