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The or the Valknut, German also Wotansknoten, is a Germanic symbol, consisting of either three intertwined triangles or a knotted polygon with six corners, similar to the Triqueta . The origin of the word valknute is uncertain; it is composed of valr , 'warrior slain in battle' and knut , 'knot'.


Historical use

In pre-Christian times, the Valknut seems to have been functionally linked to battle and death. Gotland picture stones show the Valknut in connection with sacrificial scenes (e.g. Lärbro Stora Hammars I), battle and death scenes (e.g. Lärbro Tängelgarda I) and similar motifs that are associated with "Death in battle" and the father of the gods ( Odin ) can stand.

This symbol is also found in the same context on the rune box by Auzon ( also called "Franks Casket" after its donor to the British Museum ): Above the back of the third magician (front right) it indicates death and resurrection in connection with the gift Myrrh . On the right side, these knots can be found, similar to Lärbro Tängelgarda I, under the stomach and between the front legs of a horse. Since the horse in this motif is also represented as eight-legged on Gotland picture stones, the Valknut may here also refer to Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse. Fylgja and Valkyrja ( Valkyrie ) are inextricably linked with the Valknut symbol. On the lid, two of these nodes appear to define a fortified area. Which district is meant here cannot be said. The Valknut does not seem to have had a purely ornamental character.

See also


  • Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson: Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (= Penguin religion and mythology ). Penguin Books, Lodon, 1990, ISBN 978-0-14-013627-2 .
  • Rudolf Simek : Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition ; 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , pp. 207-208.
  • Alfred Becker: Franks Casket: To the pictures and inscriptions of the runic box by Auzon (= language and literature, Regensburg works on English and American studies ; 5). Hans Carl, Regensburg 1973, ISBN 978-3-418-00205-7 .

Web links

Commons : Valknut  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Rune box by Auzon  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Alfred Becker, Das Bild: Walkyre and Fylgja, Death and Resurrection . Frank's Casket website , accessed on August 6, 2020