The meaning of the Ægishjálmur / Aegishjalmur
The Ægishjalmur symbol is an Icelandic Runic stave formed through the combination of several Algiz (Elhaz) runes rotated around a central point, with additional lines inscribed along each rune branch, creating a highly sophisticated runic configuration that is in itself is awe inspiring.
The Ægishjalmur is an early Old Norse era symbol, it is recorded in its clearest depiction in the Galdrabók of Iceland. The Galdrabók obviously means Book of Galdr, which is one of the formats of Seidr, or drawing inspiration from spiritual symbols. Logically Ægishjalmur has been used for ritual purposes, both in life, death and especially in battle. The Ægishjalmur is a bindrune, a form of rune constructed from multiple Runes to create a concentric pattern.
The name Ægishjalmur refers to the Helm of Awe. This refers to the usage of the Ægishjalmur upon the shields and central lines of Viking era helmets and upon clothing and ritual tool items of specialist Runic Gothi or Ghydia.
The Helm of Awe in its military deployment, civil or Galdr use is used to create a sense of awe at the sight of the symbol, the effect is intended to be two folk: to create a sense of awe and to capture the gaze of an onlooker to the extent of distracting their vision, which is why it was worn on shields and the central line of a helmet, so that it could be seen. This is attested to in various Icelandic sources primarily.
The Ægishjalmur is also a symbol used to create a sense of self-awe or self motivation when inscribed for example on the inside of a helmet. The Ægishjalmur was used to protect the wearer and to inspire the wearer. It is traditionally worn between the eyes on carved into the nose shield of a battle helmet or upon weapons.
In modern usage there is an extremely popular usage of the Ægishjalmur by spiritually awakened Germanic and Nordic folk in multiple capacities, from pendants to permanent tattoos, to show an intense degree of dedication to Asatro.
In Vinland Asatro circles the Ægishjalmur is used as a symbol of identification of like minded folk and also as a decorative symbol. It serves the same purpose in all Germanic lands, although some may simply wear it culturally in Iceland, without knowing the meaning. This is also true of the esoteric types who wear this Germanic symbol without even knowing its intended and historically attested meaning.
If one wears the Ægishjalmur in accordance with its ancient meaning, it is literally being used to create a sense of awe, either internally or externally (whether it is visible to others or not). This sense of Awe is no mere esoteric concept, but is the expected reaction when the Ægishjalmur is seen as most folk will be in awe of it, normally with a positive sense of intrigue or irresistibility upon locking eye contact with this symbol. Expect people to ask you what it means whilst wearing it openly. Non-Germanics will experience a shocked sense of confusion or terror when viewing this symbol, if not for its inherent power but for its pure Germanic connotation and indisputably ancient and folkish Germanic origin and what that means of the racially aware and defiant mindset of the pure heroic Germanic individual bearing this symbol.
Wearing this Germanic symbol is an act of self preparation to inspire awe, either positive or negative, or both simultaneously. To fellow Asatro folk the Ægishjalmur indicates that you are pure and true to our ancestral Æsir spirituality. It is also recognised as a positive symbol. Historically this is due to its attested ability to improve the bearers combat survival chances by distracting opponents. In everyday life the Ægishjalmur is used to catch people's attention, as the symbol often attracts inquiries about what it is if you wear it openly. You will often find unexpected friendliness from individuals who then declare they are also adherents of Asatro or are interested in Germanic or Nordic mythology.
For us the Ægishjalmur is a symbol that demonstrates the wearers awareness of their ancestral Germanic spirituality in our era and to those learned Asatro folk its meaning is so much deeper in accordance with its aforementioned ancient meaning(s).