Exploring the Meaning: What Does Snake Tattoo Symbolize?

Snakes are one of the most captivating creatures on earth. They have been associated with several mythologies and cultures throughout centuries. These reptiles are often seen as a symbol of healing, transformation, power, and wisdom. People all around the globe have used snake symbolism to depict their beliefs and showcase it through other mediums. One such medium is tattoo art, where snake tattoos have become increasingly popular over the years.

Snake tattoos are known to hold a variety of meanings. However, the most common symbolic representation of a snake tattoo is transformation. Just like the skin that a snake sheds, it is believed that the person getting a snake tattoo has undergone a significant life change. For some, it is about overcoming past trauma, for others it’s about going through a difficult period in their lives, and for some, it represents a new chapter. Regardless of the reason behind getting a snake tattoo, it is symbolic of moving forward and starting anew.

Another symbolic representation of a snake tattoo is fearlessness and power. Snakes have long been regarded as dangerous creatures that possess venom that can be lethal. Thus, having a snake tattoo is often seen as an embodiment of the wearer’s inner strength and ability to overcome fear. The association with rebirth and the ability to regenerate its own skin also makes the snake a symbol of eternal life and immortality, which is yet another factor that makes it a popular choice for tattoos.

The history of the snake tattoo

The snake has been a potent symbol in various cultures since ancient times. The snake tattoo is one of the oldest and most commonly used designs worldwide. In many cultures, the snake is considered a symbol of rebirth, transformation, and healing. It has also been related to fertility, power, wisdom, and immortality.

The snake tattoo first appeared in ancient Mesopotamia, where it was believed that snakes were protectors of the underworld and the afterlife. They were also associated with healing and medicine, and were often used as a symbol of the goddess Ishtar. Later, in Egypt and Greece, the snake was linked to royalty and divine power, and was considered sacred to the goddess Isis. In Hinduism, the snake is associated with the god Shiva and is often depicted as a symbol of Kundalini energy.

In the West, the snake tattoo was popularized by sailors in the 18th century. Sailors would often get tattoos as souvenirs from their travels, and the snake tattoo was a popular design due to its connection to ancient cultures that they encountered on their voyages. The snake tattoo also became associated with dangerous and daring behavior, further increasing its popularity among sailors and other adventurous individuals.

Today, the snake tattoo continues to be a popular design, with many variations and interpretations. It is often chosen for its powerful symbolism and ability to represent change and transformation in a person’s life. Additionally, the snake tattoo remains popular among those in the tattoo community who appreciate its rich history and cultural significance.

Different Cultures and Their Interpretations of Snake Tattoos

Across different cultures, snake tattoos hold various meanings and symbolisms. Some interpretations view snakes as powerful, while others see them as dangerous. Here are some of the different cultural associations with snake tattoos:

  • Native American: In Native American culture, snakes are revered as sacred. They are believed to embody energy and life force. Snake tattoos in Native American culture are often associated with healing and transformation.
  • Japanese: In Japanese symbolism, snakes represent transformation, regeneration, and rebirth. They are thought to have spiritual power and are seen in a positive light. Some Japanese snake tattoos include the Orochi, an eight-headed serpent that represents strength and power.
  • Egyptian: The snake was a powerful symbol in ancient Egypt and was associated with royalty and protection. The Uraeus, a cobra used to represent the goddess Wadjet, was often depicted on the crowns of pharaohs. In Egyptian mythology, the snake also represented the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Aside from cultural significance, snake tattoos may hold different meanings for each individual wearer. Some may get a snake tattoo to represent their own personal transformation or rebirth. Others choose to get a snake tattoo as a symbol of protection or warning to those who come into their lives. Overall, snake tattoos hold a variety of interpretations and continue to be a popular choice in the tattoo world.

