Do you want to extend your faith into your body art? Wearing symbols that represent what is sacred can connect your mind, body, and spirit. Spiritual tattoos may include Middle Eastern symbols, mystical designs, and religious depictions. Which spiritual tattoo is best for you? Take a look at the many ways you can honor your path and spirit.
Types of Spiritual Tattoos
Koi fish is a beautiful example of a spiritual tattoo. Empowering and representing inner strength, the Koi swim upstream battling life’s currents. Honored within the Japanese culture, an old fable tells that the Koi tried to climb up the walls in the Yellow River and up to the dragon’s gate, where if successful, they would evolve into a dragon. Life is a journey in attaining spirituality, and a koi fish tattoo can reveal your belief in overcoming obstacles amongst the way and encourage your perseverance.
Tattoos’ spiritual meaning helps you understand the religious aspect of your life along with providing you with the right direction toward your path. For instance, a cross tattoo has a lot of spiritual meaning.
Whether you opt for a Christian or a Celtic depiction, crosses are affirmations of faith.
The Celtic variations represent heritage, as in Saint Luke’s Cross. The Egyptian Ankh represents both fertility and life. Christian crosses convey Christ’s resurrection, whereas the Crucifix symbolizes Jesus’ bound body on the trunk of the cross. There are also gothic crosses that are worn mostly as a fashion statement, popular amongst both men and women and often paired with wings or verse designs.
If you are on the path of enlightenment and compassion, you may seek the truth of many Buddhist symbols which include the lotus flower, the statue of the Buddha, the Bodhi tree, the Wheel of the Law, Buddha’s footprints, and other cosmic teachings of cause, effect, and rebirth.
Butterflies make a perfect insect tattoo that also works as a spiritual design. The evolution of the caterpillar into a butterfly represents change and transition. From the bright orange Monarch to Swallowtails, you can study all different species of butterflies and find the wings you favor, there are over 15,000 butterflies to choose from, all who made the journey from a caterpillar.
Gods and Goddesses
If you want to pay homage to the Gods and Goddesses of old, such as Zeus or Thor or the Sacred Mother, try looking in any Wiccan or metaphysical bookstores for plenty of design inspiration. Greek or Viking mythology can also serve as a muse depending on your preference. Hindu Goddesses include Sri Lakshmi, who represents prosperity and humanity, and the greater good. The Ganesha is one of the most worshipped of all deities and is certainly a favorite for a Hindu-inspired tattoo. Consider a back piece for a goddess tattoo and read all about henna and Mehndi here for temporary, yet spiritual body painting.
Native American spiritual totem animals such as the eagle and symbols like the dream catcher and even feather tattoos can capture the spirit of the natives. Dennis Avner, aka “Stalking Cat” felt a deep spiritual connection to his native spirit as he transformed himself into his cat-life persona.
Verse and Script
Verse and script tattoos are a poetic and romantic choice for a spiritual tattoo, especially if you favor writings. For these designs, spend some time looking at fonts. Cursive and stylized handwriting can really change the way your verse tattoo looks. Remember verse and phrase tattoos have to be of decent size so trust your artist’s recommendations. Examples of spiritual verse tattoos may include Believe, Hope, Faith, Love, Peace, Journey, Joy, Trust, and other affirmations.
Fantasy and Nature
For some, a spiritual tattoo may take on a fantastical or natural representation. Otherworldly creatures or fairies and even angel wings may be your choice. Tree tattoos, such as the Cherry Blossom and other celestial moon and star depictions can also be chosen. For fantastical design ideas, really spend some time choosing your artist. You’re likely not going to select a flash design for a fantastical scene tattoo. Fine arts and mythology would be a better start to look for in the background of your tattoo artist.
For some, no spiritual connection is complete without some astrological association. If you study your zodiac sign and relate to the traits and personality of your astrological symbol, you may choose a zodiac representation for your spiritual tattoo. For a few ideas, be sure to read Gemini tattoos and Cancer tattoos here.
Spiritual Tattoos can really help connect your mind body and spirit. Revealing your beliefs through body art can further affirm your faith.
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert, Contributor
Tattoos & Body Piercings Expert Julian is a freelance tattoo writer, beauty expert, traveler, and photographer. Her passion for body art over the past 7 years led to one of the internet’s greatest websites about tattoos and piercing.