Not surprisingly while traveling in a Nordic country, we’ve been seeing keychains and pendants another souvenir items adorned with Runes and traditional Icelandic magical staves. The Helm of Awe’s design kept getting my attention. Depending on which pendant or keychain you pick up, the description on the back will tell you that the stave’s purpose is to induce fear or to protect against the abuse of power.
The description I’ve liked best is that the Helm of Awe is supposed to protect you from fear. I think that’s the most powerful protection since, in the absence of fear, almost anything else is possible.
It seems to be a popular symbol, and I guess it makes sense.
Icelanders live daily with the knowledge that one of their many volcanoes could erupt in a big way. They’ve adapted technology to warn and help them, but they don’t seem to spend their lives worrying about things they can’t control. If anything they’ve found ways to make the fire under the ice useful — generating power and heat — accomplishments that would be impossible if fear ruled the land.
I may pick up one of those talismans in the next few days.