Courage for the Heart and Strength for the Mind
The main feature of Odin’s knot comes in the form of three interlocked
triangles, showing a total of nine points. Flanking each side of these
triangles are the two ravens associated with Odin: Huginn or “thought”
and Muninn or “memory.”
The Story of Odin’s Knot
As mentioned above, Odin is the king of gods in Norse mythology. In the
Nordic pantheon, Odin holds dominion over the war and death, but he is also
associated with magic, wisdom, prophecies and poetic works. He is always
depicted grasping his spear and in the company of his two ravens.
One of the stories associated with Odin’s knot has something to do with
the giant Hrungnir. In this story, Odin made a wager that his steed Sleipnir
would be faster than Gullfaxi, the horse of Hrungnir. Sleipnir raced against
Gullfaxi and won.
Hrungnir went to Valhalla after the race, and there he became known as a giant
who could not hold his drink. Not only that, Hrungnir was also abusive
when he was drunk. The gods tolerated his behavior as best as they can.
When they reached their limit, the gods in Valhalla asked Thor the god of thunder
to do something about Hrungnir. Thor challenged and then defeated Hrungnir
in battle. It was noted in the story that Hrungnir’s heart had a
strange shape, like three triangles locked together.
The Significance of Odin’s Knot
Ancient Nordic symbol
of power courage and devotion
Odin’s knot represents many formulas interesting to mathematicians.
It is the geometric equivalent of the Borromean rings, which are three interlocked
circles wherein the removal of one circle causes the two others to unlink.
It is believed that the nine points created by the three triangles in Odin’s
knot represent the nine worlds and the nine fates in Norse mythology.
These nine worlds are divided among three realms, namely:
Odin’s knot is also tied closely to
beliefs surrounding the concept of creation. The three triangles are
also thought to represent the unending cycle of rebirth, pregnancy and reincarnation.
- The upper realm. Composed of Asgard, the home
of Odin; Vanaheim, the home of Vanir; and Alfheim, the home of the elves.
- Below the upper realm. Composed of Midgard,
the world of the humans; Jotunheim, the world of the giants; and Svartalfheim,
the underground belonging to the dark elves. This realm is connected
to the upper realm by a rainbow bridge called Bifrost.
- The realm of the dead. Composed of Niflheim, a dark
and frozen wasteland; Muspelheim, the world of the fire giants; and Hel,
the world of the dead.
Wearing Odin’s Knot
The Odin’s knot motif often comes in pendants, to be worn hanging
from a chain around the neck. It is meant to imbue its wearer with self-confidence
and courage, as well as inspire him or her to do great works.
The god Odin is said to have the power over the minds of humans. He
can leash or unleash the human mind according to his will. By wearing
Odin’s knot, one can release the mind from fear and stress, making him
or her brave of heart and strong of mind.