Understanding The Strength of Norse Mythology

Viking MosaicAt first glance, Norse mythology seems to be pretty bleak.

Many of the tales focus on the end of the world, a time known as Ragnorak. During Ragnorak, winter would come and never leave; the gods would battle with giants and terrible monsters; many of the gods would die.

The harshness of these myths is a reflection of the world in which the Norse people lived.

Each year, they faced punishing winters. In order to trade food and furs, the Vikings travelled across dangerous oceans. They did all this with much less technology and knowledge than we have today; they could not rely on cars and fossil fuels to power their journeys. The Vikings rowed their boats with their own arms.

In the face of these intense challenges, the Vikings developed a deep veneration for strength and endurance.

This can be seen in the central God of the Norse pantheon, Odin, All-Father, King of the Gods.

Who is Odin?

Odin's Mask for Cunning and Discretion

Odin is a God of War, who fights to defend his land and his people. He will lend his strength to those who call on him. Odin also possesses great courage. During the final nights of Ragnarok, he does battle with the dread Fenrir Wolf. Even though Odin knows that this battle will be his undoing, he stands his ground and fights valiantly.

But Odin has more facets than warrior. He is also a sorcerer, and a trickster. When he leaves his hall in Asgard, Realm of the Gods, he frequently goes forth in disguise.

In many tales, he uses cunning and misdirection to get what he needs. Odin has also mastered the arts of magic, at great personal cost. Odin plucked out one of his own eyes in order to gain wisdom and secret sight; he can see into the mysteries of past, present and future.

Loki

With all these powerful attributes, Odin represents a balanced mastery of body, mind, and spirit. But he also can be seen as representing the willingness to do whatever is necessary to survive.

Odin chooses to master feats of physical strength, guile, and hidden magic because there is no other way for him to protect himself and his people.

Again and again, he rises to the challenge. Even when it seems like the world is destined to end. Even at great cost to himself. Even when he knows, with his prophetic power, that his actions will lead to his own death.

Working with Odin can help us discover our own hidden strengths and magics, our own capacity to endure the seemingly impossible.

Thors Hammer Replica Pendant - Found in Skane

The Viking All-Father can teach us how to rise to our own challenges, to discover our own warrior spirits.

Ask yourself:

  • What are you inspired to defend?
  • What do you value more than your own comfort?
  • What are you willing to take risks for?

Odin, and all the Norse Gods, faced a legion of giants who sought to destroy the world. They faced the prospect of a world of endless winter. We can find parallels in these stories for some of the great environmental challenges of our day. At times, it seems like we face a system that is trying to cause grievous harm to the living web of life. We face the prospect of intense climate change.

Rebirth Follows Death in Norse Mythology

Gungir - Odin's Spear for StrengthNorse mythology can offer us inspiration and courage, stirring stories of beings who saw a terrible threat and found the strength and courage within themselves to fight as honourable warriors. And, while most contemporary conversations about Norse mythology focus on the harsh battles of Ragnorak, this is not the end of the story.

The death of the world results in a rebirth, a green and peaceful world that flourishes in the aftermath. In this world, the separation between the Gods and humanity vanishes.

There is more than enough abundant life to feed everyone. May our own struggles reach such a happy conclusion.

by Allison Grey

StormJewel Says: Thanks for this fascinating article about Norse and Viking Mythology, it certainly does help us to understand their myths when we look at the context of their lives.

If you are looking for Viking and Norse Pendants or figurines, then please check out these links on my shop

Viking figurines and MythologyHandmade Viking Pendants – More Viking Jewellery

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Gorgeous Fairy Figurines, Dragon Gifts and Gothic Goodies

Gabriel - from the collection of dark fairies designed by Myka Jelina
Gabriel – from the collection of dark fairies designed by Myka Jelina

Yay for new stuff! This week I have added over 300 lovely new items to StormJewel’s Gifts, mainly from the fabulous Alchemy Gothic and the ever popular Nemesis Now.

In case you haven’t seen their stuff before, they work with artists from the UK to create gorgeously gothic figurines and jewellery, and allow you to indulge your fantasy side with all different kind of fairy figurines and gifts (butterfly and bat winged fairies, cute ones, gothic ones) which you can decorate your home, garden or altar with.

Dragon Mirror by Nemesis Now!
Dragon Mirror by Nemesis Now!

For the dragon fans among you (and you may know that I am obsessed with these majestic creatures) there’s gorgeous dragon figurines, and lots of unusual gifts from dragon boxes to wine holders, wall plaques and artwork by Anne Stokes.

As well as fantasy artwork (in the form of scrolls to hang on your walls), the talented Anne Stokes brings us her gothic collection of figurines, including wonderfully vampy ladies, gorgeous trinket boxes and more, do take a look!

Alchemy Gothic Necklace
Alchemy Gothic Necklace
Vampire Chic by Alchemy Gothic
Vampire Chic by Alchemy Gothic

I’ve also added a new line of Gothic and rock clothes, such as Gothic and Pagan Dark Star Clothes and Vince ray t shirts for girls and boys.

There are so many new products that I know Magick enthusiasts will love so come visit my shop!

Thanks for reading,

BB, StormJewel x

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Symbolic & Pagan Jewellery

Guest Post by Hallmark Cards

CruxCroix for Protection on Life's Journey
CruxCroix for Protection on Life’s Journey

Symbolic jewellery has long been worn, both in the days when it meant everything to the wearer, a protective charm or a pendant that would ward off evil spirits and nowadays when pendants are often worn with little understanding of the long history and mythology that surrounds the item. Everything from crosses to Pagan symbols and foreign letters are used to adorn wearers often with comic results if the wearer accidentally meets someone who does understand the meaning.

There are those who still wear jewellery with a full understanding of what it means though and especially with the use of the internet, research possibilities have extended allowing those with an interest in the topic to follow it and meet other enthusiasts online. Nowadays a new market for symbolic jewellery has re-emerged demonstrating a passion for all sorts on Pagan imagery.

Anubis for Guidance on Life's Journey
Isis for Protection of the Earth

The Egyptians have long had some of the world`s most beautiful jewellery, ever since Cleopatra would swathe herself out in the jewels of a kingdom before meeting her people or guests. The vast array of costly and elaborate Egyptian jewellery that she is documented to have worn is testament to the fact that the culture has made some of the most beautiful pieces in the world.

There are various symbols that are iconic to Egyptian culture, both symbolising the culture itself in representations of the sphinx and pyramids and reflecting the ancient mythology with images of gods, symbols of power and ancient stories.

Thor's Hammer for Courage and Strength
Thor’s Hammer for Courage and Strength

The Nordic culture is perhaps one of the most misunderstood in history but modern day Viking symbols do a great deal to reflect the diverse culture as well as the fierce warriors that came out of this land. Often overshadowed by the image of the fierce Viking warrior thirsty for his enemy`s blood, the Nordic culture was one that celebrated many things as well as warfare.

There is a vast amount of symbolism in the culture and the range of jewellery being developed with this symbolism in mind is reflecting this. There are various stories that go with every symbol and pendant, from the tale of Thor`s hammer to that of the serpent that grew so big it could surround the entire sea. Both of these stories result in an attractive and symbolic pendant that echoes of a long past and mythology.

Dragon Athame for Manifestation of Thought
Dragon Athame for Manifestation of Thought

Dragon jewellery is likewise becoming incredibly popular, primarily developing out of Eastern cultures and tales, this nevertheless is a creature whose mythology and history has been influenced by a vast number of cultures and stories. The Welsh flag itself has an image of a dragon on it and ancient British culture is strongly influenced by tales of dragons and dragon hunts.

Dragon pendants and symbols are supposed to invest the wearer with many of the attributes of the dragon itself so power, strength, protection, courage, long life and luck are amongst the many benefits bestowed by the symbolism. Added to this of course the jewellery is highly attractive and can make for beautifully elaborate ornaments. Dragon pendants are a particularly good gift to buy friends for Christmas and Winter Solstice, especially when you explain all these benefits and since we are already buying Christmas cards it is probably about time to start thinking about gifts too.

