I think I safely can say, that most of us believe that a helmet with large horns on the side, is synonymous with a viking. Am I right?
Every single cartoonist and other creative persons seem to believe so. Are you watching the History Channels Vikings? If so, then you will most likely have noticed that non of them are wearing these 'stereo typical' horned helmets.
So let me begin by telling you, that the vikings did not wear these horned helmets, but the viking shaman, which could be both a female (Vølve in Danish) and a male, would wear a helmet with horns during the most sacred ceremonies.
Today it is hard to know exactly what these ceremonies were about, but what we do know, is that the 'horned helmet' originates from the worship of the 'horned Goddess.'Try and look at the photo here below.
Picture: Venus of Laussel. 25.000-23.000 years old. © Bordeaux Museum, France.
As it was in ancient times, our Gods and Goddesses were most of the time balanced. When we had one Goddess for fertility, we would also have a God for fertility.
When we had a God for power, we would also have a Goddess for power - always adding up the balance between spirit and matter. Therefore, we would also have both a goddess and a god with horns.
Looking around ancient Europe, everywhere from the British Isles to Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean Islands, the Middle East, Ancient Egypt and India, horns have held a very powerful symbolism.
Before the Holy Grail became Christian, it was depicted as a horn of abundance (among other similar objects.) Theories also suggest that the symbol of the crescent moon is connected to the horn, as the shape is similar.
Again, to really understand the importance of the horn, we have to relate it back to the cultures of ancient times. Horns grow on cattle and cattle provided the ever so important nourishment, such as milk, meat, cheese and skin for clothes and blankets.
The horns were used for cups and containers of food. In Forbord and Clementz's excellent book 'Gudinnen's fortellinger' (2008) (Stories of the Goddess - in Norweigan only) they mention, that:
"...horns could be found around the fields and would drip of honey as the bees had
settled in the horns." (My translation.)
This every day detail became the birth of The Horn of Abundance. The Horn was therefore strongly symbolic of The Giver / Creator of Life in nature which we through time has been simplified to fertility (as in bearing children).
However, the original meaning embraced all the wealth provided by nature, the seasons, animals, and producing healthy children. It was life itself.
Understanding the importance and vast symbolism of the horns makes it easy for us to understand why it also became both a powerful, but also a very spiritual symbol linked to ceremonies.
Sadly, as we came to our modern time history, what once symbolised the sacred abundance of LIFE, became a symbol of something that was evil and destructive like the devil.
Let's change the story! I welcome you.
Let's go back into our past and reconnect with all the beauty, wisdom and empowerment of our cultural inheritance. Going back like this, we can once again connect with a language that enables us talk about life in a loving and nourishing way.
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