Death tattoos have become an integral part of the tattoo subculture. There are countless ways in which depictions of death can be used to create stunning, if somewhat macabre, tattoo designs.
Many people assume that those who get death tattoos are dark and ominous people. Although elements of death certainly appeal to those with dim outlooks, they are also used by many people to create tattoos that represent the cycle of life. To these people, death is simply a part of that cycle, and one that symbolizes an opportunity for new beginnings.
One of the more popular types of tattoos is Death as depicted in Tarot cards. Since there are numerous themed Tarot decks available, tattoos based on the Death card vary considerably in style. The Death Tarot card loosely represents the shedding of old, unproductive ways, and the adoption of new ways, so this type of death tattoo can hold a very personal meaning for its wearer.
Depictions of the grim reaper are also staples of death tattoos. Tattoos of the grim reaper tend to take on more ominous tones, representing death in a literal sense. Grim reaper images are frequently used as part of sleeve tattoos, although they also appear as standalone tattoos.
Other images and symbols are also commonly used in death tattoos. Hourglasses, clocks, and candles can all be used to represent death, as can certain animals, such as crows, bats, and vultures. These images can be used by themselves, or as part of a larger tattoo design.
Some death tattoos are meant as memorials of lost loved ones. These might include images of those lost, or banners displaying their names and dates of birth and death. These are highly personal tattoos, so it is important to consider them carefully before taking a seat in the tattoo artist’s chair.
No matter the meaning, death tattoos are stark, attention-grabbing works of body art that will certainly be noticed.