Valknut Tattoo Guide

Valknut Tattoo Symbol, Meaning, Norse Mythology - Full Guide

Arunima Saha

Updated At  09 Apr 24


Ardent devotees of Norse mythology are not unfamiliar with the concept of Valknut tattoos. However, if you are not aware of Nordic tattoos, commonly known as Valknut tattoos, there is no reason to feel that you have been living under a rock. Keep reading this article to gain sound knowledge regarding a Valknut tattoo. 

Along with the necessary explanations, we will provide you with some innovative Valknut tattoo designs which you can get whenever you want. 






What Is A Valknut Tattoo? 

A Valknut tattoo is aesthetic, minimalist, modern, and popular. The geometrical lines of this tattoo have profound symbolism. It is nothing but supremely substantial.


The origin of a Valknut tattoo goes back to Germanic citizens. These people used this symbol of Valknut to give tribute to people who had passed away, specifically those who had passed away in a full-fledged war or battle.  The modern meaning of a Valknut tattoo is slightly different. In this context, this tattoo symbolizes honor and respect to all who have passed away, not necessarily in a battle. Mostly men are seen with this body art done in black ink. 


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Valknut Tattoo Meaning

The Valknut tattoo, with its roots in Norse mythology, features three interlocking triangles. It is believed to represent the interconnection of life, death, and fate.

Originating from Viking culture, it symbolizes a warrior's courage, the cycle of life, and link between the earthly and spiritual realms. It also stands for destiny, protection, honor, fate, transition and power.





History And Origin Of A Valknut Tattoo

If you did not know, let us tell you that the Valknut symbol is one of the most talked-about symbols in Norse mythology.


The fundamental meaning of the word Valknut refers to all the slain warriors. It is a symbol with three overlapping triangles. If you go through the old archaeological findings of the Germanic people, you are bound to notice this symbol on loads of objects. 


From runestones to memorial stones of the Viking period, you will find the presence of this symbol in all. 

Archaeologists have found a symbol on the Anglo Saxons' cremation ruins closely resembling the Valknut symbol. Anglo-Saxons are linguistically and ethically related to the Norse, just like Germanic people. 

This Valknut symbol is more than often associated with Odin by most scholars. Now you know that the symbol Valknut was used to honor the dead. Since Odin is the God who carries all the souls that have passed away to the underground world and eventually brings those souls back to the world of the living people, the relationship between these two shouldn’t be a matter of surprise or shock. 

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If you know about Odin, you would also be aware that he was a Shaman and a magician. Valkyries were one of the spirit attendants of Odin. They used their magical powers to perform the tasks of unbinding and binding the minds. Also, Odin had the potential to make the warriors helpless during the wars. Thereby, we can now prove that this Valknut tattoo symbol is nothing but a representation of this knotted idea perpetuated by Odin. 

Scholars have found a figure with three horns on the Sholdelev Stone of the 9th century. Interestingly, you can compare the Valknut tattoo symbol with it.  

There is another explanation found for the origin of the Valknut tattoo. However, this explanation is hardly satisfying at all, but it exists. This explanation compares the Valknut symbol with the heart of the Hrungnir. Why does this theory suggest this? Since the Hrungnir's heart is composed of a stone that points in three different directions, scholars have compared and related the two. 


Valknut Tattoos Types & Positions

1. Firstly, you can get a three overlapping triangle Valknut tattoo. Having a big tattoo doesn’t necessarily enhance the symbolic meaning of the tattoo. A simple, 3 triangle tattoo like Valknut can speak volumes without being bigger in form. You can get a little Valknut tattoo on your thumb if you don’t want the tattoo statement to be too bold and easily noticeable. 

Valknut and Tree of Life Yggdrasil Body Pillow _ Zazzle_com


2. If you want to share your affirmations on Norse mythology’s concept of the afterlife, you can get the Valknut tattoo at a place where the public can see it. For example - the inside portion of your palm, on your neck specifically at the back, and a particular side of your chest. 

