Viking tattoos seem to be all the rage these days, not only because they can look great on the skin but also because they have some pretty interesting meanings attached to them.
On this page we will take a look at who the Vikings were so you can get a better feel for why Viking tattoos are so popular. We’ll also look at some of the most used Viking tattoo designs and meanings, which might help you to decide if they make sense for you.
Interestingly, Viking tattoos started out with the Vikings themselves. Way back in the 900s, many Vikings could be seen with ink from head to toe with everything from creatures to things they found in the forests. Some people will get their Viking tattoos based on the old paintings and sculptures of those old Vikings, while others will simply get their tattoos in remembrance of the original Norse fighters.
People who have Viking ancestors will often get Viking tattoos to honor those family members and the bloodlines that they share. And this encompasses all of the Viking designs that we’ll talk about on this page. This actually makes it a lot easier to choose a Viking tattoo design since you don’t have to dig for a deeper meaning than you just want to honor those who came before you. Of course, the design will be that much more personal if you can find some other meanings that work for you.
Viking heads are some of the most popular Viking tattoos out there for people who want to get heavily detailed designs. The heads usually have cool looking helmets and a fighter’s expression, though you really can go with any look that you like. It’s a good idea to think of the meanings that you want to come across and choose an expression based on them. These Viking head tattoos are often placed on the back since they are big and detailed, but they can also work quite well as arm tattoos.
The Helm of Awe, which is one of the most commonly seen Viking tattoo symbols, is a great design to get if you want a Norse design that represents protection. There are quite a few symbols of protection out there, but we recommend this one if you have Viking ancestry since it will give you multiple meanings to use and it is a relatively unique way of expressing this meaning. Those who take pride in protecting those around them are great candidates to get a Helm of Awe tattoo.
There’s also the Viking symbol called the Vegvisir, which is kind of like the Viking compass since they would use them to maneuver through bad weather while traveling. People who get the Vegvisir usually have it to symbolize their ability to get through tough times. This magical staff symbol is perfect for anyone looking for a circular design to put on their shoulders or wrists. It’s also quite inexpensive since most people will stick with black ink for the entire piece.
The Valknut tattoo, which has three interlocking triangles, is a great option if you are looking for another smaller Viking tattoo option. No one knows for sure what these shapes meant to the Vikings, but many people use them now to symbolize their ability to block out their fears to move forward in their lives. This is a very recognizable Viking symbol to anyone who has studied Norse history, but you can be pretty confident that you won’t meet too many other people with this tattoo.
Another interesting Viking tattoo is the Ouroboros, which is an image of a snake eating its own tale. Some people might assume that this has a negative meaning, but in truth it represents both infinity and completeness. This is a fantastic design to get if you are the type of person who feels complete and who feels fully alive at all times.
The Triskelion, a Viking symbol with three interlocking horns, is a classic Viking tattoo that is said to represent wisdom. It looks kind of like a modern fidget spinner, but what’s great about this tattoo is that it can easily be tweaked to your own tastes. If you take pride in using your knowledge to help those around you, then the Triskelion might just be the perfect Viking tattoo for you.
What’s interesting about Viking tattoos is that they are usually done in just a few colors. Unlike other types of designs that have a lot of detail in them, regardless of the Viking tattoo design you choose you can be sure that it won’t cover too much of the color wheel. Most people opt for browns and blacks for these designs even if they are getting a Viking portrait with a heavily detailed axe and shield. This is to give it an aged look that suits the period.
If you plan on getting one or more of the many Viking tattoos out there, you will want to think about the placement of the design before you commit to a final image. You can definitely get a Viking in full uniform on your arm, but you’ll want to work with an artist who can make it work with the natural lines of your arm. You definitely should not just take the first picture you see and try to make it work as a tattoo. Be patient with the process so you can get the best Viking tattoo possible and one you can be proud of.
We mentioned some of the most popular Viking tattoos, but there are plenty more that you can choose from if you know that you want to get a Norse design. Take a look at some history books or even check out some trusted resources online for inspiration. If you have Vikings somewhere up in your family tree or you simply really like the look of a Viking tattoo design and the meanings attached to it, you might be a great candidate for one of these tats.