The Serpent Jörmungandr

No, it’s not the Ouroboros.

Yes, it is the ancient symbol of a snake swallowing its own tail.

This is from Norse mythology.  Jörmungandr is one of the three monster children of Loki who grew so large that he could encircle the world and grasp his own tail in his teeth. 

Or, as in the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, King Herraud gives a small worm to his daughter Ƃóra Town-Hart and it grows into a large serpent, encircles her cottage, and bites itself in the tail. 

Then, Ragnar has a son who is born with the image of a white snake in on eye. The snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail and the son is named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. 

I.M. Buffaloed by what all this Viking mythology stuff means. My Norwegian grandmother never explained it. Can you tell me? 

I only know that most of the time I feel like poor Jörmungandr—devouring myself trying to write books, and market them, and do social networking all at the same time. Maybe I have a snake in my eye, like Sigurd.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Cool!

    • You like Viking stuff? Check out this new one on my blog. Hope you think it’s cool too.

  2. i was surfing the web for norse imagery and found your site – i’ve read up on this one image before – from everything i’ve read – i decided this is a symbol of monisim – or oneness – the snake eats it’s own tail in order to get the energy to grow a tail – etc – the circle of life – basically the same as saying energy can neither be created nor destroyed – it’s just another way of illustrating infinity – ttfn!

    • Hi kris. Keep in touch. I’ll be posting some Norse imagery soon. You’re right, the Jörmungandr sure is a symbol of oneness or unity. It’s the giant sea serpent that separated the chaos of Utgard with all its monsters from Midgard ,domain of humans, and Æsirwhere the Norse gods lived. Big job for that serpent!

  3. Every point made here is valid. That image of Jormungand in particular is more of a symbol of oneness and unity.

    However, you need to look deeper than that.

    Loki, although often portrayed as evil, is actually not all that evil, just often misunderstood.

    However, his children, Jormungand, Fenrir, and Hel, are indeed evil.

    Jormungand is responsible for killing Thor during Ragnarok, thus he is really not something that one should aspire to be compared to

    Fenrir is responsible for killing Odin

    and Hel is responsible for watching over Nilfheim, and raises her army of the dead to fight during ragnarok.

    If you have any questions, let me know

    • Hi Phil, Just got your comment. Thanks. All that Ragnarok stuff is so new to me. I’m learning. Grandma forgot to give me lessons and I’m always Buffaloed. Sincerely, Fairlee

  4. Very nice I.M.,

    Good comments all!

    I must agree with the poster above, Loki is not an evil sort… he just has sorry-ass impulse control. :^)

    I have written about my personal search for Odinistic knowledge and wisdom quite openly over at Newsvine.com.

    As a solitary practitioner of the old rights and ways of my Volk, it was important to me for some reason to express my beliefs publicly… maybe it is a F-U to Monotheists – maybe a call for fellowship with like minded Warriors. For whatever reason it is done, and the results have been very positive overall.

    Thank you for your time.

    Have a great day!

  5. the norse mysterys were based around the 9 Worlds of the igddrassyl tree or tree of life through a druid vitki path. its also for rites of passage initiation rituals. eluisean mysterys. similar to the rape of persiphone

  6. It is truly a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this
    helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this.

    Thank you for sharing.

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