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The famous – or infamous – troll cross, or trollkors, symbol is an interesting example of how people can still make up new runes and symbols, even if there are so many already in existence.
Yes, the troll cross isn’t an actual Norse symbol, at least not one that has been found by archeologists and historians yet. Instead, by all accounts, it was created as recently as the 1990s as a piece of jewelry by Kari Erlands, a goldsmith from Western Dalarna in Sweden.
Kari’s troll cross is a piece of metal curved into a circle with its two ends twisting into loops on either side of the circle. Simply put, it’s a modern jewelry piece made to resemble an ancient Norse symbol.
Still, it is a fascinating symbol to delve into.
What’s the Purpose of the Troll Cross?
According to Kari’s description, the troll cross is supposed to be an amulet, and should be made out of iron. It would protect the wearer from malevolent spirits, particularly trolls, which are quite common in Norse mythology. Kari also maintains that she modeled her first troll crosses after an actual troll cross artifact she had found in her family’s farm although she hasn’t verified that yet by providing the original artifact.
Modern or Ancient?
The two main theories about Kari’s claims are that either that she just made up the symbol herself, or that she modeled the troll cross after an Odal rune, which she states she had found on her parents’ farm. This isn’t too unlikely as Odal runes were often used as symbols of heritage, estate, or inheritance.
The Odal rune was also used as a symbol of the Nazi movement during World War II, which also doesn’t work out well for the troll cross. Still, unlike the Swastika, the Odal rune outlived the Nazi movement as it has other historical and Astaru (Germanic paganism) uses. What this means is that you won’t be mistaken for a Neo-Nazi if you wear a troll cross.
All in all, while it’s almost certainly a made-up modern symbol, the troll cross still has a fascinating history. Additionally, it’s also a beautiful symbol to look at and is very stylish in tattoos and jewelry.
Even though the symbol is just around 30 years old, it has already been featured in various pop-culture video games, books, and TV shows such as Sleepy Hollow and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels.