Viking Compass Tattoos
The origin of the modern Viking Compass, also known as a vegvísir, comes out of the Huld manuscript, a collection of far earlier Viking/Icelandic material and The Galdrabok, an ancient Icelandic book of magic compiled by four individuals, dated as early as 1600 AD.
The history behind these compasses run deep in Icelandic traditions, but at the heart of it, they were used as protection symbols, guiding warriors on their path.
The word vegvísir can be directly translated to the terms, “wayfinder” or “signpost” in the Icelandic language.
More recently, the Viking Compass has grown in popularity in the tattoo community.
It’s an incredibly intricate design consisting of 8 staves that branch out from the same center point and end with a unique protective rune.
These runes are letters of the runic alphabet, a Germanic language often compared to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
They are comprised out of straight lines which made them easy to carve on to a bone, wood or other objects, and in modern times as a tattoo on the skin.
Before the emergence of ink and tattoos, it was believed that these symbols were often carved into the Viking Warriors’ foreheads with blades, or less aggressively, drawn onto their foreheads using blood.
Viking tattoos are as vibrant in design as they are in their history and the Viking Compass Tattoo may just be one of the most popular of the various designs.
Viking Compass Tattoo Meanings
The word vegvísir is comprised of two Icelandic words, Vegur and Vísir, Vegur means road or path, and Vísir means path or guide, essentially boiling the term down to meaning ‘’A guide for your path’’ or ‘’To provide wisdom on your path”.
In simple terms, it’s meant to protect someone from going astray in their life.
The Viking compass, also known as a Nordic Compass, is an expression of someone’s intention with the symbols or “runes” depicting power and endurance.
They can be seen as an ode to one’s heritage of a tradition once lost, a culture that withstood the test of time in one of the harshest environments, or they can be a source of interpersonal inspiration and a reminder of one’s inner power.
At its deepest level, varying meanings behind the Viking Compass can be traced down to individual tribes of the region.
This meant that there would be different meanings of these runes within some communities.
Today, however, it’s seen as a symbol of protection and guidance, with each beautiful design as unique as the skin that it is tattoed on.
Over and above the protection offered by these rune symbols, they can also spell out something significant to you.
This could be anything from a loved one’s name, your place of birth or an intention that you have set out for your life.
Viking Compass Tattoo Placement
Although the placement of the Viking compass tattoo is by no means restricted to location or placement, the said placement thereof could give a great indication as to what the interpretation is behind it.
We can break down most Viking runes into three main categories namely, offence, defense and utility.
Offensive runes would be those indicating a form of violence, political rise, or conquering a foe; these types of runes could be found on, but not limited to places like the arms or legs while placing it on your hand, could be symbolic of steering your life in the right direction, using the tattoo as a guide for your path.
In terms of the Viking Compass tattoo placement on the body, it’s intention could be interpreted depending on where it’s been placed.
- Viking Compass Tattoo on Chest
- Viking Compass Elbow Tattoos
- Viking Compass Tattoos on Forearm
- Viking Compass Tattoos on Shoulder
- Viking Compass Calf Tattoos
- Viking Compass Back Tattoos
- Viking Compass Hand Tattoos
Viking Compass Tattoo Designs
Viking compass tattoos are very versatile, showcasing some of the most particular and unique designs.
They may often be paired with animals such as wolves, ravens or horses, paying homage to Viking Gods and Goddesses, or other elements associated with their culture, such as weapons.
While grey and black may seem to be a common choice for this tattoo design, many have incorporated bold red elements, depicting blood, battle or power, depending on the intention of the tattoo.
Considering its size and versatility, the Viking Compass Tattoo is an excellent choice for someone willing to commit to a bold and daring tattoo.
Each design is open to interpretation, and you can play around with various protective runes or symbols, depending on what the compass is intended to mean to you.