The Helm of Awe is among the most famous Icelandic magical stave. The mysterious symbol is also known as the Helm of Terror and plays significant part in Norse mythology.
The belief is that Helm of Awe can help in various occasions:
- to induce fear in the enemy
- to help the warrior who wears it to prevail in battle
- to protect the warrior himself
- to ensure spiritual and mental strength to conquer your fears
- to guard you from person who means to abuse your own power
The stave can be described as eight arms that radiate out from a central point. A closer look reveals to the observer that the arms are defending the center. Even more – the arms look truculent against all hostile forces that surround the center.
THE HELM OF AWE IS COMPOSED OF TWO MAIN RUNES - “ALGIZ” AND “ISA”
The time passed had lost the original name of “The arms”. Today the rune is referred to as “Algiz.” The meaning of the symbol is related to its power to protect and to help the warrior win the battle. It is only logical to use such symbol in representing the Helm of Awe.
“The spikes” in the symbol are running perpendicular to the “arms”. The researchers are considering the sign to be Isa rune. “Isa” means “ice,” therefore its meaning as part of the symbol is focused on two qualities: concentration and hardening. There is also a correlation to the spirits of wintry cold and darkness - the giants.
This connection comes from the poem called the Völsunga saga (Fáfnismál). In this story the horrific dragon Fafnir draws strength from the helm:
“The Helm of Awe
I wore before the sons of men
In defense of my treasure;
Amongst all, I alone was strong,
I thought to myself,
For I found no power a match for my own.”
The story continues with the famous hero Sigurd who slays the dragon and takes from him the magical symbol of this power – The Helm of Awe.
This interpretation reflects also in a spell that can be found in the collection of Icelandic folktales of the well-known Jón Árnason.The aim of the spell is to ensure victory over your enemies.
In the collection the spell is called “There is a Simple Helm of Awe Working” and reads:
“Make a helm of awe in lead, press the lead sign between the eyebrows, and speak the formula: I bear the helm of awe between my brows!”