Odin pendant

I love ancient Celtic and Nordic symbols – particularly jewellery featuring the intricate knot-work of both Celtic and Nordic culture. Unfortunately though, mass-marketing to tourists and the rise of nationalism has diluted the symbolism. If you go to Dublin or Stockholm, you can see these ancient characters and signs reproduced willy-nilly on everything from toilet paper to socks. In addition, several of the ancient Viking symbols – for example Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer) – have been appropriated by white supremacists as symbols of racial purity.  I love depictions of Mjölnir like this one, but would not wear one in Sweden.

I do have am Irish claddagh ring though, given to me by my Irish husband when I was working in Ireland. I also have this Nordic pendant, found at a flea market for $10 but sold for $162. This is one I have not seen anywhere and so I am hoping it never gives the wrong signals to far-right extremists who have co-opted Norse symbolism .

Viking Age (800-1050 AD).
The small figure holding a spear and sword and carrying a horned helmet can be associated with Odin. Horned helmets were used in earlier times at ceremonies and cultic procession, but the Vikings never wore horned helmets. Odin was the wisest of the Norse gods. One of the main Germanic gods and in Norse mythology the supreme among the Aesir. As lord of Valhalla Odin is the god of war and battle, but also god of death, wisdom, sorcery and poetry. He created the world, placed the stars in it their orbits and illuminated the earth with the sun. The city of Odense and Wednesday is derived from the name Odin.
The jewelery is made in bronze, sterling silver, 8 kt gold and 14 kt gold. Other metals can be made to order,

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

3 thoughts

  1. I absolutely love Celtic and Nordic jewelry! I have two or three tiny Mjölnir pendants and a few traditional Celtic pendants too and I’m always a bit wary to wear them because of the extra connotations. I have to say I have never seen the design of your necklace and I find it beautiful. Living in Germany, I also have to be careful about what I’m wearing, just in case it could be misunderstood. One of our friends is an absolute Nordic and Celtic culture fan and he often wears a gigantic Mjölnir around his neck and I had asked him about it and he was very passionate about it but it had nothing to do with purity, just strong appreciation of his own culture.

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I think most people probably have no intention behind wearing certain jewellery apart from cultural appreciation. It’s just sad that Viking symbols have been appropriated by a minority as a symbol of racial purity. One person also recently made the assumption that I was strongly religious when I wore a cross pendant that belonged to my grandmother. Sweden at the moment is having significant unrest, with Christians burning the Qur’an in public, and strong anti-immigrant sentiment. So I am probably more aware of it than normal.

      I really like this pendant. The length is perfect and it is nice and solid.

      1. I hear you… I have heard about everything that’s been going on in Sweden and I really hope you are doing well, especially since you travel so much for work. In Germany, people tend to be ok with most things, but it’s true that wearing black clothes together with a Mjölnir pendant raises eyebrows… I really love antique jewelry and symbols. I am fascinated by Paganism and there is so much (beautiful) symbology that I would love to wear but so much can be misunderstood. I also have a Basque symbol called “ikuruna” (with a tilde on the “n”) and if you don’t look too carefully, it could be misconstrued as a swastika… So I can NEVER wear it in Germany…

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