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Thread: Question About the Walknot (Volnut)

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    Question About the Walknot (Volnut)

    I am interested in getting information on the Walknot, or Valnut. Specifically I am looking to understand the ancient symbolism.

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    Valknut in Old Norse means slain warriors knot. To the best of my knowledge it symbolized Odin and it was used for protection in battle but insured a violent death. I might not be dead on but thats what it means to the best of my knowledge. Hope I could be of some help.

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    The Valknut (Old Norse valr, "slain warriors" + knut, "knot") is a symbol consisting of three interlocked triangles, and appears on various Germanic objects. A number of theories have been proposed for its significance.

    The name Valknut is an unattested modern invention used to describe the symbol, and was not used contemporaneously when the symbol was used. The Valknut has been compared to the three-horned symbol found on the 9th century Snoldelev Stone, and may be related to it

    More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hrungnir's_heart

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    Try this....

    Valknut – A Norse Viking Symbol (*Click*)

    The word valknut is a neologism: it is formed in modern times through combination of ON valr, ‘the dead’ or ‘the slain’ and knut, ‘knot’. Valknut is a Viking symbol of three interconnected triangles. The triangles may be joined in two ways: either as Borromean or unicursal.

    Note that other types of valknuts, such as closed three-link chain, never occur in the original Viking ornaments. One should keep that in mind when using the valknut in Viking tattoos or runic tattoos, since only the above two designs are genuine Viking valknuts. Consider the Borromean triangles type, which occurs on the Stora Hammar rune stone.

    Here above the valknut we see a raven, Odin’s symbol. Below the valknut is probably a burial mound. A dead warrior is put there by someone with a spear and accompanied by another raven. The spear is probably Gungnir, Odin’s weapon. The other sign of Odin’s presence is a warrior hanged on a tree to the left of the mound. All the symbols around the valknut, which is in the central position here, pont to death and to Odin as a god of slain warriors.

    However, knot of the slain is not the only possible interpretation of the valknut. It is also called Hrungnir’s heart. This name is based on a description found in the Prose Edda:

    “Hrungnir had a heart that was famous. It was made of hard stone with three sharp-pointed corners just like the carved symbol Hrungnir’s Heart (hrungnishjarta).”

    The original meaning and function of the valknut is not wholly clear. The number three is a very common magic symbol in many cultures. However, in Scandinavian context three multiplied by three might designate the nine worlds, which are united by the Yggdrasil tree. In modern times Valknut, like Triquetra and Horn Triskelion, is often interpreted as a symbol pointing to heathen convictions.
    Some have interpreted it this way if the person has a tattoo of a Valknut.

    Sunnyway.com: Runes as tattoos (*Click*)

    Those of the Àsatru religion who have dedicated their lives to Odin favor the Valnott. The Valnott or "death knot", the triple triangle shown below, is one of Odin's symbols. Odin's followers have a tendancy to die violently, so wear this symbol at your own risk! I do not recommend this symbol as a tattoo and include it here primarily as a warning.
    To my way of thinking this warning is kind of meaningless.

    I mean no offense but, c'mon.....[GASP!!!]..'...warriors that follow Odin may die a violent death???'. 'Oh no, I better choose a different symbol as a tattoo then cause I want die as an old man (without a memory due to alzhiemers while wasting away from cancer)'.

    That warriors/soldiers are going to die a violent death isn't exactly news to me and I doubt it was news to the Vikings either. They considered it an honour to die in battle. Why should we consider it any differently?

    Anyway, that's what I could dig up on it on the net.

    There are also a few books at Amazon.com that you could get that go deeper into the subject.

    Let me know if you're interested and I'll get you the titles.

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    Valknut is the name ( from ON valr, "slain warriors" + knut, "knot" ) usually given to the symbols that appear on..

    The Stora Hammar stone.



    The purpose here is not to interpret the meanings of the iconography, but this here may be an example of the blood-eagle being performed.

