More and more people are wearing Thor’s Hammers, usually people expressing a faith in the ancient pre-Christian religion of our ancestors. But what does this symbol mean and is it something that a Christian should wear?
Firstly, it is important to dispel one myth which one sometimes comes across. That is that the Thor’s Hammer is an upside down cross and so a symbol of evil or devil worship. This is absolutely not true. It is a hammer and is hammer shaped – end of story!
In Germanic mythology, Thor’s Hammer is called ‘Mjollnir’, meaning ‘crusher’. This name may be etymologically linked to words for ‘lightening’ which would certainly fit with Thor as a god of thunder and lightening. We are told in the Prose Edda that “Thor would be able to strike as firmly as he wanted, whatever his aim, and the hammer would never fail, and if he threw it at something, it would never miss and never fly so far from his hand that it would not find its way back, and when he wanted, it would be so small that it could be carried inside his tunic”.
The symbolism of Thor with his mighty hammer is part of an older myth that includes the ancient Aryan god Perkwunos, known as the Striker, and has similarities with the Celtic hammer god Sucellus and the Greek god Hercules. This mythology speaks of an understanding of Christ, the Logos, that pre-dates His incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth. It is a link between our modern folk Christianity and the ancient religion of our people that became what we now know as historical Odinism or Heathenry.
This short piece is more interested in the spiritual meaning that lies behind the symbolism rather than the detail of the mythologies themselves. Germanic mythology tells of an unending cosmic battle between the folk gods who represent the forces of order and creation and the giants, or eotens, who represent the forces of chaos and destruction. It is actually the dynamic between these that brings about creative activity – often through highly destructive processes as we can see through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. But in each cycle it is the forces of creation that win and advance the process along that bit further to a higher level of evolutionary progress. In this myth, Thor is the great defender against chaos (the giants) and not only keeps the forces of anti-creation at bay, but is continually pushing forward the creation itself.
This, we can see from a Christian perspective, is very similar to the role of Christ as the Pantocrator. Literally meaning the All-Ruler, this term also signifies Christ’s role as the Sustainer. As such, it represents the ‘Cosmic Christ’ holding together the entire cosmos, holding the forces of chaos at bay and bringing forth order and creation. Our ancient mythology therefore told our ancestors something important about the nature of God, of Christ and of His constant battle with the forces of chaos to sustain and advance His creation. And, it is a very important symbolism for Germanic or Saxon Christianity. It symbolises an active Christ – a Christ who actively fights against evil, struggles against chaos. A Christ who brings about and sustains creation through these actions. This is Christ symbolised through the mighty Thor. It is the Christ who strides up to meet His doom on the cross unafraid. It is not the meek and mild, passive Christ of Judeao-Christianity.
But it also has another important symbolism. This is the constant cycle of birth, death and rebirth that the process of creation involves. The turning action of the Hammer as it flies through the air reflects the swirling of the universe itself. It has a similar symbology to the true meaning of the Fylfot or Swastika – that of the turning of the ages through an evolutionary process of repeated birth, death and re-birth. But not just a repetition of what went before. It is an evolutionary, upwards spiral rather than a circle that just keeps going round and round and getting no where.
From an Aryan or Germanic folk Christian perspective, we can understand the symbology to signify rebirth in Christ Himself. Not just rebirth, but spiritual and physical evolution of the individual and the folk as a whole. The resurrected Christ was Glorified, He looked physically different and He could do things He could not before such as walk through doors and appear and disappear at will. In the Glorified Christ, we see the fullness of human evolution, the ‘Superman’ a state of perfection we are invited into through Him.
This symbolism therefore embodies the Aryan notion of evolutionary progress towards something better. A return to the mythical Golden Age of peace and plenty to which we all aspire. This is an important part of how our Aryan ancestor’s understood things and is embodied in many Aryan myths and legends of lost civilisations and ancient knowledge and wisdom. So, the Thor’s hammer signifies progress towards something better than we now have. But in the true saxon spirit, it reminds us that we must be part of that process – we must actively help build a better world and not passively wait for it to happen around us.
The Thor’s Hammer, then, is a powerful folk symbol for the Anglo Saxon and other Germanic people. It need not be an exclusive symbol for the Odinists or Germanic Heathens as it belongs to all of our folk and has meaning to us all. Unlike a simple cross, it does not just remind us that Christ died on a cross for us. It is a symbol of an active Christ not a passive one.
It reminds us of the power of Christ the Creator and His constant struggle against the forces of chaos. It symbolises our belief in the strength of Christ the Sustainer. But it can also be seen as symbolising the process of evolution that Christ is bringing about – the up-wards evolution of our selves and our folk to a higher state of existence and a higher state of civilisation.
When we look at the state of society around us, it reminds us that we do unfortunately live in an era of decadence and decline. But the Thor’s Hammer reminds us of what is to come as the cycle inevitably turns and we begin to approach a new golden age.