I'm myth-taken
April 9, 2006 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I seem to have my goddesses and creatures mixed up in my head. I'm looking for the name of a creature that can turn into a crow/raven or wolf, and stalk through a battle field feeding on the souls of the dying.

In my head I'm thinking Morrigans, but Morrigan is a Celtic goddess with the ability to become a crow, and she doesn't feed off the souls of the dying. Trying to bang at my memories a bit more, I'm thinking the creatures are a Celtic legend or perhaps Saxon (think Vikings).

Does the description ring a bell for anyone? If I had the name, I could do the rest of the research myself.
posted by FunkyHelix to Society & Culture (6 answers total)
 
You may be thinking of Odin. He has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn [Thought and Memory], that he sends out into the world to gather information, and he is accompanied by two wolves, Freki and Geri. He's also a god of war and death, although he doesn't feed on the souls of the dying - the souls of warriors are gathered in his hall Valhalla, and they will eventually fight for him during Ragnarok.

[If you've read American Gods, that may be the source of the idea that Odin 'feeds' on war.]
posted by ubersturm at 3:08 PM on April 9, 2006


How about this one: Badb

She's associated with the Morrigan, so that may be where your connection comes from.
posted by MsMolly at 3:12 PM on April 9, 2006


[Odin's the most important of the Aesir, the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology. The Wikipedia article suggests that the deaths of warriors in battle were considered sacrifices to Odin; I've only just started reading the original Norse Edda and can't verify this myself.]
posted by ubersturm at 3:12 PM on April 9, 2006


Yes. Badb as part of the Morrigan. Thank you. Nemain also.
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:20 PM on April 9, 2006


Yay! I found Badb through this article about Ravens in mythology.
posted by MsMolly at 4:30 PM on April 9, 2006


[Ubersturm, Odhin gets the half of those killed in battle, after Freya has picked her half. Sacrifices are a completely different matter in Germanic pre-Christian heathenry.

Wikipedia is a good place to start, usually, but not on this topic.]
posted by QIbHom at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2006


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