The Spiritual Meanings of the Berserker Viking Symbols

berserker viking symbols
Viking Berserkers were a group of fierce Scandinavian warriors trained in fighting since childhood. They developed toughness that would help them overcome all the battles they fought. They were known for their fearlessness and never shied away from death. Many old Norse sources mention these warriors, and the Berserker Viking symbol continues to be used in modern pop culture. 

What Is The Meaning Of Berserker?

Berserker is a Norse word composed of “Ber” and “Serk,” which initially meant “the warrior who is wearing a bearskin.” The legend says that Berserkers only charged while they were wearing a bearskin. 

Later on, the term referred to any fierce warrior having exceptional power. Besides that, the legends have other relevant words, like Úlfhéðnar, meaning the warrior who wears wolf skin, and Svinfylking, which translates to a warrior wearing boar skin.

Berserker is also synonymous with destructive and furious rage, which also fits the Viking Berserkers. These warriors respected the power of a bear and wore the animal’s skins while fighting wars as they believed it gave them the courage, rage, and strength of a bear.

berserker viking symbols
Berserker Vikings were known for their fearlessness and wore bear skins instead of armor.

Is There A Rune For Berserker?

The Berserker Rune symbol includes many meanings, from “a bear’s skin” to “a warrior fighting without chain armor.” 

According to Scandinavian mythology, a Berserker is a military or religious corporation member. He worshiped Odin, the Norse deity, and fury possessed him. During battles, he did not wear armor and wore wolf or bear skin to resemble a beast and cause panic in enemies. 

Before going into battle, Berserker drank a unique beverage consisting of fly agaric mushroom to make him aggressive and less sensitive to attacks from enemies. 

The Berserker Viking often took the shape of a spiritual animal, dressed in ritual clothing made of animal skin. Due to this, the Berserker rune represented strength, fury, fierce reaction, and insensitivity towards pain.

Berserkers were known as warriors who would fight with such intense fury that it looked like they were in a trance. The warriors also engraved the Berserker rune on their top knuckles to help them unleash heightened intensity.  

berserker viking symbols
The Berserker Viking rune.

What Is the Meaning of Berserker Viking Rune?

The Berserker symbol means to fight without any fear and with the immense strength possessed by a raging bear. They looked horrifying while they took on the opponents and the other Norse warriors also retreated instead of facing them in a battle.

The Norse rune symbolizes courage, strength, and relentlessness while fighting a battle. People also get this tattoo to indicate their willingness to fight even though they know the chances of their survival are low.

Berserker tattoos also include Norse bear or wolf symbols, as these Viking warriors wore their skin to battle. These tattoos often have other Nordic symbols, like animal symbols, Odin’s Raven, or Thor’s Hammer.

How Did The Viking Berserker Go Berserk?

Berserkers went into a hypnotic trance before fighting by shivering and chattering their teeth. According to researchers, berserk is a psychological state that was most likely initiated by a hallucinogen plant called henbane. 

The plant initiated psychoactive reactions that led to wild hallucinations. After the chills and teeth chattering, it would make their face red and turn them furious. The rage that followed resulted in a loss of sensitivity toward pain or fatigue and a loss of judgment. 

They became like animals who fought without realizing when to stop and continued until the opponent dropped dead or they got killed while fighting. These warriors could not differentiate between a friend and an enemy. This hypnotic trance gave them a blind rage that intimidated their foes.

The Berserker Vikings also roared like animals, especially bears or wolves. They didn’t fear death as these soldiers believed something good awaited them in the afterlife. 

What Are the Most Powerful Berserker Viking Symbols?

According to Norse mythology, the most powerful Nordic symbol is Aegishjalmur or the Helm Of Awe. It consists of 8 spiked tridents that defend the center point from the negative forces surrounding it, symbolizing protection and winning from the enemies.

Another powerful Viking symbol is Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. It is among the fearsome weapons and is capable of even leveling mountains. Mjölnir stands for lightning, and the hammer represents the power of god on lightning and thunder.

berserker viking symbols
The Helm of Awe is a powerful symbol of protection against enemies and negative forces.

What Is the Symbol for Odin?

The symbol most commonly associated with Odin, the supreme Norse god who ruled Asgard, is the Valknut. It consists of three interlocking triangles and depicts the knot of the ones who fell in battle. Valknut is a symbol of a warrior’s death and is associated with Odin, the god of war and death. 

berserker viking symbols
The Valknut is a common Norse symbol commonly associated with Odin.

Another popular symbol of Odin is Gungnir, the spear Loki gave Odin. The mighty spear is the most potent weapon used by Odin. 


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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