Wolf Swallowing The Moon: A Mythic Tale of Cosmic Predators

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In the vast tapestry of Norse mythology, where gods, giants, and mystical creatures weave their destinies, there exists a captivating tale of celestial hunters. This saga unfolds in the shadowy expanse of the night sky, where two relentless wolves pursue their cosmic quarry. Let us delve into the myth of Hati Hróðvitnisson and Sköll, the moon-chasers and sun-hunters.

The Chasing Wolves

Hati Hróðvitnisson: The Moon’s Nemesis

Hati, whose name translates to “He Who Hates” or “Enemy,” is a warg—a wolf of supernatural proportions. According to the ancient Norse texts, penned by Snorri Sturluson in his Prose Edda, Hati relentlessly pursues Máni, the Moon, across the night sky. As the silver orb glides through the celestial realms, Hati’s hunger drives him onward, until the fateful day of Ragnarök—the cataclysmic end of the world—when he will finally swallow the Moon whole.

Sköll: The Sun’s Tormentor

Sköll, another enigmatic wolf, is Hati’s counterpart. By day, he chases Sól, the Sun, riding her radiant chariot across the heavens. His pursuit is ceaseless, and like Hati, he awaits Ragnarök, when the Sun will meet its fiery demise. The ancient seers prophesied that during this apocalyptic twilight, Sköll will consume the Sun, plunging the world into darkness.

 

The Cosmic Dance

As the celestial ballet unfolds, Hati and Sköll mirror each other’s movements. When one rests, the other springs forth, their hunger insatiable. Their pursuit transcends mere physical hunger; it embodies the cosmic balance—the eternal struggle between light and shadow, day and night. The Moon and Sun, luminous and vital, are their elusive prey.

 


References:

  1. Byock, Jesse. (Trans.) The Prose Edda, page 164. (2006) Penguin Classics ISBN 0-14-044755-5 1.
  2. Dronke, Ursula. The Poetic Edda Volume 2 Mythological Poems. Oxford: Clarendon Press – Oxford University, 1997, repr. 2001, ISBN 0-19-811181-9, note to “Völuspá” 39/7–8, pp. 142–43 2.
  3. Snorri Sturluson, Edda, Everyman Library, London: Dent, 1987, repr. 1998, ISBN 0-460-87616-3, p. 15, “sun’s snatcher” 23.

 

 

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