The symbolism of different types of snakes in tattoos

Snake tattoos have been popular for many years and are one of the most commonly chosen animal motifs. The representation of snakes in tattoos can vary according to their species, attributes and colors. In this article, we will explore the symbolism of different types of snakes in tattoos, including:

  • Traditional snakes
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Cobra snakes
  • Python snakes


Rattlesnakes are one of the most popular snake tattoos. In Western cultures, rattlesnakes represent a warning or a sign of danger. The sound of the rattle is a warning to keep away, as the snake is about to strike. Rattlesnake tattoos represent a sense of caution and the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings. This type of tattoo is often chosen by those who have been through challenging times and have come out on top, or those who wish to honor their survival instincts.

Cobra snakes

Cobra snake tattoos have cultural significance in many different parts of the world. In Hinduism, the cobra represents transformation and rebirth. In ancient Egypt, cobras were worshipped as protectors of the pharaohs. In China, cobras represent power, honor and intelligence. Choosing a cobra tattoo signifies one’s strength, wisdom and protection against evil forces.

Python snakes

Python snake tattoos represent healing and transformation. In Greek mythology, the Python was a serpent that was slain by Apollo, representing the triumph of light over darkness. Python snake tattoos are often chosen by those who have overcome addiction, illness or other challenges, and have emerged stronger and more resilient. This type of tattoo symbolizes the ability to shed the old and embrace the new, and the importance of letting go of the past.

Traditional snakes

In traditional tattoo designs, snakes are often depicted curled up and ready to strike or wrapping around a dagger or a skull. These traditional snake tattoos convey a sense of danger, power and fear. They represent both the dark and the light sides of human nature, and the struggle between good and evil. Traditional snake tattoos can show a person’s rebellious side and their willingness to take risks.

Snake SpeciesSymbolism
RattlesnakeDanger, caution, survival instincts
CobraPower, honor, intelligence, protection against evil forces
PythonHealing, transformation, shedding the old and embracing the new
Traditional SnakeRebellion, power, fear, good and evil

Overall, snake tattoos can have different meanings depending on the species and the way they are depicted. Whether they represent caution, transformation, power or rebellion, snake tattoos remain a popular choice for those who wish to express their personality or commemorate a significant experience.

The placement of snake tattoos on the body

When it comes to getting a snake tattoo, the placement of the tattoo is just as important as the design itself. The placement can change the meaning and significance of the tattoo entirely, making it important to choose the right location for your ink.

  • Arm: One of the most common places for a snake tattoo, the arm symbolizes strength and power. It’s an excellent spot if you want a tattoo that’s easy to show off, and it works well with snake designs that wrap around the arm.
  • Chest: A snake tattoo on the chest can represent protection and security. Placing the snake tattoo over the heart can represent a strong bond with someone or something. This placement can also be ideal for those looking for a larger, more intricate design.
  • Back: An excellent choice for those looking for a larger design, the back can be a powerful location for a snake tattoo. It signifies transformation and change, making it perfect for designs that wrap around the spine or incorporate other symbols of metamorphosis.

When considering where to place your snake tattoo, it’s best to think about what the design means to you and what you want it to symbolize. Some other popular places for snake tattoos include the thigh, ankle, and wrist, each with their own unique symbolism.

It’s important to note that some snake tattoos may not work well with certain placements. For example, a design with a lot of intricate details and shading may not look as good on a small ankle tattoo. Make sure to discuss your options with your tattoo artist to ensure that your tattoo looks just as amazing as you envision it.

The Symbolism of Number 4 in Snake Tattoo Placement

In some cultures, the number four represents stability and structure. It is believed to be a symbol of balance, order, and organization. When it comes to snake tattoos, the number four can play a significant role in their placement and meaning.

A snake tattoo placed in four different areas of the body can represent balance and harmony. This can be an excellent choice for those who want to promote a sense of stability and organization in their lives. Some popular placements for a four-part snake tattoo include the four corners of the back, the arm, and the leg.

