Skull tattoos are an extremely popular form of symbolism seen in both culture and tattoos. These tattoos may be representative of both the positive and negative, good and evil, and also life and death.
For the most part, skulls represent some sort of positive aspect that comes from the negative. Because the human skull is the last part of the body to decay after death, it is known to represent consciousness, intellect, and our temporary stay in this physical world.
Below we’ll explore some of the most common skull tattoos and their meanings. If you are interested in learning more about various skull designs and how they can be incorporated into the perfect tattoo for you, give us a call or drop us a message. And if you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area, stop by one of our conveniently located tattoo parlours. We’d love to hear from you.
Common Skull Tattoos and Their Meanings
SUGAR SKULL TATTOO
A sugar skull comes from the Mexican culture and represents the Day Of The Dead. On this day, families get together to make candy skulls. This type of skull is usually designed in imagery with colourful flowers and butterflies, and is made as a way to honour the dead.
This particular skull tattoo is often more popular with women as sugar skulls tattoos are usually vibrant and quite colourful, often being perceived as more feminine. Because this tattoo is designed with flowers and butterflies, it is able to be more personalized than most other skull tattoos as each flower, butterfly, and colour have a deeper meaning around the skull and can be changed to suit any style, taste or preference.
SKULL LEAVES TATTOO
Skull leaves usually cover the entire arm and is sometimes designed with a pirates crossbone. Skull leaves symbolize the fact that the person wearing this tattoo lives by their own rules and goes down their own path.
SKULL AND ROSE TATTOO
This tattoo is interesting as it represents two different things. The skull represents life and death while the rose represents beauty and love. Together, the skull and rose tattoo symbolize a struggle between the beautiful and the ugly in times of evil versus good.
HUMAN SKULL TATTOO
The human skull tattoo generally represents death, the person wearing this tattoo usually uses it symbolize the fact that death does not scare them. It also reminds people that death is inevitable, therefore we should live always live life to the absolute fullest. In other words, a fear of mortality should not dictate your quality of life.
CELTIC SKULL TATTOO
This tattoo is viewed by the Celtic culture as “the seat of the soul.” It represents a type of portal that leads to a higher form of power, knowledge, and understanding.
GRIM REAPER TATTOO
Although the grim reaper tattoo is a common representation of death, this tattoo actually symbolizes the circle of life and can represent courage and good fortune. It is sometimes accompanied by words such as “fear the reaper”, “no fear”, “Death comes for us all” and other quotes.
SERPENT SKULL TATTOO
The serpent or snake skull tattoo is designed with a snake symbol and is generally falls under a more gothic type of symbolism and artistry. This tattoo symbolizes death, while the snake symbolizes secrecy and knowledge. When they come together, the tattoo as a whole represents the persistence of knowledge after death.
TRIBAL SKULL TATTOO
This skull is geometrically designed and is usually adorned as a memorial of those who have passed away. It may also symbolize the presence of the spirit of those who have died.
SKULL WITH WINGS TATTOO
A skull with wings comes from hundreds of years of art culture and represents the Latin saying “Memento Mori,” which translates to the remembrance of our own death. This can represent, once again, our mortality, or also symbolize a sense of character growth. As in, the death of a bad habit or quality in ourselves.
LONGHORN SKULL TATTOO
The longhorn skull is inspired by the Native American culture. They believe that this tattoo is a symbol of the everlasting protection of earth’s natural elements. It is also seen to represent courage and strength to fight evil using the elements of the earth.
Closing Thoughts Regarding Skull Tattoo Designs
Skulls are often the chosen tattoo of those looking for a bold and artistic design that makes a statement. The skull is a powerful symbol as it states that our mortality should not be feared as our death on earth is simply a beginning to a new life. In other words, death should not be feared because, although dying is a part of life, it is also not quite the end.
Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare
After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There’s no petroleum so it won’t stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.
PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.
Ready to Explore Your Own SkullTattoo?
At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are ready to help you explore Skull tattoos and other tattoos to make sure you find something you’ll want to show off for decades to come. If you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area drop by our shop and check us out for yourself.
Tattoo Studio Locations
378 Yonge Street,
252 Eglinton Ave East,
7381 Kennedy Road,
100 City Centre Dr.,
1804 W 4th Ave,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Looking for your next Tattoo Idea?
Browse our selection of one of a kinda tattoo designs created by our Chronic Ink artists. Each piece is individual and will only ever be tattooed once.