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Viking Symbols and Pagan Jewellery

I love Viking symbols because they are filled with beautiful imagery and the powerful stories and mythology from the Norse culture.  Here are some of my favourite Viking signs and symbols that have also been made into gorgeous Pagan jewellery.

Jorgmugand and the Sunwheel

Jormugand is a sea serpent that was one of the three children of Loki and his wife the giant Angrboda.  Jormugand was growing very quickly and this made the other gods nervous, so one day Odin decided to throw him into the sea.

Viking Symbol - Sunwheel and Jormugand
Viking Symbol – Sunwheel and Jormugand

This didn’t really do much as Jormugand grew bigger and bigger until he was able to surround the whole world and grasp his own tail, and because of that he earned the name Midgard Serpent or World Serpent.

Jormugand can be found deep in the ocean where he bites himself in the tail, and we are all caught in the coils of his tail.  In many ways then, this Viking symbol stands for the concept of eternity, or perhaps the cyclical nature of life, on the other hand we are still left with a feeling of uncertainty (no fluffy happy endings in Viking mythology!) since the story goes that if he lets go of his tail we will all die, and when the universe ends, Jormugand and his arch enemy Thor will fight to the death.

However this symbol can be made less dark in the way it is shown in the pendant on the right – Jormugand circling the Sunwheel.

The Sunwheel is a very sacred symbol which can be found on rock carvings and ancient jewellery from the Norse times. The sunwheel symbolises how important sun is to farming and agriculture, and so added to Jormugand really does represent the cyclical nature of life.

 

Thor’s Hammer

Thor's Hammer
Thor’s Hammer

Thor’s hammer, known as Mjollnir, is the hammer (sometimes depicted as an axe or club) of the fearsome god Thor, and was a very popular pendant in ancient times, since many ancient hammer jewellery pieces have been found.

This mightily powerful weapon is even capable of leveling mountains and so becomes a wonderful way of symbolising strength, both inner and outer, and also precision, since using Mjollnir meant that Thor would never fail in his aim.

Other magickal qualities of the Hammer meant that Thor could throw it and always find it again, and also he could make it so small that he could hide it in his Tunic if he wanted to.  Having a small pendant then, that you can display or hide under your clothes, seems very fitting!

Thor was a particularly popular god for medieval Scandinavians and many ancient pendants of his hammer have been found, and is now an important figure for many Pagans.

The Hammer of Thor was also worn by people as a way to outwardly display their Pagan faith and as to show their opposition to Christianization.  Many people also practiced syncretic beliefs, meaning the combining of two or more religions, and moulds of a combined cross and hammer have been discovered.  This can be seen in the Wolf’s Cross which was a famous Icelandic pendant, worn by both Pagan Vikings and Christians.

 

Eagershelm

Eagershelm aka Aegishjalmur
Eagershelm aka Aegishjalmur

Aka Aegishjalmur – aka “helm of awe’.  This Viking symbol was used for protection, particularly in battle.  It was originally a helmet won by Sigurd when he killed the dragon Fafner, but for the Viking people it was not actually used as a helmet, instead this symbol would be worn over the forehead, maybe scratched into the inside of the helmet, or even drawn on the head using blood or spit.

A warrior about to go into battle would press Aegishjalmur against his head (or draw it on) and say ‘I bear the Helm of Awe’, giving him power and strength in battle, both mentally and physically.

There are also other ways of using and conceptualising Eagershelm, for instance it can be used to put fear into the minds’ of enemies or even to calm the fear in yourself.

Elhaz - Norse Rune
Elhaz

Further magic can be found in the Aegishjalmur, in the way that runes are hidden inside the symbol, particularly the rune Elhaz which can be also be used for protection, and is thought to symbolise an elk’s horns – a powerful symbol of self protection.

 

Elhaz keeps in good energies and helps to repel the bad, making it ideal for creating a sacred space or even pushing away negative energy and negative people. This rune can be found eight times over at the ends of spokes of this sign, but also eight times more within the spokes itself, making Aegishjalmur an incredibly powerful viking symbol.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article, feel free to share your favourite things from Norse symbolism.  For more Viking Symbols and Handmade Jewellery, please visit my shop! Or read this article to find out how to magickally charge your jewellery.

