Norse Symbols

Norse symbolNorse symbol is a rather broad concept. First of all, a Norse symbol is a mark or character, which was used by Vikings as a conventional representation of something. We find such symbols dating back to the Viking Age on authentic artefacts of the period like runestones, swords, shields or decorative elements. Examples of such ancient marks are Valknut, Triquetra and Horn Triskelion. Their exact meaning is hard to reconstruct. There are theories, which may be more or less convincing but the truth remains rather obscure. However, in modern popular culture Norse symbols refer generally to Viking values and lifestyle. There are also wrong concepts like horned helmets: they are universally known and recognizable but do not refer to historic truth.

Photo: Thor’s hammer design by © NirvanaOfTime.

Thor’s Hammer — A Norse Viking Symbol

by Viking Rune 21.08.2009
Thor's hammer

Mjöllnir or Thor’s hammer is the weapon of the Viking god of thunder. Initially, Thor’s hammer was thought of as made of stone, but in the Eddaic tradition it is an iron weapon forged by Svartálfar (black elves, correlated with the dvergar, dwarves) named Sindri and Brokkr. In the Norse myths Thor’s hammer is often […]

Norse Rune Symbols and the Third Reich

by Viking Rune 31.07.2009
Nazi runic symbol

Some of the symbols treated in this article may be interpreted as pointing to Nazi ideology in certain contexts. Their use in the present article has nothing to do with it. Any such connotations are a recent development as compared to the long history of the most of these signs. Below both their original meaning […]

Norse Symbols Are Not Hate Symbols

by Viking Rune 30.07.2009
Norse heathen tattoo

What would you feel if you saw a guy with a runic tattoo? Many would probably feel uneasiness, including myself. The question is why. I perfectly know that ancient Germanic peoples used the Elder Futhark not because they were white supremacists. I realize that vikings used the Younger Futhark not because they were racist skinheads. […]

Triquetra – A Norse Viking Symbol

by Viking Rune 05.03.2009

Triquetra is a Norse Viking symbol closely connected with the Valknut and Horn Triskelion. Artifacts with Triquetra ornaments are found in all parts of the Viking world, ranging from the comb found in Gnezdovo (near Suzdal, Russia) to the saddle bow from Coppergate (York, England). In Latin triquetra means ‘triangular’ (feminine singular). Initially this word […]

Horn Triskelion — Three Horns Viking Symbol

by Viking Rune 27.01.2009

Three interlocked drinking horns is an important Norse Viking symbol. It seems to be closely related the Valknut and Triquetra and is often referred to as the Horn Triskelion. A triskelion (or triskele) is a symbol with threefold rotational symmetry (such symmetry means that a figure, which has it, looks the same after a certain […]

Valknut — A Norse Viking Symbol

by Viking Rune 05.01.2009

The word valknut is a neologism: it is formed in modern times through combination of ON valr, ‘the dead’ or ‘the slain’ and knut, ‘knot’. Valknut is a Viking symbol of three interconnected triangles. The triangles may be joined in two ways: either as Borromean: or unicursal: Note that other types of valknuts, such as […]