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Huginn and Muninn are the twin ravens of Odin. They served him as his messengers. In some artworks, Huginn and Muninn were displayed sitting right to Odin or even sitting on the shoulders of Odin.
They were his eyes, and he used them to know everything they saw during the flight. Every day they flew around the globe, and when they turned, they were telling Odin what they had seen.
Thanks to their unique abilities given by Odin, Huginn and Muninn could travel all of Midgard the globe in one day, speak and understand the human language.
A lot of Viking kings and earls, including Ragnar Lothbrok, paid particular significance to ravens and used them on their banners.
Norse animal symbolism of Huginn and Muninn was of particular importance for Vikings, especially when they set sail to the unknown waters.
They also used to keep ravens in cages and let them fly with regular intervals to find the ground.
When they let out the ravens, they were scouting the area around the ship, and if they saw the land, they would fly towards it if no, they would fly back to the boat.
There exists a well-known Viking story that tells how the famous Viking named Floki found Iceland. It is one of the most appreciated and famous Nordic symbols that, as was believed could interconnect past, present and future.
This symbol consisted of nine staves and all the runes, meaning it symbolizes all the possibilities of the past, present and future.
Gungnir is the magical spear of Odin. Its name was given to the magical spear of Odin given by the dwarves who were the most talented blacksmiths in the cosmos.
The war between Aesir and Vanir — the most well-known groups of gods, was started with Gungnir that was hurled by Odin over his enemies. Gurnir never lost its target.
It is considered the part of Swedish folklore. If believe Norse mythology, the Troll Cross was a useful amulet to protect trolls evil elves, and dark magic.
When Vikings worn this symbol with themselves, they believed that chances of falling into danger significantly decreased.
It is a magical Icelandic symbol of victory and protection. It is believed to be used by warriors as well as dragons. If you look at its form just without having any knowledge about its symbolism, it will be enough to wake fear and awe.
Its eight arms or rays that are similar to the spiked tridents emit from the center point of this Norse symbol as if protecting and defending this central point from the foe forces that troop round it.
Those arms were constructed from two intersecting runes: Algiz runes and Isa runes. The first one was used a symbol of protection and victory, while the last one was considered a symbol of hardening, that helped to overcome hardening of the soul and mind.
However, Stephen Flowers runologist says that the original meaning of the Helm was not a magical item wearing to provide enormous power.
This Helm of awe was initially been a kind of sphere of magical power to strike fear into the enemy. It is symbolized by a crosslike configuration, which in its purest form is made up of what appear to be either four younger M-runes or older Z-runes.
These figures can, however, become very complex. It is an ancient Norse symbol that is also known as the Triskelion. There is no exact meaning of this symbol, although it can point on the stealing of the Mead of Poetry by Odin.
This symbol appears on the Newgrange kerbstones in BC. Horns of Odin plays an important role not only in ancient times but also in the modern Celtic art, as they symbolize three realms of material existence: water, earth, and sky.
Moreover, this symbol signifies the three words: physical, spiritual, and celestial. The other Trinity connections that are associated with this symbol are past-present-future, earth-water-sky, life-death-rebirth, and creation-protection-destruction.
According to the fact that this symbol is associated with the Mead of Poetry, there are a lot of modern accessories with this symbol image, that is specially designed to bring inspiration to everyone who wears them.
The most well known and appreciated Viking weapon was an axe. It was a famous Viking symbol as well as armor symbolizing power, bravery, strength and audacity.
Home Viking Symbols and their Meaning. Brief Overview of Viking Symbols Each symbol had a different meaning. What is the Difference between Motifs and Symbols?
Runes 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.
Rune Masters For Vikings runes were not only symbols. Yggdrasil The symbol of Yggdrasil appears in the mythology of many ancient cultures as a symbol of the connection of all the things in the world.
Aegishjalmur Aegishjalmur is rune stave that is well known to be a Viking symbol of victory and protection. I bear the Helm of awe between my brows!
The Horn Triskelion This symbol is another Viking symbol that took a prominent part during the Viking era. The Swastika The Swastika is one of the Viking symbols that completely lost its true meaning.
Huginn and Muninn Huginn and Muninn are the twin ravens of Odin. Gungnir Gungnir is the magical spear of Odin. Viking Axe The most well known and appreciated Viking weapon was an axe.
Viking Axe came in different sizes, from the hand axes to the large long-hafted battle-axes. One of the most characteristic features of the Viking Axes is the fact that they were single-bitted — it was specially made to make them faster and more maneuverable to use during battles.
The lower part of the axe head was hook-shaped. The axe di don required as much time, efforts and skills to be produced as a sword required.
This was a handy tool for Vikings. Therefore every one of them had axe since childhood. It was not only a highly useful tool in battles but on farms and homesteads.
Usually, axes were the choice of the poorest man during the Viking Age. 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. The Gungnir never missed its mark and like Mjölnir, the hammer of Thor, it always returned to Odin.
The symbol was frequently inscribed on seagoing vessels to insure their safe return home. The device was believed to show the way back home and protect seamen and their ships from storms.
They were ruthless and fearless. Berserkers usually wore a bearskin when they fought. Berserkers worshiped the bear.
They drew their powers from bears. While fighting Berserkers were safe from iron and fire and they howled, gnashed their teeth, and foamed at the mouth.
They symbolized the bloodlust of war while they used their teeth and hands to rip apart their enemies. Berserkers were bodyguards and used as a shock force by kings.
Some say that berserkers literally transformed into bears while in the midst of their bloodlust. Today the Danish guard wears bearskin hats as a symbol of the berserkers.
The wolf is both a positive and negative symbol in Viking lore. Along with the berserkers, there were another set of warriors who fought with bloodlust.
They were called Ulfhednar. Ulfhednar were special warriors to Odin. Ulfhednar were similar to berserkers except that they fought in packs around the battlefield and wore wolfskins while fighting.
They were protectors of people and would eventually end up in Valhalla. Fenrir is the son of Loki and a giantess. He was a large wolf who would not stop growing and who was uncontrollable, even by the gods.
Dwarfs fashioned a chain to keep Fenrir under control. According to myth Fenrir is still chained and plots his revenge for being contained. At the dawn of Ragnarok Fenrir will break free and eat the moon and the sun.
He will also kill Odin. Fenrir is a symbol of destructive forces. Triple horn of Odin symbol is formed by 3 horns that the Vikings used to drink.
Probably mead. As its name suggests, it is a symbol related to the god Odin. According to Norse mythology, there is an interesting anecdote.
Odin insisted ceaselessly for three nights on the giant Gunnlod to give him a drink. He wanted to take the mead contained in the horns.
According to Nordic mythology, mead is a symbol of wisdom and poetic inspiration. Just like Awen in Celtic symbolism. Anyone who drinks it will become a wise poet.
A stone from the 9th century found in Denmark. Jörgmungandr is a snake-shaped monster from Nordic mythology. He is said to be the son of the giant Angrboda and the god Loki.
It seems that in the prosaic Edda, also known as Edda Minor or Edda of Snorri, the god Odin threw him into the ocean to avoid the catastrophes that such a monster could cause.
Under the ocean the snake continued to grow until it surrounded the whole Earth and bit its own tail. Mythology says that Jörmungandr will remain there until the day of Ragnarök.
Then he will face the god Thor, his main enemy. Jörmngandr is also known as the Midgard serpent or snake of the world.
Yggdrasil is the giant tree that allows the correct union between the nine worlds of Norse mythology to work.
Several creatures from Nordic mythology inhabited this magical tree; such as dragon Nidhug, the squirrel Ratatosk, or an eagle.
Because the Viking symbols could not be without their beloved trees. Yggdrasil has three main roots. One of them brings the world of the gods to Asgard.
Another root passes through the land of the giants, Jotunheim, while the third reaches the Niflheim. The Troll Cross is one of the favorite symbols for historians.
It also appears in different fantasy games or series. It is attributed with a power that is very typical of the magic cards.
Troll Cross symbol was used as protection against evil creatures, such as trolls and elves. The runes also sprang from the Well of Urd, and carried inherent meaning and power.
Thus, when one looks at the nine lines of the Web of Wyrd, one is seeing all the runes at once, and seeing in symbolic form the secrets of life and destiny.
Gungnir is a magic spear, with dark runes inscribed on its point. Gungnir never misses its target. When Odin sacrificed himself to discover the runes and the cosmic secrets they held, he stabbed Gungnir through his chest and hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil for nine days and nights.
As a symbol, Gungnir represents the courage, ecstasy, inspiration, skill, and wisdom of the Allfather, and it can be taken to represent focus, faithfulness, precision, and strength.
Ravens may be the animal most associated with the Vikings. This is because Ravens are the familiars of Odin, the Allfather.
Odin was a god of war, and ravens feasting on the slain were a common sight on the battlefields of the Viking Age.
The connection is deeper than that, however. Ravens are very intelligent birds. You cannot look at the eyes and head movement of a raven and not feel that it is trying to perceive everything about you — even weigh your spirit.
Huginn and Muninn fly throughout the nine worlds, and whatever their far-seeing eyes find they whisper back to Odin.
Ravens are also associated with the 9th century Viking hero, Ragnar Lothbrok. Ragnar claimed descent from Odin through a human consort. This was something that did not sit well with the kings of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden as it implied parity with them , and for that and many other reasons they made war on him.
Various sagas and chronicles tell us Ragnar's success led him to Finland, France, England, and maybe even as far as the Hellespont in Turkey, and wherever he went, he carried the raven banner with him.
His sons Ivar and Ubbe carried the raven banner at the head of the Great Heathen Army that conquered the eastern kingdoms of England in the 9th century.
The banner continued to bring victories until their descendant, Sigurd the Stout, finally died under it at the Irish Battle of Clontarf about years later.
In Norse art, ravens symbolize Odin, insight, wisdom, intellect, bravery, battle glory, and continuity between life and the afterlife.
For people today, they also represent the Vikings themselves, and the years of exploits and exploration that these ancestors achieved. The wolf is a more enigmatic motif, as it can have several meanings.
The most famous to the Vikings was Fenrir or Fenris-wolf. Fenrir is one of the most frightening monsters in Norse mythology.
When the gods saw how quickly Fenrir was growing and how ravenous he was, they tried to bind him — but Fenrir broke every chain. Finally, the dwarves made an unbreakable lashing with which the gods were able to subdue the creature — but only after he had ripped the god Tyr's hand off.
Fenrir is fated to escape someday, at the dawning of Ragnarok, and will devour the sun and moon and even kill Odin in the last days.
Not all the wolves in Norse culture were evil. Odin himself was accompanied by wolves, named Geri and Freki both names meaning, Greedy who accompanied him in battle, hunting, and wandering.
This partnership between god and wolves gave rise to the alliance between humans and dogs. It is not entirely clear whether this was a synonym or a separate class of berserker.
We may never know for certain. The wolf has both positive and negative connotations in Norse culture. The wolf can represent the destructive forces of time and nature, for which even the gods are not a match.
The wolf can also represent the most valued characteristics of bravery, teamwork, and shamanistic power.
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.Article Yggdrasil. The image of the World Tree appears in the mythology of many ancient cultures as a symbol of connection Valknut. The Valknut (Odin’s Knot) is a symbol of the transition between life and death and, according to Davidson, "is Swastika/Sun-Wheel. In Norse religion, the. A few symbols that are considered "Viking" have no proof of ever being used during the Viking era, such as the Troll Cross (not shown) which is based on later Swedish folklore and modern artistic interpretation, and two other very popular symbols known as the Helm of Awe (Icelandic: Ægishjálmur, Old Norse Œgishjalmr) and the Viking Compass (Icelandic: Vegvísir, for "signpost" or "wayfinder"). This ancient Viking symbol is also known as: The heart of Vala Odin’s knot The heart of Hrungnir. 12 Fascinating Viking Symbols/Norse Symbols and Their Meanings Valknut. Without a doubt, the Valknut is one of the most prominent and popular Viking symbols. Also known as Odin’s Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, is not only one of the most prominent Viking symbols/Norse symbols but an. The Triple Horn of Odin is yet another symbol of the great Norse God Odin. 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.