Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

Have you ever come across one where three triangles intertwine? It is true that it is a fairly common design although what not many people know is its true meaning and/or symbolism. It is a symbol with a deep meaning.

Your name? Valknut, although it is also known as the “knot of death“. This article is dedicated to Valknut tattoos and their meanings.

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

Meaning of valknut

Let’s start with a little bit of its history though. What does the name valknut mean or where does it come from? Well, the origin of his real name is unknown due to its antiquity but the current name comes from the combination of the words “Valk” which roughly means “Soldier who fails in action” and «Knut» which means “incorrect“. Thus, the combination of these words creates “knot of death”, which, let us repeat, is an approximate meaning.

Valknut It is also related to the « Father of all » which is how Odin is known in Norse mythology and culture. It is represented by three intertwined horns, the “knot of death” associated with death and the end and beginning of everything. Other theories suggest that the chestnut represents the intertwining of the nine kingdoms that make up Norse mythology in the following way:

  • The first triangle unites the kingdoms of Asgard, Vanaheim, and Jötunheim.
  • The second triangle unites the kingdoms of Alfheim, Svartálfaheim, and Midgar.
  • The third triangle unites the kingdoms of Mulpelheim, Niflheim, and Helheim.

In turn, as seen in the symbol, these kingdoms are intertwined with each other, showing that the union exists between them forming one ODO together and that travel between them is possible through the bifröst .

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

In Viking culture, it is said that the valknut was tattooed or engraved on their clothes and weapons by men and women willing to die in the name of Odin ; as you can see, it is a symbol closely associated with this god.

Other scholars and practitioners of Norse mythology associate the valknut with the giant god Hrungir since the latter had a three-pointed heart and was defeated in battle by Thor when he struck him with his Hammer Mjölner . Overall, we can conclude that the meaning of the symbol is still something that is, for now, open to debate but what we do agree on is that it is related to Odin and a large part of his stories.

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

Valknut Tattoos They are perfect for those who are looking for a tattoo surrounded by legends and myths. Its geometric shape has become very popular today and although some people mistake it for certain extremist ideologies, the truth is that the history of the valknut is millennia old.

Nowadays, Norse symbols are not only used as part of Viking culture and history but also used in Western society of the 21st century it is very popular. From musical groups (heavy metal, metal …) to political parties of different ideologies and even the world of cinema and comics, Viking symbolism and mythology have been growing strongly in recent years to become an everyday item in our day.

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

The valknut is a Viking symbol consisting of three interconnected triangles. This tattoo has deep roots in Norse mythology. In fact, it is so ancient that even researchers and experts in Viking culture disagree about the original meaning and function of the valknut. Since there are three triangles, the coefficient must be taken into account.

The valknut tattoo is used to symbolize new worlds and horizons , although it can also be used to represent the future, personal growth, and the search for adventure.

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

Today this symbol is also used to demonstrate pagan beliefs . And although it is most common to find only the three triangles that make up the valknut, there are also those who choose to accompany it with other symbols associated with that culture, such as the raven , an animal also associated with Odin.

In general, the design of the valknut allows for many variations without losing its meaning. From coloring it , to painting it with the effect of carving it on stone or in a very minimalist way (only the lines express the idea of ​​the design), its meaning or essence is not changed, allowing each person to engrave it on their skin, to give it their own personal and unique touch.

Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture
Understanding the Valknut Symbol in Nordic Culture

In conclusion, Norse mythology has a lot of runes and symbols that convey its history and legends to us and they have very deep and powerful meanings, from tatuantes we encourage you to explore this rich culture and its characteristics that we have heard so much about.

In the gallery that accompanies this article, you can find a diverse collection of pistachio tattoos to get ideas from.

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