Whether represented in the form of animals or various objects, Viking emblems are the representation in miniature of the culture , beliefs and values of the Viking people. Zoom on these emblems and their meaning for the Nordics.
Yggdrasil or the tree of life or the world-tree
Yggdrasil is the tree of life. It is an eternal ash tree inhabited by various conflicting animals, including a dragon , a squirrel, an eagle, and on whose branches the 9 worlds of Norse mythology spread. He is the Viking symbol of absolute power, supreme knowledge and mystical divinity.
The Vegvisir or the Viking compass
It is a compass with eight branches, each representing a cardinal or intercardinal direction. It served as a talisman used to guide the Vikings to find the right path and arrive at their destination without suffering any loss. It is a sacred symbol of luck, protection and direction.
The Breton Triskelion
A pagan symbol of the sacred trinity, the triskel is made up of three branches representing the three gods Odin, Thor and Frey , the three fundamental elements, earth, water and fire, air being represented by a point located in the center of the triskel.
Popular, the Valknut is a trio of interlocking triangles evoking the journey of Viking warriors killed in battle to Valhalla where they are welcomed by the god Odin. It is an emblem used to give honor and pay tribute to the valiant people who have died.
The Horn of Odin
Comprised of three intertwined drinking horns , Odin's horn is a sacred Norse emblem whose wear evokes wisdom, eloquence, and inspiration. According to mythology, this triple horn of Odin contains the Blood of Kvasir, a drink from which mead derives and from which poetry derives its power.
Whoever sees the god Odin will certainly see his two informant ravens, Hugin and Munin, two names which respectively evoke “thought” and “memory”. While they are associated with death and ill omen, Odin's crows are also the emblem of insight and luck.
It is a spear made with mystical metal and carved from a branch of Yggdrasil and on which runes are engraved. It is capable of absorbing enchantments that one wishes to cast on a target.
The Celtic Cross
The Celtic Cross or Odin's Cross is a pagan symbol of resurrection. It evokes the places visited by the Vikings , in particular Wales, Scotland and of course Ireland.
The aegishjalmur or Helm of Terror
Mysterious and powerful, the aegishjalmur is an 8-armed circle bearing runes and endowed with the power to bestow victory on its wearer in battle. It is the emblem of strength and invincibility.
The Mjölnir is the hammer that Thor uses to fight evil forces. He can also restore life to dead things and beings and can bless events. It is therefore the emblem of protection and power among the Vikings.
The Wolf Fenrir
Powerful and uncontrollable, even for the gods, the wolf Fenrir killed the god Odin and injured another according to Norse mythology . It symbolizes loyalty, protection and strength.
The ouroboros is the snake that bites its tail. It is the symbol of time and the endless cycle of rebirth and destruction.
Today, these emblems are used as tattoos by Scandinavian enthusiasts.