Viking Gods and Symbols Explained in an Easy to Read and Understand Way

Viking Gods and Symbols Explained in an Easy to Read and Understand Way

Pointy hats with tusk, braided beard, lots and lots of beers and dragons? Oops! I mean boats, long boats. I think these are the things that come to mind when we hear of the legendary Vikings. What is the truth about them, and what are just myths created to make movies and books sell? Let us get to know about Vikings. 

History

Viking Village

The common misconception about Vikings is that they have one leader like a president that leads them a one, but in reality, the Norsemen consist of tribes that are led by a chief (Earl/Jarl). They are like ordinary people who live on a farm and have farm animals for food. Like in any other community, there are traders, farmers, and the renowned blacksmith. They live peacefully in the Scandinavian countries, but as their population grows, so does the need to expand their territories. According to some historians, tribes would attack their neighboring tribes to pillage for more food. These tribes decided to sail out the waters to find a place to settle and start a new life; some said the Norsemen chose to sail and attack and conquer other nearby countries to get resources. Whatever reason made then sail out the sea started the era called the Viking Age. 

Diet

The Norsemen loves their meat. They hunt for elks, deer, wild boars, and others. They would immediately cook and eat those kills. Although they live near the shoreline, it would take a long time to evaporate the salt content from saltwater to preserve such a massive kill. A typical meal for Viking would consist of dairy products from milk to their version of yogurt called skyr. Produce from their farms like wheat and oats, vegetables like white carrots and cabbages, and fruits. Fish is also a staple food for they live near the shoreline. Ale is their favorite alcoholic drink while women drink fruit-based wine such as apple and strawberries. 

When the Norsemen sail to loot on other places, they would pack rations of food and make it last until they came to land. They would eat anything while on other lands, this might be the reason why some remnants of Vikings show that they have intestinal parasites, worms to be exact. And some even had ingested weeds that were not fit for human consumption. 

Craftsmen

Viking CraftsmanPhoto by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

It was their weapons made from iron that was said to be light and lethal. These are swords, spearheads and the most common weapons are Axe and knives. Everyday folks have their own Axe for farming and women would have their knives, but only those that belong to the higher level of the society can afford swords. They always carry a weapon and a shield with them for protection. 

Aside from making durable and deathly lethal weapons, they are renowned for their longboats and dragon boats. These boats are fast, light and can carry up to two hundred people. Unlike other big boats that have to be anchored far away from the shore, these longboats can float even on shallow waters that made them efficient in raids and looting. 

Fighters

Viking Worrier

Vikings have the reputation of being brutal and barbaric. Well, they are born fighters, but they are not inhuman. They fight strategically and skillfully. The reason why they were able to conquer lands all through-out Europe. They do not just raid and move on to the next like pirates. Some would choose to live and stay for a long time.

An example is during the era of King Charles, the third of France, those were the times where daughters were given as a gift for unity and harmonious relationship. The king gifted the chief his daughter to prevent them from looting from their house. The Norsemen then decided to live peacefully within the said community. Some were also hired to protect one's home from pirates, making them knights. 

Contrary to the well-known version of the Norsemen, they do not wear helmets with tusks. That would be quite impractical for they would get with all the bashing that happens on the battlefield. Also, another myth about these Vikings is they were unkempt and dirty. They are do keep themselves clean and even bleach their hair blonde. Why? For preference. The same way that we dye our hair in a different color just because we think we look better that way. 

Viking Rituals

Viking Rituals

Baptism

Norsemen have their version of baptism called Ausa Vatni. A ceremony wherein the baby would be placed on the ground to be picked up by his father. After inspecting the child fro any defects, the father would then name the child and give it a gift. On the other hand, ones the child is found to have any imperfections, the baby would then be abandoned into the backwoods, for it was said that Norsemen would only raise a child that has the capacity to grow into a great warrior. 

Marriage

Before the ceremony, the bride would be bathed several times to cleanse her body of any dirt. She must look her best at her wedding. The bride must wear her hair down, wearing a bridal crown. The ceremony is scheduled on a Friday, honoring the Goddess of Marriage.

