Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Vasa Sheaf

Sometimes I see websites that equate this Swedish symbol with the Irminsul. It certainly does share the same shape. 
The Vasa is in fact a bundle of corn, tied together to form its distinctive shape - the same way the Fasces was a bundle of rods, tied to an axe, a symbol used by the ancient Romans. 

The words Vasa and Fasces do in fact share a common root -  though the Fasces is certainly NOT a National Socialist symbol, the Vasa is often used by Swedish National Socialists.

The Vasa  symbol gave its name to the royal Vasa family, who adopted it as their heraldic crest. Early examples show the Vasa in a more corn-sheaf like manner. The Vasa royal family were themselves a noble Swedish family and according to some Swedes were descendants from the Wuffinga tribe (the Wuffingas were a royal house from Uppsala). This is why Gustav Vasa (king Gustuv I) adopted the Vasa as the sign of their house - and taking the name Vasa from then on, as a means of declaring his Wuffinga ancestry.

It is from the Wuffinga peoples that we in England get the legend of Sceaf (Sheaf) - a boy-child who drifts ashore in a wooden boat. Inside the boat we read the boy was surrounded by weapons and sleeps on a sheaf of corn. This sheaf of corn is the Vasa Sheaf. The boy is called Sceaf (Anglo-Saxon for Sheaf) from then on. (further reading on Sceaf)

This certainly makes the Vasa sheaf an interesting symbol - and perhaps an important symbol to the English, as well as the Swedes!