Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Horns-of-Odin : origins of the design

Horns of Odin wall plaques
Horns of Odin - a design by bod in our ever-popular 'Dark and Light Collection' of hand made plaques.(Now also available in a metal version)

This stylised symbol of three interlocking horns is most associated with the Norse God Odin. Three is an important number in Norse mythology and drinking horns figure heavily in  many stories of Odin, particularly his quest for the magical mead of poetry sometimes called Odhroerir (although this can also refer to one of the Horns) created from the blood of Kvasir, another Norse God who had been murdered by dwarves. Odin hoped to gain Kvasir's wisdom by drinking this magic mead.

Horns of Odin wood plaque

Many modern day pagans also wear the symbol to represent the Asatru belief system.

The motif is also often known as the Horn Triskelion. A triskele (from the Greek 'three-legged) is a symbol of threefold symmetry.)

The three interlocking horns are shown in several runestones, including the Snoldelev runestone (DR 248) and the Gotland runestone (G268) from Sweden.

Marieke Kuijjer via Wikimedia Commons

I'd love to say that all of the above were the reasons that I wanted to create a piece using this lovely motif but, no, they were just a bonus!

I work aesthetically, and am far more interested in how I respond emotionally to something and how it 'speaks' to me. I love the image, its symmetry and sense of movement. I find it powerful and quite muscular in form and really wanted to represent it in my work.

I plan to create one of my sculpted metal pieces using the same motif.

Pyrography Celtic & Viking Wall Plaques

The design has been hand burnt onto birch wood, which has been mounted in a handmade oak plaque - one of several different designs in our Dark & Light Collection

Every stage of the process has been done individually by me, by hand.
Update: Now also available as a hand-sculpted metal version, 

Horns of Odin hand sculpted metal & oak plaque
From our 'Symbols & Motifs' Collection

I hope you like Horns-of-Odin.

Thanks for reading!


Justbod Team


Artwork, carvings and sculptures by bod
~ inspired by history and nature ~


 You might also be interested in: 

  bod's Runestone, Grettir's Saga and a Matter of Trust


  Scandinavian ironwork on an ancient Yorkshire door?


Runestone - bronze & oak wall plaque from Justbod
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Sources and further information: 

Symbol Dictionary
Horn Triskelion: Three Horns Viking Symbol
Runestones Gotland
Pagan and Wiccan Symbols

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