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Viking tattoos, many ideas and meanings


I tattoo viking they have all the charm of antiquity, mysticism, forests, ancient peoples who inhabited history and legends.

But who are the Vikings? Did they have typical symbols or art forms? What do Viking tattoos mean?

Read on to find out!


- Who are the Vikings?

- Truth and False Myths

- Viking symbols

- Valknut

- Road sign

- Iggdrasil

- Sleeping area

- The meaning of the runes

- Tattoos based on "Vikings" (TV series)

Impossible to talk about Viking tattoos without mentioning the slightest mention of their history and cultural identity. So let's start with some basic information.

Who are the Vikings?

When we talk about "Vikings" we really mean the group Scandinavian peoples inhabiting Scandinavia, Denmark and northern Germany between the seventh and eleventh centuries... More precisely, the Vikings were skilled sailors. is engaged in piracythat inhabited the fjords north of the continent. They were great conquerors e brave explorersso much so that they were the very first discoverers of North America, five centuries before Columbus.

True and False Viking Myths

There is many myths which revolve around the Vikings and give life to an imaginary Viking man, which does not always correspond to reality.

In fact, it should be remembered that the Vikings were Paganand most of the literature associated with them was written by Christian characters, so many customs and facts have been distorted, if not deliberately mutilated. The idea that they were fierce, dirty, with long hair and a beard, for example, is not at all true: the British considered them "too clean." In fact, the Vikings produced soap and a significant amount of personal care utensils.

When thinking of a Viking, you might think of a tall, sturdy, fair-haired man with a typical horned helmet (like Thor's).

However, in reality, everything was different: the Vikings were not unusually tall and, above all, they never wore horned helmets... Being blonde or red-haired is good, but not for all Vikings.

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So it would be a mistake to do tattoo viking without take into account historical reality.

Viking symbolism

As with most cultures in the past, Viking symbols often have religious references.

The Vikings worshiped many gods, including the main one. Odin, Thor and Frey:

• Odin - the god of wisdom and uses two black crows, Hugin (Thought) is Munin (memory).

• Network he is the son of Odin, and it seems that he was the most revered god of all, because protects people from evil with your hammer, Mjöllnir.

<br>• Freyr God fertility with his sister Freya as a female counterpart. This guarantees abundant yields and healthy and robust offspring.


A well-known symbol associated with these deities is Volknutthen Odin's Knot.

It is a symbol made up of three crossed triangles, which, according to some theories, represent hell, heaven and earth... It has been found mainly in burial contexts (tombs, funeral ships, etc.), and in some images it closely resembles the Triquetra symbol.

Some scholars suggest that this knot, often depicted next to Odin, represents the ability of God to "bind" and "untie" people by his will, depriving them or giving them strength, fear, courage, and so on.


It is an Irish rune talisman, but its origin is unknown. It is often used in Viking tattoos, but the first mentions of it are taken from a Huld manuscript and date back to 1800. It has never been proven that the Vikings used this symbol in their day.

Viking tattoos, many ideas and meanings
Original by Vegvisir, in Hulda's manuscript

Vegvisir is also known as the rune compass, or rune compass, and protection symbol... Hulda's manuscript reads:

If someone carries this symbol with him, he will never get lost in a storm or bad weather, even if he follows a path unknown to him.

Vegsivir's tattoos have become especially popular, both due to their aesthetics and thanks to the singer Bjork, who has a tattoo on her arm.


According to Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a cosmic tree, a tree of life.

This mythological tree supports with its branches nine worlds that make up the entire universe for the Normans:

  1. Ásaheimr, mir Asi
  2. lusalfheim, world of elves
  3. Central Park, the world of men
  4. Jtunheimr, the world of giants
  5. vanaheim, the world of rooms
  6. Niflheim, the world of cold (or fog)
  7. Múspellsheimr, the world of fire
  8. Svartálfaheimr, the world of dark elves and dwarves
  9. Helheimr, world of the dead
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Large and immense, Yggdrasil has its roots in the underworld, and its branches rise high to support the entire firmament.

Image Source: Pinterest.com and Instagram.com

Scientists have attributed three main symbolic meanings to the Yggdrasil tree:

  • it is a tree that gives life, a source of life and eternal waters
  • it is the source of knowledge and the origin of Odin's wisdom
  • it is the source of the fate arranged by the norns and the gods, and humans are associated with it

The Norns are three women, eternal creatures who, while spraying Yggdrasil to prevent it from drying out, weave a tapestry of fate. The life of every person, animal, creature, god is a thread in their body.

Sleeping corner

Svefntor is a Scandinavian symbol that literally means "Thorn of sleep."

The appearance actually resembles three harpoons, or spikes.

Its purpose was to make the person using this symbol fall into a long and deep sleep.

The meaning of the runes

The runes are undoubtedly mesmerizing. A rune tattoo it can be, as well as beautiful, very significant, so it is very important to know what the runes are before choosing them for a tattoo.

According to legend, runes were created by Odin who, feeling inferior, hung upside down on a branch of YGGDRASIL. He stabbed himself with a spear, and blood dripped to the ground from the wound. formed mystical symbolsimbued with the power and wisdom of God.

There are many runes, but probably the most famous of them are the Futhark alphabet runes, there are 24 of them, and each of them has a very specific meaning.

FehuGift of life, connection with nature, gratitude, generosity


Survival instinct, courage, strength, creativity

ThurisazDefense, fighting the enemy, waiting, defending


Divine messages, One, honest advice, divine guidance, wisdom, eloquence


Travel, guide, team, responsibility, new beginnings


Enlightenment, healing, knowledge


Equilibrium, union, gifts, love, friendship


Joy, victory, harmony, respect, hope


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Natural (destructive) forces, purification, renewal, growth

NautizConfrontation of pain, heroism, resistance, inner strength, determination


Ice, stagnation, reflection, objectivity, detachment


Cosmic law, patience, evolution, satisfaction


Protection, tolerance, awareness, spirituality, conscience

PerthFate, mystery, game, luck, success


Protection, prayer, elk, shield, support


Integrity, solar energy, health, optimism, trust


Universal order, justice, honor, honesty


Birch, growth, birth, fertility, love


Reunion of opposites, progress, trust, movement


Conscience, higher self, intelligence, intelligence, mental openness


Water, memory, intuition, sympathy, dreams


Family, peace, abundance, virtue, common sense


Liberation from karma, home, clan, nation


Day, new era, prosperity, daylight

These runes can be combined for create talismans or tattoos with Viking runes... This is an aesthetically thought-out solution, true to tradition. The basic structure of the talisman is the same as in Vegsivir, of crossed lines forming a wheel.

At the end of each ray, you can apply a rune related to the protection we want to receive.

Maybe we will choose a rune Sowel to ensure success, Uruz for the courage Mannaz rune for intelligence Perth to have more luck and so on.

This information about the runes was found on the fantastic Runemal.org site, which in turn points to the source “Great Book of Runes"(Amazon link).

Viking Inspired Tattoos TV Series

Finally, we just need to talk about Viking tattoos are inspired by the Vikings TV series.This series tells the story of Ragnar Lothbrok and his Viking warriors, as well as his ascension to the throne of the King of the Viking tribes. Ragnar represents a pure Nordic tradition, and legend has it that he was a direct descendant of the god Odin.

Therefore, it is no coincidence that many tattoos dedicated to the Vikings represent the main character Ragnar.

This series was very successful with over 4 million views worldwide!