Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Icelandic Wolf Hammer

This Thor`s Hammer dates back to 10th century Foss in south-western Iceland. Its origins are mysterious and there are unresolved issues about its symbolism. Some claim that it is a hammer, some a cross, some that it has the image of a dragon at its head, some say that it is a wolf.

Is it a hammer of Thor, a christian cross or a syncretism of the two at a time of a `dual faith` Iceland?
My opinion is that it is most definitely a hammer as can be discerned from the round shape of its arms. If it were a cross then one would have to conclude that it is inverted and thus non-christian or even anti-christian! The presence of a cross shape in the centre of where the arms meet is not of a typical cruciform shape but resembles that of the pre-xtian Aryan sunwheel form. As readers of my blogs will be aware I have covered this issue of the Aryan pre-xtian symbol of the cross in other articles. Also the symbol of the cross in the form of the Gebo or Gyfu rune also appears on the Danish Bornholm hammer.

As for the notion that this was a `secret hammer` worn by post-conversion heathens who clung to their faith secretly I believe that this is nonsense. Germanic heathenism was tolerated in Iceland for a while after the peaceful conversion and there would have been no need for any such closet demonstrations of our faith. Furthermore the hammer predates the conversion and this fact itself invalidates their argument.

The very fact that an animal head-either that of a wolf or a dragon appears at the top is an indication of its heathen symbolism. Is the head a dragon or a wolf? If a dragon then this would more appropriately agree with the mythical connotations of Mjolnir being the instrument by which Thor slays the Midgardwyrm.

We know of course that both the wolf and the dragon feature prominently in Germanic mythology and that the werwolf legend has its basis in the Icelandic Volsunga myth of Sigurd, the shape-changing man-wolf and destroyer of the dragon.

This form of the hammer is worn by the current Allsherjargothi of the Icelandic Asatru Association Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson and may make a suitable alternative to the more commercial forms of the hammer that are available and worn by non-believing re-enactment enthusiasts!
This hammer tends to invoke a more fearful response in the faces of xtians that I have encountered on the few occasions that I have worn one! It thus is both a potent heathen symbol and a powerful weapon against our enemies.

Alternative modern interpretations of this hammer sometimes feature a Tyr or Tiwaz rune instead of a cross in the centre.


CDean Andersson said...

Good article. I have worn this form of Mjolnir since 1974. I found a replica in sterling silver in a shop in San Diego, California. The jeweler had added a hanging loop to the bottom so it would hang like a cross. I said I would buy it if they removed that extra loop. They did and I did. At the time it was not easy in the USA to find a Hammer to buy. Your article agrees with my opinion about this form, so thank you. Before I left San Diego I took the Hammer into the Pacific Ocean with me as a sort of personal ritual statement. My father was born in Sweden and had crossed the Atlantic to immigrate to Vinland. I felt like dipping my new Hammer in the Pacific in his honor made a kind of poetic, sentimental sense.

Wotans Krieger said...

Yes Hammers would have been difficult to come by in the 70s. I did not see my first one until the mid 90s and now they are almost everywhere, having become just another commercial commodity.The Internet has contributed to the easy purchase of what would have been hard to find items.