There are few things as epic as Norse mythology.
Pop culture has been drawing from these characters for years, from Marvel’s Thor series to Disney’s Frozen.
Ullr is a popular figure from Norse mythology, and Ullr tattoos have become popular as a result.
Let’s explore this godly figure and the qualities that make him so popular, shall we?
What is Norse Mythology?
First things first.
People throw around the term “Norse Mythology” a lot.
It tends to be associated with pale, icy viking like figures.
But what is Norse mythology all about?
Norse mythology is the religion of Vikings, and North Germanic people of the middle ages.
Similar to Greek mythology or the Christian Bible, Norse mythology is a collection of stories.
These stories feature godly figures and parables to guide those who hear them.
Most Norse legends were passed down orally, so there are some figures that have become more mysterious and shadowy than others.
While Odin (go to Odin tattoo for more!) and Thor are instantly recognizable players in these stories, Ullr is well known among enthusiasts and those who know the myths more intimately.
As with any mythology, people would pray to these gods when they needed guidance in one specific area presided over by that god.
Because these stories are so beautiful and were passed down so effectively, there are those who invoke these divine characters even today.
Who is Ullr in Norse Mythology?
Ullr is pronounced “Ooler” today, but may have sounded more like “Ool” centuries ago.
His name roughly translates to “Glory.”
Unfortunately, by the time the Norse legends were written down, Ullr had been somewhat lost in the sands of time.
Not much is said about him or his origin story when compared to those who are considered key players today.
His name is peppered throughout many texts, suggesting that at one point he was a very important deity.
Further to that point, at some point a shrine to Ullr was unearthed and discovered in Sweden, just North of Stockholm.
The shrine was remarkably preserved, and featured wooden and stone statues.
65 rings were buried around the grounds.
Historians speculate that these would be “oath rings” wherein a person would make a promise on a ring and bury it in Ullr’s shrine as a sign of dedication.
People chose Ullr’s shrine as he was one of the Gods in charge of watching over vows.
In addition to his loyalty, Ullr is known as being quite the athlete and hunter.
Over the years, he has become a Guardian to lovers of Winter sports.
When a skier wants ideal conditions on the mountain, they give a little shout out to their friend Ullr.
Though there is some debate over his parentage, the theory that makes the most sense is that Ullr was the son of Egill, an incredibly skilled archer and one of Thor’s hunting companions.
Legend says that Ullr passed over ice on magic bone, hinting at some ice skating skills.
Ullr was also said to use his shield to glide down the snow, so he might be the original snowboarder!
When Ullr is depicted in art, he is often portrayed as the ultimate athlete, traversing some snow on his trusty skis with a bow and arrow in tow.
Is Ullr the God of Winter?
While Ullr is definitely a proper friend for Winter sports fanatic, he is often mistakenly referred to as the God of Winter.
Ullr is a powerful deity to be sure, but do not mistake him for the official God of all things Winter.
That title would belong to Skadi, the Goddess of Winter.
Though there is some debate on this, it seems fair to say that Skadi provides the snow, and Ullr keeps you safe while you play in it.
So if you’re praying for snow alone- ask Skadi.
If you’re praying you hit a new high note in your skiing, skating or snowboarding career- have a chat with Ullr.
Though at the end of the day, Ullr loves to ski.
So if you mess up and ask him for snow, he may oblige.
What do Ullr Tattoos Symbolize?
A person could choose to get an Ullr tattoo for any number of reasons.
Maybe you’ve made a promise to yourself or someone else, and want Ullr’s assistance in staying true to that vow.
Maybe you’re proud of your athletic prowess.
Maybe you’re a beginner athlete and would like someone strong by your side.
Maybe you just love all winter activities!
One less talked about aspect of Ullr’s personality is his flirtatious side.
Apparently Ullr was quite the hot commodity, so if you’re looking to invoke some sexual healing, you may want to get this guy on your side.
Or your arm!
Common Themes in Ullr Tattoos
Ullr tattoos can be drawn in any style you feel is appropriate for you.
Many artists enjoy putting a new spin on this epic figure, so chat with yours about what you can do to make your Ullr tattoo stand out.
Some symbols you may choose to include in your Ullr tattoo include skis, bows and arrows, snow, the northern lights, rings, evergreen trees, animal pelts, axes and hatchets.
Ullr Tattoo Ideas
It can be rare to find someone who shares your love of Winter- there are so many people who would rather be inside with some hot cocoa.
An Ullr tattoo will be your ski-jump-loving friend till the end, so why not partner up?
If you’re looking for some Viking tattoo inspiration, check out our Ullr tattoo gallery below.
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