    It was performed by cutting the ribs of the victim by the spine, breaking the ribs so they resembled blood-stained wings, and pulling the lungs out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_eagle
    The man with the spear usually associated with Odin does have the others back, a spear is in his hand, while an eagle flies overhead. In the eagles guise Odin fled with Odhroerir. Which is said to be contained in three vessels..

    Perhaps portrayed here with The Snoldelev Stone.



    A similar design appears on The Snake-Witch stone.



    The Hammars stone III shows the eagle again as maybe Odin. And, it is usually associated with his gaining of the mead.



    On the Stenkyrka stone both appear.



    The Tängelgårda stone.



    The Tjängvide stone.



    The Gosforth cross.



    No one really knows what the Valknut was.

    Edred Thorsson describes it as..

    Valknutr (the knot of the fallen, or
    chosen)-the Nine Worlds embodied in
    the three realms in eternal unity
    expressing the evolutionary law of
    arising-being/becoming-passing-away to
    new beginning.

    Futhark, page 107
    Kveldulf Gundarsson similarly interprets it with..

    WALKNUT
    The proto-shape is three triangles set in a triangular
    pattern; the later valknut, or knot of the slain, is a sign of
    the Odhinnic cult. Wearing the valknut is a sign to
    Odhinn that one is ready to be taken into the ranks of his
    chosen warriors at any time he chooses. In this symbol
    you may see the interwoven workings of Urdhr-
    Verdhandi-Skuld, or of Odhinn in his many tripartite
    forms. Meditation upon this image is well worthwhile.

    Teutonic Magic, page 123
    Odin can “fetter a foeman” and make fetters “fly off my feet”..

    That third I know, if my need be great
    To fetter a foeman fell
    I can dull swords of deadly foes,
    That nor wiles nor weapons avail.

    That forth I know, if foemen have
    Fettered me hand and foot:
    I chant a charm the chains to break,
    So the fetters will fly off my feet,
    And off my hands the halter.

    Havamal 148-149 Hollander trans.


    Odin is of course the god of the hanged. The noose used on Lindow man is said to be..

    three knots that acted together to form a permanently tightened noose, “a central not and two ‘stopper knots’”

    http://www.agabengalcats.com/mel/bog/lindow.html
    The Osterby man, also found in a bog but dying from a blow to the head had his hair tied in the Suebian knot.



    Interesting here are Tacitus’ words.

    I must now proceed to speak of the Suevians, who are not, like the Cattans and Tencterians, comprehended in a single people; but divided into several nations all bearing distinct names, though in general they are entitled Suevians, and occupy the larger share of Germany. This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves. In other nations, whether from alliance of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from imitation, this practice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the years of youth. The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age, continue to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often tie it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and comely; but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean not to make love or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding to war, and deck their heads so as to add to their height and terror in the eyes of the enemy.

    Of all the Suevians, the Semnones recount themselves to be the most ancient and most noble. The belief of their antiquity is confirmed by religious mysteries. At a stated time of the year, all the several people descended from the same stock, assemble by their deputies in a wood; consecrated by the idolatries of their forefathers, and by superstitious awe in times of old. There by publicly sacrificing a man, they begin the horrible solemnity of their barbarous worship. To this grove another sort of reverence is also paid. No one enters it otherwise than bound with ligatures, thence professing his subordination and meanness, and the power of the Deity there. If he fall down, he is not permitted to rise or be raised, but grovels along upon the ground. And of all their superstition, this is the drift and tendency; that from this place the nation drew their original, that here God, the supreme Governor of the world, resides, and that all things else whatsoever are subject to him and bound to obey him. The potent condition of the Semnones has increased their influence and authority, as they inhabit an hundred towns; and from the largeness of their community it comes, that they hold themselves for the head of the Suevians.

    Germania, by Tacitus
    Coupled with Kveldulf Gundarsson’s

    The death of the hero Helgi Hunding’s-Bane is presented in a similar manner: “Dagr, the son of Högni (whom Helgi had killed in order to win Högni’s daughter Sigrún as his bride), made an offering to Óðinn for avenging his father. Óðinn lent Dagr his spear. Dagr found Helgi, his kinsman, at the
    place which is called Fetter-Grove. He went against Helgi with the spear. Helgi fell there.” When Dagr tells his sister Sigrún what she has done, she curses him, to which he replies,

    “Óðinn alone shaped all ill,
    because among siblings strife-runes he bore.”

