Ancient Greek Tattoos With Symbolism: Not Your Regular Body Art  

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Getting the best ancient Greek tattoos demands a lot of research work and an understanding of Greek mythology, culture, and symbolism.  

It is beautiful to see some simple symbols turning into the most meaningful body art. Further, aesthetically, these tattoos are “enigmatic” or “esoteric,” to say the least. 

We have seen how Greek gods and goddesses keep inspiring Greek art, architecture, and even tattoos. However, did you know that there are some symbols that depict Greek gods and goddesses, and some even have greater spiritual significance?  

So, if a meaningful Greek tattoo is what you want, you must take a deep dive into the enigmatic world of symbolic Greek tattoos.  

Ancient Greek Tattoos And The Inspiration Of Symbols 

When it comes to ancient symbolism, very few civilizations can surpass the vastness of Greek mythology or culture. Further, when we talk about ancient symbols that inspire us, we can trace their origins to the Greek alphabet, elements of nature, and common motifs found in folk art. 

These eclectic Greek symbols also represent the virtues that Greek people used to hold dear. The dominating themes of meanings of these symbols were wisdom, strength, and courage.  

With time, these symbols got a contemporary touch, and they started depicting the beliefs, desires, and stories of individuals who wore them.

Further, some of these symbols emerged as intuitive tattoos working as spiritual guides for people who believed in the power of manifestation and in establishing a connection with a superior force.  

So, when you see symbols like triskelion, spirals, alpha, omega, or Urania and consider them as the themes of your next body art, you must be ready to wear something meaningful and powerful.  

Why Are Ancient Greek Tattoos With Symbols Unique? 

Have you ever wondered why ancient Greek tattoos inspired by symbols rule in the realm of tattooing? The deep symbolism and unique aesthetics of these symbols inspire their depiction through our body art. 

These Tattoos Are Aesthetically Appealing  

When you look at a triskelion or labyrinth design, the intricacy of the pattern surely impresses you. Further, the symbols derived from the Greek alphabet have the raw ancient charm that many of us find impressive.  

These Tattoos Are Scalable  

Greek symbols are easily scalable. In simple words, it does not matter whether you want a small design or the most illustrative design. You can always mix and match them with other elements to have the body art of your choice

Further, thanks to the scalability of these tattoos, they can be placed on your any body part. The smaller ones will sit pretty on your wrist or arm. Larger designs with symbols are further meant for your back, thighs, shoulders, or chest.  

You Can Always Personalize These Tattoos And Have Your Own Interpretation 

These symbol tattoos and other Ancient Greek tattoos with meaning can connect to you on a personal level. You may find them to be the extensions of your personal stories, beliefs, values, and desires.  

Further, you can always interpret them in your own way by pairing them with diverse elements and getting them inked using various techniques like gray and black realism, micro realism, fine lines, and illustrations.  

Greek Key And Meander In Ancient Greek Tattoos  

With interlocking patterns, the Greek meander meander symbol has been a popular inspiration in Greek architecture, art, and tattoos. Many people think that a small section of the meander resembles a rudimentary key. As a result, these meanders also got the name as a Greek key. 

People in ancient Greece used to see these meanders as symbols of eternal life. Further, the interlocking patterns signified the union that keeps the flow of life undisturbed.  

We can also see the presence of a maze or labyrinth in Greek mythology. According to Homer’s Ilyad, the Cretan labyrinth was the original maze, and it was constructed to detain the Minotaur.  

Michael Kalopoulos, a Greek scholar, has written about meanders in Psychology Today. He writes, 

“On a much higher, metaphysical level, the meandros grip was a manifestation of the heroic and resilient Greek spirit. Metaphorically-speaking, it enabled ancient Greeks to challenge the gods. The symbol of the meandros was a reminder that human beings held in their hands, literally and figuratively, the capacity to face with confidence whatever happened to come their way in life.” 

Going through his words, we can say that meanders or the Greek key can be a great body art that inspires you to be the master of your life. It gives you much-needed confidence and helps you to remain resilient in the pursuit of your goal. 

Meander tattoos look great on arm sleeves, chest, and back. You can even combine it with other symbols and figures of gods and goddesses as your body art.  

Ancient Greek Tattoos Inspired By Symbols With Meaning 

Are you all set to have the best ancient Greek tattoos? Here. I have curated some of the most intriguing symbols that can be part of your next Greek tattoo. 

Triskelion 

The Greek triskelion stands for eternity and the continuation of life. It has been a common belief ingrained in Greek culture and it also shows how three times, meaning the past, present, and future are connected to each other.  

A triskelion tattoo is scalable. You can get a small one on your nape or wrist. Also, you can create a maze pattern with multiple triskelions in one design.  

Spiral 

Spiral is another powerful Greek symbol in ancient Greek tattoos. It represents the change of four seasons, and it also has an association with life, death, and rebirth

Chloris – Flora 

Greek and Roman cultures have goddesses associated with childbirth and femininity. Chloris, or Flora in Roman culture, is one of those goddesses as she is the deity of spring.  

She is also the goddess of flowers.  

