Reviewed & updated: November 24, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Do you love reading about ancient cultures? If yes, then here are some of the best Norse rune tattoo designs, that you can use as inspiration the next time you get inked.
For those who don’t know what a rune is, it is basically a type of font, used by the ancient Germans.
The word ‘rune’ translates to ‘something hidden’. Many believe that rune symbols are associated with the black magic of the Viking age.
Each rune symbol has a distinct meaning of its own. While some denote positive messages or blessings, others can also be a representation of negative emotions or curses. When we talk about rune tattoos, we basically refer to two types, Celtic rune tattoos and Viking rune tattoos. The main difference between these two is that Celtic rune tattoos represent God or divine power, whereas Viking tattoos are synonymous with protection. Norse Rune tattoos in particular are believed to be protective charms that guide mankind in the right direction. Mentioned below are some of the best examples of Norse rune tattoo ideas, that you should definitely check out.
Helm Of Awe Tattoo
There are multiple references to the Helm of Awe, also known as the Viking symbol, in the Viking sagas. It was a protective charm for the warriors and in fact, some believe that the Helm Of Awe is actually a protective spell, cast on the Viking warriors, to protect themselves on the battlefield. As we all know, the Vikings were one of the most skilled and ferocious warriors of history. There have been several interpretations of this particular symbol, however, the main theme remains the same, which is protection. Some even believe the helm basically refers to a helmet. Irrespective of the controversies, this design looks good on both men and women. Especially, if you are a believer in magical powers, this one is a must-have.
The image contains a design of eight armed spikes, emerging from a central point, and pointing towards the outside. The tattoo artist has used a stark black ink to create this eye-catching design, on the arm of the individual.
Norse Runes Throat Tattoo
Etched on the throat of the individual, is another simple design of Norse Rune tattoos. The artist has used plain black ink for this particular design. One thing that is very common in these kinds of Norse Rune tattoos, is that, people always opt for large applications to create a tattoo design, that stands out. You can try out this design, if you are on the lookout for similar tattoo designs. However, before getting a throat tattoo, remember that they tend to be very painful. This is because the kin surrounding our neck is very sensitive and takes a much longer time to heal. If you think, you can withstand the pain, then only go for the procedure, since throat tattoos are one of the boldest types of body art.
Till Valhalla Tattoo
Imprinted on the forearm of the individual, are some beautiful Norse rune symbols. They basically translate to the archaic language for ‘Till Valhalla’, which means ‘until Valhalla’. In the ancient warrior culture, Valhalla was the name of a place, where the dead warriors, go after their death. It was a form of afterlife or Heaven. Theorists describe Valhalla as a huge majestic hall, that was situated in Asgard and ruled over by the all mighty Odin. Therefore, Valhalla is also known as the ‘Hall of the Fallen’. The phrase ’till Valhalla’, means ‘until we meet again in Valhalla’. It was a sign of promise, that even after death, we would meet again. The same idea has been beautifully highlighted through this design.
Simple Rune Tattoos
These Norse Runes can be a great design if you are looking for some simple tattoo designs. Historians believed that instead of being a way to communicate with each other, runes were typically used to communicate with the divine power and deities. They were basically the common system of alphabets for the Vikings. Etched below the ear of this individual, is one such example of a simple rune tattoo. Rune tattoos are characterized by their specifically stipple shading, and use of stark black ink. Many people get rune tattoos that have a significant meaning to them. You can also incorporate designs of mythical beasts into your tattoo, to make it a more powerful symbol.
The Valknut tattoo usually consists of three interlocking triangles. One of the most common meanings of the valknut tattoo is honoring the death of a loved one. The Valknut sigh was actually the symbol of Odin. Some historians believe that this sign represents the welcoming of the dead warriors to Valhalla, the Hall of Fallen, by Odin. This particular tattoo design can be one of the unique ways to pay tribute to someone close whom you have lost recently. Many also associate this symbol with reincarnation. However, the true meaning of the Valknut sigh remains unknown to date. If you like these kinds of mystical meanings behind your tattoos, getting this design can be one of the coolest ways to show it. The intricate details of the triangles, when paired up the the shadings of black ink, look incredible.
Odin’s Raven Norse Rune Tattoo
The raven was an important symbol in Norse mythology. It is said that the all-mighty Odin had two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. They were the symbols of thought and memory. Every day, the two ravens would travel across the Nine Worlds, and at night they would whisper back to the ears of Odin, all the information that they had gathered. The above-mentioned image, contains the design of these majestic ravens, paired up with Norse runes. They represent, mystery, knowledge and wisdom. If you look closely, you can see that the design of the Norse rune has been done in dots. These kinds of dot work tattoos are slowly gaining popularity in the world of tattooing. They are one of the least painful tattoos, and therefore are an ideal choice among every tattoo-lovers.