Teeth filing

Remnants of the Norsemen show that the file their teeth, one reason id to make them look more fearsome, a good tactic, striking fear by the sheer sight is an advantage. They would color the groves on their teeth either to scare or as a symbol of their status. Studies show that these groves were skillfully made. See? This proves Norsemen are careful about how they look, from blond hair to dyed teeth, they can even be considered vain. 

Cremation of a Chieftain

Once a chief dies, a female sacrifice must be made. First, a female slave would volunteer to be the sacrifice. The question is, why? Why would any woman volunteer? For a slave to serve her master to the afterlife is an honor. The sacrifice would be intoxicated until she is not coherent and have sexual acts will all the men. She will then be strangled to death and stabbed by the wife of the chief or the highest-ranked female of the tribe. Her body will then be cremated with the leader as the boat sails the water. What is the purpose of sexual rites? The act is a way to convert the spirit to the next life. Only the high members of society deserve to be burned. One because it would involve burning a boat, which is quite long and hard to create. 

Deflecting the Draugr

Even the brave Norsemen fears something, and it is called a Draugr. It is merely a version of a zombie. To prevent deceased individuals in turning into this creature. The big toes of the dead would be tied together, needles or spears pierced through their feet, and open scissors placed on top of his chest. Twigs were also placed inside their clothes. Aside from these, the coffin would have an elaborate door sealed with brick materials. These are the ways to prevent the creature from taking over the body of the deceased and cause mayhem on the land. 

Blot

Here is another way of worshipping the Viking Gods. A blot would be done for a celebration or a way to promote a peaceful relationship with the Gods. For a successful battle, a bountiful harvest, or beautiful weather. It is done by in the place of sacrifice where they collect the blood of various animal sacrifices. The most common would be horses. The blood would then be splattered on the sacrificial table as well as at the participants. The meat of the animal would then be cooked in the model of the room and served with alcoholic drinks. A feast that characterized by three toast, a toast for the king, and successful ventures, the second toast would be for a bountiful and peaceful life, and the third, in honor of their deceased comrade that lay under the burial mounds.

Blood Eagle

Norsemen are great warriors. None would want them as their enemy. They were also known as great craftsmen, and it can be seen even on how they torture and kill one's enemy. A ceremonial act is done as a sacrifice to their God. According to the Viking scriptures, Odin needs human sacrifices as a way of worship. Imagine man spread and tied in all fours like a flying bird. His back carved carefully. His back ribs pulled out of his body spread like the bones of the wings while the skin pulled to cover the bones, like wings. Now the vital part is when his lungs are pulled out of his back, and as he takes his last breath, he would flap and his new wings and die. A gruesome execution is done to scare their enemies purposely.

Berserker Training

What is a berserker? A berserker is a part of the Viking army that purposely left his humanity to be useful in war. Once on the battlefield, he would charge like a wild animal without fear and emotion. Like a caged animal freed for the first time full of anger and filled with frenzy. For a man to reach this level, he must encounter death and be reborn as a symbolic death, of course. He would go in the wildlife like their animal totem. A totem is one's spirit animal. Most of the berserkers are bears or wolves. They would live like an animal, hunting for food, fighting like an animal to preserve their life. A ritual that binds a person to the savageness of his totem and leaving the law of the humans while living by the law of the jungle. After passing this initiation, a man would have proven himself as a beast, a powerful being worthy being called a berserker.  

Yule

The most intriguing ritual of the Norsemen. We can say that their number would be the number nine for every nine years while celebrating the Yule, leaders would sacrifice nine lives from nine consecutive days. That is a total of eighty-one deaths of nine of each animal species and nine humans. Yes, they do sacrifice humans. There were burial gourds discovered in Denmark where remnants of humans, animals, and pieces of jewelry were in one burial ground.

