For those out there who like their skin-art with a little Viking flair, Web of Wyrd tattoos are quickly becoming a popular choice indeed. So, what is the web of Wyrd and what does it mean?
In today’s article we’ll explain Web of Wyrd tattoos, their history, meanings, and designs, so that you can better understand the profound statement behind this beautiful skin art option.
What is the History of Web of Wyrd Tattoos?
In Scandinavian mythology, there is a mighty tree that spans all of the 9 worlds, and it is called the Yggdrasil. At the base of this tree, 3 women stand, named Urdhr, Verdhandi, and Skuld. Their names translate into ‘that which is’, ‘that which is becoming’, and ‘that which will be.’.
One of the women weaves a thread, while the next one measures it, and the 3rd woman then cuts that thread short. These women are called the ‘Norns’ and they are measuring out the lives of everything in all of the worlds that lives.
Greek myth has something similar with the Fates, and those women are named Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, but their roles are the same. They decide your destiny in advance and this was a very strong Viking belief.
When tragedy struck, men and women would often say that there was nothing that they could do, for their fate was decided before their birth. For fatalists, pagans, and fans of Viking beliefs, Web of Wyrd tattoos make a heavy and profound statement. They say enjoy life while you can, however you can, because your fate has already been decided.
What Do Web of Wyrd Tattoos Symbolize?
Web of Wyrd tattoos represent the concepts of fate and destiny. These concepts are certainly not limited to Scandinavian belief systems, as many philosophies and religions state that ‘fate’ is immutable and that the sooner you accept this, the sooner you can get on with enjoying life.
The Web of Wyrd, with it’s collection of carefully-measured lines tells the owner and the world at large to make the most of their limited time and to understand that when things don’t go our way, it is best to accept that this challenge in life was predetermined and rather than lament our bad luck, to fight with every breath!
For Vikings, the important thing was to always fight, even if you know that you were going to lose. A popular saying of that era was that ‘cattle will die, your kinsmen will die, but one thing never dies – the name that you have made for yourself in life,’. The Web of Wyrd represents an aspect of this.
It is a lesson of defiance in the face of predetermination. Web of Wyrd tattoos say ‘my life is predetermined, but my actions are all my own’, and when you think about it, it’s a powerful message indeed.
What Do Web of Wyrd Tattoos Mean?
When you see people wearing Web of Wyrd tattoos, the basic meaning is that they believe very strongly in fate, but it also means that they are determined to live life on their own terms as much as possible.
After all, just because fate can decide that you will only live for 50 years, what you do with them is entirely your own.
There’s a special kind of freedom in accepting that some of us were destined for good luck and others for bad luck, because you learn to enjoy the little things and one very big thing – the freedom of being yourself. While fate cannot be changed, it also cannot change who you are, and that is all that matters.
It’s not a tattoo for everyone but for the right type of person who understands what fate really means, it’s an absolutely perfect skin art option. Even if you are just a fan of history, the Web of Wyrd is a simple, yet powerful tattoo choice.
Characteristics and Styles of Web of Wyrd Tattoos
The Web of Wyrd itself is a very basic design, with 3 lines for past, present, and future, with lines connecting all of these together in an angular fashion. The Vikings believed that everyone was really 3 people – who they were, who they are, and who they will be, and this simple design communicates exactly that.
How you depict this is completely up to you and it’s something that you can really get creative with. Some people will add leaves and make the design hidden in the form of a tree, while others may choose colorful lines to represent the complexity of the forces involved.
Styles are completely in the air with this one – it will work just as well with New School as it would with a strictly geometrical interpretation, so this gives you a lot of room to flex your creative muscles and come up with something that is completely you.
Spend a little time with the design and check with your artist for a little inspiration. You might just love where such brainstorming can take you and the final design can really be mindblowing indeed!
Where Do Web of Wyrd Tattoos Usually Go?
Web of Wyrd tattoos are most often placed where they may be seen, in spots such as the outer or upper arm or on the ankle. There’s no ‘hard and fast’ rule on this, however, and if you prefer you could place it in a more intimate spot, such as the hip, or even hide the design within an elaborate backpiece.
As the design itself is very simple, you can easily place it just about anywhere and go with any size that you like. If you want the world to know that you believe in fate, then you can certainly show it, or you can hide the design and wait to see who finds it. It’s all up to you!
In today’s article we’ve talked about Web of Wyrd tattoos and if you are a Nordic pagan, a fan of fate, or simply a lover of history, then this simple design gives you a way to express this in elegant simplicity.
Whether you decide to go with just the lines or something a little more involved, the message is still the same. ‘If fate has determined my life in advance, then my actions have all the more meaning, and I shall be defiant and completely myself until the end’.
It’s a redeeming and very Viking way to look at things, wouldn’t you agree?