Laguz Rune Tattoo
The laguz is yet another very popular rune symbol that represents love, water and travel. According to Norse mythology, water was one of the most dangerous elements of Nature. Although from the top, it may look calm and precious, the deep raging water underneath the oceans or the seas, carry various secrets, unknown to mankind. Some also associate the Lagaz rune symbol with wisdom and intelligence. If you believe that knowledge is the most important element in one’s life, then this tattoo design is a must-have.
In Norse culture, the Yggdrasil was the symbol of the Great Tree, that connects all mankind and the universe. Also known as the Tree of Life, it was like the powerhouse of unlimited power, and profound wisdom. It was a highly spiritual symbol and its deep meaning can be traced back to the Viking culture. In this image, the artist has used shades of green ink to highlight the leaves of the Great Tree. The intricate detailing of the tree is indeed stunning, and it can be a great way to kickstart your journey to the world of tattooing.
Ouroboros Tattoo With Viking Compass
Ouroboros rightly translates to ‘He who eats his own tail’. In this particular design, we can see a similar idea being portrayed. It contains the symbol of a snake eating its own tail. Within the circle, the tattoo artist has incorporated the Viking compass symbol, so as to enhance its deep meaning. The design here represents the infinite cycle of birth-death-renewal. This is one of the best ways to show that death is inevitable, and instead of fearing it, one should accept it wholeheartedly.
Norse Protection Rune Tattoo
So far we have only seen black and gray tattoo designs. The above-mentioned image contains a vibrant and colorful design of an ancient Norse symbol tattoo. Etched on the forearm of the individual, the tattoo artist has used vibrant color ink to create this design. It indeed looks very aesthetic. If you like these kinds of colorful designs, then you can refer to this image as a suggestion for your next tattoo. The only thing that you have to remember is that, colorful tattoos can fade much quicker than the traditional black and white ones. Therefore, you need to get frequent touch-ups done to keep the fresh and crispy look of your design intact.
In modern times, these ancient symbols are one of the most popular tattoo designs because of their rich history and deep meanings. Originally carved on stone tablets, they have been preserved throughout the long years of history by archaeologists and historians. Mentioned below are a few other examples of Norse Rune tattoo designs that you will absolutely love.
- Traditional Norse Tattoos
- Troll Cross Tattoo
- Wyrd Tattoo
- Old Norse Rune Armband Tattoo
- Norse Rune Sleeve Tattoo
feature image from Pinterest
What do Norse runes mean?
Norse runes, or Futhark, are ancient symbols used for communication and divination in Scandinavia, Britain and other parts of Northern Europe. The original meaning of the Norse runes is unclear – some believe they had magical powers while others think they were mainly used as a form of writing.The symbols have been around since at least the 4th century and have been found on many artifacts, including stones and jewelry. Each rune has a specific meaning, usually related to the gods or elements of nature. For example, Fehu represents wealth and fertility, while Othala symbolizes family heritage and home. There are also other runes that can be used to create a particular intention or result. For example, Algiz can be used to protect against danger or harm.
Norse runes are still used today by those seeking insight, guidance and divination. Runes can be cast in various ways, depending on the desired outcome and the reader’s preferences. Common methods include laying out stones in a particular pattern or sequence, or using a bag of runes to cast and read. Runes can also be used in combination with tarot cards or other divination methods to gain further insight into a situation.
What are the most popular Norse rune tattoos?
Norse rune tattoos are very popular and can be used to express a variety of meanings. Some of the most common Norse runes include Fehu (wealth and fertility), Ansuz (communication and wisdom), Uruz (strength and courage) and Hagalaz (change). Other common tattoos feature designs of Viking ships, hammers or axes, as well as Yggdrasil (“tree of life”) and the Valknut (“knot of power”). Many people choose to combine multiple runes together to create a more elaborate tattoo design. These designs can represent everything from courage and strength to protection and luck.
What are the best places to get a Norse rune tattoo?
When it comes to getting a Norse rune tattoo, it is important to find a qualified artist who specializes in this type of design. Look for an experienced artist who is knowledgeable about Norse runes and their meanings – this will ensure that you get the best design possible. It can also be helpful to bring at least one reference image of what you would like your tattoo to look like to the artist.
Before committing to a particular design, make sure that you are aware of any potential risks associated with getting a tattoo. Be sure to do some research on the best places in your area to get a Norse rune tattoo, such as reputable shops and studios. Finally, don’t forget to check reviews and ask for references before committing to a particular artist.
How much do Norse rune tattoos cost?
The cost of a Norse rune tattoo will vary depending on the size, complexity and location. Generally, a small or simple design can start at around $50 to $100, while more elaborate designs can cost up to several hundred dollars. The artist’s experience level and the type of ink used will also affect the price. It is important to shop around and compare prices before committing to a particular artist.
Overall, Norse runes are an ancient form of communication that can be used as a powerful tool for divination, protection and guidance. They can also be used in combination with other forms of divination or tattoo art to create beautiful and meaningful designs. If you are looking for a way to express your beliefs, values and intentions, consider getting a Norse rune tattoo.