Tattoos are not just an accessory for your skin. They are symbols of strength, love, and even social status. In Scandinavian culture, the ancient Nordic symbol of Valknut represents Odin’s power to connect bonds with the human mind and the nine worlds of Yggdrasil, the tree of life.
In olden days, people would get a tattoo of Valknut to honor a fallen warrior or a family member who’d passed away. They believed that through that symbol their spirit would continue to be tied to Earth. This is a type of tattoo you could get if you’ve always felt an affinity for the culture in that particular part of the world. Regardless of where you are in the world, a tattoo representing the culture could help you connect with the land you’ve been to many times or one you’ve never stepped foot in but have always felt close to. Next time you visit a country or region you’ve been dreaming about, consider getting a tattoo as a permanent type of souvenir.
Aside from mandalas and lotus flowers, feathers also carry a symbolic meaning in this region. They represent the air element, which in Indian culture also embodies the strongest energy in humanity: love.
One of the most famous studios in India is Brahma Salon, found in Bangalore.
The Inuit believe all living and nonliving things have a spirit. They venerate these spirits through totems. Wolves, caribou, and owls play an important part in their understanding of the universe. Perhaps you too have a spirit animal you wish to imprint on your skin.
During the Iron Age, the Celtic culture was one of the most thriving communities. Despite being spread all across modern Europe (France, Germany, and Ireland), there have been several archaeological discoveries tracing them to Spain as well. It’s in these places where the triskelion symbol keeps showing up, meaning balance of mind and spirit. There are several other symbols such as the spiral, tree of life, and the triquetra.
Mayans and Aztecs would paint their bodies with different symbols as a sign of reverence, gratefulness, or allegiance to a particular element or god. The snail’s shell implied the land’s fertility. A hummingbird was known to be a messenger of love. Skulls and skeletons would be a way to remember those who had gone to the next life.
Would you wear your heart on your fingertips?
Translated by María Suárez