Tyche – Fortuna 

In Greek mythology and Roman culture, Tyche, or Fortuna, was the goddess of luck. She is another goddess symbolizing the duality of our lives, and she could bring good fortune and ill fate to mortals.  

Tyche is often depicted with a combination of two symbols. There is a larger wheel-like symbol with eight spikes at the bottom. Above this wheel, you can see a smaller symbol that looks like a multiplication sign placed on a plus sign. 

These symbols probably indicate the turn of fate and how we must embrace different conditions with equal grace.  

Hygeia  

Greek goddess Hygeia is a companion of Aphrodite, and she stands for good health, cleanliness, and sanitation.  

If you want a symbolic depiction of Hygiea, you can consider the symbol of Hygiea’s cup adorned by serpents.  

Do Ancient Greek Tattoos Have Designs Inspired By Mythical Creatures?  

Yes, Greek mythological creatures have inspired ancient Greek tattoos to a great extent. These creatures, with unique physical features and characteristics, also fuel imagination for art and beautiful tattoo designs. Further, they symbolize certain qualities related to human lives.   

Let’s know about some of the most fascinating mythological characters that can be the subject of your Greek tattoo.  

Hydra 

Hydra is the most powerful sea monster. It is a serpent with nine heads. Myths have it that if one head of the beast was cut, it used to have two new heads generated from the same place.

This gigantic monster was finally killed by Hercules, who cut its head and cauterized the areas with a burning torch with the help of Iolaus to stop the growth of new heads. 

Along with being a popular Greek mythological creature, Hydra represents some deep philosophies or meanings related to our lives. Many people see Hydra as a symbol of long life. Some even delve deeper and see Hydra as the overwhelming challenges we face in our day-to-day lives. 

In fact, the battle between Hercules and Hydra is a great example of how we must remain persistent and strategize our moves well to overcome hurdles that seem undefeatable to us. So, Hydra is a powerful metaphor for sure and it can be the inspiration for your next arm or back tattoo.  

Sirens  

Sirens, the daughters of the Greek river god Achelous, were half birds and half beauty women. They used to attract sailors passing by their residing island and lead them to their doom. Sirenum scopuli was the home of these mythical creatures.  

We find a mention of these mythical creatures in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus did not get distracted by the signing of the sirens, and thus he saved his and other crew members’ lives.  

These sirens used to serve Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Hades abducted Persephone, but the sirens could not help her. Because of this incident, the sirens got cursed by Demeter and became half-bird and half-human monsters.  

Sirens teach us how we can have the coexistence of good and evil in our lives. Further, what apparently seems good to us may be the exact opposite, and we need to make our choices considering the goals we have to attain.  

Chimera 

John Donne writes,  

“I throw myself down in my chamber, and I call in, and invite God, and his Angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect God and his angels for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door; I talk on in the same posture of praying, eyes lifted up, knees bowed down, as though I prayed to God; and if God or his angels should ask me when I thought last of God in that prayer, I cannot tell. Sometimes I find that I had forgot what I was about, but when I began to forget it I cannot tell. A memory of yesterday’s pleasures, a fear of tomorrow’s dangers, a straw under my knee, a noise in mine ear, a light in mine eye, an anything, a nothing, a fancy, a chimera in my brain troubles me in my prayer.” 

Chimera, a Greek mythological character with the heads of a lion, goat, and dragon has been a symbol of dream or fancy that cannot be realized. Further, this monstrous creature depicts how we have to deal with the coexistence of opposites in our daily lives. 

If you want ancient Greek tattoos with a lot of drama and deep symbolism, a Chimera tattoo will be an excellent pick for you.  

Pegasus 

Pegasus was fathered by Poseidon, and he was born of Medusa’s neck cut by Perseus. Pegasus was a winged horse and a constant companion of the hero Bellerophon. Further, Pegasus accompanied Bellerophon on many occasions and in many battles.  

In Greek mythology, Pegasus is a symbol of righteousness, and this divine stallion is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Pegasus is also the one who restores harmony amidst chaos.  

Pegasus is the mythical character to unite heaven and the sky. He denotes the human aspiration for divine inspiration and a journey to heaven.  

Further, he signifies the quest of human beings to rise above the physical realm. He also represents the creative spirit in all of us.  

So, to manifest good luck and flaunt your creative persona, you can have an illustrious Pegasus tattoo on your back or chest.  

Harpies   

Harpies are the protectors of the underworld. With a half-bird and half-woman body, they also guide ships with stormy winds. Here, you must note that Harpies and sirens have similar physical features. However, their role and symbolism in Greek mythology are completely different.  

Despite being seen as monsters or evil spirits, Harpies were known to be fearless. However, they lacked intelligence and the power of judgment. So, having a Harpies tattoo may be like an expression of why courage and discernment are both important in our daily lives.  

Final Words  

Much has been said and written about ancient Greek tattoos and how they are inspired by popular Greek gods and goddesses. However, we often tend to overlook how the ancient Greek symbols or symbolisms associated with mythical creatures and the elements of nature have a profound influence on Greek body art. 

So, if you want to have a tattoo inspired by ancient Greek symbols and symbolism, you can explore the tattoo designs I have discussed in this guide. Further, if you have insights into ancient Greek symbolism and tattoos, don’t forget to share them with us.  

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