Are snake tattoos only for the sinful? From Biblical associations to reincarnation and life after death, snakes have many historical myths and legends about them that lure many people to their mysterious beauty. In addition to the well-known cultural references, snake tattoos also hold significant meanings in African, Asian, and South American cultures, symbolizing concepts like eternal life, divine protection, and wisdom.
Snake tattoos carry a multitude of meanings, often symbolizing transformation, rebirth, and personal growth due to the snake’s ability to shed its skin. They can also represent healing and fertility, knowledge and wisdom, as well as temptation and sin.
In some cultures, snake tattoos are seen as protectors against illness or bad luck, and they can also symbolize good luck, strength, and change.
When considering a snake tattoo, the artistic style plays a crucial role. For instance, a traditional style snake tattoo can evoke a sense of nostalgia and timelessness, while a geometric snake design might appeal to those who prefer a more modern and abstract aesthetic.
Additionally, snake tattoos may be associated with danger and power, reflecting the dual nature of snakes as both healers and harmful creatures. Some snake tattoos are inspired by the Rod of Asclepius, commonly mistaken for the Caduceus, which is a symbol used in the medical field.
Snakes and Myths
While there are plenty of sinful and negative meanings conjured up with the image of a snake, there are many positive ones too.
When a snake sheds its skin it goes through a state of transformation that depicts both change and rebirth.
Sacred to many cultures including the Native American Indians, snakes in certain Indian tribes are associated with lightning and are a masculine symbol. Consider a snake combined with a lightning bolt to depict this sort of cultural representation.
The Celts also bestowed some glory upon the snake as the bearer of secret knowledge. Celtic or tribal-inspired reptile tattoos can represent wisdom, rebirth, and renewal.
Erik “The Lizardman” Sprague tattooed his entire body green and added horn implants above his eyebrows to add a reptilian vibe to his body transformation.
He’s also very wise. You can read about Erik here.
If you practice yoga, you may find a deep association you never knew you had with the snake.
Kundalini means “coiled” in both Thai and Sanskirt languages. As you awaken the Kundalini force at the base of your spine the goddess or sleeping serpent can help you lean towards enlightenment and a state of meditative bliss.
Snake tattoos are a sexy girls tattoo, especially if you practice any form of belly dancing where you can really show off the slithering movement of the snake and your feminine whiles.
You can also opt for a snake to combine with Sanskrit tattoo designs to create a very meaningful body canvas that represents inner transformation and enlightenment.
The Dark Side of Snakes
Come hither. Snakes are tempting.
It was a snake that tempted Eve to take a bite of the apple in the Garden of Eden and this sinful association will always bring to mind the dark side of their being.
Yet it is not just this Biblical story that warrants a snake’s darker presence. They move to the rhythm of nature and that’s part of their seductive and suggestive mysterious force. Snakes also partake in their share of dark imagery as well. Living amongst the shadows during the coldest months they slowly make way to the sun in a sleuth coming.
From magic spells to death representations and their fanged merciless fights, a snake can be found slithering in the gardens of both good and evil.
Placement Tips for a Snake Tattoo
Artist selection is important with every tattoo but especially with snake designs due to their fine details. Play an active role in your snake designing process and give the style and placement plenty of thought before seeking the right talented artist.
You’ll likely be tempted to wrap your snake somewhere. The bicep and the wrist make likely snake tattoo locations. You can also place your snake on your lower hip for a sexy tattoo that moves with you.
For a masculine and poisonous tattoo-inspired design opt for a cobra back piece. For an upper thigh design that’s nothing short of tempting why not consider a coiled snake?
For ancient symbolism check out the symbol of the Ouroboros which is the depiction of a snake eating its own tail and forming a complete circle. Circle tattoos are unique on the upper shoulder blades and forearm so consider these unique spots for a different take on a snake tattoo.
To add a verse of wit and well-deserved wisdom to your snake piece, consider the following quote:
“Adapt to the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Facts About the Meaning of Snake Tattoos in Christianity
There’s a lot of confusion about whether or not snake tattoos are appropriate for Christians. Many people think that they’re sinful because they represent something evil, like Satan. But the truth is, “snake” is just another name for a serpent (referring to Satan).
The Bible doesn’t contain any passages that reference snakes as bad or evil. In fact, the serpent in Genesis is kind of a hero! Who knew? Let’s take a look at some other facts about snake tattoos and their meaning in Christianity.
1. The serpent in the Garden of Eden wasn’t evil
The serpent in the Garden of Eden wasn’t evil; it was actually trying to help Eve and Adam by giving them the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to open their eyes to their own potential and to make them more god-like.
2. Other passages in the Bible reference snakes positively
The story of the snake in the Garden of Eden is one of the most famous stories in the Bible, and it’s often taken to mean that snakes are bad. However, there are lots of other stories in the Bible that reference snakes in positive ways.
3. Serpent tattoos have some positive meanings for Christians
For Christians, the serpent tattoo is an allegory for the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis, a serpent convinces a woman to take a bite of a fruit that God had prohibited them from eating. This act caused Adam and Eve to be cast out of the Garden of Eden and lose their innocence.
The Snake in the Garden of Eden is the key to understanding the snake as a symbol of good and evil in Christianity. According to Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, there was a snake who told Eve that she would not die if she ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Eve ate the fruit and she did not die. But the snake told her that if she ate the fruit again, she would die. This is because snakes live for hundreds of years and they can tell when you’re not following God’s laws. So in the Garden of Eden story, the snake was telling Eve exactly what the Law of Moses told her: You must not eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But of course, as a “serpent” the snake knew about her own sin (the sin of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and he wanted her to know that if she ate from the tree of the knowledge of evil, she would also die.
The Christian Church has honored snakes as a symbol of power and healing for centuries. As late as the 16th century, the Catholic Church used snakes as a sign of the cross. Now they’re part of the imagery that’s part of New Age mysticism, which is a subset of Christianity that worships nature.
One source says that the roots of New Age mysticism go back to the 16th-century Jesuit Francisco de Vitoria. Vitoria was the pupil of Martin de Montaigne, who wrote a book called The Sickness of Cities, which is considered to be the first work of urban mysticism.
Vitoria saw that the cities and the cities’ illnesses were a metaphor for life, and people trying to satisfy their deeper spiritual needs. Vitoria thought that the cocks of modern Europe (those cities with their smug, self-important, greedy, jealous gods) were like serpents who had swallowed cities whole. Cocks are greedy for attention and for power. But Vitoria realized that you could cure a city with a snake tattoo.
There is a whole world of tattoo designs for you to choose from if you decide to wear a tattoo. You can choose tattoos from the world of animals, birds, insects, special things and from the world of reptiles. Of the lot, many people like having snake tattoos placed on their bodies. These snake tattoos are generally found in the ‘creepy crawly’ design category of tattoos. The main thing that makes a snake stand out from other tattoos is that they are very much alive like human beings. The only thing is that they are cold-blooded and tend to give you shivers.
Besides being creepy, these snakes have many associations with various gods, spirits, and the underworld. Snakes are generally associated with the different parts of the life cycle that include creation, destruction, and eternity. And because the snake is an animal that can live on both land and water, they are connected with the two elements of life and accordingly revered. This gives all the more reason for one to choose snake tattoos; as a person who is ready for anything in life; be it life or death.
The most common snakes created as snake tattoos are the rattlesnake and the cobra. Both signify dangerous and poisonous snakes; thus emitting the message that you are a dangerous person to reckon with. On the contrary, snake tattoos can also give the message that you are a person who can be reckoned with for protection.
What do snake tattoos mean?
According to the Chinese calendar, the snake is one of the 12 animals that appear in the 12-year cycle of this calendar. So there are many people who wear snake tattoos to tell that they are members of the snake sign of the Chinese horoscope. The person born under the snake sign is considered to be a person rich in wisdom and charm. The person is calculated to be one of the deep thinkers who have an intuition that guides them strongly.
Those born under the snake sign have to avoid procrastination and their stingy attitude toward money to succeed in life. It is important for them to keep a sense of humor in life too. And according to Chinese folk yore, the person born in the year of the snake is considered to be calm, romantic, gentle, and perceptive.
There are a few who have a tendency of being prone to sloth and vanity too. So it can be seen that with a snake tattoo, you can let others know that you belong to the year of the snake, and accordingly, have the nature and characteristics of a snake person.
If you choose a snake design, you have to choose it wisely as the tattoo is something permanent in your life that is very difficult to have removed if not needed. Sometimes it proves to be difficult to get jobs if you have a tattoo, as many employers think that tattoos don’t project the right principles in an employee. So if you have to have a snake tattoo, have it placed in places that will not be seen by the employer when you seek a job.
Has the snake tattoo been done on your back, upper arm, or chest where it is more than likely to be covered with your shirt? Don’t put it in places that are more prominent and can be seen by the employer like in the forearms. And have a snake tattoo only if you are sure you can live it for the length of your life, with it depicting your nature and attitude to life.
The psychological impact of a snake tattoo can be profound. For many, it’s a symbol of overcoming fears or a representation of a transformative life event.
Modern Pop Culture References
Snake tattoos have also made their way into modern pop culture, with celebrities and characters in movies often sporting these designs, further popularizing them and influencing public perception.
Conclusion: A Comprehensive Look at Snake Tattoos
In conclusion, snake tattoos are not just about sin or temptation; they are rich in symbolism and history. Whether you’re drawn to their mystical allure or their representation of rebirth and transformation, a snake tattoo is a powerful choice that speaks volumes about your personal journey and beliefs.
Remember, a tattoo is a lifelong commitment. Choose a design and placement that resonates with your personal story and ensure it’s something you’ll be proud to wear for years to come.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.