3. When you look at the Valknut tattoo symbol as a sole symbol, you will find it mystifying. However, some tattoo lovers want to incorporate the Valknut symbol with other images to create a narrative of their own. Hence, you can have this variety of a Valknut tattoo where the ink work isn’t simple, rather it is a bit colorful. It, also, has an intricate and delicate geometric pattern.

4. Lastly, you can get a full-sleeve Valknut tattoo. However, this form of tattoo will require more money than usual. It would also require keen planning and a longer time to get the entire tattoo done. Having said that, once it is done, the world will get to know the landscape and acknowledge that you have spent your resources to tell the Norse mythology story with the help of different shapes, different images, and breathtaking design. 


Valknut Tattoo Cost

If there is a symbol used by the Vikings that is puzzling, it is the Valknut tattoo symbol. Although no existing literary source confirms that this symbol is associated with death and burial, it is true to the core. A temporary Valknut tattoo is ideal for all those who want to honor the Viking culture and not get the permanent tattoo done yet. If they are confused and in dilemma, this temporary tattoo will come to their rescue. 

It is realistic and easy to get. Once you get it done, none will realize that it is not real. Make-up artists use this temporary way out more than often. The cost of this tattoo begins at $5 to $10 for a temporary one. It can go upto $150 to $300 depending upon the size, city and skill of the tattoo artist. 


Valknut symbol Sticker by OldSchoolStore




Valknut Tattoos Frequently Asked Questions 



Q. What does the Valknut tattoo mean?

The word Valknut is a combination of two ancient Norse words. Those words are ‘Valr’ meaning ‘warriors who are slain’ and the word ‘knut’ meaning ‘knotted’.  It is considered to be the knot of death. Norse mythology consists of nine kingdoms. So, some think that the Valknut tattoo symbol intertwines these nine kingdoms. You might ask the names of some of these kingdoms. Some of the names are as follows - Asgard, Vanaheim, Jotunheim, Alfheim, Midgar, Helheim, Niflheim, etc. 


Q. Why you shouldn’t get a Valknut tattoo? 

If you go by the normal populace’s beliefs, you must avoid getting a Valknut tattoo. Since the Valknut symbol is associated with death and slain warriors, getting the tattoo might bring bad luck. 


Q. What is the meaning of the three triangles tattoo? 

There is no specific meaning for the three triangles tattoo. It differs from person to person. On one hand, some have opined that getting the tattoo meant they now belonged to a particular group. On the other hand, some have opined that the three triangle tattoo signifies female representation. 


Q. Is the Valknut tattoo unlucky? 

Since the Valknut tattoo deals with death and perishment, it is considered to be unlucky. 


Q. What do the three overlapping triangles mean? 

The nine edges of the three triangles demonstrate the connection of the nine kingdoms. There is an intertwining between the Earth, the Heaven, and the Hell. The three triangles symbolize that intertwined connection. 


Q. Is the Valknut real? 

Since there is no literary source confirming the existence of the Valknut symbol, it can be said that it is sham and bogus. 


Q. Can the Valknut tattoo bring bad luck? 

According to the Norse mythology, if someone wears the Valknut tattoo, he/she pledges himself/herself to Odin, that is, brings himself or herself closer to a violent death. 


Q. What does the Valknut symbol mean? 

You must remember that there is a transition from life to death and back to life again. The Valknut symbol means this same transition. 


Q. Is it okay to wear a Valknut? 

We can assure you that if you wear a Valknut tattoo, you won’t die. However, the path is not to be followed. The path of Odin is unlucky. Hence, if you aren’t willing to pledge yourself to Odin, consider not wearing the tattoo. 


Q. Is Valknut Celtic? 

We aren’t sure but according to cultural texts, the Valknut symbol is Celtic. 


Q. What is a Valknut ring?

After several archaeological excavations, researchers have found the remains of the Viking jewelry. These ancient remains have now become the sources of inspiration for modern jewelry of Viking culture. These pieces of jewelry include the Valknut rings. 



Viking Tattoo Infographic