God Realms

Before we study the Gods and Goddesses of the Norsemen, let us first dive into the fields to have a deeper understanding of their beliefs. Viking believes that there are nine co-existing worlds. These are: 

Niflheim

The sphere covered with dense fog, an extremely dark and cold place where sinners live. The northern part and lowest stage of the Norse world. A place for killers, and renegades who broke their Viking vows. 

Midgard

As the word implies, mid being the middle part of the world. Where humans live. Connected to by a rainbow passage to the highest realm where the Gods live. 

Asgard

The place where God's live. The God's of Aesir headed by the all-father Odin. This is also where Valhalla can be found. Valhalla is the place in the afterlife where Viking warriors hope to reach. The belief in this place where only warriors who died in battle can enter gives them the courage to fight and would instead choose to diel fro it is an honor to their God Odin. The highest part of the Norse universe.

Vanaheimr

Home for the Gods of love, beauty, and ecstasy. Land of the Vanir Gods.

Jotunheim 

The land of the giants, an enormous creature that is a threat to humankind and Gods. 

Alfheim

The Elven realm, where light elves. Light elves were said to be good-looking and attractive.  

Svartalfheim

When there is like, there is dark. Here is the land of the dark elves. 

Muspelheim

A hot and burning place, home for the fire giants. Led by the Giant named Surtr that has a burning sword as a weapon. 

Helheim

The Norse counterpart of the underworld. With the entry guarded by a giant dog and a river that makes it impossible for anyone to leave. A place ruled by Hel. A place for a Viking that died of natural death that is the reason why Norsemen would choose to die in battle and go to Valhalla rather than be placed in Helheim for the rest of their afterlife. 

Vikings Gods and Goddesses

Viking Gods

Viking Gods are divided into two, the Aesir and the Vanir gods. The two tribes didn't use to co-exist and fight each other. Aesir gods follow the rule of combat while Vanir Gods practice magic. One day the powerful Freya came to o Asgard, the gods were enchanted by her magic that they even used her powers and services. As the days passed they soon realized that the law was being manipulated and used for selfish reasons. They tried to kill and burn the Goddess thrice. Three times the Goddess rose from the ashes, she cannot be burned. War exploded between the two clans but they were equally matched. Eventually getting tired of fighting one another, they decided to have a truce. God's and Goddesses from both tribes chewed berries and spat on a pot. The chewed berries were the brewed, and out came the wise Kvasnir to sustain a peaceful relationship between the two tribes. 

Vanir Gods

Freya

The Goddess of love and ecstasy. A user of Seidr, a powerful kind of magic ritual which can cause great and catastrophic evil. Ceremonies for healing, prosperity, and peace are done, but o the other hand, there were also rituals that curse a land with sickness and sometimes death. A Volva, usually a female in the Viking era for a man to practice Seidr is a shameful act, an act devoid of any masculinity; therefore can only be exercised by a woman. A version of a shaman would travel the human realm and grant a wish using magic in exchange for a room or other forms of payment. A woman was so powerful that she could curse or bless a person depending on the wish. 

Freyr 

The Fertility God and a sister to Freya. She symbolized fortune and good weather. 

Aegir

The powerful God of the ocean. A husband to Ran. Worshipped by the seafarers for a safe water voyage. Aegir, as a part of the Vanir clan, uses magic. He would send huge waves against the sailor's ship. Viking would usually offer slaves as a sacrifice to make peace with the sea God, but because of greed for human lives and treasures, he would take the ships and sank it with him to the bottom of the seafloor. 

Ran 

Together with Aegir, her husband. They rule the sea and being the Goddess of the storm. She would send heavy storms while her husband sends big waves to capture seamen and treasures. She can only be satisfied with human and gold sacrifices. 

Bylgia 

Daughter of Aegir and one of the waves of the sea. She wears a white robe, and a veil sometimes can be seen waving by the seamen. 

Eir 

A magical healer. The Healing Goddess. She sits by the hill surrounded by spirits to help her with her task. She was also said to give life or death to the children at births as she supervises birthing. 

