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The Origins of the Horned Viking Helmet

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 TV-Series Vikings? If so, then you will most likely have noticed that non of them are wearing these 'stereostypical' horned helmets. So let me begin by telling you, that the vikings did not wear these horned helmets! However, the viking shaman (could be both female and 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.' A goddess that has existed for at least 25.000 years BC (picture below.)

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 (see my book The Hidden Camino for more information on this.) 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 Mediteranian Islands and the Middle East, horns have held very powerful symbolism. Remember what I wrote in The Hidden Camino; before the Holy Grail became Christian, it was depicted as a horn of abundance (amongst 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 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 book 'Gudinnen's fortellinger' (2008) (Stories of the Goddess - in Norweigan only) they also mention

"...horns could be found around the fields and would drip of honey as the bees had

settled in the horns."

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; to humans; fertility; to crops etc. This could suggest, that the Horned Goddess was the very first (Spring) Goddess.

Understanding the importance and vast symbolism of the horns makes it easy to understand why it also became both a powerful, but also a very spiritual symbol linked to ceremonies. The Lifegiving symbol of the horn, and animals with horns such as the bull and cow, spread out all across and beyond what we today call Europe.

Sadly, what once symbolised LIFE and life giving nourishment, was with the coming of the Roman Catholic church, made into a symbol of evil and destruction, personified in the devil or Satan.

Related links you might enjoy

The Historical Origins of the Witch; How Women Healers Became Malevolent Figures

The Hidden Camino - Our Hidden Story

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