The Symbolic Meanings of Skull Tattoos

A skull can be a powerful symbol. Initially, it can instill fear into the hearts of those who see it. It is no wonder that it has been used as a symbol for a very long time. As body ink, the meaning of skull tattoos has changed through the years, although it is still used to show a rebel attitude. The wearer wants to be acknowledged as a bad boy, as someone to fear and respect. This type of tattoo should make whoever has it feel tough.

Changing the Public’s View

Tattoos still have a certain stigma in most circles. If someone shows up at a job interview with his face covered in tattoos then he is not very likely to get the job. The public still associates tattoos with dangerous criminals. The meaning of skull tattoos, especially, makes someone think of death. This is not the best way to attract more people to the art of body tattoos.

That is why there has been an increase in fun tattoos among the artists who perform them. People are trying to change the message of having a tattoo from “I am dangerous and I am going to hurt you” to “I am a very fun person who likes to experience new things.” It is commonplace nowadays to take a traditional tattoo design and give it a cute, cartoonish look. This has been applied to all tattoos and has changed the meaning of skull tattoos. A happy, smiling and colorful skull will show off an outgoing person who is enjoying life, rather than an angry and violent criminal. Girls have started to get these tattoos as well. It is not unusual for artists to offer new designs such as purple or pink skulls with cute, little bowties to attract a new type of clientele.

The Meaning of Skull Tattoos Through the Ages

In the older days, skull tattoos were meant to be feared. They were strictly designed for big, tough men. Nowadays you can see a loving couple each share a skull tattoo. In this case the skull tattoo meaning is a little different: it symbolizes the love the couple has for each other. This love is eternal and will remain with them beyond the grave.

In Christianity the skull tattoo meaning has always been prevalent, although not consistent. It usually represented the vanity of humans, repentance and the soul’s eternity. However, if the skull has a serpent crawling through the eye socket it is meant to symbolize knowledge and immortality of the human mind.

Thinking of the very beginning of symbolism for the human skull will take someone back to ancient battles. In those times, showing off the decapitated head of an adversary was not only customary, but was also used as proof that the certain foe had been vanquished. A lot of warriors displayed their enemies’ heads proudly in order to instill respect and fear into all who gazed upon them.

The meaning of skull tattoos started to change during the Middle Ages. Some Celtic lords started using the skull as a symbol for change instead of death. With time, the skull tattoo meaning shifted towards a more positive note: it stands for power, protection and strength. Some people will use it to commemorate a fallen friend or to remember a certain point in time where they fought with and overcame a potentially life threatening obstacle in their life.

In Mexican culture, the skull is associated with the 1st and 2nd of November, when they mourn the dead. The skull tattoo meaning is one of celebration. The Mexican people decorate their skulls with smiles and other happy touches such as flowers and butterflies in order to celebrate the life of those that have passed away.

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