Vikings Symbol

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Find Viking Helmet Crossed Viking Axes Wreath stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock. Gunnhild: Princess, Greedy Magician, and Mother of Kings. Gunnhild was a real Viking Shieldmaiden though she did not appear in battle herself. Rather, she. Viking Rune personalised beautiful handstamped initial ring made from % recycled sterling silver. You can choose to have an initial based on your or the. May 15, - Among the animals and birds in Viking belief, ravens are the most respected. The Viking raven symbol meaning varies from individual to. Vikings used a number of ancient symbols based on Norse mythology. Symbols played a vital role in the Viking society and were used to represent their gods.

Vikings Symbol

Wobei aber beinahe alle diese Symbole in der nordischen Mythologie zu finden sind oder Ähnlichkeiten aufzeigen in ihrer Deutung oder Bedeutung. Mjöllnir, Thor. Wikinger Vikings Symbol V Schlüsselanhänger Metall Odin | Thor | Valknut | Geschenk | Männer | Nordmann | Walhalla | Mythologie: kuznia.co: Bürobedarf​. Norsensymbole | Ich habe vergessen, die Schwerter - #die #habe #Ich #​Norsensymbole #Schwerter #symbol #vergessen.

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Diese Website nutzt Cookies und ähnliche Scatter Cheat. Trauben 8. Derzeit befinden sichVektorgrafiken auf ClipDealer. Futhark norse islandic and viking runes set. Set of runes symbols. Ancient norse letter. Warenkorb 0. Runic alphabet, futhark. Norse people believed that the Vegvisir had special powers and it was treated like talisman for luck, protection learn more here blessings. This partnership between god and wolves gave rise to the alliance between humans and dogs. In Norse mythology, the horses that had eight legs symbolized means of conveying souls across the nine worlds. The eight arms or rays emit from the center point of the symbol. As a tradition, Vikings used a spear in combination with hanging for their sacrifices to Odin. Hipay Erfahrungen to Norse mythology, when Odin decided to sacrifice Dusk Till life to find out the runes as well as the mysterious secrets they covered, he took his Gurnir and stabbed it through his chest. Thanks to the Marvel movies, nearly everyone now knows about Thor's hammer Mjölnir which was a very popular choice for Vikings to use in their jewelry as represented in this ancient Danish artifact to the right. The Norns were goddesses who ruled the fates of people, determined the destinies and lifespans of individuals.

In such a vessel you would feel the waters of the deep slipping by just underneath of your feet as sea spray pelted your face.

The Vikings sailed these vessels all the way to the Mediterranean, to Iceland and Greenland, and even all the way to North America. This level of commitment, acceptance of risk, rejection of limitations, and consuming hunger to bend the world to one's will is difficult for many of us to accurately imagine.

That is why the dragon ship will always symbolize the Vikings and everything about them. The Vikings believed all things — even the gods themselves — were bound to fate.

The concept was so important that there were six different words for fate in the Old Scandinavian tongues. Because the outcome was determined, it was not for a man or a woman to try to escape their fate — no matter how grim it might be.

The essential thing was in how one met the trials and tragedies that befell them. In Norse mythology, fate itself is shaped by the Norns.

There they weave together a great tapestry or web, with each thread being a human life. Some sources, including the Volsung saga, say that in addition to the three great Norns who are called Past, Present, and Future there are many lesser Norns of both Aesir and elf kind.

These lesser Norn may act similarly to the idea of the guardian angels of Christianity or the daemon of Greco-Roman mythology.

The Web of Wyrd symbol represents the tapestry the Norns weave. It is uncertain whether this symbol was used during the Viking Age, but it uses imagery the Vikings would instantly understand.

Nine lines intersect to form the symbol. Nine was a magic number to the Norse, and within the pattern of these lines all the runes can be found.

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. 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".

Like Odin, Freya also selected the bravest of slain warriors for the afterlife of Valhalla.

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. Even the lowliest and the poorest farm had to have a wood axe to split and cut the wood.

Longship At the Viking age, the heart of Vikings was Longship. It has a far deeper meaning, for example, a man or a woman who was always ready to deep and face into something unknown.

