[ANSTHRLD] Two wolves yin-yanged‏‏

Christie Ward val_org at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 16 12:36:47 PDT 2011

> I have a client that wants an unusual device. Looking at it have have two
> questions right of the bat. First being, is this even legal. The next being if
> it is legal then how do I blazon it. I know that two wolves yin-yanged is not
> going to fly. Below is a link to an image of the device.
> http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/216387_1808286899607_1612997228_1742285_4735414_n.jpg
> The client is going for EARLY Norse.

"Early Norse" is not a sufficient description.  If your client wants some specific art suggestions for inspiration, if you can tell me a country and a century, I can suggest some heraldic motifs based in art of that period.

The design at your link cannot be Viking. It has the 24-rune Elder Futhark inscribed around the edge, which would be accurate only for 550 AD to 700 AD, during which time the characters changed gradually. By the start of the Viking Age (ca. 800 AD) the 16-rune Younger Futhark was in use. Arild Hauge's webpage is an excellent source for learning more: http://www.arild-hauge.com/eindex.htm

I won't even start to ask why he thinks a Taoist Chinese taijitu symbol goes with "Early Norse".  In the SCA, this symbol is blazoned as a "t'ai-chi".

Meanwhile back at the ranch, as has already been stated, the design cannot be blazoned. Heraldry has its own set of symbols and its own language, and you have to express your concepts within those symbols and that language.

I would recommend that your client read the following two articles:

Mistress Thóra Sharptooth's excellent article, "Personal Display for Viking Age Personae: A Primer for Use in the SCA"

My article, "Heraldry for a Non-Heraldic Culture: Vikings and Coats of Arms in the SCA"

I don't recall if I said it explicitly in my article, but wolves, ravens, and Thor's Hammers are so overused as "Viking heraldry" that they're excruciatingly cliché.  And because wolves are a Real Popular Charge, it's harder to get a nice simple heraldic design using them.



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