Regarding tattoo design choice, it can be quite challenging to decide which is the best among the extensive and versatile list of styles and symbols. Mythology is one of the most popular themes in tattooing, as it has a wide range of ideas, plots and characters. Besides, each tattoo will have its own unique symbolism and meaning.
In this article, we will look at one of the most famous figures in Scandinavian mythology, Yggdrasil. This deep-sensed and beautiful tree can be a great addition to your tattoo collection or a fascinating start. It is also an excellent way to show your spiritual values and worldview. There are many ideas on how to depict it on your skin, and we gathered all of them in this article. So, don’t delay the pleasure; let’s explore the Yggdrasil tattoo world!
Yggdrasil tree and Scandinavian mythology
In the worldview of Norse cosmology, the tree Ygdrassil was the model of the universe’s structure. This colossal plant unites and keeps up the nine mysterious worlds in the sky, on earth, and underground. It was considered the life sacral tree, and people believed in its power.
Yggdrasil, also known as Lerad or Mimameidr, is an ash tree with deep roots and high branches. It divides the universe into three stages, each consisting of three worlds.
🌩 Upper worlds are on the branches of the ash and include:
- Asgard, the world where Scandinavian Aesir gods Odin, Thor, Frigg, and others live.
- Vanaheim, the world of the van-gods. It is a place of peace.
- Alvheim, the world of elves. It is a fun place with unique beauty.
🧍Medium worlds comprise the trunk of Yggdrasil:
- Midgard is the world of people, with earth, seas and oceans, and lands.
- Utgard is the palace where Jotuns live, Scandinavian giants who are the opponents of the Asgard gods.
- Muspelheim is also a world of giants, and a fire kingdom with the ruler Surt.
🌑 Lower worlds are on the roots:
- Niflheim is the land of dark and cold. The first living creature was birthed there.
- Svartalvheim is the world of dark elves or dwarves.
- Helheim is the realm of the dead; it receives all those who die of starvation and old age.
Spiritual meanings of the Yggdrasil tattoo
A Yggdrasil tattoo is an expressive drawing that depicts how Norse people understand their origins and the universe’s structure. Let’s examine the most significant meanings:
♾️ Solid connection. Yggdrasil unites all worlds in one universe, which means that everything is linked in our life. There is no future without past and present, as well as life without death.
🌀 Cyclicity of life. We are born, live our exciting lives, and one day die. It is a continuous and irreversible process. The tree Yggdrasil shows it with its life cycle: in spring and summer, the leaves bloom, and in autumn they wither and fall off to survive the winter.
💔 The comparison of mortality and immortality. The tree Yggdrasil contains the world of immortal gods, Asgard; the place where life begins, Niflheim; and the death world, Helheim. It is a tree of life, as there is a place where people live, use all pleasures of nature and feed with ash leaves. It is an excellent reminder that something spiritual and immortal guides us while we are mortal and our life is short.
⚔️ Strength and power. There is no more powerful plant than a tree. The ash can live more than three hundred years. It has the strength to survive the elements, animals, and humans. Also, the Yggdrasil tree is the source of life and gives people food, protection, and energy. Its power is unlimited and helps people.
The best placement, size, and details for a tattoo
Yggdrasil tattoos are pretty universal. You can get it on any body part, as the tree’s shape can vary from design to design. The most popular locations are:
- 🌳 Shoulders
- 🌳 Forearms
- 🌳 Arm sleeves
- 🌳 Leg sleeves
- 🌳 Back
- 🌳 Chest
Also, you can choose any size for your tattoo, from tiny to extensive. In both cases, it will look gorgeous. The main thing is to depict the details in such a way that they are clear and understandable.
When talking about the details you can add to your Yggdrasil tattoo, there is a list of meaningful animals and creatures that could supplement and match your ink:
- 🦅 The dragon Nidhogg lives in the roots and always tries to gnaw them. It is a powerful symbol of the fight between life and death.
- 🦅 A squirrel, Ratatosk, runs on the trunk and spreads the information from the upper parts to the lower parts of the tree and vice versa.
- 🦅 A reindeer with oak horns continuously eats the leaves of the Yggdrasil.
- 🦅 An eagle sits on the bottom of the branches. It is a symbol of Odin and wisdom.
