The group of warriors who arrived from Scandinavian countries between 700 AD – 110 AD and tried to invade Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic are called the Vikings. The name “Viking” means “Pirate Raid” and originated from an ancient language known as the “Old Norse.” According to history, the Vikings were covered in tattoos that symbolizes unique meanings.
Popular Vikings Tattoo designs and their meaning
Below are six popular Vikings tattoo designs and their meaning.
1. The Aegishjalmur (Ægishjálmr)
The Aegishjalmur is also known as the Helm of Awe. It is supposed to be a magical rune and the strongest symbol in Norse mythology. The Vikings wore this tattoo to war and believed that it blesses them with protection from enemies. It was usually carved between their eyes or arms, as well as on the forehead.
2. The Odin’s Knot
This tattoo is also called the Valknut Tattoo or Hrungnir’s heart, meaning Slain warriors. Its wearers believed it signified Odin welcoming Viking warriors to come to live in Valhalla (Asgard’s hall of brave warriors). Archeological records indicate that the symbol was carved on objects discovered in Viking ship burials and was therefore associated with dying in battle.
3. Yggdrasil Tattoo
This is also known as the Tree of life. It is believed that this tattoo indicates a giant tree of life that held together Nine Worlds and binds everything in the universe, with its branches extending into the heavens.
4. The Vegvisir
The Vegvisir is also called the Viking Compass, and its wearers believed it helps them navigate through turbulent storms and bad weather. It literally translates as “the Path Finder” in the Norse language. Modern people believe that the Vegvisir tattoo would help them not to go astray.
5. The Mjölnir
Also known as the Hammer of Thor, the Mjölnir is by far the most popular Viking tattoo. Thor is the Norse god of thunder and lightning. The Mjölnir was believed to be a symbol of strength and a weapon for battle. Modern wearers of the tattoo associate it with power and courage.
6. Web of Wyrd
Also known as Skuld’s net, the Web of Wyrd was said to be woven by the Norns. In Viking mythology, the Norns were in charge of shaping destiny or fates. This tattoo serves as a reminder that present actions are affected by the past and future actions are affected by the present.
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Description of the popular Vikings tattoo symbols
Each Viking tattoo had a unique pattern and symbol.
- The Aegishjalmur
The pattern of this symbol included eight-armed spikes joined at a center and pointing outwards.
- The Odin’s Knot
The pattern of Odin’s knot consisted of three triangles interlocked and pointed upwards.
- Yggdrasil Tattoo
The pattern of this symbol consisted of a tree with stretched branches surrounded by a snake biting its tail.
- The Vegvisir
The Vegvisir consisted of eight rune staves joined at a circle in its center and facing opposite directions.
- The Mjölnir
It consisted of a uniquely patterned hammer with a rectangular end.
- The Web of Wyrd
Its symbol consisted of nine staves containing all the shapes of the runes and positioned at an angular grid.
The Vikings are well known for their unique tattoos, warrior spirit, and well-grounded navigation skills. Stories about their uniqueness have spread across the globe over the years.