Aesir Gods

Bestla 

Even the all-father must have come from someone and that someone is Bestla. Mother to the all-father of Aesir, a female frost giant that is a worshipped by parents mostly the mothers' of Norsemen with dangerous tasks or position such as the warriors and the fighters. They would call upon her blessing by offering her food and beverages. She would then give peace to their minds and heart.

Borr

Husband to Bestla and father to the all mighty Odin. 

Odin

Odin

The king of kings, all-father, the supreme ruler of Asgard. He rules the land of Aesir. Father to Thor and husband of Bestla. He and Freya almost have the same power over the Vikings being the two leaders of the tribes of the God's. He owns a spear that never misses its target. Ravens, who act as his eyes and hounds as comrades in battle.

Frigg

The God of fertility and marriage. Ceremonies for marriage are scheduled on a Friday because of her. The day Friday comes from her name Frigg. A protector of women and children. She lives like a common wife that spend her time spinning and weaving using colorful clouds and golden thread. She wears a white robe with a heron plume design.

Bragii

Worshipped by the poets for being the God of poetry. He was said to be wise and great with verses and melody. A son of Odin and a husband to Idunn.

Balder 

Pure and the God of Light. Son of Odin said to be an attractive God that shines brightly from within. Pure at heart and is considered one of the wisest among the tribe. He loves beautiful flowers and lives in house that only a pure heart can enter. He owns a ship called the Hringhorni that was sadly used for his funeral.

Dagur

The God responsible for bringing the day to humans. He drives a horse horse-pulled wagon across the sky as he starts the day.

Dellingr

Father of Dagur that brings dawn to the humankind. The family rides the sky for twenty-four hours to complete a day for mortals. 

Nott

Mother to Dagur and brings the night to the Midgard.

Forsetti 

The judge. He presides over the great hall where he settles disputes among men and Gods. He has a house with gold pillars and a roof made from silver. 

Gefion

The goddess that sees over the agricultural aspect of the Midgard, she is also known as the Goddess of virginity and plow.

Loki 

A shapeshifter and a magician. Son of frost giants. He was a coward and a selfish God who only cares for his gain. He does not have any loyalty for the Gods or the Giants. 

Giants

Bergelmir

One of the two frost giants that survived from Odin's attacked. He and his wife live in Jotunheim peacefully until his dying days. 

Viking Symbols 

Runes

Viking Runes

Also known as the alphabet of the Norse. It was most commonly seen engraved on stone and wood material. A shaman or a person who can read the future using these letters in pieces of sticks and then thrown on the ground. 

It was believed to be revealed by the all-father from the deep well of fate. It was the carved on the tree of life. Runes are divided into two — the Elder alphabet that was used prior to the Viking Age and the younger alphabets used by the Scandinavians. 

Runes were also used for protection, carved or painted on amulets, boats, stones, and weaved on their clothes. 

Also called the futharks, which came for the letters it represents. 

Helm of awe

Image: Wikipedia

A sign is commonly seen on helmets for security and Triumph. Helmets were said to be protected by a magic spell that safeguards the wearer while igniting fear from the heart of the opponent.

The symbol was depicted in different poetry where it tells about the helmet being worn to cast poison and fear to everyone making the wearer stronger and courageous. 

The symbol is characterized by eight points coming from the center with snowflake-like features. Snow is small flakes of ice. Ice is known to be hard, an element that depicts the ability of a person to strengthen one mind and heart to overcome the harsh and hard life of the future. 

Triskele

Triskele

Depicted by three horns for drinking. Also called the horns of Odin. Triskele can be seen not only in the Viking world but also in Celtic mythologies. Instead of horns, it is drawn with waves. A symbol of protection and strength for it was seen carved on Odin's armor in stone in Denmark.

Mjolnir

Thor's Hammer

Thor's hammer. Believed to be a reliable and sturdy piece that can pulverize any material. During the Viking Age, when a rumble of thunder comes with a flash of lightning, it is a sign that the mighty Thor has used the Mjolnir to fight against Frost giants. Aside from being the God of Thunder. He is also the God of war, being a son of the all-father Odin. Thor was revered by the Norsemen with high respect due to his powers, courage, and honesty. 

