Meaning of Skull Tattoos

You want to get a skull tattoo? You don't know which design to choose among all the ones you've seen? You want to be sure that the meaning of the tattoo will match your personality?

We are passionate about this subject and know exactly how to help you.

The skull tattoo symbolizes the passing of time and the fragility of life. Tattooing a skull on your skin means that you accept your fate as a mortal. A true symbol of protection against unpredictable events, this emblem shows your strength of mind in the face of death.

In this article, you will discover:

  • Why the skull tattoo is so special
  • What are the symbolic elements with which it is often associated
  • The precise meaning contained in each of these designs


The hidden meaning of skull tattoos will no longer be a secret for you.
You'll know exactly which one to consider at your next tattoo appointment!

Let's find out together right now.

Meaning of "Bull / Buffalo Skull" Tattoo:

The origin of the bull skull is ancestral. This animal represents strength and power, so it is not insignificant that in others it was the emblem of Gods in mythology. Nowadays we associate the symbolism of this tattoo to the character traits of the people born of this sign of the Zodiac. Note that it is particularly popular in Texas and in the West of the United States. More generally, a tattoo with a bull's skull is a symbol of authority, leadership, determination and reliability. Wearing this tattoo is a way of wanting to assert your personality.

Meaning "Goat Skull" Tattoo:

The goat is the ambivalent animal par excellence. It is as much a symbol of fertility and prosperity as of Satan. We therefore commonly associate a goat skull tattoo with the cult of the phallus, sign of fertility. By extrapolation it also symbolizes lust, the irrepressible need to procreate of the Devil. Another interpretation of the goat skull tattoo is that it is the receptacle of evil forces, the one that absorbs pernicious influences to protect us, hence the expression "scapegoat". Ambition is also associated with this animal, which is capable of seeking its food at dizzying heights, like those who want to achieve and obtain more from life. If you choose to tattoo a goat's head, be sure to give it a deep meaning as its symbolism is powerful.

Meaning "Pirate Skull" Tattoo:

A powerful emblem and warning of tçhe ruthless pirate, this pirate skull tattoo means "don't mess with me" in a few words. It is also associated with toxicity and immediate danger. Given this powerful symbolism, it seems important to express your creativity by associating it with other symbols or other colors so that it defines your personality as closely as possible. This tattoo is above all the mark of rebellion, it symbolizes the will to bring out your inner pirate!

Meaning "Human Skull" Tattoo:

"Remember that you will die". This skull and crossbones tattoo is the representation of the inevitability of fate or the tattoo that will accompany its wearer until death. This skull without a lower jaw also symbolizes moral laxity. It is therefore not surprising that drug traffickers or prostitutes wore these drawings to affirm their belonging. A marginal and provocative symbolism for sure!

Meaning "Great Reaper" Tattoo:

The Grim Reaper skull, that ominous, hooded figure who harvests the souls of the dead is a very dark tattoo. It is in essence the representation of threatening death, sin and the fear of ending up in hell. It also symbolizes the loss of hope and is therefore close to the gothic movement.

Meaning "Mexican Death's Head" Tattoo:

This is the central symbol of the commemorative festivities del "Dia de Muertos" in Mexico (popular festival of remembrance for the departed). Any tattoo with Mexican skulls gives the wearer total freedom in terms of decoration and colors. It is an excellent alternative to pay tribute to a loved one who has passed away. There is a significant growth in this movement.

Meaning "Skull with Rose" Tattoo:

This skull and crossbones tattoo with a red rose is the perfect representation of duality, the contrast between life and death, greatness and decay or good and evil. This skull often symbolizes for the wearer the difficult and fragile exercise of finding a balance in life but also the acceptance of the joys and sorrows it imposes on us. The more the chiaroscuro will be pressed, the more the rendering will be sublimated!

Meaning "Skull with Snake" Tattoo:

This skull and crossbones tattoo with a snake is especially present in the traditional American style. The skull with the snake is a gothic symbol that emphasizes the persistence of knowledge beyond death. This animal expresses the fascination and the taboo of the human being towards death. It is often associated with the Devil and evil forces.

Meaning "Death's Head with Crown" Tattoo:

The tattoo of a skull topped with a crown symbolizes the desire for power. Considered the attribute of kings par excellence, the crown on a skull transcends all hopes and dreams. However, Mexicans attribute a completely different interpretation to it, the one who wears this tattoo will be luckier in the next life.

Meaning Death's Head with Indian Tattoo:

The Indian headdress represents the soul of the wearer. It has a deep symbolism, that of a bewitching culture with a rich past. The skull and crossbones tattoo with Indian represents the sum of our achievements, victories as well as our spiritual ascension in life.

Meaning Death's Head with Clock Tattoo:

The message is clear in the skull and crossbones tattoo with clock: remember that you are mortal! The hands turn ineluctably and remind you of the time you have left on earth and the time of the fateful day. But to stick to this symbolism would be too reductive. The clock is a source of inspiration for the wearer, he must use his time wisely.

Meaning "Skull and Butterfly" Tattoo:

The tragic events that mark our existence impact us and are symbolized by the skull in this tattoo. The butterfly represents transformation, growth, change, the will to turn our backs on the past and reinvent the future after an upheaval. We must continue to live even after the death of a part of our life!

Meaning "Death's Head with Raven" Tattoo:


The raven is often depicted as a dark and sinister bird... the same goes for tattoos adorned with this mystical bird. Nevertheless, such a tattoo can also be imbued with positive characteristics! In the Middle Ages, it was considered lucky to meet a dead crow. The Chinese have always associated the black raven as a symbol of love. In addition, the raven has the characteristic of being a very intelligent and wise bird. It is often recognized in North American culture as the spiritual guide, offering inspiration to those who recognize its power.

Meaning "Shakespeare Skull" Tattoo:

In Shakespeare's famous play, Hamlet laments the death of his jester, Yorick. He declares that he was a "member of the infinite joke" while staring at his skull. A symbol of death for someone who embodied life. One can see the absurdity of existence.

Meaning of "Celtic Skull" Tattoo:

The Celts considered the skull to be the cradle of the soul, the central focus of the spirit, the very symbol of strength and warrior value. Now choose this tattoo design represents the matrix of knowledge and understanding, power and command, transience. Again the wearer of this Celtic skull tattoo will have the will to assert his conqueror personality as much as his ability to cope with all kinds of situations.

Meaning "Tribal Skull" Tattoo:

Adorned with bold, geometric designs, this tattoo is a tribute to the memory of those who have passed away. By extrapolation it can also symbolize the courage and ghostly apparitions of those who died in battle. The tribal skull tattoo is full of mysticism and spirituality.

To find out all about the tattoos of your favorite style, you can visit our page dedicated to the world of skull tattoos.

Choose your tattoo safely!

You will have understood, skull tattoos have meanings as diverse as varied. The skull, no matter what message it conveys, is a powerful image that many of us can relate to.

With all this information, you are now an expert in understanding what the tattooed people around you want to express. It will also be very easy for you to find out which design suits you the most so you can plan your next visit to the tattoo artist!

This decision is important and should not be taken lightly: you must be 100% sure of your choice.

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