    The “Fetter-Grove” of this poem has often been associated with the holy grove of the Semnones which Tacitus talks about, a place given to the “god who rules all” where human sacrifice is practiced, and which “no one enters . . . unless he has been bound with a cord”. For Helgi to be killed with Óðinn’s spear in a grove whose name hints strongly at an association with the god, and to be received in Valhalla afterwards, suggests that, indeed, his death is an offering to Óðinn.

    Wotan: The Road to Valhalla, page 93
    It has been called Hrungnir’s Heart. Here is Hrungnir’s story..

    Thor and Hrungner

    Brage told Æger that Thor had gone eastward to crush trolls. Odin rode on his horse Sleipner to Jotunheim, and came to the giant whose name is Hrungner. Then asked Hrungner what man that was who with a golden helmet rode both through the air and over the sea, and added that he had a remarkably good horse. Odin said that he would wager his head that so good a horse could not be found in Jotunheim.

    Hrungner admitted that it was indeed an excellent horse, but he had one, called Goldfax, that could take much longer paces; and in his wrath he immediately sprang upon his horse and galloped after Odin, intending to pay him for his insolence. Odin rode so fast that he was a good distance ahead, but Hrungner had worked himself into such a giant rage that, before he was aware of it, he had come within the gates of Asgard. When he came to the hall door, the asas invited him to drink with them. He entered the hall and requested a drink. They then took the bowls that Thor was accustomed to drink from, and Hrungner emptied them all. When he became drunk, he gave the freest vent to his loud boastings.

    He said he was going to take Valhal and move it to Jotunheim, demolish Asgard and kill all the gods except Freyja and Sif, whom he was going to take home with him. When Freyja went forward to refill the bowls for him, he boasted that he was going to drink up all the ale of the asas. But when the asas grew weary of his arrogance, they named Thor's name. At once Thor was in the hall, swung his hammer in the air, and, being exceedingly wroth, asked who was to blame that dog-wise giants were permitted to drink there, who had given Hrungner permission to be in Valhall, and why Freyja should pour ale for him as she did in the feasts of the asas. Then answered Hrungner, looking with anything but friendly eyes at Thor, and said that Odin had invited him to drink, and that he was there under his protection. Thor replied that he should come to rue that invitation before he came out.

    Hrungner again answered that it would be but little credit to Asa-Thor to kill him, unarmed as he was. It would be a greater proof of his valor if he dared fight a duel with him at the boundaries of his territory, at Grjottungard. It was very foolish of me, he said, that I left my shield and my flint-stone at home; had I my weapons here, you and I would try a holmgang (duel on a rocky island); but as this is not the case, I declare you a coward if you kill me unarmed. Thor was by no means the man to refuse to fight a duel when he was challenged, an honor which never had been shown him before.

    Then Hrungner went his way, and hastened with all his might back to Jotunheim. His journey became famous among the giants, and the proposed meeting with Thor was much talked of. They regarded it very important who should gain the victory, and they feared the worst from Thor if Hrungner should be defeated, for he was the strongest among them. Thereupon the giants made at Grjottungard a man of clay, who was nine rasts tall and three rasts broad under the arms, but being unable to find a heart large enough to be suitable for him, they took the heart from a mare, but even this fluttered and trembled when Thor came.

    Hrungner had, as is well known, a heart of stone, sharp and three-sided; just as the rune has since been risted that is called Hrungner's heart. Even his head was of stone. His shield was of stone, and was broad and thick, and he was holding this shield before him as he stood at Grjottungard waiting for Thor. His weapon was a flint-stone, which he swung over his shoulders, and altogether he presented a most formidable aspect. On one side of him stood the giant of clay, who was named Mokkerkalfe. He was so exceedingly terrified, that it is said that he wet himself when he saw Thor. Thor proceeded to the duel, and Thjalfe was with him.

