Viking tattoo ideas are the latest fad, and rightfully so. Viking mythology has been on the mind of esoteric people for many years. Having a Viking tattoo on your body can signify many things for a person. These tattoos can range from a Viking warrior tattoo, a Viking raven tattoo, a Viking skull tattoo, or anything related to Norse mythology.
Finding the correct tattoo artist is crucial if you want the best traditional Viking tattoos. That means that you shouldn’t compensate on quality if you want to get a Viking tattoo. Viking symbols come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s imperative to consider your body composition before deciding on your Viking-inspired tattoo.
In Old Norse mythology, Vikings meant “a pirate raid.” A massive tattooing subculture centered on Viking mythology was due to the Norseman’s unrivaled trade and pillage, which created a vast European diaspora.
Powerful animal motifs, warrior gods, superstition, symbolism are all heavily rooted in Viking, Norse, and Celtic tattoos. There is a range of body art that will appeal to you, whether it be a helmet and sword, a traditional Viking tattoo, or a symbol calling superior beings. You can are going to be pleasantly surprised at the diversity of these designs and wonder where they have been all your life.
In this article, we learn about the history of Vikings, exciting facts about the culture, and of course, discuss some tattoo symbolism.
The History of the Vikings
Barbarians, predators, and invaders are the name that Vikings have been given. They are seen as this one-dimensional warrior whose only accomplishments include little more than raiding and plundering; you may be wondering, “where did the Vikings originate from?”
Armed raiders attacked the defenseless monastery of Cuthbert on Lindisfarne in 793 when terror descended on the region. The invaders made off with the clutch of captive people and a haul of treasure as the terrified monks watched helplessly.
This moment was recorded as the first raid ever by Vikings, seaborn pirates from Scandinavia who created a reputation as pitiless and fierce warriors and preyed on the coastal communities in North-Western Europe for more than two centuries. The violent image of Vikings was magnified when the victims told others of those attacks. One old script written by the Anglo Saxon cleric Alcuin of York spoke of the violence that ensued at the Lindisfarne raid. This was nothing new for the Vikings, but we think they deserve some more recognition for their unfathomable fate.
The Vikings formed part of a complex and often sophisticated Scandinavian culture. They performed undeniably destructive and violent attacks from major campaigns involving thousands of warriors to small-scale raids against churches.
The reputations of Vikings as plunderers and raiders were established a long time ago. It is time to start restoring the culture’s fame as rulers, artists, missionaries, explorers, storytellers, and traders.
When and Where did the Vikings Come From?
Centuries before what is now known as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, the Norsemen originated there. There were almost no towns in their homeland, and it was overwhelmingly rural, and the vast majority earned a meager living along the coast by fishing or agriculture.
In the 7th and 8th centuries, the advancements in shipping technology increased, and sails instead of oars primarily powered boats. These boats were called longships, and they could navigate inland and coastal waters plus land on beaches.
The Norsemen used these ships to invade France, Ireland, and Scotland in proceeding years. These ships helped the Vikings gain their reputations, and assisted in some of the recognizable battles in history.
What Does a Viking Tattoo Symbolize?
With most designs having deep-rooted symbolism in Nordic religious belief, culture, and tradition, Viking tattoos rank among the most symbolic tattoos out there. People of Scandinavian descent love to use Viking tattoos to pay homage to where they came from and honor their ancestors.
Anyone who adorns these tattoos can make a bold, exotic, and influential statement wherever placed on their body.
Vikings were primarily traders and farmers (when they weren’t raiding) and are often misunderstood and misrepresented by other cultures. They explored the world from Iceland, Greenland, and North Africa to the Middle East; these were areas that the Norsemen raided and traded during the 8th and 11th centuries. The Viking Age is the name given to this period.
Norse Mythology and Viking Tattoos
Religion and mythology are at the center of most artwork regarding Nordic tattoos. Scandinavian folklore and North Germanic religion are where myths in Norse mythology stem from. This mythology includes extensive tales of conquests, supreme beings, deities, and heroes.
The most well-known deities and Nordic super-beings include but are not limited to:
The above gods are a prominent symbol in Norse tattoo and mythology, but there is also animals that symbolize many things in the culture.
Types of Viking Tattoos
From beautifully covered canvases, intricate designs, and bold black ink, Norse tattoos are available in a wide range of styles. In order to give you some inspiration, we explore some of the most common Norse Tattoos below:
Viking warriors didn’t adorn massive swords and helmets in battle, contrary to popular belief. This misrepresentation is an everyday staple in tattoos, art, and even movies because the media glamorizes the culture.
One of the unique aspects of Viking culture is that they wore tattoos as a visual representation of family, to show signs of power and strength, plus as an ode to the Gods. Viking warriors are often depicted as the following
- With long red or blonde hair
- Wearing large horned helmets
- Long or braided beards
- Wieling shields, axes, and swords.
Valknut Tattoo (Interlocking Triangles)
When translated to English, the word valknut means “slain warrior knot” and comes from the Old Norse words “knut” and “yair.” Three interlocking triangles come together, making this symbol easily identifiable.
Helm of Awe
Thought to be a symbol with magical powers, the Helm of Awe is also sometimes referred to as the “Helm of Terror” in Icelandic. This symbol is thought to strike fear in the hearts of those who oppose them plus defend and protect them.
Ravens are highly intelligent, majestic, and dark birds. The combination of the wingspan and head make for a unique style if placed on your chest or shoulders. It can be placed in several ways due to its impressive size and shape. Odin’s ravens have been mentioned a lot through Norse mythology, and rightfully so.
Odin has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, and these majestic creatures are typically shown perched on his shoulders.
