Svefnthorn "Sleep Thorn": Viking Symbol For A Sound Sleep
Caring for the strength, luck, and divine blessing on the battlefield was not enough. The Vikings paid attention to their health when they were at homes. They believed in the symbol known as "Svefnthorn". This Viking symbol could bring them into a sound sleep from which they recharged themselves and got ready for a new energetic day.
What is the Svefnthorn Viking symbol?
Svefnthorn (SVEFN-thorn) meant the "Sleep Thorn". This symbol appears in many Norse sagas and the Viking tales. But there were no sources mentioning what the Svefnthorn exactly looked like. It varied from source to source. The use of this symbol varied as well. Because no sources mentioned the same way to apply the Svefnthorn into practice.
The only one thing I find all sources in common: They mention that the practitioners would use the Svefnthorn to put the opponents into a deep sleep.
The Saga of the Volsungs
God Odin the Allfather used the Svefnthorn to make the valkyrie Brynhildr fall into a deep sleep that she would not awake until someone disturbed. Odin drew the fire circle around the sleeping valkyrie. And anyone crossing the circle meant they disturbed the sleeping pattern of the valkyrie.
The hero Sigurd was the only one brave enough to cross the fire circle. And he was the only one to wake the valkyrie up.
The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
In this saga, the queen named Olof hit King Hrolf with the Sleep Thorn in order to make him unconscious. Then she played some tricks on him and his men. But it was a matter of time until the power of the Sleep Thorn wore off. And the king gained his consciousness back.
Vilhjalmr hit Hrolf in the head with the Sleep Thorn. This made Hrolf fell unconscious immediately. And it was not until the following day when the horse rolled Hrolf around that the thorn fell off his head and he became conscious again.
In this tale, the Svelfnthorn was much more like a physical object than a spell.
An extremely obscure symbol
No specific usage of the Svefnthorn was mentioned. So was the span of time that the sleeper would remain in the slumber. No one knows if the symbol was applied, would it need someone to break it or the sleeper could break it on their own.
Svelfthorn Viking Symbol Tattoo in the back
The visual presentation in the sagas was the four harpoons or small spears. Sometimes, the Svefnthorn consists of a vertical line with a diamond shape in the bottom. We can link the latter symbol with the combination of runic lettes (Ingwaz and Isaz). Some other Viking symbols also connected with the runes like the Helm of Awe Aegishjalmur symbol.
After all, what we are sure about is that the Svefnthorn symbol of the Vikings would help them to make either themselves or the other people into a sound sleep.