    Thjalfe ran forward to where Hrungner was standing, and said to him: You stand illy guarded giant; you hold the shield before you, but Thor has seen you; he goes down into the earth and will attack you from below. Then Hrungner thrust the shield under his feet and stood on it, but the flint-stone he seized with both his hands. The next that he saw were flashes of lightning, and he heard loud crashings; and then he saw Thor in his asa-might advancing with impetuous speed, swinging his hammer and hurling it from afar at Hrungner. Hrungner seized the flint-stone with both his hands and threw it against the hammer.

    They met in the air, and the flint-stone broke. One part fell to the earth, and from it have come the flint-mountains; the other part hit Thor's head with such force that he fell forward to the ground. But the hammer Mjolner hit Hrungner right in the head, and crushed his skull in small pieces. He himself fell forward over Thor, so that his foot lay upon Thor's neck. Meanwhile Thjalfe attacked Mokkerkalfe, who fell with but little honor. Then Thjalfe went to Thor and was to take Hrungner's foot off from him, but he had not the strength to do it. When the asas learned that Thor had fallen, they all came to take the giant's foot off, but none of them was able to move it.

    Then came Magne, the son of Thor and Jarnsaxa. He was only three nights of age. He threw Hrungner's foot off Thor, and said: It was a great mishap, father, that I came so late. I think I could have slain this giant with my fist, had I met him. Then Thor arose, greeted his son lovingly, saying that he would become great and powerful; and, added he, I will give you the horse Goldfax, that belonged to Hrungner. Odin said that Thor did wrong in giving so fine a horse to the son of a giantess, instead of to his father. Thor went home to Thrudvang, but the flint-stone still stuck fast in his head. Then came the vala whose name is Groa, the wife of Orvandel the Bold. She sang her magic songs over Thor until the flint-stone became loose. But when Thor perceived this, and was just expecting that the flint-stone would disappear, he desired to reward Groa for her healing, and make her heart glad.

    So he related to her how he had waded from the north over the Elivogs rivers, and had borne in a basket on his back Orvandel from Jotunheim; and in evidence of this he told her how that one toe of his had protruded from the basket and had frozen, wherefore Thor had broken it off and cast it up into the sky, and made of it the star which is called Orvandel's toe. Finally he added that it would not be long before Orvandel would come home. But Groa became so glad that she forgot her magic songs, and so the flint-stone became no looser than it was, and it sticks fast in Thor's head yet. For this reason it is forbidden to throw a flint-stone across the floor, for then the stone in Thor's head is moved.

    Skáldskaparmál
    Who knows what this story is all about. Interesting it is that Odin wagers his head to Hrungnir that Sleipner is the best of horses especially in light of all the horses in the iconography previously mentioned. Also, that Mokkerkalfe was “nine rasts tall and three rasts broad under the arms” but the one thing he didn’t have was Hrungnir’s heart described as “a heart of stone, sharp and three-sided; just as the rune has since been risted that is called Hrungner's heart.” Magne even survives Ragnarok and inherits Mjolnir if one wants to look further.

    Later,
    -Lyfing

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    Interestingly on the Tjängvide stone..



    The Lady presenting a horn to the rider ( Odin..?? )..



    Has her hair tied in a knot like those under the eight-legged horse ( Sleipnir..?? ).

    Whether or not this has to do with the Suebian knot I do wonder..??

    Later,
    -Lyfing

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    Below you find a note i made on this symbol while composing one of my tattoos. The tattoo with valknut you can find as attachment to this post.

    Borromean Triangles or Valknut is a Nordic symbol, consisting of three interlocked triangles, in this case comparable to the Triquetra or Trefoil Knot, as opposed to Borromean Rings, of the Insular Celts, and to the Greek Triskelion. This symbol is linked to warriors, particularly warriors slain in battle, whom in Nordic mythology reside in Valhalla with Odin.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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