The snake. The serpent. Snake tattoos have always been popular throughout the history of tattooing. And that’s still the case in 2020. But what do they symbolise and where did they come from?
You may think that snakes represent evil. And sometimes they do. This is the way they’ve always been portrayed in tales, such as the bible, throughout history. They’re sneaky, deceptive and cold.
But when it comes to tattoo designs, snakes have some redeeming qualities which they also bring to the table.
For example, traditional Japanese snake tattoo designs offer protection from misfortune and are a symbol of wisdom. In other cultures, they represent intellect, fertility and, because of their ability to shed their skin, transformation and rebirth.
In traditional / old school style tattoos, snakes are often depicted in a ready-to-strike pose. This plays into the idea of the snake being a protective presence, warding off negative external forces.
However, there are other portrayals of the snake which are symbolic too. One example is the snake biting its own tail. Known as the ourborous, this snake symbol dates back to as early as Ancient Egypt. It’s representative of the endless cycle of life.
Snakes make an excellent choice for tattoos as they translate well into a number of different formats. They’re a staple in traditional tattoo styles but work well in more contemporary pieces such as realistic and illustrative style tatoos.
If you’re looking for snake tattoo ideas, look no further. Below are 10 superb snake tattoo designs.