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How to magickally charge your jewellery & talismans

I’m sometimes asked if my pendants are magickally charged. Whilst I believe that symbols that have been used for a long time, gather significance, and a magick of their own, the pendants do not come precharged by a person.

So in this blog post I’m going to tell you how to magickally charge your own Pagan, Wiccan, Buddhist or other alternative jewellery and symbols.
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  1. Mermaid and Dolphin for Harmony and Happiness
    Mermaid and Dolphin for Harmony and Happiness

    First, think about what it is you want the talisman to help you with. For instance, if you have the Mermaid and Dolphin for Harmony and Happiness you may just want overall happiness and harmony, or perhaps you have a particular situation that you want happiness and harmony to come to, such as your family life

  2. Think of a positive way to state your intention, for general happiness you could say:
    “This pendant brings harmony and happiness into my life.”
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  3. For a particular situation such as family life, you could say:
    “This pendant brings harmony and happiness to my family life.”
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  4. Next, find out the magickal correspondances that match your desire – ie the best day of the week to do the spell, the correct colours and so on.
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    In this case you would pick:

    Friday, as it is associated with family, harmony and friendship
    The Waxing Moon: Because you want to attract harmonious energies
    Lilac: as it is associated with inner healing, calmness and tranquility OR
    Light Blue
    : for its associations with peace and harmony
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  5.  High Celtic Cross Charm for Guidance and Protection

    High Celtic Cross Charm for Guidance and Protection

    Get a spell candle in your chosen colour.
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  6. Make or get some blessed water to cleanse and purify the pendant, leaving it ready for you to imprint your magickal charge.
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  7. You may wish to get herbs to add extra power to the spell, in this case Aniseed, Jasmine Flowers or Meadowsweet would work well.
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  8. I highly recommend getting or making some incense as fragrances have a very powerful effect on our subconscious.  Jasmine, Lavender, Rose and Orange are all connected with happiness and peace. Vanilla is for granting wishes and promotes a positive vibe

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Ok, now you have all the equipment and preparation you need to magickally charge your pendant. Now it’s time to begin.

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  1. Light your candle and incense.
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    Step 2 is optional, but something I find really helps to add power to spells.
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  2. Caduceus for Love and Healing
    Caduceus for Love and Healing

    To raise magickal energy I like to cast a sacred circle, then stand in the middle, taking deep breaths and imagining my self rooting into the ground like a tree.  Then I stretch my hands upwards and imagine they are reaching up to the sky.  Hopefully you will begin to feel energy flowing through you, but don’t worry if you don’t.  You can then imagine a circle of swirling energy growing in strength between your outstreched arms.
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  3. Now that you have raised your energy, get your blessed water.  If you have some herbs you can mix them into the water.
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  4. Sprinkle some of your blessed water on the talisman and say three times

    “I cleanse, bless and consecrate this pendant”
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  5. Take your jewellery in your hand and stare at your candle, repeating your intention.  Imagine the positive energy flowing into your pendant.  Try to visualise the successful achievement of your pendant helping you, whether that is having happy times with your family, generally enjoying life or whatever
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  6. Keep doing this until you feel the pendant is charged.
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  7. Finally say:
    ‘An it harm none, so mote it be!’
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  8. Close your sacred circle if you opened one, and now you are done!

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Your pendant is now magickally charged, all you have to do now is wear it regularly, the more you wear it the more attuned to you, and thus the stronger it will become.
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I hope you enjoyed this article, as with everything, these are just suggestions, so if you feel like changing something or doing something differently, then give it a go!

Let me know how it goes and please leave your comments below!

StormJewel x

Dragon Heart for Lasting Love
Dragon Heart for Lasting Love
Elf Heart for Happiness and Love
Elf Heart for Happiness and Love
Pagani Pentagram to Increase Psychic Ability
Pagani Pentagram to Increase Psychic Ability

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