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Thor’s Hammer as an Instrument of Blessing, Consecration, and Protection
It also occupied a central role in rituals of consecration and hallowing.
Of all of the symbols in Norse mythology, Thor’s Hammer (Old Norse Mjöllnir, pronounced roughly “MIOL-neer”) is one of the most historically important, and is probably the best known today.
The hammer was his primary weapon. Thor (whose name goes back to a Proto-Germanic root that means “Thunder”) was the animating spirit of the storm, and thunder was experienced as being the sound of his hammer crashing down on his foes.
Norse name for his hammer, Mjöllnir, probably meant “Lightning.”
Most scholars trace the name back to an Indo-European root that is attested in the Old Slavic word mlunuji, Russian molnija, and Welsh mellt, all of which mean “lightning.”
Historian Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson provides an excellent summary of the uses of the hammer:
It would seem indeed as though the power of the thunder god, symbolized by his hammer, extended over all that had to do with the well-being of the community. It covered birth, marriage, and death, burial, and cremation ceremonies, weapons and feasting, travelling, land-taking, and the making of oaths between men. The famous weapon of Thor was not only the symbol of the destructive power of the storm, and of fire from heaven, but also a protection against the forces of evil and violence.
When something or someone was consecrated with Thor’s hammer, it (or he or she) was taken from the realm of chaos and absorbed into the cosmos. It was protected from the ill effects of chaos and its denizens, and sanctified and sanctioned by the social order and its divine models. The profane was banished and the sacred was established.
Measurements: 60 mm x 24 mm
Weight: 22 g