Helm of Awe

Helmet of Ægill, which I carry between my brows

The Helm of Awe is a Norse symbol, thought to be derived from the Runic writing system of the ancient Germanic peoples. The symbol was believed to provide protection in battle and to invoke fear in the bearer’s enemies.

The traditional name of the symbol is Ægill, which literally translates as “Helm of Awe”.

Victory was ensured when a warrior confronted his enemy bearing this symbol. The method of bearing the symbol varied, the symbol could be;

  • Tattooed on the body,
  • Cast in metal and worn on the forehead, or
  • Engraved into the warrior’s helmet.

During ancient times the symbol was required to be activated through the knowledge of the magical scholars. This involved the incantation of the names of the ancient gods during the application of the symbol, sometimes alongside the burning of a herb.

Engravings of the symbol could also be found hanging over doorways, as the symbol was also believed to protect against the abuse of power from village Chieftains.

Even though Iceland had officially accepted Christianity as it’s national religion by the year 1000, it wasn’t until the 16th century that the external cultural influences from Europe began eroding away people’s beliefs in the old ways.

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