Symbols had a significant role in the Vikings era. The symbols represent their culture, history, faith, and beliefs on their Gods. The symbols had various uses in the Vikings era, i.e. writing, protection against evil, rune casting, medical purposes, fortune telling, means of communication with their Gods and to perform magic. Some of the symbols are:
The Viking Compass or the runic compass is called Vegvisir in Old Norse language. The symbol looks like eight staves are connected to a primary point. It was believed that the Vegvisir symbol will guide the lost person. Vikings drew this symbol on their boats so they do not get lost in the sea. Whatsoever there is still no evidence that how old is the Vegvisir symbol. We will never know the fact that Vegvisir was discovered in Viking age or before the Viking period.
The three-cornered symbol is called Triquetra in the Viking era. The symbol was found on Indian burial sites almost 5000 years ago. It is one of the best symbols of Celtic in Celtic culture and it is believed that three corners represent the Holy trinity. The symbol was also drawn on ancient Germanic coins used in the 8th century and other ancient objects. Most people believe that Celtic knot is a holy symbol and is linked to Odin, the Viking’s most powerful magician, and God. Christians also believe in Celtic symbols and people have been wearing this symbol after the popular TV show Charmed. For a deep and profound study of Viking symbols and meanings, there are a lot of books and articles are available on the internet.
Mjolnir is the most popular symbol of the Vikings era because the symbol is associated with their legendary God, Thor who was very powerful and controlled lightning. It was believed that Mjolnir, thor’s hammer destroyed all those creatures who dared to enter Asgard. Vikings believed that the hammer was so powerful that it can destroy mountains too. Vikings men and women both wore Mjolnir pendants so they could be protected from all kinds of evil, warriors wore this symbol on war and also drew it on their homes for protection.
The Norse ultimate weapon to raid and plunder was the axe. Axe has always been associated with the Viking culture. It was believed that every child in the Viking era was gifted with an axe. It was not only used in war but also in daily tasks such as cutting woods. The axe was a symbol od audacity and strength. Wealthy people used gold and silver to build their axe to show off their status. The axe was carried all the time and was well maintained. Vikings also wore axe pendants, brooches, and bracelets.
Ancient Norsemen build their ships and used it as a mode of transportation. When they first start building ships they were smaller in size compared to the ships they build in the 10th century which were larger. The Viking ships were also a symbol of terror because they traveled to raid other communities or villages. The largest ship was 150 feet long and had a shallow draft so they can travel through shallow rivers without difficulty. Some of the Vikings people buried their ships to use it in the afterlife.
Eight Legged Horse:
The eight-legged horse also known as Sleipnir was Odin’s horse and was considered the best horse in Norse mythology. The lager muscular horse carried Odin in all his quests leaving people fearless by his strength, size, and speed. He had an extra pair of four legs which makes him powerful of all other creatures. It is said that Sleipnir was born of Loki and Svaoilfari, and played a great part in the protection of Asgard.