Admirers of symbolic and mythological jewelry will find the Thors hammer pendant fascinating. The simple hammer shaped pendant's rich lore has ties to Norse mythology and Scandinavian history. The hammer symbol, which has been around since the Bronze Age, has intrigued people for centuries.
About Thor and Thors Hammer
Thors hammer is one of the most enduring symbols from Norse mythology and neopaganism.
Thor is the Norse god of thunder in Norse mythology. According to lore, Thor is the son of the chief Norse god, Odin, and the goddess Jӧrd, who is associated with the earth. As the god of thunder, Thor is also associated with war, destruction, protection, honor, rebirth and fertility. Legends depict him as a large man with red hair and a beard who often travels in a chariot pulled by the goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjόstr. He has a wife called Sif, who bore him a daughter, Thrud. His mistress, Járnsaxa, gave him two sons - Modi and Magni.
Thor owns a magical short-handled hammer known as Mjӧllnir, which could throw lightning bolts, create thunder and had the power to destroy mountains with one pounding. It is sometimes also referred to as a club or axe. The name Mjӧllnir means crusher.
In Norse folklore, the hammer is a symbol of the power of the earth as well as death and rebirth. Stories describe Thor both creating and destroying things with his hammer. For example, he slays the goats that draw his chariot with the hammer if he requires food and then blesses them with the hammer to bring them back to life.
During the Christianization of the pagan Scandinavian countries in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries, pagans wore Thors hammer necklaces and amulets to honor their original faith and reject Christianity. Archaeologists have found variations of the hammer pendant throughout Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Even today Thors hammer remains a symbol of Norse paganism and neopaganism.
Thor's strong association with the earth made him a popular deity with the everyman. His father, Odin, is the patron of warriors and poets. Thor is the patron of farmers, craftsman and laborers. Although, Viking warriors identified with Thor and often wore hammer pendants to honor his prowess on the battlefield. Over the centuries, the hammer also became a symbol of strength and endurance of the everyman. This may be why Thor is still one of the most popular Norse gods written about in literature and popular culture.
Types of Thors Hammer Pendants
Archaeologists have found symbols of Thors hammer from as early as the Bronze Age. These early versions of Thors hammer were sometimes linked with a swastika in both Scandinavian art and jewelry. Yet, the medieval Viking era boasted the largest number of pendants depicting Thors hammer.
Medieval Hammer Pendants
During the Middle Ages, Viking warriors commonly wore Thors hammer pendants and were openly devoted to Thor as their main deity. Some archaeologists believe the pendants were in response to the Christian Europeans wearing crosses as an act of defiance against religious conversion efforts. In fact, a number of tenth century soapstone molds could be used interchangeably to cast either hammer pendants or crosses.
Medieval hammer pendants varied in design by location. Swedish and Norwegian hammer pendants were shaped like an arrow or T. In Iceland, the pendants were shaped like a cross.
Modern Hammer Pendants
Modern versions of hammer pendants are popular as a historic symbol of Scandinavian culture or Norse mythology, a religious neopagan symbol or as a piece of fashion jewelry. The following designs are common for hammer pendants:
- Historic replicas of museum pieces
- Silver pendants decorated with Nordic etchings
- Pewter pendants with an inscription to Thor on it
- Original one-of-a-kind art pieces
- Plain metal hammer pendants
- Resin hammer pendants with artistic designs on the front
Many styles of the hammer pendant are available for both men and women.
Online Sources for Thors Hammer Jewelry
The Internet is a great resource for Thors hammer jewelry. Internet retailers that sell symbolic, metaphysical or neopagan jewelry. The following online retailers sell Thors hammer jewelry:
- Moonstone Jewelry: Moonstone Jewelry features a selection of Thors hammer jewelry in the biker jewelry section.
- Jell Dragon: The Jell Dragon site sells handmade replica Thors hammer jewelry. Item are made in Sweden and the UK.
- Viking Shield: Viking Shield has a selection of replica Thors hammer pendants that have an authentic and rustic look.
Thors hammer jewelry will appeal to collectors of historic and symbolic pendants as well as people searching for expressions of their religious faith.