The story tells that the hammer was made as a dare to the elves who crafted the spear of the all-father. The tow elves made a hammer and presented it to Thor, basically saying that it is full of power despite the small size and short handle.

The hammer was not only meant to destroy but also to create and sanctify. It is commonly seen in rituals such as weddings and baptism — a symbol of power and protection that can be seen in combination with the Christian cross. 

Tree of life

Tree of Life

A huge tree that grows from the well of fate, characterized by a big ash tree in the middle of a well. Branches were extending to the sides, making a circle shape and finally connecting to the root. The branches were said to connect the nine worlds. One life united by a single life force. This symbol looks the same as the Celtic's tree of life, but instead of tree branches, it was drawn with Celtic knots that means the connection of nature's life cycle. 

It was believed that the tree of life does not exist in real life, but instead it is just a representation of the life cycle, Nature's way of life, and the connection between the past life, present, and the future. 

Fate

Web of Wyrt

The web of wyrd is depicted with three straight lines interconnected by nine shorter lines meaning no matter what you do. It would lead to your fated destiny. Viking strongly believes in fate. Vikings believe in the number nine, for it represents the nine realms of the Vikings. The three long lines denote the past, present, and the future, while the nine shorter lines show the domains. Meaning all is connected like the tree of life. The life cycle and the worlds that co-exist are part of one enormous word. A symbol that gave us an insight into the mysteries of fate and life itself.

Valknut

Valknut

Represented by three interconnected trees, a symbol that signifies the fallen Norsemen who have died in battle. Vikings would choose to die fighting to reach a place called Valhalla. A place in Asgard for warriors to gather and wait for the final battle between the giants and the Gods. To fight along-side the God's were the Norsemen's goal and their belief in that Viking paradise, fuels their fire to fight and grow as a great warrior. On the other hand, a Viking who dies of natural cause would be thrown in a dark, cold place guarded by a giant hound. A place where no one would choose to spend their afterlife. That is why even the women would fight in battles. 

The symbol represents eternity, and the nine points were said to reflect the realms of the Viking universe. 

As an emblem for warriors, this signifies courage to face the afterlife, just like the courageous Vikings.

Viking Compass

Viking Compass

Characterized by eight protruding arms from a small circle at the center. The longboats of the Norsemen were said to be the most excellent boat up until the present. The reason for their efficient raids and lootings. But, the Norsemen has another secret in their victorious escapades. That is by using the Vegvisir. The compass that leads the Norsemen and gives them directions. A symbol that only they can understand, guided by the stars, sun, and other elements, with the guidance and protection from their Gods. Sailors would have been; lost without the help fo the Viking Compass.

A spiritual symbol for enlightenment. A guide that keeps a person not to stray from the straight path to God.

Triqueta

Triquetra

The same features as the Celtic Knot. The Norse adapted the emblem that signifies the connection between birth, death, and the afterlife. Since both belief in eternity and gods. They have the same interpretation of the symbol. Later this symbol was a sign for Christians of the Holy Trinity

Viking Axe

Viking Axe

Viking was known to be great craftsmen of the weapon made from iron. One of the most common weapons a Norseman can have is an Axe. What makes their Axe special? It was made in on straight piece, unlike with other axes that would have an iron head and a wooden handle. Norsemen Axe was made with full metal making it light and efficient. It has a curved shape end designed to pull out shields. 

It signifies power and boldness. A reminder of who they are and what they want to be. A born warrior created to fight along with the Gods. A spiritual symbol that means being able to slice through all the hardships using the mind and heart as a weapon to soldier into the future.

Longships

Viking Ship

A vehicle used by the Viking to travel as they journey to the unknown. These boats were said to be so efficient that it sails faster and can navigate easily across the sea. We know that the Viking is well-trained warriors and can move as one. With those characteristics and the help of the wind, they would row the oars of the ships full of power and preciseness sailing the ships faster than any other ships at that time. 

There are two kinds of longships, namely Nalgfar and Skioblaonir. The first one was the ship of the Goddess Hel. She was the God of the underworld; therefore it is just normal for her boat to be made of the fingernails of the deceased. The story tells how the ship would rise from the depths of the underworld, led by Loki, with frost giants riding the rainbow bridge to attack Asgard. On the other hand. Asgard is also equipped with its own version of a longship called Skioblaonir. The ship was made by the same elves who crafted the spear of Odin and Thor's Hammer. What is interesting about this boat is that it is enormous that it can fit all the gods and goddesses with all their belongings and animals, and it can be folded and placed inside a pocket or a bag. For the Norsemen, this ship signifies that a vessel made of high quality would be able to carry anyone and anywhere.

Gungnir

Gungnir

The striking spear of Odin. The spear was made by the twin elves that crafted the foldable ship. What sets this spear from any spear is, of course, aside from being magical, it does not miss its mark. This is because of the dark runes inscribed at the end of the spear. According to the myth, Odin stabbed himself with his spear and hung himself on the tree of life for nine consecutive days, and nine consecutive nights just to understand the secret of the cosmos and the meaning of the runes. 

A symbol of precision, expertise, and knowledge of Odin. The God of war worshipped by all the warriors. They even use spears as a way of hanging, just like how the all-father hung himself. Throwing of spears also denotes the start of the battle, just like their God Odin. 

Viking Animal Symbols

Wolves 

The animal sign of the dreaded Fenrir, the son of Loki. A creature that was so ferocious and powerful that the elves needed to craft an unbreakable chain. With the sword placed in the creature's mouth that prevents him from biting. The myth tells the story of the beast escaping his chains as the war between Gods takes place and gets his revenge on Odin himself.

Now let's move to good wolves like the two wolves of Odin. They go with all father all his adventures, from hunting to battles, building a friendship between the Gods and the hounds. 

Who uses this animal totem? The berserker. As an initiation, a person must live the life of a wolf and be one with the jungle. This is why they are clad with a wolf's hide to internalize the animal within their soul. It is a symbol of unity and courage and magical power, as well as death and destruction. It all depends on personal beliefs and characteristics.

Bear

The only thing that comes to mind is the berserkers of the Norse. Big and bulky wearing a bear or a wolf skin. They are designed to go in front of the group to give courage and strike fear to their opponents. Once a berserker gets on a battlefield, he turns himself into an animal that has no fear and wildly fights their foes with no emotion. A sign of power and ferociousness. Some written works of poetry even describe than to have resistance to the fire element.

Horse

Viking Horse

A horse with eight legs, have you ever seen one? Well, the Sleipnir is Odin's stallion. It was said to be able to jump over anything like the high and lethal gates of the underworld and travel through the nine realms. Sleipnir is also a son of Loki from a stallion. It was said that eight-legged horses were used to carry the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. 

A symbol of luck, eternity, and speed. A totem for wanderers and athletes. For the Asians, it signifies abundance and good luck. 

Raven

Raven

A type of bird of prey that devours carcasses of the dead. As the God of war, he would always be accompanied by two birds, namely Huginn and Munnin. These birds would fly around the nine realms and report back what they see to Odin. Ravens are often depicted as birds full of mystery. Highly intelligent having a dark side.

A symbol that denotes victory proven by the triumphant victories of the Viking having a raven as their flag as they continue their conquest. The flag fell to the ground in the year 1066 as the Viking age closes.

This symbol was also used engraved on coins. 

Dragon

Viking Dragon

Also known as giant snakes. The Viking used to adorn their longboats with a dragon head. Norse dragons were more like a giant serpent rather than the more popular winged version. A creature called Nidhoggr stays under the tree of life and bites the root as he vision the up-coming war of God's. Another version is Jormungandr. He lives in the realms of the humans, wrapping his body around the human world. 

