Speaking of Norse symbols, Thor’s Hammer or Mjölnir is one of the most used symbols of all time, I dare to say that it is more used nowadays than during the Viking Age, unfortunately most people use it and don’t know its true meaning, they just use it because it is cool and most bands they like also use one of those.
Mjölnir is the weapon of the Thunder God Thor, which initially was thought to be made of stone, but in truth it was made out of iron, forged by the Svartálfar or black elves, along with the help of the dvergar or duergar (dwarves) named Sindri and Brokkr.
Thor’s weapon in the myths is a magical axe or hammer when thrown with the objective of destroying its enemies, it comes back to Thor’s hands like a boomerang, it has also the capability of becoming so small that can be carried under the clothes. Mjölnir is to Thor what Gungnir (the spear) is to Odin, it is the very symbol of the god of thunder and his power, it is a weapon that all the enemies of this great god fear the most, especially the Jötnar, the giants of the Norse mythology. Most enemies try to lure Thor into their territories and somehow steal his hammer and Megingjörð, Thor’s belt of strength and power. During the Viking Age, miniature pendant replicas of Thor’s hammer were very popular and often used by all in Scandinavia. In Iceland its variant was cross-shaped, while Thor’s hammers from Sweden and Norway tended to be made with an arrow or T shape. According to some researchers, the swastika shape found in East Anglia and Kent before Christianization, may be a variant of the same symbol. In Old Norse the name of Thor’s hammer is spelled either mjǫlnir or mjǫllnir. It is thought to be etymologically related to the English word mill and meal “to crush”. Another version states it is related to the Russian word молния and the Welsh mellt, both meaning ‘lightning’. Mjölnir is usually interpreted as meaning “That which smashes”, derived from the verb mölva “To smash”. “Moer” which is one of the Portuguese words that survived the Germanic and Norse influence in the country also means “to crush” or ” “to grind” and also “mill”.
Many modern Thor’s hammer pendants try to feature the word Mjollnir in the Elder Futhark runes, simply replacing each letter with a corresponding rune. The procedure is incorrect. Mjolnir is an Old Norse word. Old Norse developed in the 8th century. Due to its difference as compared to its earlier form, Proto-Norse, Vikings were to reform their runic writing system. As a result, they adopted the Younger Futhark. By the end of the 8th century the Elder Futhark was not in use any more. If we were to write the name of Thor’s hammer in the Elder Futhark runes, we would have to reconstruct it in Proto-Norse.
It is important to know that this symbol is a symbol of power, protection and fertility, most people who aren’t heathens, or anyother pagans who practice the old Norse beliefs tend to label Thor’s hammer as a symbol of hatred, racism and fear, which obviously isn’t.
I always wear a Mjölnir made of Ox bone, it was a gift given to me by my girlfriend.
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