History 101 : Norse Symbols

  1. The Helm of Awe – Viking Symbol for Protection

helmofawe

The Helm of Awe is a powerful protective symbol used by the Vikings for the purpose of protection from illness, and disease. In Norse mythology it is said that it is a symbol that was worn between the eyes that induces fear in your enemies, and to protect against the abuse of power.

The Norse word Ægishjálmr, is translated in English “helm of awe” or “helm of terror.” The meaning of the name awe is to strike with fear and reverence; to influence by fear, terror or respect; as, his majesty awed them into silence.

  1. Huginn and Muninn – The Twin Ravens in Norse Mythology

huginmunin

Huginn and Muninn (Norse, “thought” and “memory”) are the twin ravens of Norse mythology.  They are the servants of the Norse All-Father, Odin. According to legend, they are sent out each morning and report back to Odin each evening on the reports of the happenings of the world.

In the Poetic Edda, a disguised Odin expresses that he fears that they may not return from their daily flights. The Prose Edda explains that Odin is referred to as “raven-god” due to his association with Huginn and Muninn. In the Prose Edda and the Third Grammatical Treatise, the two ravens are described as perching on Odin’s shoulders. Heimskringla details that Odin gave Huginn and Muninn the ability to speak.

  1. Web Of Wyrd (Skuld’s Net) – Viking Matrix of Fate

webofwyrd

Left: Web Of Wyrd (Skuld’s Net)
Right: The Norns

The Web of Wyrd, the matrix of fate (wyrd) as woven by the Norns, the fates of Norse legend is a very powerful Viking symbol. The Norns were known as ‘Shapers of Destiny’.

The Norns were goddesses who ruled the fates of people, determined the destinies and lifespans of individuals.

The emblem, nine staves arranged in an angular grid, contains all of the shapes of the runes and therefore all of the past, present, and future possibilities they represent. The web of wyrd serves as a reminder that the actions of the past affect the present and that present actions affect the future; all timelines are inextricably interconnected- in a sense, it is a representation of the tree of life.

  1. Troll Cross – Norse Symbol Protecing against Trolls and Elves

trollcross

The troll cross is an amulet made of a circle of iron crossed at the bottom in a shape of an odal rune. It was worn by Scandinavian people as a protection against trolls and elves.

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Ragnar Larsen

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