- 🦅 A hawk sits between the eyes of an eagle and observes everything around.
- 🦅 A raven is once more a symbol of Odin.
Inspiring Yggdrasil tattoo ideas
Yggdrasil tattoos have a large number of interpretations. From traditional Celtic round trees to exciting, realistic plant-in-scratch techniques, there is something for everyone. We’ve covered the best trends and ideas for the Yggdrasil tattoo. including ones you’ve probably never seen before.
Classical Yggdrasil tree
The classical Yggdrasil is a tree with an extensive crown and dense roots. They connect to each other and form a circle that symbolizes the human life cycle. It is an excellent tattoo, as it has a medium size and you can locate it anywhere. Usually somebirds, falling leaves, or inscriptions are added to help define the pattern.
Geometric designs always impress with their trickiness and originality. Straight lines and angles match the tree image perfectly in the Yggdrasil tattoo. It is better to do such kinds of design in black and gray ink, so that bright colors do not distract from the beauty of the details.
Fine lines Yggdrasil tattoos
Fine lines succumb to the principle that less is more. This tattoo style predicts many delicate elements that can have a pretty realistic look or be in the way of an outline. You can experiment with color, but this design glances better in black or gray ink.
Yggdrasil with runes
Runes are considered the mystical alphabet of the Vikings. Each letter has its own meaning and power. It is a perfect combination with the tree Lerad. You can encrypt some meaningful quote or name in runes and place it on the crown or roots of the wood.
You can locate this tattoo on your shoulder or forearm, and it is an excellent option for men, as runes are so closely associated with Vikings.
Tiny tree design
Small minimalistic Yggdrasil tattoos also have a place on tattoo lovers’ skin. You can make a simple image with small falling leaves or intricate roots. It looks great both in color and black ink. Usually more women choose this tattoo design, as it is elegant and delicate.
Plot-based Yggdrasil tattoo
A Yggdrasil tattoo that tells the plot of a story can be the perfect solution if you like to impress people. You can create a plot from Scandinavian myths or make up your own. The back or chest is the best area for such a design. But you can also choose the leg or arm sleeve.
Mimameid tree with Celtic details
Celtic knots are famous elements of fine art in Scandinavia. All of them are deep, meaningful symbols. The most popular are the Celtic cross, triquetra (the symbol of nature), the Dara knot, and the knot of love. They all combine perfectly with a Yggdrasil tattoo. You can get them as:
- ᚡ Crown
- ᚡ Trunk
- ᚡ Roots
- ᚡ Framing
Older-tradition Yggdrasil tree
There is evidence that Yggdrasil used to not be known as an ash tree but rather an evergreen yew by ancient Scandinavians. This interpretation can lead to fascinating decor for your skin. You can add geometric details or a moon cycle to make the drawing even more sensuous. It can be gorgeous in the form of an arm sleeve or on the shin.
Colorful Yggdrasil tattoos are a fresh update on traditional drawings. The watercolor style or fine-line bright ink is an excellent depiction of this design. It looks gorgeous on women’s skin and especially on the spine.
Matching tattoos for couples
If you and your partner want meaningful matching tattoos, you can easily choose the Yggdrasil design. Its meaning of strength and connection is quite suitable in the description of love. It is common for couples to ink the small trees with dates, names, or inscriptions on the wrist.
A Yggdrasil tattoo is a stunning drawing, representing the universe and worldview of Scandinavian culture. It is a great way to respect your roots or just to get an exciting image on the skin. Moreover, the Yggdrasil tattoo impresses with its spiritual meanings. With these eye-catching ideas and trendy interpretations, you can have a dream tattoo.
🌳 What is the central meaning of the Yggdrasil tattoo?
The tree known as Yggdrasil is a spiritual symbol in Norse culture. It is a representation of the universe’s structure. Its central meaning is a connection between life and death, immortality and strength.
⁉️ What body part is most suitable for the Yggdrasil tattoo?
A Yggdrasil tattoo is a versatile design which suits any part of your body. The most popular locations are the shoulders, forearms, back, and chest. Just remember to choose a size commensurate with the area.
🌈 Which color of ink is the best for the Yggdrasil tattoo?
Usually, Yggdrasil tattoos are depicted with black ink. But many stunning, colorful designs will also look fresh and exciting. Just choose the proper design and tattoo artist.