Wearing a Thor hammer necklace or pendant is a way of expressing strength and determination. Thor the most famous of the ancient Norse gods, was the son of the chief god Odin. Thor processed a chariot drawn by two goats, a belt (Megingjoro), and iron gloves which were used to lift his most valued possession an incredibly powerful hammer (Mjolnir) he used as a weapon. This hammer was so powerful it could level mountains. It is also noted in Norse literature (the Prose Edda) that when thrown the hammer would never miss it's target and would never fly so far that it could not find its way back to Thor. Although generally depicted as a hammer, in Norse literature, Mjolnir is sometimes referred to as a club or an axe.
People have been wearing miniature replicas of Thor's hammer as necklaces and pendants since the Viking days. Approximately fifty Thor's hammers, dating from the 9th to 11th centuries, have been discovered throughout Scandinavia. There have also been a few discoveries of these ancient jewelry pieces found in England, including a Thor's hammer necklace unearthed in Yorkshire which dates to approximately 1000 AD. Many of the ancient replicas have been found at gravesites. The shape of the replica hammers took different forms depending on the region they were discovered in. The ones found in Norway and Sweden were usually shaped like an arrow or T-shaped. The ones found in Iceland were generally cross-shaped which sometimes made it hard to determine if the necklace or pendant was indeed a Thor hammer or a Christian cross.
Thor's Hammer - In Mythology
Perhaps the most famous myth involving Thor's hammer can be found in the Poetic Edda. A giant named Prymr steals Thor's powerful weapon and demands the goddess Freyja in exchange. The Norse god Loki, a master of disguise, assist Thor by disguising him as Freyja. When the giant approaches Thor he puts the hammer on his lap, thinking he is Freyja. Thor grabs the weapon and kills the giant.
Thors Hammer Necklace - Modern Day Usage
Thor hammer necklaces were not just worn in the Middle Ages but are also worn today by many different people for many different reasons. People of the Germanic Neopagan faiths worldwide wear it as a symbol of their faith. They are very popular in Scandinavia and increasingly in other parts of Europe and in the United States. Some people simply wear this jewelry for its beauty. Other people buy these necklaces and pendants in order to express that strength and determination are important things that they aspire to or wish to maintain.