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Vikings Symbol Viking History Video70 Viking Tattoo Designs
The unifying characteristic in these two divergent manifestations is savagery and the primal nature. The wolf can bring out the worst or the best in people.
All this he can do at incredible speeds. While the other gods ride chariots, Odin rides Sleipnir into battle. Sleipnir has a weird family.
Some experts hypothesize that Sleipnir's octopedal sliding was inspired by the "tolt" - the fifth gait of Icelandic horses and their Scandinavian ancestors that make them very smooth to ride.
While this may or may not be true, the idea of eight-legged spirit horses is a very, very old one. Sleipnir's image, or rumors of him, appear in shamanistic traditions throughout Korea, Mongolia, Russia, and of course Northwestern Europe.
As in Norse mythology, these eight-legged horses are a means for transporting souls across worlds i. These archeological finds are at least a thousand years older than Viking influence, showing that the roots of this symbol indeed go deep.
Sleipnir symbolizes speed, surety, perception, good luck in travel, eternal life, and transcendence.
He combines the attributes of the horse one of the most important and enduring animals to humankind and the spirit. He is especially meaningful to athletes, equestrians, travelers, those who have lost loved ones, and those yearning for spiritual enlightenment.
The Vikings had lots of stories of dragons and giant serpents and left many depictions of these creatures in their art.
The longship — the heart and soul of the Viking — were even called "dragon ships" for their sleek design and carved dragon-headed prows.
These heads sometimes would be removed to announce the Vikings came in peace as not to frighten the spirits of the land, the Icelandic law codes say.
The common images of dragons we have from fantasy movies, with thick bodies and heavy legs come more from medieval heraldry inspired by Welsh Celtic legends.
The earliest Norse dragons were more serpentine, with long coiling bodies. They only sometimes had wings, and only some breathed fire. Some Norse dragons were not just giant monsters - they were cosmic forces unto themselves.
Jörmungandr also called "The Midgard Serpent" or "The World-Coiling Serpent" is so immeasurable that he wraps around the entire world, holding the oceans in.
Jörmungandr is the arch-enemy of Thor, and they are fated to kill each other at Ragnarok. Luckily, not all dragons were as big as the world - but they were big enough.
Heroes like Beowulf met their greatest test against such creatures. Ragnar Lothbrok won his name, his favorite wife Thora , and accelerated his destiny by slaying a giant, venomous serpent.
Dragons are as rich in symbolism as they were said to be rich in treasure. As the true, apex predator, dragons represent both great strength and great danger.
With their association with hordes of gold or as the captors of beautiful women, dragons can represent opportunity through risk.
Most of all, dragons embody the destructive phase of the creation-destruction cycle. This means that they represent chaos and cataclysm, but also change and renewal.
There are numerous other animal motifs in Norse art and culture. Many of these are the fylgja familiars or attendant spirits of different gods.
Thor had his goats , and Heimdall had his rams. Freya had a ferocious boar to accompany her in war, named Hildisvini "Battle Swine".
Her brother, Freyr or Frey - the god of sex, male fertility, bounty, wealth, and peace who, along with Freya, aptly lends his name to Friday - had a boar named Gullinborsti "Golden-Bristled" as his fylgia.
Seeing Gullinborsti's symbol or other boar motifs would make a Viking think of peace, happiness, and plenty.
Boars are also significant in Celtic mythology, such as the fertility god Moccus, or the Torc Triatha of the goddess Brigid.
The Vikings believed cats were the spirit animals flygjur or familiars of the Vanir goddess, Freya. Freya was the goddess of love, sex, and romantic desire — but she was not just some northern version of Venus.
Freya was a fearsome goddess of war, as well, and she would ride into battle on her wild boar, Hildisvini "Battle Swine".
Therefore, despite the point, the Scandinavian culture was rich on songs, poetry and different stories — all this was only oral as well as was transmitted to the next generation only in the oral form.
It is not strange why the Vikings considered special symbols to have a powerful meaning and mission. It is a well-known fact that Vikings were brave warriors that spent mostly all their life sailing.
They were well acquainted with different battles. They could live in various weather conditions as well as fight no matter whether it was spring, hot summer or frizzy winter.
The fact was they were dependent on weather conditions. They considered that the hand of fate was governing their lives as well as everything they had to go through.
Therefore, they were searching for something special, something unique that could provide their souls with new strengths and energy to start a new life.
To understand the residual between these two notions, you have to understand their background. A symbol is a visual sign, which could be displayed in various symbols.
Those symbols were not difficult to make. Therefore, everyone could draw them. Valknut, Mjölnir, etc.
Motifs were not as formal as Norse symbols, and they could differ depending on the artist who drew them. In this article, you will familiarize yourself with some of the most famous Viking symbols:.
In the previous article, you have already read in the Nose age there were many different runes, and each of them had their special meaning. Each Norse rune, as well as any letter, denoted particular phonetic sound.
The difference was each rune had also special, unique meaning. It is considered that the oldest futhark appeared between 2 and four century, the period of trade and war between the Mediterranean and Germanic people was taking place.
Viking culture is known to be only in oral form. Therefore many poems and songs were transmitted from generation to the next generation only in the oral form.
For Vikings runes were not just letters; they were potent symbols, bringing deep meaning onto their lives. Runes were written only on stones or wood.
Therefore they had an angular appearance. Runes were used as memorable symbols written on stones dedicated to well-known people. Moreover, runes had also magical meaning and Vikings believed they could bring happiness, joy, wealth, love, power, strength and even death.
They wore them and used to decorate their jewelry rings, protective amulets, necklaces, and even armor. This was so, as they believed in runes meaning.
There were no gods, only the runes that could as they believed change their lives. The runes were considered the most potent armors able to bring happiness, success, victory or curse into their lives.
To make it easier to understand, it is the process of divination. It is not a secret that during the Viking age rune stones were used as divination tools not to predict the future, but to help people to make life-altering decisions.
They usually come in a set of 24 stones with ancient letters — runes — covered onto them. The process of casting rune sticks involved shedding pieces of wood or bone on the part of the cloth.
Then the experienced practitioner read the message that was reproduced of the runes, their orientation and position to each other. Runes are the letters associated with the well-known Odin who discovered them.
The Elder Futhark gave way to the Younger Futhark that had only 16 rune symbols that reflected the Scandinavia language changes.
Although with the appearance of the Younger Futhark the Elder Futhark was not used, it maintained in use as glyphs but not for an extended period.
The fact we can understand the Elder version even today, it is clear that Vikings could also read both versions.
Nowadays, a lot of beautiful Viking jewelry that relates to runes use the Elder version more frequently as, the younger one, because it represents more letters that are easier to read as well as translate to English.
For Vikings runes were not only symbols. They believed that runes had a mysterious power able to change their life.
Boars were the attendant spirits of Freya and Frey. Freya was the goddess of love and her boar was called Hildisvini.
Hildisvini meant battle swine. Freya would ride her boar into battle. Frey is the god of fertility and his boar is named Gullinborsti, or golden bristles.
Gullingorsti was made by dwarves and has bristles that shine in the dark. Vikings would make boar sacrifices to Frey and Freya.
The Valknut is a symbol of slain Viking warriors. There were three places a Viking could go when they died. They could end up in Hel which is what it sounds like.
Hel is ruled by the goddess Hel and is a dark place that had a large feasting table. Warriors did not want to end up in Hel.
People who die of disease or old age ended up in Hel. Another destination was Helgafjell which was a holy mountain where people lived a life similar to the ones they lived on earth.
The third-place a Viking could go when they died was reserved for the warriors. Only the warriors could end up in Valhalla. The most famous story revolved around them was their chasing after the Sun and the Moon.
Viking Berserkers symbol. No one ever knew either how Yggdrasil tree came to life or how it survived Ragnarok Doom of Gods.
Because many of the events that happened during the Nordic mythology are represented. As well as their characters and in particular the gods they worshipped.
Because Vikings symbols and their meaning are still very much present in Europe. They tell us about adventures, they tell us about love and traditions.
Thanks to the historians we can know these symbols of the Viking civilization. As well as what is spoken of them in the manuscripts that are still preserved.
The use of Viking symbols by the Nordic people has a superstitious connotation. The Vikings were an extremely superstitious civilisation , like many others.
Therefore, they used these symbols as amulets for many purposes; to improve their performance during war, to succeed in business or to scare away trolls and elves….
These representations had some magical, religious, protection, celebration or luck and love purposes. A symbol was used for almost everything.
In most cases, as we have mentioned, they were used as amulets. The Nordic people valued the protection they provided, especially in times of war.
In other cases, they were attributed a religious and spiritual meaning. Some of these amulets have gained popularity again in recent years. All these Viking symbols we know that appeared on rune stones, engravings and some weapons during the battle.
Nowadays, this symbolism, just like the Celtic one, is a source of inspiration for tattoos. Valknut symbol is made up of three interlocking triangles.
It is a Viking symbol that was related to fighting and death. 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.
Public Domain. As a magical weapon , Mjolnir always returned to its master after it was thrown. Also, when he used his hammer, Thor used to wear a special gauntlet.
Dwarves are said to have forged the hammer for the god. As an amulet of protection , the symbol of Mjolnir was very common and one of the most popular Viking symbols.
The Valknut is the Norse symbol for death in a battle. The meaning of the symbol is not totally clear, but it is linked to the idea of dying in battle.
The Stora Hammars I stone, where the valknut occurs in the most central and predominant position, alongside images interpreted as Odin with a characteristic spear hunting another figure into a burial mound, while a raven is overhead and another man is hanged.
This symbol appears on funerary stone carvings as a representation of the afterlife. It is also quite often associated with Odin - who had power over death.
When the symbol is drawn in one stroke, it is said that it has the power to protect against evil spirits. The Valknut also resembles the old Celtic symbols representing rebirth and motherhood.
As the symbol contains three triangles, the multiplied number three might represent the nine worlds of Norse mythology.
Yggdrasil is the tree which holds all of the nine worlds in its branches. An eagle was said to live at the top of the tree, while the dragon Nidhoggr resided at the bottom.
Four deer feed from the branches and three old wise women known as the Norns protect it.