The longship was the main thing with the help of which they could achieve it. They were very flexible and manoeuvrable even in the storming oceans.

Vikings were brave warriors. They were always ready to cross the places where there they had never been before. They could cross cold oceans to cross the lands where they had never been before and outpace their enemies who could contradict them.

In Nordic mythology, there existed two main ships. One of them is Nalgfar. In the German-Scandinavian mythology, it was a ship made entirely from the nails of the dead.

It was the ship of the goddess, Hel. It was the ship of Frey. The boat was so large that it could adjust all the Norse gods.

The dwarves were so cunning that this enormous in size ship was not only comfortable for all the gods but also foldable and it could fit in a tiny pocket or a small bag.

Vikings were free and fearless people. They did not feel fear of weather conditions or the other obstacles they could face with while crossing the ocean sailing to Iceland, the Mediterranean, or Greenland.

They were happy to touch the waves, accept any risk and sail even to unknown countries. Their responsibility, risk-taking, giving up restrictions and constant desire to subdue the world can only make us inspired and impressed with their bravery, curiosity, fearless and purposefulness.

Gungnir In Norse mythology, Gurnir is a powerful weapon that is associated with Odin. In both visual art and poetry, you can see that these connections are deep, powerful and long-lasting.

They were the cleverest and the most cunning smiths in the cosmos, who had also made many other impressive things, such as golden hair of Sif, Skidbladnir, and more.

Gurnir is not only the symbol that is associated with Odin, but it is also the symbol related to inspiration, war and wisdom.

What is unique about Gurnir? Firstly, when throwing a spear, it always reached the target, and there was no material that could stand against this weapon.

Swears given on the Gurnir became eternal and indestructible. According to Norse mythology, when Odin decided to sacrifice his life to find out the runes as well as the mysterious secrets they covered, he took his Gurnir and stabbed it through his chest.

He had been hanging from the Tree of Life for nine days. As a tradition, Vikings used a spear in combination with hanging for their sacrifices to Odin.

Today, there are many accessories with the Gurnir symbol, symbolizing power, courage, fearlessness, inspiration, wisdom and skill. Raven Ravens were the symbols, which were the most frequently associated with the Vikings.

As was earlier mentioned, Odin, the god of was also the god of ravens flying and feasting of the body of killed. The fact is ravens are clever birds, and it is difficult not to notice their head movement and black color eyes, looking at you as if they are trying to know all about you.

Every day they flew all over the nine worlds, and when they noticed or heard something unusual, they returned to Odin to tell him. Ravens were also associated with Ragnar Lothbrok.

He was one of the most famous Viking heroes. No matter where his journey lad, he always took raven banner with himself and even his sons were following him they still took with themselves the raven banner which brought a lot of victories at the head of the Great Heathen Army.

His extra legs were coupled with regular legs, which were growing from his shoulders and his haunches. He could run much faster, kick harder, jump higher and whinny louder than the other horses.

No horse could be compared with Sleipnir. He was fearless and brave. There were no obstacles to him.

What is more, Sleipnic could ferry Odin in and out of Hell the realm of the dead. In Norse mythology, the horses that had eight legs symbolized means of conveying souls across the nine worlds.

Sleipnir has a deep meaning, symbolizing speed, power, strength, perception, eternal life surety, transcendence, and travel.

Today there is a wide assortment of various accessories using the image of the influential and well-known eight-legged horse of Odin — Sleipnir.

The symbol of Sleipnir is of particular importance for athletes, travellers, and those who lost their way in life or those who lost their love.

It is a great symbol, able to bring power and spiritual protection and enlightenment to everyone who needs it.

Dragons This is not a secret that Vikings had a lot of stories about dragons and large, giant serpents. Many of these stories were left on the piece of paper, with the help of which we can analyze their art today.

Sometimes the heads of dragons were removed, symbolizing that Vikings had come in peace. 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. The Vegvisir was like a guide helping its bearer to find his way home.

Norse people believed that the Vegvisir had special powers and it was treated like talisman for luck, protection and blessings.

This powerful symbol could help a person to find the right way in storms or bad weather whatever unfamiliar surroundings he or she may encounter.

