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.
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, 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.
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.
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.