Runes as Tattoos

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Runes as Tattoos

Runes as Tattoos
Post # 1

Disclaimer: Runes are powerful. If invoked or created incorrectly, or for the wrong reason, they can be dangerous. The mere creation of a runic charm or in this case a tattoo may invoke/activate the charm, even if this was not intended. A knowledge of runes is best as well as common sense and safety.

It might be a decent idea to draw or paint the rune on your skin first and invoke it, or dont. This is a good idea for 2 reasons, if you do invoke the rune or intend to have an invoked tattoo, this gives you a preview of what you might have to deal with and weigh the risks or benifits therein. If not then it can simply be a matter of if you like the placement and appearance of it.

Runic tattoos are a long running thing in norway, many vikings and pre/post-viking norsemen were tattood and for many reasons, the foremost are obvious. In this article i thought id talk about some common tattoo ideas and some ideas that are special cases or require additional thought put into them.

The Valknut: The Simple valknut is Considered one of Odins symbols, though some debate its not a rune, it does come with an effect. Those wearing it are typically placing their allegance and faith in Odin and of course this decision should not be taken lightly. The drabacks of this design is that it is a symbol of death in battle and odin is a warriors God. It is often believed (and frankly i wouldnt doubt it) that people who swear a sacred promise and put this on their skin (some say invoking it but thats a matter of if you consider it a rune or not) have had a tendancy to meet much conflict. For old norsemen they wanted death in battle so this was often perfect for them, but if you arent keen on that much conflict or simple confrontation i doubt this one would be for you.

Helm of awe - This symbol is most well known as being for protection, this is one of the more reccomended symbols to get as a tattoo youll hear about. However just because its deemed as saver doesnt mean you should take it as lightly, it is on your skin afterall.

Odins illusionary rune - From what ive read this is a lesser known thing, youd have to do your own research into that because i dont have any good links i can put up. From the descriptions ive read, this rune would not be ideal for someone with low self esteem, in addition to the titles sake, it is also supposedly a rune of Camoflage and deception, although it might be good on somebody who prefers to go unnoticed, that is something to take into consideration. Because of it being a lesser known rune, it is safe to assume that this is probably best for people with an advanced knowledge of runes.

Ginfaxi - This is a runic symbol for courage in combat, its pretty self explanitory in that point. For this rune i imagine it would be well to use it in combination with a valknut if your devoted enough to actually get a valknut or do it yourself. (which i do not reccomend if you do not have experience)

Svefnthorn - a runic symbol translating roughly to "sleep thorn" this is used uner a pillow or bed for restful sleep..... do i even need to say why this shouldnt be a tattoo?

Binding runes - any binding runes, anything like that whatsoever would not be a good option as a tattoo. ever. not a good idea. seriously. dont do it.

Lasabrjotur - this is a runic symbol meaning "lock breaker" and most descriptions read it as a rune for breaking locks and fetters, to get free from bindings. I honestly dont know how to summerize this as a tattoo idea. This could be an ok or terrible idea, id reccomend doing yoru own research and for any rune you dont know very well, i highly advise you research, meditate, and work until you do know it.

Love, healing, joy, peace, etc. runes - These i imagine are quite good for tattoos, but even good things can do bad if done the wrong way, the most prominant of which is that these are still powerful symbols and you will have them on your skin forever.

Vegvisir - Also known as the runic compass, this is a rune typically described to prevent getting loss. Along with the previously mentioned helm of awe, this is the other tattoo that is often reccomended for those getting a rune tattoo.

Thors hammer - arguably one of the most popular symbols in the norse culture, this can seem quite iinnocent as a tattoo but this does come with a decent share of risks as well. First of all, this probably would be best as a symbol of devotion or worshipping of thor, same as the valknut it is best to only tattoo symbols in the sense that you are promising yourself to a God or Goddess, after all, if you can promise it to your skin, thats a huge step right there. The final danger i will make note of, is that if you work with beings that dont perticularly like thor, the midguard serpent for example, i doubt they would appreciate a thors hammer tattood on your hand or something, so bear that in mind as well. Remember Thor is also the God of common sense, lets try to follow that example

Tattoos are a big thing, now a days they are more common than cigarettes but for many religions they are signs of deep devotion, promises, pacts, manhood, tradition, and many other aspects. So it is best not to take something like that lightly

The last note i will make is that if you had the idea to do these tattoos yourself, i highly dont reccomend it. The sanitation, time, and legal age is important. I know from experience and practice that a needle done tattoo not only takes great time, but it can also be screwed up in many ways, and that is permanant so i advise seeking out a professional and responsible artist in your local areas.

I hope this was of interest, thanks for reading all

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Re: Runes as Tattoos
Post # 2

It wouldnt be adviseable id think to have Odins illusionary rune tattood on yoru skin, its probably not the worst but having a charm for being unseen on you 24/7 seems like it could backfire in a number of situations, aside from that this is a pretty good posting, especially for a tattoo nut like me.

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