|The Wild Hunt by Franz von Stuck|
Odin's ever-present companions are two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who were the carriers of news - the good or bad behavior of the mortals, below - and report back to Odin, after listening to people through their rooftops. Huginn and Muninn's role as Odin's messengers have long been associated with shamanic practices, the Norse raven banner, general raven symbolism among the Germanic peoples, and the Norse concepts of the fylgja (is a spirit who accompanies a person in connection to their fate or fortune) and the hamingja (either the personification of the good fortune or luck of an individual or family, or the altered appearance of shape-shifters).
"The Bearer of Death is a term used in describing the Hellhound. Hellhounds have been said to be as black as coal and smell of burning brimstone. They tend to leave behind a burned area wherever they go. Their eyes are a deep, bright, and almost glowing red. They have razor sharp teeth, super strength and speed, and are commonly associated with graveyards and the underworld. Hellhounds are called The Bearers of Death because they were supposedly created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. According to legend, seeing one leads to a person's death. Sometimes it is said to be once; other times it requires three sightings for the curse to take effect and kill the victim. These factors make the Hellhound a feared symbol and worthy of the name “Bearer of Death”. The Hellhound has been seen several times throughout history, and it is not specific to any one place. The most recent sightings occurred in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Vilseck, Germany, in or near cemeteries." -wiki
|Artwork by Howard Johnson, source: pinterest|
Some mortals who did not meet their demise as witnesses, would mysteriously vanish, and may have been carried into the Underworld or a Fairy Kingdom, as the soul was pulled from the body to join the army of the soul-less.
Melissa Snark, wrote: "As people continued to settle in the region, Odin’s path for the Wild Hunt remained unchanged. Once he traveled a road, he would continue to travel it for eternity, so people who tried to build their houses on the old roads he once used would find their home’s burnt down as a result of his hunt. In fact, it was best to leave his routes completely untouched, as anything within his path would be set ablaze in his wake.
To protect themselves during the Wild Hunt, people learned to throw themselves at the ground when the host stampeded through the area to avoid getting hit. They also took to carrying a piece of steel and a piece of bread with them as they made their way to church for Yule. They believed that throwing the bread for the dogs if they encountered them first would offer some protection. If, on the other hand, they first encountered a rider wearing a broad-rimmed hat, they would throw the piece of steel in front of them. Still others believed they could avoid being swept up altogether by the hunt if they asked the riders for parsley."
There is a bright side, however. If one joined the Wild Hunt, in earnest and sincerity, one may be rewarded with silver or gold.
|Google Images, Artists not cited|
Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831–1892) - Title "Norsk bokmål: Asgårdsreien, 1872
Gif images - tumblr