Norse mythology contains many identity symbols that have represented the Viking civilization for millennia. The Valknut is one of the most iconic and figurative Viking symbols of Norse civilization. What characterizes it? What is the meaning of this mythical symbol? There are still countless inexplicable mysteries around the Valknut.
The valknut: what does it mean?
Discovered in Scandinavian and English territories, the Valknut symbol dates from the Viking Age (between 793 and 1066 AD). Archaeological traces of the mysterious Viking symbol have been discovered by archaeologists on memorial stones, standing on the island Gotland in Switzerland.
The word "Valknut" does not appear on any of the inscriptions. However, the name of this Viking symbol comes from the old Narrois compound by the term valk which can be translated as "slain warriors", as well as the term "knut" which is defined as "knot". It has long been considered "the knot of the fallen", which referred to death, the search, but also the extension of the New World.
The valknut: what relationship with the Nordic gods?
The valknut is present on several archaeological discoveries: ancient rune stones, charred shipwrecks as well as Anglo-Saxon funerary urns. What relationship with the gods? Indeed, many researchers claim to have noticed a symbol of Odin either directly or allusively through schematic representations.
They quickly made the connection between the Viking symbol and Odin, a god capable of carrying the spirits of the dead to the underworld.
Odin is also the grand leader of the warriors of Valhalla and the Wild Hunt. Through some stories, such as Odin and the Valkyries, he stands out for his perfect manipulation of inexplicable magic, which he uses on the mind of Man. The symbol of valknut might have something to do with the manipulation of the mind by the influence of Odin. He would be able to remove fear and rob the human spirit of its power.
The valknut: what do the three triangles mean?
Since the dawn of time, the valknut is not the only symbol endowed with an appearance linked to the number 3 of the “divine trinities”: there is also the Triskelion and the Triquetra. The valknut is represented by three similar triangles: three intertwined triangles that have a total of nine corners or nine lines. This "divine trinity" is a style specific to Odin who is its creator. These three figures represent at the same time the soul, the spirit and the body.
The valknut: what does the number 9 mean?
The nine corners or nine lines of the valknut symbol refer to the 9 worlds. What is this ? The nine worlds are the homelands of different types to be found in the Scandinavian worldview and the Germanic universe. They are guarded by the branches and roots of the tree of life , which is none other than Yggdrasil.
The nine worlds are :
However, the number nine has other meanings:
The valknut: what connection with the heart of Hrungnir?
Hrungnir is a giant from Norse mythology, living in Jötunheim. His name means "the noisy one" or "to be big and clumsy". He is considered the most powerful giant in Viking mythology. Hrungnir is a hard, pointed, stone-hearted giant with three distinct corners. The three protruding horns of his heart have long been represented on archaeological finds. What is the link between the two? It's simply the fact that his heart was shaped like a triangle like the Viking symbol.
To sum up, Valkut is a mysterious Viking symbol from Norse mythology that is closely linked to death, and to the god Odin. This symbol has been used many times in history, but also for tattoos.