In Norse mythology, Mjölnir (/ˈmjɔːlnɪər/; Old Norse: Mjǫllnir, IPA: [ˈmjɔlːnir]) is the hammer of Thor, the Norse god associated with thunder. Mjölnir is depicted in Norse mythology as one of the most fearsome and powerful weapons in existence, capable of leveling mountains.
Mjölnir means grinder, crusher, hammer, and is also associated with thunder and lightning. When the Vikings saw lightning and heard thunder in a howling storm, they knew that Thor had used Mjölnir to send another giant to his doom. Thor was the son of Odin and Fyorgyn. Thor (whose name goes back to a Proto-Germanic root that means “Thunder”) was the god of the storm, and thunder was perceived as being the sound of his hammer crashing down on his foes. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the Old Norse name for his hammer, Mjöllnir, probably meant “Lightning.” He was the god of thunder and the god of war and one of the most popular figures in all of Norse mythology.
The origin of the Mjölnir
One day, the trickster Loki was feeling especially “tricksy,” and cut off the long, golden hair of Thor's wife, Sif. Thor was about to kill Loki when the latter swore to go down to Svartalfheim, the land of the dwarves, who were renowned as the greatest smiths in all of the Nine Worlds.
Loki made a bet with two dwarves, Brokkr and Sindri (or Eitri) that they could not make something better than the items created by the Sons of Ivaldi (the dwarves who created Odin's spear Gungnir and Freyr's foldable boat skioblaonir). The brothers agreed, but sensibly suspicious of Loki if they won, the dwarves wanted his head. Loki, always sure that he could outwit anyone, agreed, and then went about sabotaging the work of the dwarves. As Sindri put the iron for Mjolnir in the forge, he sent his brother Brokkr to pump the bellows. In order to sabotage their work, Loki turned himself into a fly and bit Brokkr on the eyelid hard enough to draw blood. As the blood ran into his eyes, Brokkr was forced to stop working the bellows for a few seconds in order to wipe his face, but the damage is done. As Sindri drew the hammer from the forge, the handle was much shorter than originally planned, making a hammer that would need to be wielded by one hand, rather than a more traditional Viking two-handed hammer. The result was the magical hammer that was then presented to Thor.
Thor’s Hammer as a Symbol in the Viking Age
Thor's Hammer was a symbol of protection, so unsurprising, was a popular amulet during the Viking period. More than 50 examples of Mjölnir pendants have been found throughout Scandinavia dating from AD 900-1100. Mjölnir would have been worn for courage and protection, but also to mark the wearer as a follower of the Old Norse religion, rather than Christianity, as their popularity lasts well into the Christian period. The hammer's usage as jewelry during that period was probably an imitation of - and/or a reaction against - the Christian practice.
How to use Thor's hammer
Mjölnir is known for its ability to destroy mountains. But it was not just a weapon. Thor also used Mjölnir to hallow, or to bless. With Mjölnir, Thor could bring some things (such as the goats who drew his chariot) back to life. Thor was invoked at weddings, at births, and at special ceremonies for these abilities to bless, make holy, and protect. Thus, Thor’s Hammer not only represented destructive power but was also a symbol of protection and security from the evil and violent forces. Thor’s Hammer amulets were often worn as a symbol of healing and protection. It seems reasonable to suppose that the people who wore hammer amulets would have believed that they provided the same benefits as Thor’s hammer in the mythology: protection, consecration, and general blessing. Even today, Mjolnir pendants are worn as religious symbols around the world by those who practice the Germanic Neopagan faiths.
Thor's hammer Jewelry
Today, there are a variety of jewels designed with Thor’s Hammer as the prototype. These jewels with the meaning of protection and blessing are suitable for wearing or giving to family and friends, representing protection and blessing.