Top 37 Helm of Awe Tattoo Ideas [2022 Inspiration Guide]
In the Poetic Edda’s epic poem Fáfnismál, it is proclaimed that: “The Helm of Awe – I wore before the sons of men – In defense of my treasure; Amongst all, I alone was strong, I thought to myself, For I found no power a match for my own.”
In Norse mythology, the helm of awe–eight spiked tridents radiating from a central point–was a symbol intended to inspire and invoke the ancient powers of the gods.
Worn and boldly displayed to make one’s enemies think twice before advancing it was a figure of dark magic and powerful ancestral value, and the tattoo rendition was not an uncommon sight on the bulging (and bloodied) muscles of great Viking warriors.
Each arm and spike of the helm of awe represents a particular rune and corresponding meaning. Protection, virtue, steadiness of one’s purpose, and courage were among the underlying connotations, with the helm intended to act as a kind of compass guiding the wearer on his journey. The helm begs the question: where do you want to go in life, and how might you hone your talents to get there? What stands in your way and how might you remove such obstacles?
You needn’t wield a battle axe or travel by longship to wear this powerful symbol on your own skin. The helm of awe was crafted for the man who is a true warrior at heart, and will not bow to the forces beneath him. Worn in bold but painstakingly etched black ink, the helm of awe can be as small or large as the wearer wishes.
An Icelandic grimoire spell declares of the helm of awe: “Thus a man could meet his enemies and be sure of victory!” So too can you be certain of your own with this potent and unforgettable symbol.
See more about - Top 207+ Viking Tattoo Ideas
Black line Helm of Awe Tattoos
The black line Helm of Awe tattoos above are created with a clear design focus: clean lines, solid contour, and simple inscription. The importance of quality shaping is expressed through the different deployments of Norse runes – enveloping them in precise circles (or double circles) heightens the clarity of each piece of body art when put together. In others, this aim is also achieved by fine line black fill which lends solidity to the overall tattoo.
Helm of Awe hand tattoos
The natural shape of Helm of Awe tattoos works effectively for the notoriously difficult placement on the subjects palm. Both examples fit nicely on to the hand, and have been etched cleanly. A reminder that tattoos on the palm of the hand can cause issues with color dropping out or fading quickly, so make sure you’re aware of any extra cost possibilities that might be incurred post tattoo.
Incorporated Helm of Awe tattoos
These incorporated Helm of Awe tattoos work exceptionally when attached to larger pieces of body art. It shows tremendous versatility as a style aspect, especially when added to 3D animal realism ink and geometric tattoo designs.
Because of the circular nature and clean pattern, artists are able to capture the Helm of Awe as a striking complementary piece to other Norse mythological themes such as Odin, stylized weaponry, or even animal totems such as wolves and ravens. And as I’ve made clear in the course of my image descriptions, there’s not much better than a cleanly etched skull artwork.
Technical Helm of Awe Tattoos
The ink above represents a variety of excellent Helm of Awe technical tattoos. Some feature simple combinations of black line ink or negative space. They may be fashioned with different creative vision but employ the same core construct of building strong, effective pieces of body art through the application of clean, sharp lines.
Others artists express the Helm of Awe with numerous technical applications These include weaving fine black line basics, innovative and painstaking dotwork, negative space, or even classical shade fundamentals together into epic displays of precise, brilliantly contrasting, and eye catching tattoo.
In the examples above, the dotwork technique is great for reviewing the style of technical delivery which interests you the most. You can see clearly and easily see how one effective technical dotwork fill type can differ dramatically from another in execution and overall style when comparing the craft element of each image.
There final piece in the section retains individuality by incorporating the stone type shade effect augmented by tactically delivered wisps of white ink highlights. These flourishes allow the tattoo to build a stone tablet effect, where the Helm of Awe and runes look chiseled into a rock face or stone.
Red Helm of Awe Tattoos
Interestingly, the only two color images on this Helm of Awe list reflect elements applied to the black and gray tattoos earlier. The first tattoo is a clean, red line helm of clear, clean red ink. The placement in the center of the subject’s chest is spot on, allowing the isolated image a chance to stand out against skin in an area where symmetry and balance matter.
The second, larger red tattoo goes for a more bold effect, trying to look like it’s been carved into the skin with a blade. It’s not 100% effective, as the color fill is much to flat to allow for nuance with the red ink. In addition, the ‘blood spatter’ technique needs to be longer and more realistic to make that flayed skin look effective contrasted against the stretches of white ink line support.
Helm of Awe Tattoo FAQs
What does the Helm of Awe mean?
The Helm of Awe, known also as Aegishjalmur or Viking Compass, is an ancient Norse symbol granting spiritual protection and power.
In the Poetic Edda, one of the oldest Norse mythological texts, the dragon Fafnir claimed it’s protective power helped grant him indestructibility.
During the Middle Ages, Viking warriors would head into battle adorned with the Helm of Awe symbol either tattooed on their bodies or drawn onto their foreheads.
The center circle, and eight trident runes crossing through it are protective symbols linked to victory during battle, to show strength against fear, and draw protective regard from the Gods.