Dragons have all sorts of meanings. It can be depicted in a good and bad way. For example, the dragon loves golds and treasure, it can be taken as a sign of prosperity, but it can also be a sign of greed. Power can be used for good and also create destruction. Wisdom can be a sign of prophecy but also be used in a cunning way. 

Wild Pig

Freya's companion. For the Norse, a boar signifies prosperity and peace. A feast can only happen in celebration of victorious journeys and abundance in all aspects. What do you cook in a feast? Roast pigs! While the Norse sees boars as a sign of happiness, the Celts use boars as a sign of fertility. That is because a pig can give birth to multiple little piglets!

Cat

The animal sign of Freya. Aside from the boar, she also depicts a cat. A feline animal that evokes desire and ecstasy befitting of the Goddess. Freya has the same position and power as the all father and gets to choose the other half of the deceases Viking warriors as comrades for the much-awaited Ragnarok.

Similarities between the Celts and the Vikings

Religion

Celts and Norsemen both are both believers of the afterlife. They believe that there is a tree of life that nurtures the world. Afterlife or an eternal life reborn to be with the Gods. 

The difference is how detailed the Norse were in describing the parts of the world. The only have two worlds, which is where God's life and the mortal world. 

According to the Celts, the fairies went to live under the tree of life that made it mystical and vital. The entry to the other world would also be found under the tree of life. The Norse uses that branches as a bridge that connects all the nine worlds together and the have the well of destiny that is the source of all magic and answers to the secrets of the world.

* You can also find interesting our article about Celtic Gods.

Rituals

Both the Celtics and the Viking were accused of pagan acts. Although the Celts didn't have much proof, unlike the Vikings. It might be because the Celts were more secretive with their ceremonies or like what others believes that Celtic age never existed. The rituals of the Vikings were more detailed as of all the information about the. They follow the rituals meticulously that they can be scientifically proven that those rituals did take place and existed during the so-called Viking age. 

Numbers

As the Celts believe in threes, the Norse believes in nine's. These are numbers that build their beliefs. The three elements of Earth, water, and sun. The life cycle of Birth, death, and afterlife. 

The nines of the Norse. Nine realms. Nine days when Odin hung himself in the discovery of the secret of the runes. Nine sacrifices for nine days as they celebrate the yule. 

Symbols

Triskele

The Celtic version would depict three waves of the God of the Sea while the Norsemen have drinking horns of Odin. For the Celts, it is a sign of strength and the trinity, 

Triquetra 

The Celts version of the triquetra is three interconnected triangles, while the Norse's version was made of three trees. They have the same interpretation as for the Holy Trinity during the Christian era. And the connection between life, death, and eternal life. Although the Norse also believe in the number nine, incorporating the significance of the nine worlds. 

Tree of life

Celtic's tree of life is characterized by a huge tree that has infinity knots as branches that ultimately connects to its roots, while the Norse's version of the tree of life is a massive tree with plain branches that also connects to its root. They have the same connotation is the cycle of life and the mysteries around it.

The difference is the Norse's version is a bit deeper than the Celts. The Norsemen included the different spheres of the gods, giants, humans, elves, and the underworld. It is connecting all the world with the branches that were believed to be the gateway to the other realms. Aside from that, the Norse also believes in fate and destiny. A belief that motivates them to be great and embrace the afterlife for the sole purpose of helping the Gods win the war against the giants. 

The Norse gave more details about the realms and what to expect in the afterlife. 

Dragons

The Celts view their dragon in a positive way opposite to the Norse. Celts would have dragons as their comrades, a powerful friend that is full of knowledge and magic. A creature that can travel to the worlds of the Gods and humans guiding the mortals for a triumphant future. 

The Norse, on the other hand, views their version dragons as evil and greedy. Ready to harm the human world and fight the Gods that protect them. A serpent to kill during the war of the God and the Giants. 


Leave a comment

  • Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

$1 Days
$2 Hours
$3 Minutes
$4 Seconds