ODIN TATTOO: Meanings, Tattoo Ideas & Tattoo Designs


Many know him for the title of “Allfather” and “Chief of the Norse Gods“, but it was said that Odin would go by many titles. Odin was the leader and mightiest of the Aesir tribe of gods and goddesses. He was considered to have been unmatched in battle prowess, knowledge, and cunning alongside his talents in magic.

Throughout the ages, Odin was worshipped as one of the most important deities in the Norse Pantheon, his position being one of power amongst his peers. It was said that he was undefeated in battle and that he never lost a battle.

Odin’s name was often mentioned and praised in songs, sagas, and Eddas. Statues and edifices would be raised in honor of the Leader of Aesir, and sacrifices would be brought to them, all in the hopes of gaining Odin’s favor in battle. Lately, people have taken it upon themselves to ink on their bodies homages to the Leader of the Aesir in the form of tattoos. We would dig deeper into why anyone would decide to get an Odin Tattoo on their body, and what would that mean for the wearer.

Germanic and Nordic tribes in the dark ages used to praise and offer sacrifices to statues of Odin would sing songs of praise and would have entire rituals, all in the hopes of having the gaze of Odin upon them whenever they would engage in battles. Odin’s name was always present on the lips of warriors, even in the last moments before falling into battle, with the expectation that they would feast with Odin and the other Nordic Gods in the Halls of Valhalla.

Odin Tattoo Meaning

The usual appearance of Odin was that of a bearded man with one eye, often accompanied by his two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Their names would be translated as “thought” and “mind/memory”. These are familiars of Odin who would travel all over The Nine Realms and would collect information and would bring it back to Odin.

We mentioned that Odin only had one eye, well, what happened to the other one? It was said that Odin’s thirst for power was so great, that he sought to drink Mimir’s well, which would bring him the knowledge he sought after. But he had to pay a price for that knowledge, and that is to sacrifice one of his eyes in pursuit of such boundless knowledge.

Odin’s main attributes were his wit, his wisdom, and his cunning. He would use his foresight and his ability to communicate with the spirits and the dead to his advantage. Although he was considered a great warrior, unlike Thor, his son who would prefer to use brute strength, Odin tended to use his wisdom and his cunning in most situations to get to the wanted result.

In some Germanic tribes, Odin would be known as Wōden in old English, or Wōdan in Old Saxon as Wuotan and Wotan in Old German. The day of the week Wednesday actually comes from the day dedicated to Odin, “Wōden’s day.” Odin can be compared to the Roman god Mercury, so in the Nordic tradition, Odin (also known as ‘Woden’) gave his name to Wednesday.

What would this mean for someone that wants to have an Odin tattoo on their body? Well for one, the mysticism and the heavy history this brings with it. Having a memento of the Chief of Nordic Gods on your body can be a heavy burden, a reminder that you have great responsibilities that you need to carry on.

An Odin tattoo is for the people that consider mind over strength to be their guiding point in life. Sufficient wisdom in life can bring you an entirely different perspective, especially when you have tough choices to make.

The All-Father was always an authoritative figure in the Norse Pantheon, capable of transmitting strength and commanding respect in front of his allies and bringing swift vengeance and destruction upon his enemies. If you are such a person, that naturally inspires confidence and is respected amongst your peers, then having an Odin tattoo as your next piece might actually be a good idea.

Odin Tattoo Ideas

It was said that Odin was capable of shapeshifting into various creatures, such as wolves, ravens and snakes, eagles, and various powerful animals. He was often depicted as wielding either staff or his spear, Gungnir.

While traveling the battlefields, Odin would be accompanied by his wolves, Geri and Freki, who would scour the battlefields for the souls of the fallen warriors, and flying high above would be his trusted ravens Huginn and Muninn who would scour the realms reporting to Odin all the information that happened inside the realms.

Odin was capable of using the magic of ancient runes due to his hanging by the branches of the World-Tree. Knowing a rune would mean knowing the cosmic power that rune wielded, thus rendering Odin capable of using that rune in his favor. The way he gained the power of wielding runes was by hanging upon the branches of the Cosmic World-Tree, Yggdrasil for nine days, fasting from water and food, while being pierced by the branches of the tree.

Before considering having done an Odin Tattoo, it’s important to consider the style, the coloring, the pose, and the elements such a tattoo might include. We would recommend that you study different styles of tattooing, and pick the one which obviously fits your style and tastes.

Maybe you consider creating a scene in which Odin fights his last battle against the mighty Fenrir, or one where he fights against the Ice Giants. Or a scene where he travels the battlefield surrounded by fallen warriors. Or a scene in which he sits as an imposing figure upon his throne, Gungnir in his hands, surrounded by his familiars, the Ravens, and the Wolves. Or maybe a scene where Odin rides his trusted mount, the Eight-Legged Horse, Sleipnir, right into battle.

The entire Norse-Mythology is filled with Odin’s deeds and battles, which would inspire anyone to create an Odin tattoo that would bring a stunning homage to the All-Father. It all depends on your desire to create a unique tattoo, that would ultimately bring you satisfaction and joy upon laying your eyes upon it.

Whatever your journey in life, and whatever you decide to create as your next tattoo, we recommend always consulting with a tattoo specialist, just to have the opinion of a professional, who can help steer you in the right direction, to create the perfect tattoo for yourself.

Odin Tattoo Design

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