Who and What is Sigrun?


The brand.

The name Sigrun is one that dates back to Viking times, to one of Óðinn's Valkyries to be specific and means “Victory Rune”. The brand is all about embracing the warrior within, cherishing femininity as well as masculinity, embracing the differences of the sexes. The aim of the brand is to make every person wearing it feel empowered and unique. The brand also strives to use materials that are cruelty free, sustainable and natural who decompose ideally at little or no cost to the eco system.

The woman behind the brand.
Icelandic born designer, author and artist Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir was born around the summer solstice in 1970. Her bedtime stories didn´t come from Disney fairy tales but were adventures of Norse mythology and tales of ancestors, spirits, trolls, elves and hidden people. Highly tuned with her heritage, culture and customs, she seeks inspiration from the personifications of natural wonders and entangles it with human emotion, history and characteristics.

Showing clear signs of a highly fertile imagination, she became a keen craftswoman at an early age. Constantly exploring new materials and methods for creativity as organic, sustainable and recycled materials are a definite favourite of hers.


The Valkyrie Sigrún

Sigrún was the name of one of Óðinn's valkyries. Her story is told in Helgakviða Hundingsbana I and Helgakviða Hundingsbana II, in the Poetic Edda.

Helgi Hundingsbani first meets her when she leads a band of nine Valkyries:

Þá brá ljóma
af Logafjöllum,
en af þeim ljómum
leiftrir kómu,
hávar und hjalmum
á Himinvanga,

brynjur váru þeira
blóði stokknar,
en af geirum
geislar stóðu.

The translation reads:
Then glittered light
from Logafjoll,
And from the light
the flashes leaped;

High under helms
on heaven's field;
Their byrnies all
with blood were red,
And from their spears
the sparks flew forth.

As he stands aboard his longship, Sigrún, who can ride through the air and over the sea and who knows well about his feats, visits him. She embraces and kisses him, and he immediately falls in love with her.
Sigrún tells Helgi that her father Högni has promised her to Höðbroddr, the son of king Granmarr.

Helgi invades Granmar's kingdom and slays anyone opposing their relationship. Only Sigrún's brother Dagr is left alive on condition that he swears fealty to Helgi.

Dagr is however obliged by honour to avenge his brothers and after having summoned Óðinn, the god gives him a spear. In a place called Fjöturlund, Dagr kills Helgi and goes back to his sister to tell her of his deed.
Sigrún puts Dagr under a powerful curse after which he is obliged to live on carrion in the woods.

Helgi is put in a barrow, but returns from Valhalla one last time so that the two can spend a night together.

Sigrún died early from the sadness, but was reborn again as the Valkyrie Kára (translates to the wild, stormy one) and Helgi was Helgi Haddingjaskati, whose story is related in Hrómundar saga Gripssonar.

In the Helgakviða Hundingsbana I, the story of Sigrún defying Rán in order to save her beloved Helgi is told and by doing so, she becomes one of very few who ever managed to save a man from the black net of Rán.

"But from above did Sigrun brave
Aid the men and all their faring;
Mightily came from the claws of Rán
The leader's sea-beast off Gnipalund."

What is a Sigrún (Victory Rune)?

A Sigrún is a rune from the Sigrúns family. Magical runes of Victory of which not a great deal is known but what we do know, we found in Sigdrífumál stanza 6 (from Brynhildarljóð) where it is described that for you to ensure victory, you must know the Sigrúns, carve them on the hilt of your sword and call upon Tyr twice. The exact stanza reads:

Sigrúnar skaltu kunna,
ef þú vilt sigr hafa,
ok rísta á hjalti hjörs,
sumar á véttrimum,
sumar á valböstum,
ok nefna tysvar Tý

The translatation reads:

Victory runes you must know
if you will have victory,
and carve them on the sword's hilt,
some on the grasp
and some on the inlay,
and name Tyr twice.

The Rune scholar and author of many books about runes amd other Nordic matters, Lars Magnar Enoksen mentions that the rune T (Týr) certainly must have been one of them.