It has also long played an important role among people who believe in magic powers, such as Norse Shamans. As a spiritual compass, this magical device guides your heart and steps to make the right choices in life.

If you have lost yourself and your faith, this sacred symbol helps you find confidence again. Symbol Dictionary - Web Of Wyrd.

Justin Pollard - The World of Vikings. Ancient Places Feb 26, News Mar 21, Ancient History Facts Jan 27, Archaeology Jul 16, News Oct 12, Featured Stories Mar 31, Archaeology Feb 24, Chinese Mythology Jun 11, Ancient History Facts Feb 6, Egyptian Mythology Jul 16,

Astrology and esotericism. Dieser Artikel befasst sich mit den uns heute bekanntesten Wikinger Symbole sowie auch andere Wikingersymbole der nordischen Kultur oder Mythologie. Es soll den Träger Schutz gewähren. Von dieser Mythologie oder Dichtung gibt es verschiedene Variationen. Letter L in the framing of scribbles imitating ancient hieroglyphs, medieval runes or spiritual symbols written in a Xtra Bonus on the beige background. Eine bildliche Darstellung findet man dazu auf gotländischen Bildsteinen, diese click aus drei in sich verwinkelten Dreiecke. Da es aber auch eine Nähe zu dem keltischen und germanischen Kulturkreis gibt ist die Herkunft des Triquetra zwischen diesen beiden Kulturen nicht genau FuГџballspiel Deutschland. Nach unserem Wissensstand gibt es keine Funde, Beweise dafür, dass dieses Symbol in der Wikingerzeit bekannt war. Set of runes symbols.

Vikings Symbol Video

Is this really a Viking symbol?

More Ancient Symbols. The symbol has been found on old Norse stone carvings and funerary steles. It's also possible to find a depiction of the Valknut on stone carvings as a funerary motif, where it probably signified the afterlife.

A Valknut is also believed to offer protection against spririts which is the reason why it is often carried as a talisman.

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.

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.

The Vegvisir was like a guide helping its bearer to find his way home. Norse people believed that the Vegvisir had special powers and it was treated like talisman for luck, protection and blessings.

This powerful symbol could help a person to find the right way in storms or bad weather whatever unfamiliar surroundings he or she may encounter.

It has also long played an important role among people who believe in magic powers, such as Norse Shamans.

As a spiritual compass, this magical device guides your heart and steps to make the right choices in life.

If you have lost yourself and your faith, this sacred symbol helps you find confidence again. Symbol Dictionary - Web Of Wyrd. Justin Pollard - The World of Vikings.

Ancient Places Feb 26, Remember, myth is a means for people to understand cosmic truth. For our ancestors, myths like these were as close as they could come to science; and even as quantum physics is difficult for many of us to "picture", it is still our way of describing the truth as we have found it to be.

Yggdrasil was a way of thinking about reality and about how different realities could be connected maybe similar in some ways to modern multiverse theory.

As Dan McCoy of Norse-mythology. As a symbol, Yggdrasil represents the cosmos, the relationship between time and destiny, harmony, the cycles of creation, and the essence of nature.

The longship was the soul of the Viking. The word "Viking" does not simply mean any medieval Scandinavian, but rather a man or woman who dared to venture forth into the unknown.

The longship was the means by which that was accomplished. We have eyewitness accounts from centuries before the Vikings that tell us the Norse always were into their ships, but technological advances they made in ship design around the eighth century revolutionized what these ships were able to do.

The Viking ships could row with oars or catch the wind with a broad, square sail. They were flexible and supple in the wild oceans.

They were keeled for speed and precision. Most importantly to Viking mobility and military superiority, they had a very shallow draught.

All this meant that Vikings could cross the cold seas from Scandinavia to places that had never heard of them, then use river ways to move deep into these lands all while outpacing any enemies who might come against them.

It took the greatest powers in Europe a long time to even figure out how to address this kind of threat. It was no wonder that the Viking ships were called dragon ships, for it was as if an otherworldly force was unleashed upon the peoples of Europe.

Accounts from the very first recorded Viking raid Lindisfarne even speak of monks seeing visions of dragons in a prophecy of this doom. There are two ships that stand out in Norse Mythology.

