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Hand of Vengeance By: Douglas E. Advanced Search Links. Product Close-up This product is not available for expedited shipping. Add To Cart. The Thunder, Leaders of Reformation Series 2. Guns of Thunder, Faith and Freedom Series 1. A Valknut is made of three parts, and the number three is a very common magic symbol in many cultures.

In this case, the symbolism in Norse mythology showing three multiplied by three might designate the nine worlds, which are united by the Yggdrasil tree. In modern times Valknut, like Triquetra and Horn Triskelion, is often interpreted as a symbol pointing to heathen convictions. The Helm of Awe is one of the most powerful protective Viking symbols used not only for the purpose of protection from disease, but even to encourage all people who might suffer from depression or anxiety. In Norse myths it is said that the Helm of Awe symbol was worn between the eyes to cause fear in your enemies, and to protect against the abuse of power.

Every day, Odin sends them out and they fly across the worlds to seek for important news and events. The Norns were goddesses who ruled the fates of people, determined the destinies and lifespans of individuals. Norse people believed that everything we do in life affects future events and thus, all timelines, the past, present and future are connected with each other. 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.

The symbol consists of three interlocked drinking horns, and is commonly worn or displayed as a sign of commitment to the modern Asatru faith. The horns figure in the mythological stories of Odin and are recalled in traditional Norse toasting rituals. There are several account of the tale, but typically, Odin uses his wits and magic to procure the brew over three days time; the three horns reflect the three draughts of the magical mead.

Left: Gungnir - Viking symbol; Right: Odin Gungnir was a magical weapon created by the dwarves and given to Odin by Loki.

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The symbol was frequently inscribed on seagoing vessels to insure their safe return home. While the Icelandic people are the direct descendants of the Vikings, the actual ages and true origins of these symbols are still unknown. By the end of the Viking era, many of the last few generations of Vikings were often the children of a Celtic mother The National Museum of Ireland states the following on their website:.

Symbols played an important role in Norse culture. The spirituality of the Norse Vikings was so ingrained in their culture and thought process that they had no word for religion. There was no separation as there so often is today between faith and reality. The cosmic forces and fate were active in everything. The Vikings also had letters known as runes , but writing itself was sacred and even magical.

So, while the Norse culture was very rich in poetry, stories, and songs, this was all transmitted orally. The stories of Odin, Thor, Freya, or the Viking heroes that we have now were all passed on by careful word of mouth until they were finally written down as the sagas by descendants of the Vikings centuries later.

Symbols and motifs visually convey instantly and across language barriers messages that were deeply meaningful to the women and men that held them. Symbols themselves were thought to have power. Vikings sailed at the mercy of the mighty seas. They were intimately acquainted with the dangers of battle.

Whether as warriors or as settlers, they lived in the wind, rain, heat, and cold. They depended on the bounty of the land to feed their children. Through everything, they felt the hand of fate governing all things. Divine symbols on amulets, boundary stones, stitched onto clothing, painted on shields, carved into their longships, or as items around their hearths could offer the Viking that small edge he or she needed to face the uncertainties and dangers of life.

The difference between symbols and motifs is simply a question of formality. A symbol is an established, recognized visual image that is almost always rendered in a specific way. Because of this, symbols tend to be very simple so that almost anyone can draw them. Motifs are much less formal and can vary greatly from one artist to another.

Because of this flexibility, new interpretations of ancient Viking motifs are still being made today. Following is a brief introduction to some common Norse symbols and motifs.

Viking History

The list is not all-inclusive, nor is it meant to be exhaustive but rather just a basic starting point. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. In this article, we have already encountered several examples of runes, and how these symbols were used to convey extraordinary meaning. Runes denoted phonetic sounds like letters but also had individual meanings like the glyphs of other ancient languages.

Runic alphabets are called futharks, for just as our term alphabet comes from the first two Greek letters alpha and beta , the first six runes are F, U, Th, A, R and K. The oldest known futhark arose sometime between the second and fourth century, which is not surprising considering that was the time when war and trade between Germanic and Mediterranean peoples was accelerating.

The Vikings had an oral culture and did not use runes to write just anything.

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Runes had power. They were seldom if ever penned onto parchment, as the enemies of the Vikings did in France, Ireland, and England; they were carved into wood or stone hence their angular appearance. Most of our surviving examples of runes are as inscriptions on rune stones commemorating the lives of notable people. They also had expressly magical purposes and were engraved on amulets, talismans, beads, and shields to convey protection, victory, success, convey feeling, etc. Runecasting was another magical use of runes in the Viking Age.


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The skilled practitioner then deciphers the message rendered, not only of the runes but also their orientation to each other similar to Tarot, in which the same card can have very different meanings depending on context. Runes are associated with the god Odin, who first discovered them at great pain and effort from the Well of Destiny. Runes are inscribed on the trunk of Yggdrasil. This discovery of runes means that they are not invented tools of humankind in the cultural-religious schemata the Vikings understood but part of the larger, deeper truth.

These early runes became known as the Elder Futhark and were used by a wide range of Germanic and Norse tribes.

Just before the Viking Age began, the Elder Futhark began to gradually give way to the more streamlined Younger Futhark. The Younger Futhark has fewer runes only 16 to reflect changes in the Scandinavian language and dialects at that time. Again, the transition was gradual, and runes from the Elder Futhark that were no longer useful as letters remained in use as glyphs for quite some time. And just as we can still interpret the Elder version today years later , it makes sense that Vikings were most likely capable of reading both. Most of today's modern Viking jewelry relating to Runes reflect the Elder version as it offers more letters for easier translation to the English language.

The Vikings believed that people who lived ordinary lives went on to a shadowy existence after death, but those who died gloriously in battle lived on in Valhalla. The Valkyries would carry the souls of these heroes from the battlefield. In Valhalla, they would live the Viking version of the good life: fighting great battles against each other every day but — in their immortal state — spending each night in revelry and feasting. This paradise comes with a price, though. They will fight this doomed battle against the giants and fearsome creatures of darkness for the sake of our world and the world of the gods.

The Valknut is most commonly believed to be the symbol of these slain warriors.