I hand printed this altar cloth with a hand carved Yggdrasil stamp and a
hand carved Huginn/Muginn stamp on my etching press. The altar cloth is double sided: dark blue poly-satin with
white print and gold coloured poly-satin with black print. This way you
get two altar cloths in one.
Yggdrasil is the Norse World Tree, which is an evergreen Ash. The
Yggdrasil on the cloth has a rune in its branches: the rune Ansuz which
represents the Ash. This rune is also connected to the colour dark
blue. In mythology, the nine different realms are nestled around
Yggdrasil's branches, trunk and roots. A top the branches sits the
great golden eagle Vidofnir, and the serpent Nidhogg wraps itself around
the roots and gnaws at them. The squirrel Ratatoskr runs up and down
the tree, sending messages between the eagle and serpent.
The ravens represent the two ravens of the Norse god Odin: Huginn and Muninn. They travel through the nine worlds every day to collect all of the news to tell Odin. Huginn represents thought and Muninn represents memory. Here on their chests, you can see the symbol Walknut (meaning ‘knot of those fallen in battle’). It has been found on numerous viking carvings. The actual meaning of the symbol is unknown, but the original carvings of it are often connected to burial and death and Odin is generally present.