Friday, January 18, 2019

Norse-Viking Symbols & Meanings

From Ancient History:
The symbols used in Norse mythology had to do not only with supernatural entities but also with the challenges of everyday life and the mystery of what awaited after death. Some of these symbols can definitely be dated to the Viking Age (c. 790 - c. 1100 CE) but were no doubt in use much earlier. Other symbols seem to have developed later (between c. 1100 - c. 1300 CE) after Christianity had established itself in Scandinavia.
There were many powerful symbols from the Norse-Viking period ranging from the wolf (for protection), to the horse (protection in travel), the troll cross (an amulet that protected one from trolls), the image of the Vegvisir ('way guide', a late Icelandic symbol which helped one find one’s way) and the Web of Wyrd (web of fate), as well as the runes which were thought to evoke mystical powers. Generally, however, ten symbols were the most popular; these appear most often in stories, images, and as amulets:
Yggdrasil – the World Tree
The Valknut – Odin’s Knot
The Swastika/Sun-Wheel
The Aegishjalmur – Helm of Awe
Mjolnir – Thor’s Hammer
The Sventhorn – Sleep Thorn
Gungnir – Odin’s Spear
The Ship
Huginn and Muninn – Odin’s Ravens
The Triskelion – Odin’s Horns 
These symbols sometimes are found in the form of amulets (such as Thor’s hammer), sometimes in depictions of the afterlife (as with the ship) and often in images concerning the journey of life (the swastika/sun-wheel and ship). In whatever context they appear, it is clear they were considered important evocations of powerful supernatural elements. (Read more.)

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