The Viking longboat is one of the images most representative of Viking culture. Viking longboats were meant to instill fear upon the shire side when raiding by being adorned with the head of a dragon. Due to the well-crafted and efficient seafaring vessels that the Norsemen had in their day, they could sail farther than any other culture during those ages.
One-Eyed Wanderer (Odin)
He is deserving of his own description because Odin is a prominent figure in Norse mythology. Wizardly is one of the ways that Odin is depicted in many of his representations. Most people consider him an inspiration for Gandalf, the J.R.R Tolkien character.
Odin gave up one of his eyes as part of a sacrifice and became known as the “one-eyed wanderer.” He did this to gain knowledge of other worlds and the Earth. Asgard is the home of the gods, and Odin is the most powerful god in that realm.
The associations of Odin include but are not limited to:
Here is some interesting information regarding a modern word derived from an old Germanic word. This word is “Wotan” and means “Odin.” In ancient Norse mythology, Wednesday was known as Odin’s day.
Yggdrasil is a spectacular and massive mythical tree right in the middle of Norse folklore. Viking symbol tattoos that include a tree feature the “tree of life.” The tree of life is said to connect Norse Paganism’s Nine World.
Norse gods assembled at the tree daily, and it was considered the center of the universe. Its roots went deep, and its branches extended into the heavens. The stags Dainn, Dyalinn, Duneyrr, Durabror, a nameless eagle, and a dragon (Heyergelmir), among other creatures lived in this tree.
Norn is a female being whole rules both men and the gods alike in Norse folklore. With even the gods themselves being held accountable to the fate for which they choose, this power ranks them among the most powerful of Nordic lore.
The Norn can dictate and create the fate of time, and each female has a name that suggests their ability.
Choosing the Right Viking Tattoo Artist
If you are interested in getting a Viking tattoo, it is vital to make sure that you use the right artist. That way, no matter what you want to get, whether it be a Viking ship, a Viking helmet tattoo, or any other Viking tattoo ideas you may have it will be well done.
A Viking god is another popular option as it represents power and can be placed anywhere on the body due to its unique sizing. Finding the right tattoo artist may sound challenging, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these steps.
First, check out local Viking tattoo artists in your area and ask them to see their portfolio so you can get a better understanding of their work. Once you have reviewed a few artists, it’s time to decide which one would be the best choice to do your Viking warrior tattoo.
If you consider traditional Viking tattoos, it may be best to speak to a professional in the industry with many years of experience. Some Viking god tattoos require intricate details, and it is best if you find an artist with a steady hand.
What Are Some Viking Tattoo Ideas?
Viking tattoos can symbolize many things such as strength, power, and connectedness by the person who wears it. Deciding if you should get a Viking ship or Viking warrior tattoo is entirely up to you and what you feel the symbolism represents.
You may want to combine a Viking god with a Viking compass tattoo to create your own tattoo style customized to your liking. Creating Viking-inspired tattoos has taken off ever since the hit TV show “Vikings”, and this statement has never been more true.
Choosing Viking ships to be in your tattoo shows that you want to represent bravery and recklessness, two of the most common traits assigned to the Viking culture. A Norse tattoo with this depiction is regularly used as body art on people worldwide.
Even a rune tattoo or axe tattoo is a good idea for someone who is getting their first tattoo. Understanding the Norse symbols and the Viking age is a great way to get inspiration for what you may want on your chest piece.
What About Tattoo After Care?
Once your tattoo artist has completed the job successfully, it’s time to let the tattoo healing begin. An essential part of the healing process is caring for the skin and maintaining moisture during recovery. If you want your Viking Warrior or Viking ship tattoo to heal correctly, you need to use a product that will supply moisturization to the area and preserve the Viking tattoos’ colors.
Below we have listed some of our favorite tattoo aftercare products and highlighted the benefits of using them.
After Inked tattoo moisturizer does exactly what you need it to do. It safeguards the tattoos’ color and delivers superb moisturization to the skin. This product won’t stain or stick to your cloth because it contains no petroleum.
What’s excellent about After Inked is that you can use it with any permanent makeup procedure, including areola, eyeliner, brows, and lips. It is non-irritating, non-allergenic, and Dermatologically tested. We recommend any tattoo artist try out this product or suggest it to their customers; it’s excellent!
PurSan makes the perfect aftercare regimens for piercing and fresh Viking tattoos. It is a specifically formulated Vegan skin cleaner that purifies and revitalizes the skin without dehydrating the area. There are no harmful ingredients in PurSan, so you don’t need to worry about alcohol, colorants, fragrances, and parabens.
It does contain some great chemicals for body art, such as Viking ship tattoos, rune tattoos, and Viking compass tattoos. Without irritating or burning the skin, Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against viruses and bacteria. This product is ideal for all skin types due to the ultra high-grade lubricant made from Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose.
Why Get a Viking Tattoo?
Viking tattoos like an axe tattoo, Viking warrior piece, or compass tattoo body art can be great to have tattooed on your arm or chest. Various designs include deities, such as Valkyrie, Valhalla, and the wolf god. A Viking tattoo representing Norse culture is an excellent way to show that you are a warrior and what you have been through.
It all depends on what you believe the tattoo’s meaning is and what you take from the piece itself. Viking symbols have a way of attracting people’s attention because of the well-drawn design and unique carved styles of some of its elements.
It’s time to get the Viking warrior and ship tattoo you have always wanted. By following the guidelines set out in the article, you are sure to find the Viking tattoo that is most desirable. Whether it’s a Viking compass tattoo or a Viking ship tattoo, using an experienced artist is essential to get the work done.
You can think of the deity or symbol that represents you the most and use that as your next Viking tattoo idea. With so many wonderfully skilled artists out there, it will be no time until your arm and chest are covered in authentic Viking tattoos.