April was a hard month, news-wise, but May has been bringing one bit of good news after another. The latest is the surprising addition, without much fanfare, of Thor’s Hammer to the list of approved religious symbols for Armed Forces memorials, headstones and graves.
As you can see on the National Cemetery Administration’s list of Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers, the Hammer of Thor is proudly displayed as number 55. It was six years ago on April 23, 2007 that the Wiccan pentacle was approved, and there have not been any new additions of Pagan symbols (such as the Awen) until now despite the efforts of groups like the Pagan Headstone Campaign.
The proper name of Thor’s hammer is Mjölnir, or “crusher,” and it’s said to be infallible, never missing its mark and always returning to Thor. It was created in response to one of Loki’s infamous bets: he bet his head that two dwarves could not possibly make finer objects than some rival dwarves, they proved him wrong by crafting this hammer. The only reason he was not beheaded was that he did not include his neck as part of the bargain, so they couldn’t remove his head. (That Loki!) He did get his mouth sewn shut in punishment, but the upswing is that Thor got an awesome new weapon out of the deal. The Hammer of Thor has been worn for centuries as a symbol of the people’s devotion to their gods.
I haven’t seen a formal press release on behalf of whoever fought this battle and got it approved, but if I find out anything I will keep you posted. If you know, please feel free to contact me or comment below.
Congratulations to all Heathens and Asatruars – this is a big step of recognition for your community!