Nalgfar is the ship of the goddess, Hel. It is made from the fingernails of the dead. At Ragnarok it will rise from the depths, and — oared by giants and with Loki at its helm — it will cross the Bifrost bridge to lead the assault on Asgard.

This myth shows how the Vikings viewed ships — a good ship can take you anywhere. The relationship of the Vikings to their ships is even more striking when we realize that - in some ways - these ships were glorified boats, and not what we think of as ships at all.

A Viking was completely exposed to the elements and could reach down and touch the waves. In such a vessel you would feel the waters of the deep slipping by just underneath of your feet as sea spray pelted your face.

The Vikings sailed these vessels all the way to the Mediterranean, to Iceland and Greenland, and even all the way to North America. This level of commitment, acceptance of risk, rejection of limitations, and consuming hunger to bend the world to one's will is difficult for many of us to accurately imagine.

That is why the dragon ship will always symbolize the Vikings and everything about them. The Vikings believed all things — even the gods themselves — were bound to fate.

The concept was so important that there were six different words for fate in the Old Scandinavian tongues.

Because the outcome was determined, it was not for a man or a woman to try to escape their fate — no matter how grim it might be.

The essential thing was in how one met the trials and tragedies that befell them. In Norse mythology, fate itself is shaped by the Norns.

There they weave together a great tapestry or web, with each thread being a human life. Some sources, including the Volsung saga, say that in addition to the three great Norns who are called Past, Present, and Future there are many lesser Norns of both Aesir and elf kind.

These lesser Norn may act similarly to the idea of the guardian angels of Christianity or the daemon of Greco-Roman mythology.

The Web of Wyrd symbol represents the tapestry the Norns weave. It is uncertain whether this symbol was used during the Viking Age, but it uses imagery the Vikings would instantly understand.

Nine lines intersect to form the symbol. Nine was a magic number to the Norse, and within the pattern of these lines all the runes can be found.

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. 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".

Like Odin, Freya also selected the bravest of slain warriors for the afterlife of Valhalla. Freya had other parallels to Odin, including her association with magic and arcane knowledge.

Freya is said to have taught Odin much of what he knows of the secret arts. She is also a lover of poetry, music, and thoughtfulness.

As a Vanir goddess and the sister some say, twin of the god Frey or Freyr , Freya is a goddess of prosperity and riches.

Freya is a fertility goddess. Though she cries her amber tears when she misses her wandering husband, skaldic poetry tells us that she has an unbridled sexuality.

In Norse mythology, Freya is often depicted as the object of desire not only of gods but of giants, elves, and men, too. When not riding Hildisvini into the thick of battle or using her fabulous falcon-feather cloak to shape shift into a lightning-fast bird of prey, Freya travelled in a chariot drawn by black or gray cats.

Some folklorists see the image of the goddess getting cats to work together and go in the same direction as a metaphor for the power of feminine influence — a reoccurring theme in the Viking sagas.

The cat probably reminded Vikings of Freya because of the common personality traits: cats are independent but affectionate when they want to be; fierce fighters and lethal hunters but lovers of leisure, luxury, and treasures.

This association between the goddess of magic and her cats may be why cats became associated with witches during the later Middle Ages and through our own time.

In Norse art or jewelry, the symbol or motif of the cat is meant to denote the blessing or character of Freya, with all her contradictions and strength: love and desire, abundance and beauty, valor and the afterlife, music and poetry, magic and wisdom..

Bears The bear was one of the most powerful and ferocious animals the Vikings knew. The very sight of a bear in the wild would make the bravest of men back away slowly.

They are massive, fast, and deadly, and their hide and fur resist most weapons. It is easy to see why the Vikings would be fascinated by them and would want to emulate them.

Viking sea kings loved to own bears as pets. Saxo Grammaticus tells us that the great shield maiden, Lagertha, had a pet bear that she turned loose on Ragnar Lothbrok when he first came to court her.

Understandably, this incident got brought up again in their later divorce. The Greenland Vikings specialized in exporting polar bears and polar bear furs to the courts of Medieval Europe.

The Bear was sacred to Odin, and this association inspired the most legendary class of all Vikings: the berserkers.

Berserkers were Viking heroes who would fight in a state of ecstatic frenzy.

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