Viking Symbols and Their Meaning
Viking symbols actually plays an essential role when it comes to iconography like other societies. The symbols are cultural, which actually is a sign conveying layers of meaning about the culture. Pagan vikings actually use symbols for representing beliefs, their gods as well as their myths.
Cultural symbols likewise takes any form such as sounds, gestures, images, words and pictures. Most of these symbols have been carved on axes, swords, runestones and other items that Norse people consider precious to them. The sagas means amulets that people wore such as the Mjolnir that is known commonly as Thor’s hammer. Vikings likewise loved to decorate items that are around them even with their tools, combs and their bowls. They actually use these symbols for decorative arts, bone carving and jewelry.
Though there are some viking symbols that remains mysterious on what it represents, but there are others that gives clear meanings. Some vikings also have Thor’s hammer on things which are mostly placed around their necks. Valuable weapons as well as runestones are usually engraved with symbols that resonates most with vikings like the Valknut, which is the helm of Awe and Thor’s hammer.
The Valknut Symbol
On the Valknut symbol, you can actually see three interlocking triangles that represents the Hrungnir’s heart or the heart of the slain. Hrungnir is in fact a legendary giant, which is discussed in Snorri Sturluson’s Eddas. On the other hand, the valknut may signify the afterlife. The nine points that you could find on the three triangles symbolize the nine worlds of the vikings. The Valknut is the representative of Odin, which is known as the father God of the Vikings and also have the power of life over death. It is usually carved on funerary steles as well as memorial runestones.
Helm of Awe
This kind of symbol was in fact usually being used in magic in order to induce delusion or forgetfulness. There’s also a special form of magic called as the senior that was used in creating illusions or in preventing people to see things as they are. Such symbol actually was used to hide someone from pursuers. The Helm of Awe can be engraved to a goatskin that is then thrown over the head of a fugitive.
Mjolnir has the meaning of lightning and Thor’s hammer has the meaning of god’s power over thunder and lightning as well. This is a magic weapon that always goes back to Thor when he will throw it. It was in fact very common and popular to wear Thor’s hammer as an amulet because this provides them with protection and was popular on pagan Viking symbols.