November 24, 2019 4 min read
Some of the greatest “ink-spiration” for tattoos comes from our favorite animals. The warm embrace of a furry koala hugging a calf muscle, or possibly a butterfly fluttering on a shoulder. Cute, and harmless little critters to smile at after a rough day. What about a friendly little creature with no arms, fangs that were made to sink into meaty flesh, and is the reason for the phrase “silent but deadly”? The snake doesn’t make friends easily. Despite their lack of personality, serpents do make great tattoo ideas.
Fossils prove that early species of snakes were hanging out with the dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. They are notorious for being creepy, clever, and dangerous. From sinuous references in the bible to that hypnotizing trickster from the “Jungle Book”, snakes have carried a bad reputation. Regardless of the stigma, snakes are considered sacred in other cultures. Revered as tokens of protection, fertility, and wisdom. These creatures are examples of resilience and strength. They don’t play fetch but they will lay nicely on your arm, wrapped around your finger, or coiled up on your back.
“Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep,” is a German proverb. These creative designs all feature a snake nestled in vines of flowers or plants. Snakes often symbolize rebirth, and flowers are indicative of innocence, loss, hope, and love. Depending on the flower the meaning can change. These serpents are quite tempting semi-permanent tattoo ideas.
This snake is seductively inching up the thigh. Maneuvering through blossoms that can represent sensuality or temptation. Just as a peacock fans his bright feathers to attract a mate, these blooming florals can symbolize fertility.
This extravagant piece depicts a snake hiding in a bed of flowers while some sparrows fly incessantly above. The snake laying in the flowers can be interpreted as temptation, lust, or love. The birds appear to attack the snake and therefore represent a symbol of virtue.
This temporary tattoo design is using the snake’s body creatively as a timeline. Each flower symbolizes a significant moment in time. The snake’s body coils and twists in knots signifying a path getting turned around before ultimately finding a way to survive through those setbacks and growing through life’s changes.
The image of a snake and sometimes dragons chewing on their own tail is described as a symbol of eternity, and life's cycle. This image is a popular option among snake tattoos.
This snake is devouring its tail while forming an infinity symbol. The ouroboros can also represent balance such as negative and positive, life and death, good or evil.
Another ouroboros design forming an infinity symbol. This tattoo adds astrological elements to its illustration. The stars hold all kinds of legends and myths. The constellations can be traced and charted to include designs similar to the ones above. According to Chinese astrology individuals born during a snake year are smart, passionate, hesitant, and usually gifted in art or literature.
This tattoo is an example of an ouroboros forming a singular circle. The stars are included in the design as a charted constellation. The universe always has a plan and the snake maintains the balance.
One of the snake’s defining characteristics is the way it moves around. An impressive wriggly muscle that doesn’t undulate as a caterpillar, however, seems to glide effortlessly through various landscapes. This cluster of semi-permanent tattoo ideas strives to capture the simple elegance of snakes.
This snake appears to be unraveling from a defensive pose. The body is slowly uncoiling as if reaching a point of peace. This can signify rebirth, wisdom, and protection.
The snake’s skin is bright and clearly patterned to represent the shedding of old skin. This detailed image can signify change, a new beginning, or a new life. The path of travel along the body signifies a winding and challenging path, but new adventures are on the horizon.
The Anguis is another name for blindworm. These little guys are commonly confused with earthworms but they are a species of snake. They spend time burrowing in the ground and therefore can’t see very well. The absence of vision can indicate that one withholds judgment based on appearance. The appearance of a snake can be unsettling and threatening but the behavior of the snake is peaceful and unintrusive. A reminder that people and animals aren’t always how they seem.
Two elements of the natural world that were made for each other. Each is mysterious and cool all by themselves but together become powerful. Skulls represent mortality and death. The only thing that remains after our life ends are the bones that hide under our skin. A skull can be a symbol of sweet relief in death’s kiss or a reminder that life ends and every moment matters.
Skulls are prominent symbols in Mexican culture.“In Mexico, the skull is a representation of impermanence, transition, and freedom.” Death is celebrated as a liberation from the physical world. This skull and snake combination makes for a clever temporary tattoo because life is also temporary.
This imagery portrays a skull, snake, and eagle. The eagle is biting the snake as it abandons the shelter of the skull. The tattoo suggests a life taken too soon, and some form of justice is served from the wings of a virtuous eagle.
A small serpent circles a grinning skull. The skull symbolizes death and freedom, while the snake represents rebirth and the eternal circle of life.