Sunday, February 17, 2013

Modern Norse

WG – Does Norse mythology have any influence on today’s society, like Greek mythology apparently does (i.e., Nike shoes, Midas Touch car shop, etc.)?

KS – Just look at your cell phone. The Bluetooth symbol is a bind-rune, which means that it is formed from two runes that are merged together. Runes are the ancient Norse letters that, according to mythology, Odin discovered and gave to gods and humans. Runes actually exist and were used for over a thousand years. They were letters (used to spell things) and symbols (each symbol stood for a specific word or concept). Harald Bluetooth (circa 935-985) united Denmark under his rule; the Bluetooth technology unites different devices under its “rule.”

If you take the rune for “H” –


and combine it with the rune for “B” –

you get the Bluetooth logo –

Also, next time you use the restroom in a public place, look at the paper towel dispenser. Chances are, it will have this symbol on it –

which is the logo of Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, a Swedish paper-goods company. It’s based on a symbol that is associated with Odin in ancient carvings like this one –

Detail of the Hammars Stone in Sweden (8th century)

So, think of Odin the next time you make a phone call or dry your hands!


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