The Helm of Awe is a symbol that originated in ancient Norse mythology. The Norse word for it is Aegishjalmur, which is derived from Aegir, meaning “sea.”Aegir also refers to the God of the ocean of Jotunheim. Jotunheim is one of the nine realms found in Norse mythology, and it is believed to be the land of the frost giants.
This Norse symbol is one that provides strength and protection—not only from physical threats such as war or diseases but also against threats to your mental health, such as depression and fear. The symbol was worn by the dragon Fafnir, to provide him with invincibility during battle. Similarly, warriors would bear the mark between their eyebrows as they believed it would do the same for them.
The Aegishjalmur is mentioned in the Poetic Edda regarding Fafnir:
“The Helm of Awe
I wore before the sons of men
In defense of my treasure;
Amongst all, I alone was strong,
I thought to myself,
For I found no power a match for my own.”
The symbol known as the Helm of Awe consists of a circle at the center, with eight trident-shaped arms protruding from it. Each of the eight arms has three parallel lines perpendicular to it. The arms are comprised of Z-runes called Algiz.
This Viking symbol stands for protection and victory in battle, so it is only right that it forms part of the Aegishjalmur. Furthermore, the three parallel lines on each arm may be Isa runes, though this is just speculation. Isa means “ice,” which could lead to the connection of the land of the frost giants. It could also symbolize hardening, coldness, and darkness.
The belief goes that the circle in the center represents the protection to those wearing the symbol, but others believe that it represents one’s soul. All in all, the vision of the symbol itself is so compelling that it inspires awe and fear without even considering the meaning.
The Helm of Awe is associated with a variety of different beliefs, such as Triquetra and the Valknut. Another religion it is associated with is Asatru. This religion is a modern variation of the ancient Norse beliefs. Being a part of this religion means living by the Nine Virtues of Asatru, namely Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Hospitality, Discipline, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance.
The symbol of the Aegishjalmur bears a resemblance to a couple of other symbols from different origins. One of these symbols is the dharma wheel found in Buddhism, which is said to be the path to enlightenment. While this may well be a coincidence, it is a fascinating connection, because there is evidence that proves that Norse people once migrated out of the Indian subcontinent.
While there are many theories and beliefs surrounding the Helm of Awe, it is clear that it is a Viking symbol of power that people believe will provide them with protection and strength in whatever ballet they may be facing.