Hamr and hugr – and changing skin

Perhaps you are aware that many elementals (elementals are human-like beings with affinities for different elements like air, fire, water and earth) have more than one skin – ‘eigi einhamir’, meaning ‘not of one skin’ in the old language.

Hamr is our body, our skin – and because of my raven nature I can alter my hamr and take the shape of the raven. We call both skins hamr, but on occasion the raven skin is referred to as ‘feðer-hamr’, because of our plumage and wings.

In the old times we referred to our bodies as ‘hamr’ and our minds as ‘hugr’, but understand that ‘hugr’ implies more than what the word ‘mind’ indicates. ‘Hugr’ is our inner self, our personality, our intuition and the vibe we emit.

To change skin – ‘skipta hömum’ – means that you become as two beings. You can do everything that your animal shape can, but your elemental strength is added on top. Some of us are impossibly strong in our animal skin – like those in dragon, bear or wolf skins. My raven skin doesn’t possess impossible strength like that, apart from the fact that we’re very difficult to kill and that we don’t age in our ‘feðer-hamr’. In this shape I get to keep my ‘hugr’, but the rest is raven.

The concept of ‘skipta hömum’ can take a philosophical direction too. In different contexts we might need to take on different roles, learning that we can’t use the same strategies in every situation. This is more of an internal ‘skipta hömum’.

Feathers and lore,
There’s much, much more,

//Ást

The raven in her heart_book_w

Meet the ravens. Hugr means thought, Mugr means memory. And Odin needed both. Which is your raven?

Venla escapes to her remote cabin to celebrate Christmas alone, grieving the shattered fragments of her life, but when old memories ignite her creative spirit, and she starts spinning and knitting, a raven comes to visit. On an impulsive whim she decides to let the raven into her heart, treating it as her friend, and it doesn’t take long before it brings her a magical gift. Only now it wants her to follow it into the woods. She thinks she must be crazy for even contemplating this, but the magic piques her interest. Not knowing it is the Elemental realm the raven has brought her to, Venla wields the little magic she can, to make her way.

But what will come of this crazy journey? Venla wasn’t sure what to expect, but she certainly wasn’t expecting her raven to transform into a beautiful prince, to discover a long-lost kingdom under a curse or to enjoy the most wonderful Yuletide she had ever had. And perhaps a ‘happy ever after’ too…

Inspired by ancient Scandinavian Yuletide traditions, the raven in Norse mythology, and Scandinavian folklore. Journey to encounter a host of mythical creatures in a heart-warming, creative Christmas adventure with transcendental depth.

The raven in her heart by Anneli von Knorring is a feel-good wintery tale where we explore the raven and its magic in Scandinavian folklore and myth, along with old Yuletide traditions.

Or get The raven in her heart on Amazon.