Often used on the path of self-knowledge and wisdom, Rune-Magick or Nordic symbols can make a soulful design if you’re seeking a small and symbolic Viking tattoo which symbolizes the Heathen Germanic religion.

The Runes are a magickal system widely used across Northern Europe and within Norse mythology to help make decisions or offer guidance through the ancient practice of rune casting.

The medieval Elder Futhark alphabet is made up of twenty-four runes, each with a different meaning that is used in divination and magickal spells.

The following Runic symbols can be further researched for their associated glyph designs so that you can choose an appropriate Norse tattoo.

From there, you can place the Viking tattoo anywhere you’d like, whether that be in a backpiece design or your inner wrist.

Here are ten of the most prominent and important Viking rune symbols that could make an interesting, unique, and, I daresay, magickal tattoo.

1. Helm of Awe

Helm of Awe Tattoo

Worn as a symbol of protection against evil, the Helm of Awe was often painted between warriors’ eyes before they were sent into battle in an effort to frighten opponents.

2. Fehu

Fehu Rune Tattoo

If you’re seeking good fortune in the near future, the Fehu Viking rune symbol may bring abundant income, financial blessings, and prosperity in your direction.

3. Wunjo

Wunjo Tattoo

To encourage simple comforts and joy, the Wunjo Viking rune tattoo symbolizes long-awaited recognition and self-worth.

4. Ansuz

Ansuz tattoo

If you want to heighten your intuition, the Ansuz tattoo symbolizes true vision, clarity, blessings, and inspiration.

5. Jera

Jera tattoo

If you’ve worked hard and are awaiting the fruits of your intense labors, the Jera rune symbolizes success.

6. Tiwaz

Tiwaz Rune Tattoo

Hearken to your individual strengths with a Tiwaz symbol Viking tattoo. Perfect for those practicing law, the Tiwaz brings justice and victory in legal matters.

7. Berkano

Berkano Viking Rune Tattoos

Whether it be physical or the birth of the spirit, the Berkano rune tattoo symbolizes new ventures and beginnings. The Berkano would make an excellent choice for new or expectant mothers.

8. Kenaz

Kenaz Tattoos
(Photograph: @small.tattoos/Instagram).

Designed as a torch or a beacon, the Kenaz symbolizes the fire of transformation. Much like the Phoenix, you may consider the Kenaz if you want to encourage renewed energy and strength.

9. Dagaz

Dagaz Rune Tattoo

Symbolized as the day and the dawn, the Dagaz rune encourages awakening and the power to change, in addition to free will.

10. Ingwaz

What does Ingwaz tattoo mean?

Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you from fulfilling your dreams. The Ingwaz rune represents common sense, comfort, peace, and mindful rest.

Traditional Viking tattoos include Yggdrasil, Vegvisir, Aegishjalmur, Mjölnir, or the Hammer of Thor, and Triskelion tattoos. Evidence suggests that Vikings used to carve these markings into their skin or use henna drawings. However, there is no hard evidence that tattoos were common in the Viking Age.

Viking tattoo meanings

Viking tattoo meanings

Viking tattoos can mean boldness and bravery because Vikings were known to be rough, brave, and adventurous. Symbols such as the Web of Wyrd or Viking Matrix of Faith, Vegvisir (Viking compass), Ouroboros (eternal cycle of rebirth), and others are often used in Viking tattoos.

Viking tattoos are rich in meaning and symbolism, as they often incorporate elements of Norse culture and mythology. Here are a few examples of symbols and designs that are commonly used in Viking tattoos, along with their meanings:

  • Runes: Vikings used a system of symbols known as runes to communicate, write, and perform magic. Each rune had its own meaning and could be used in divination and spells. Some popular Viking tattoo designs incorporate runes, such as the Helm of Awe (a symbol of protection against evil) and the Fehu rune (which represents abundance and prosperity).
  • Mythological creatures: Norse mythology is full of creatures such as dragons, wolves, and serpents, which are often depicted in Viking tattoo designs. These creatures can represent various characteristics or qualities, such as strength, loyalty, or cunning.
  • Gods and goddesses: Vikings believed in a pantheon of deities, many of which are featured in tattoo designs. For example, Thor, the god of thunder, is often depicted with his hammer, Mjolnir, representing strength and protection.
  • Symbols of strength and protection: Vikings were a warrior culture, and many tattoo designs reflect this aspect of their identity. Symbols such as the Helm of Awe and Mjolnir, as well as animals such as wolves and bears, are often used in tattoo designs to symbolize strength and protection.

Depending on the symbols and designs used, Viking tattoos can mean a lot of different things. It is important to research the cultural significance of these tattoos and understand their meanings before getting one.

What do Viking tattoos symbolize?

Viking tattoos often symbolize power, strength, bloodlust, mystery, and a connection to the gods. The Web of Wyrd, also known as the Viking Matrix of Faith, is a powerful symbol made of runic shapes that people thought would help them win battles.

Did Vikings Have Tattoos?

There is evidence to suggest that Vikings did have tattoos. However, a body with intact skin has never been found to confirm this. It is widely considered a fact that the Vikings and Northmen, in general, were heavily tattooed.

Who Should Wear a Viking Rune Tattoo?

There are many types of people who may choose a Viking rune tattoo, and for certain, a Rune Master makes the most likely candidate.

But there are some people who might want to wear a Norse talisman, like those of Germanic descent or fans of the Tolkien books, which use runes that are mostly based on this Norse script.

It’s not just body placement that you’ll need to think about with a Viking Rune tattoo, but also directional placement, as some designs have reverse meaning and power if they are placed upside down.

To further your understanding of Viking Norse tattoo designs, read about Norse Mythology or study the runes before making any of these magickal symbols permanent. Goodness knows you can’t reverse their spell. Ask, and you shall receive…



  1. What a fascinating topic! Viking tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s no wonder why. The bold designs and rich cultural heritage behind each symbol make for truly unique and meaningful pieces of body art.

    I’m particularly interested in the symbolism behind each design. The Valknut, for example, represents the warrior’s death and the cycle of life and death. The Yggdrasil, the tree of life, encompasses the nine realms of Norse mythology and symbolizes the interconnectedness of all things. The depiction of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, is not only a nod to the god of thunder but also a symbol of protection and power.

    It’s truly amazing how much depth and meaning can be conveyed through these tattoos. As someone who is considering getting a Viking tattoo myself, I find it fascinating to learn about the history and cultural significance behind each design.

    But I’m a little confused when it comes to picking a design. With so many options, each with its own unique meaning and significance, it can be overwhelming to decide.

    At the same time, the burst of creativity behind these tattoos is also what makes them so appealing. The intricate knotwork, bold lines, and powerful imagery make for truly eye-catching pieces of body art.

    I’m truly inspired by the wealth of Viking tattoo ideas and their meanings. I can’t wait to learn more about this rich cultural history and find the perfect design to show how my own beliefs and values reflect the world around me.

    • Thank you so much for your insightful comment! I couldn’t agree more. The depth and meaning behind Viking tattoos are what makes them so captivating.

      I can understand your perplexity when it comes to choosing a design. With so many symbols and designs to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the perfect one. That’s why I always recommend taking the time to research and understand the significance behind each design before making a decision.

      I’m also thrilled to hear that the burst of creativity behind these tattoos is what appeals to you. The knotwork, bold lines, and intricate designs are truly what make Viking tattoos stand out.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful comment. I’m always encouraged to hear from those who are as passionate about Viking culture and tattoos as I am. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a specific design, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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