Vikings were more than vicious brutes who caused bloodshed and sailed through open seas. They were much smarter than they are portrayed in popular media. They weaved fascinating stories and crafted meaningful viking symbols that can give us a glimpse of their wisdom.
Aegishjalmur, The Helm Of Awe, is one of the most powerful symbols in Norse mythology. It contains eight spiked tridents that are defending the central point from the hostile forces surrounding it, which symbolizes protection and prevailing over enemies. This symbol was also associated with the power of serpents who paralyze their prey before striking.
Gungnir, The Magical Spear of Odin
Gungnir is an extremely powerful spear that was created by the dwarves, the most skilled smiths in the cosmos. It contains ruins on its point that increase its aim and deadliness through magic. The image of Gungnir represents power and authority.
Huginn & Muninn, The Twin Ravens of Odin
Odin’s ravens would fly the world during the daytime and return to him by breakfast to whisper all of the news they have seen and heard. Ravens are birds of blood and carnage, but they are also birds of wisdom and intellect. That is why this symbol represents both brutality and education.
Mjölnir, The Hammer of Thor
According to Norse mythology, Mjölnir is one of the most fearful and powerful weapons in existence. Even though it was used as a weapon by the thunder God, it was also used during ceremonies to bless marriages, births, and funerals. Despite the chaos the weapon was capable of achieving, this symbol represents blessing, consecration, and protection.
The Svefnthorn, which translates to ‘sleep thorn’, was used to put an adversary into a deep sleep they would have trouble awakening from. Even though the Svefnthorn was mentioned repeatedly in Norse mythology, this symbol has been seen drawn in two completely different ways and the exact symbolism is still unknown.
Even though this symbol has been tarnished by the Nazis now, in Norse mythology, swastikas were closely tied to the sunwheel and Thor’s hammer. In fact, many hammers had swastikas engraved onto them. This symbol was meant to symbolize holiness, luck, safety, and prosperity.
The Triple Horn of Odin, The Horn Triskelion
This symbol contains three interlocking drink horns, which is why it has become associated with toasting rituals. However, because the horns belonged to Odin, they also represent wisdom and inspiration.
The Troll Cross
The Troll Cross was meant as protection against trolls and elves. It represents safety and deliverance from harm. When this symbol was present, the chances of falling into danger decreased.
The Vegvisir, or That Which Shows the Way, is meant to act as a guide. The Huld manuscript says, “If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.” As long as this symbol was present, then one would arrive to their destination safely.
This symbol commonly appeared on pictorial memorial stones and ship burials. It represents the transition from life to death and back again. It also represents Odin and the power to bind and unbind.
The Web Of Wyrd, The Matrix of Fate (Also Known as Skuld’s Net)
This symbol represents the past, present, and future events in a person’s life. Norse people believed that every choice affected future events, which meant the past, present, and future were all tied together.
Yggdrasil is a massive tree that holds together the nine realms of existence with its branches and roots. It reaches into the clouds and down into the underworld. Snakes gnaw at the roots, squirrels scurry up the trunk, and an eagle perches in its branches, but it is still where the gods hold their daily council. It represents life, growth, and connection between all living things.