The Suebian Knot and the Valknut by Lyfing

The Osterby Man According to Tacitus in Germania.. "This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves." Alby Stone in The Knots of Death has said.. "It would be reasonable to suppose that this hair-knot marked a warrior as a follower of an early form of Odin in his role of war god." Following Tacitus further.. "Of all the Suevians, the Semnones recount themselves to be the most ancient and most noble. The belief of their antiquity is confirmed by religious mysteries. At a stated time of the year, all the several people descended from the same stock, assemble by their deputies in a wood; consecrated by the idolatries of their forefathers, and by superstitious awe in times of old. There by publicly sacrificing a man, they begin the horrible solemnity of their barbarous worship. To this grove another sort of reverence is also paid. No one enters it otherwise than bound with ligatures, thence professing his subordination and meanness, and the power of the Deity there. If he fall down, he is not permitted to rise or be raised, but grovels along upon the ground. And of all their superstition,

this is the drift and tendency; that from this place the nation drew their original, that here God, the supreme Governor of the world, resides, and that all things else whatsoever are subject to him and bound to obey him." With Kveldulf Gundarsson pointing out in Wotan: The Road to Valhalla.. "The death of the hero Helgi Hunding’s-Bane is presented in a similar manner: “Dagr, the son of Högni (whom Helgi had killed in order to win Högni’s daughter Sigrún as his bride), made an offering to Óðinn for avenging his father. Óðinn lent Dagr his spear. Dagr found Helgi, his kinsman, at the place which is called Fetter-Grove. He went against Helgi with the spear. Helgi fell there.” When Dagr tells his sister Sigrún what she has done, she curses him, to which he replies, “Óðinn alone shaped all ill, because among siblings strife-runes he bore.” The “Fetter-Grove” of this poem has often been associated with the holy grove of the Semnones which Tacitus talks about, a place given to the “god who rules all” where human sacrifice is practiced, and which “no one enters . . . unless he has been bound with a cord”. For Helgi to be killed with Óðinn’s spear in a grove whose name hints strongly at an association with the god, and to be received in Valhalla afterwards, suggests that, indeed, his death is an offering to Óðinn." We have arrived at a powerful set of associations betwixt the Suebian knot and the Valknut. On the one hand we have with the Suevians a custom of tying their hair in a knot, and on the other of offering human sacrifice to Odin while in the Fetter-Grove bound with ligatures. Another, and maybe the most significant of all, instance of this knot appears on the Tjängvide Stone.

The Tjängvide Stone The eight-legged horse and his rider can be no others than Sleipnir and Odin. Notice the Valknuts

stirred up with his striding and the way in which the Lady presenting the horn has her hair..tied in a knot..a Valknut..

The Tjängvide Stone "Valkyrie"

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful