40 symbolic and deeply meaningful tattoos (with photos)
Tattoos are in fashion , you only have to look around to see that there are many people who, through these drawings engraved on the skin, try to express something of their personality, their motivations or their concerns in life.
The reasons for tattooing can be varied. While for some individuals tattooing becomes an obsession, as they intend to fill every part of their body with ink, for others tattooing can have a symbolic meaning or simply be done to seduce. Because for some people, tattoos can be a source of excitement: this is what is known as stigmatophilia.
Tattoos as a fetish: stigmatophilia
There are many reasons why we are attracted to a person . As the experts on infatuation or attraction say, cultural factors, education or our past experiences are extremely important when it comes to feeling attracted to other individuals. While some are attracted to intelligence (known as sapiosexual) or beards (pogonophilia), others are attracted to tattoos: stigmatophilia. Stigmatists, besides being attracted to works of art drawn on the skin, are also often attracted to piercing.
As you see, the tastes that influence our mind map and that are going to trigger the chemical cascade of attraction can vary from one individual to another. That’s why the well-known phrase “for colored tastes”. And of course, there are people who go crazy over individuals of the opposite sex (or the same sex in the case of homosexuals) who wear tattoos and piercings and have that “cool” and sexy look.
Tattoos’ come from far away
Although tattoos are a fashion nowadays, they have accompanied human beings for thousands of years . In fact, both piercing and tattoos have existed since almost the beginning of time and different cultures and tribes have used them all over the world.
For example, the Mayans already used piercing in different parts of the face (the lips, ears or nose to show) because for them it was a sign of status; and the Polynesians not only tattooed themselves as a sign of wealth, but through the tattoos they showed their strength and power.
40 tattoos full of symbolism
Now, these days, tattoos are all the rage. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, here is a list of 40 tattoos full of meaning . Don’t miss them!
On paper, the semicolon is used to separate two independent sentences that have a close semantic relationship. But when the semicolon is written on the skin, it has a totally different meaning: “the importance of believing that this is not the end but a new beginning”.
The semicolon tattoo became known by the Project SemiColon , a website of a girl named Amy whose father committed suicide when she was young, and now she devotes her time to giving birth to the feelings and thoughts related to this experience. In short, the semicolon is a kind of message that says that there is still a lot of life ahead, it is a turning point but at the same time it is a new and great beginning.
You can delve deeper into the meaning of the semicolon tattoo in our article: “What does the semicolon that so many people have tattooed mean?”
Vegvisir: magic symbol of Icelandic origin
In the Icelandic language, “Vegvisir” means road map. Apparently, Vegvisir was a symbol used by the Vikings . For them it was like a kind of solar compass during their sailing journeys, something like a wind rose.
It was very important as a magic symbol, and was used as an amulet or spell. Vegvisir symbolizes the force that guides us when we are lost, helps us not to err, to find our true path.
The butterfly is a beautiful insect that has certain difficulties to get out of its cocoon . It represents beauty, metamorphosis, rebirth, change. For the Japanese, the butterfly represents one’s soul; for the Chinese, two butterflies together refer to love.
Om is the symbol of the essential in Hinduism , it is one of the most sacred mantras in the Hindu Dharma which means unity with the supreme, the combination of the spiritual with the physical. As a tattoo, this deep and powerful symbol refers to life and the entire universe. It is a beautiful symbol that looks great as a tattoo.
The symbol Malin has its origin in Sweden . It is similar to the symbol for infinity but with an arrow. Having it tattooed refers to the fact that you need to live through setbacks in order to keep going
6. Zen Circle
The Zen circle, despite being an ancient symbol, enjoys great popularity today . Tattooed on the skin it gives a feeling of elegance. The incomplete circle represents the universe and, moreover, the inner strength and the illumination.
7. Harry Potter Triangle
This triangle represents the three death relics that appear in Harry Potter’s work . It is a triangle divided in two by a straight line and inside it has a circle. The triangle represents the Cloak of Invisibility, the circle represents the Resurrection Stone and the straight line represents the Elder Wand. It’s a great looking tattoo, and some couples can use it as an “A” for always.
8. Phases of the moon
The phases of the moon represent life . They also represent how the moon changes, just like life. Tattooing the phases of the moon is a reminder of how we have to constantly adapt to change.
9. G-Clef and F-Clef
This is a very common tattoo among music lovers , but especially for those who have talent in this field and music is their passion.
These small creatures are a nice tattoo object because of their fascinating nature . Having a dragonfly tattooed is considered extremely feminine, because of how delicate and beautiful these insects are. Dragonflies symbolize good luck, purity, prosperity, harmony, and strength.
Stars are a fairly common choice as a tattoo . On the skin, they refer to truth, spirit, courage and hope. The stars bring light in the middle of the darkness of the night. Besides being precious, they guide us when confusion takes hold of us.
Dragons are known to be fierce and large . They are beautiful creatures that easily captivate our imagination. This makes them popular tattoo motifs. Dragon tattoos can be large to show their inescapable presence, or they can be small and delicate, almost like a miniature representation of this gigantic being. Dragon tattoos represent purity, hope, strength, wonder, creativity.
Hearts represent love and passion , and usually symbolize a person’s feelings. It is a rather feminine tattoo, which can be dedicated to someone very close.
14. The Tree of Life
Trees are considered sacred in many countries and cultures . However, even though they have different meanings in different cultures, they usually symbolize knowledge, protection, strength, forgiveness and eternal life. They are the symbol of resistance and strength.
Another favorite design for a tattoo is the feathers . Among the meanings of this style of tattooing are: dreams, desires or the soul. Any place is good for tattooing feathers.
A glyph is an engraved, written or painted sign . For example, the glyphs of the Mayan writing or the Greek glyphs. In ancient Egypt, glyphs were called hieroglyphs. They are ideal tattoos for any part of the body, always with a reduced size.
17. Zodiac Signs
Few tattoos have as much meaning for one’s self as the signs of the zodiac . As a rule, individuals usually tattoo their own sign of the zodiac, although sometimes someone may also tattoo the sign of an important person in their life, for example, their partner.
19. The sun
This is a universal tattoo. It symbolizes life, rebirth and fertility . It also symbolizes power, perseverance and a new beginning, that is, leaving the past behind.
Roses are beautiful flowers that are also well known because they represent love for a person . Generally, in the West, giving roses to your lover means that you love her. Therefore, roses symbolize love, beauty, passion and strength.
The tattooing of birds is also quite common . There are different varieties, for example, several small birds or a larger bird. Birds symbolize freedom and hope.
Another tattoo similar to the previous one is that of the wings, which represent freedom and that you are the owner of your life. The size of the wings can vary from bigger to smaller, but generally the meaning is the same.
This is an African symbol that refers to “go back and get it” , so it is a symbol of the importance of learning from the past. It represents a bird tying its wings before it flies.
Arrows are another common tattoo type . It can mean several things depending on the person. In general, it can refer to dreams or goals and the path to follow. It can also refer to overcoming one’s stumbling blocks.
25. Incomplete Delta
The incomplete delta tattoo is symbolic in the sense of, by having an open corner, it gives an opening message to change. It is a tattoo that looks good when it is tattooed in small dimensions.
26. The Rune Inguz
The Rune Inguz (or Ing) is related to the Nordic god Ing, the fertile and creative god . Therefore, this tattoo expresses the moments when solutions arrive and things change for the better.
The anchor tattoo is also a classic and refers to power, strength and stability.
28. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
Some people prefer to tattoo Latin phrases . The phrase “Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” is translated as: “I will find a way, or make one”. In short, it represents change, courage and self-confidence.
29. Carpe diem
Carpe Diem’s tattoo is also very symbolic. From Latin, it means “seize the day”, that is, live the present. Live life your way.
Meraki is a Greek word that means to act with passion and creativity.
31. Eye of Horus
Horus was one of the most important Egyptian gods. Usually depicted as a hawk or a man with a hawk’s head, he was the deity of the sky.
32. Koi fish
Koi fish, typical of Japanese tattoos, represent perseverance , as they are able to overcome strong currents little by little.
33. Lotus flower
A Buddhist symbol representing purity.
A creature from the mythology of some North American Amerindian tribes. It represents the force of nature.
35. Celtic knot
Celtic knots represent the infinite and eternal , as they have neither a beginning nor an end.
A sailboat represents calm and solitude . It can become a very iconic tattoo.
One of the most famous symbols in the history of video games is this element of the Zelda saga.Each of the triangles represents power, wisdom and courage.
A typical cross from regions linked to the Basque and Navarre-Pyrenees cultures. It is a pre-Christian symbol, and is believed to represent the sun.
The symbol with which J. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” Gandalf marks the door of the protagonist’s house. It represents the beginning of an adventure.
This symbol represents the main monotheistic religions and is used as a representation of the desire for peace between religious denominations.