The Hyge

The Hyge (ON: Hugr, Gothic: Hugs, OHG: Hugu, OLF: Heug, Old Saxon: Hugi), translates to ‘thought,’ ‘mind,’ ‘mood,’ ‘desire,’ or ‘inclination.’ Essentially, it is the cognition, the intellect and base desires of the self. Those elements that we might deem as our ‘personality’ in a modern context.

The Hyge is very much an “active force,” which in Old Norse texts compels individuals to action. The act of thinking in Old Norse is expressed as “making ones hugr run,” while wooing someone can be expressed as “placing ones hugr on someone else.”

The Hyge also mirrors the Hama in some ways, as it too is able to leave the body and achieve ones base desires. It should be noted that the parts of the self are not wholly disconnected things, but instead constitute a mechanism which acts as a part of the cohesive whole- hence the overlap and vagueness that is encountered when researching the multi-part soul.


Further Reading:

Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind by Claude Lecouteux

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