Who are the Vikings? Why is a Viking tattoo so popular nowadays and what is its meaning?
Vikings were a clan or a group of people in the Scandinavian regions from the 8th to the 11th centuries, who were immortalized for their fascinating culture in history and became an important part of Norse mythology. The word “Viking” in itself means “maritime warrior who leaves home on a long journey”. Because of the lack of natural resources in their own country, they lived mostly by plunder. Today, the Viking culture has inspired TV series like Vikings or characters like Thor and Loki in the Marvel Universe. The philosophy and appearance of the Vikings are mostly known from the cinema muscle, long complicated braids and tattoos. That is exactly how your Viking tattoo will look, and not only – Norse mythology has many symbols that have a special meaning. Today, many people are proud of their Nordic roots or of pure fascination with Norse culture, or because they just want to look tough. What exactly is the reason and what significance brings a Viking tattoo for its wearer, you will learn in this post!
The symbols of Norse mythology
Not all Viking tattoos pose rugged, bearded men in helmets with axes. For those who want to delve deeper into Norse mythology, we introduce some traditional Viking symbols that are a work of art in themselves and adorn your body!
Wyrd Ryne oder Web of Wyrd Symbol
This is the Viking symbol of faith – a powerful symbol that actually looks pretty simple and consists of several overlapping lines. The picture actually represents all forms in the runes and is therefore a representation of all possibilities in the past, present and future.
Valknut symbol as a viking tattoo
Valknut consists of three intertwined tattoos. The Austrian scholar Simek believes that it was a religious symbol associated with death – something the Vikings revered rather than feared. Alternatively, the English scholar Ellis Davidson believed that it was a sign of Odin and his liberating “Mental Binds” people, who made them braver in battle by shying away fear.
Valkirie tattoo meaning
The Vikings, like the Amazonian culture, welcomed female warriors and they were called “Shieldmaiden”. The “Valkyrie” – “Chosen of the slain” – was to be a female presence who came to a battlefield and decided who should die and who should live. The Valkyries flew across the battlefields, protecting the lives of those who favored them and bringing death to those they did not like.
The most popular Viking Tattoo: Odin Tattoo
This is one of the most commonly used tattoos or pictures in Vikings in Nordic culture. Odin is a well-known character in Norse mythology. In today’s culture, one can identify as a commander of the battlefield and respectable leader. You may see a robust and bearded man with helmet and braided hair. This is probably a representation of Odin, which for the Vikings was what Zeus was to the Greeks.
While these traditional Viking tattoos are certainly fascinating, they do not even scratch the surface of all the characters, symbols and myths that inspired the Viking culture. To dive into their culture and mythology is like becoming a treasure trove for cool tattoo ideas and fascinating stories that will surely reward your attention. For more inspiration, take a look at our picture gallery, where you will find many beautiful tattoo designs!