The Vikings were a group of warriors from Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Denmark and Sweden who, between 700 and 1100 A.D. (a period known as the Viking Age) set out to invade Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic. They were known for their skills as sailors and navigators.
The name Viking would come from a language called "Old Norse" and would mean "pirate raid". The Vikings sailed on long ships called drakkars and pillaged the coasts of Britain and northwestern France for centuries.
According to history, Vikings were covered with tattoos from the fingertips to the neck. These tattoos represented ancient Norse symbols, different knot patterns or dark green tree symbols.
No one can really confirm what kind of symbols or patterns were used for these tattoos, but it is likely that they represented symbols from northern mythology and ancient designs similar to those found on Viking jewelry or carved into bones, boats or other artifacts.
The helmet of fear is also known as Aegishjalmur (Ægishjálmr). The design of this symbol consists of eight armed spikes that start from a central point. This symbol represents protection and superpowers.
Many Viking warriors wore this symbol to go to war because they thought it would protect them and give them the courage to defeat all the enemies they would fight.
The Valknut consists of three intertwined triangles with the tip pointing upwards. In many representations, this sign appeared to Odin, making him the symbol of this God. Many ancient Vikings believed that Valknut represented Odin's welcome to warriors arriving in Valhalla, the place reserved for the brave in Asgard.
In our society, the sign of Valknut has become very popular in the designs of jewelry, viking ring of valknut, artifacts and tattoos. Many of those who wear this sign believe that they will receive Odin's help in overcoming life's difficulties.
Yggdrasil was the Great Tree of northern mythology. This ash tree was considered the Tree of Life that controlled the Nine Worlds and connected everything in the universe.
The symbol of Yggdrasil represented absolute power, deep knowledge and mystical deity.
Thor's hammer was named Mjölnir. In Norse mythology, this powerful hammer commanded such respect that no other weapon could be compared to it. The hammer was associated with lightning, thunder and storm.
For the common Vikings and warriors, this hammer was very important because Mjölnir was the symbol of Thor - the most powerful of the gods and the one with the best heart. The Vikings wore this amulet in battles and daily life.
This symbol gave them power, courage and generosity. (See Mjölnir hammer tattoos)
The ouroboros is a symbol representing a snake biting its tail. Since "Oura" means tail and "Robos" means to eat, the meaning of the word could be: "He who eats his own tail". If you have some Nordic knowledge, you certainly know that this symbol was that of Jormungandr, the Nordic snake of Midgard, whose father was Loki, the famous deceiver.
The symbol of Ouroboros expresses the unity of all spiritual and material things. It also represents the eternal cycle of rebirth and destruction.
This symbol was very popular and was present in many Viking homes.
The power of this cross was to protect against bad trolls, demons and negative vibrations that could be found in the surroundings.
The Wyrd's Web, or Viking symbol of destiny, was a powerful sign in the form of runes. It was made by the Norns, the goddesses of destiny, who wove the destiny of all beings.
This symbol was a reminder that the actions of the past affect the present and that the present can affect the future. Generally, it was a sign of universal interconnectedness.
Vegvisir means "the indicator" or "the one who finds the way". The Vikings carried Vegvisir with them because they thought it would guide them, allowing them to reach their destination. Whether they were at sea or elsewhere, this sign would bring them home safe and sound.
Nowadays, some people think that the Vegivisir tattoos will help them not to take a wrong path in life.
Runes were the common alphabetical system of the Vikings.
But they were not really used for communication purposes: runes were generally used to call the gods and ask them for help.
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