Another way the number four can be incorporated into snake tattoos is by using serpent imagery to represent the four elements of earth, air, water, and fire. For example, a snake coiling around a tree branch can symbolize earth, while a serpent rising up through the air can represent the element of air. This type of tattoo can represent the balance and interconnectedness of the natural world.

The number four can add a unique layer of meaning to a snake tattoo and make it even more powerful and significant. Consider incorporating the number four into your tattoo design if you want to promote balance and harmony in your life.


When it comes to getting a snake tattoo, the placement can have a significant impact on its meaning and symbolism. Whether you choose to place your tattoo on your arm, chest, back, or other location, make sure to consider what the placement will represent to you.

ArmStrength and power
ChestProtection and security
BackTransformation and change
  • Take your time: Don’t rush into getting your snake tattoo. Take the time to consider what design and placement will have the most meaning to you.
  • Consult with your tattoo artist: Your tattoo artist can offer insight and advice on the best placement for your snake tattoo. They can also help you choose a design that works well with your desired placement.
  • Care for your tattoo: Once you’ve gotten your snake tattoo, make sure to take good care of it to ensure it heals properly and looks great for years to come.

The Popularity of Snake Tattoos Among Men and Women

Snake tattoos have been gaining popularity over the years, with more and more people getting inked with this mystical creature. In fact, they have become one of the most sought-after tattoo designs among men and women. Here’s a look at why snake tattoos are so popular in the tattoo world:

Meaning and Symbolism

  • Rebirth and transformation: The snake is known for shedding its skin, symbolizing rebirth and transformation. This makes it a perfect symbol for those who have experienced major changes in their lives or are looking to start anew.
  • Mystery and power: Snakes have always been associated with mystery and power, making them a favorite amongst those who appreciate the enigma and strength of this creature.
  • Protection: In many cultures, snakes are believed to be protective entities that keep away evil and negative energies. People with snake tattoos often believe that the symbol offers them additional protection against harm.

The Male Perspective

For men, snake tattoos represent a variety of things:

  • Masculinity and virility: Snakes are often associated with masculinity and virility, making them a popular choice for men who want to express their manliness through their tattoos.
  • Danger and adventure: Snakes are also known for their danger and fear-inducing qualities, which make them popular amongst men who seek adventure and excitement.

The Female Perspective

Women, too, have their own reasons for getting snake tattoos:

  • Sexuality and sensuality: Snakes have long been symbols of sexuality and sensuality, making them an attractive design option for women who want to show off their feminine side.
  • Strength and power: Women who want to showcase their strength and power are often drawn to snake tattoos, as they offer a perfect representation of these traits.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a man or a woman, a snake tattoo can offer a perfect representation of your personality and traits. From representing rebirth and transformation to symbolizing danger and sensuality, the snake tattoo is versatile and meaningful. Check out the table below for a quick summary of the meaning and symbolism behind snake tattoos:

Meaning and SymbolismMale PerspectiveFemale Perspective
Rebirth and transformation
Mystery and power
Masculinity and virility
Danger and adventure
Sexuality and sensuality
Strength and power

The significance of snake tattoos in religious beliefs

Snake tattoos have been an integral part of different cultures and religions around the world. The symbolic significance of snakes can vary depending on the religious beliefs of the individual or the community. In this article, we will explore the significance of snake tattoos in religious beliefs.

The Number 6

In Christianity, the number 6 is often associated with snakes. This comes from the story in the Bible, namely in Genesis, where God creates the world in six days and on the envious snake’s prodding convinces Adam and Eve to eat the tree of knowledge’s fruit. The snake in the Bible has become known as the tempter or deceiver and is associated with Satan. Satan is referenced in the Bible as a serpent or snake, and as such, the snake has come to represent evil, cunning, and unfaithfulness in Christianity.

The number 6 is also significant in many other religious beliefs. In Hinduism, for instance, snakes are revered as divine creatures. There are many Hindu gods and goddesses who are depicted as accompanied by or associated with snakes, such as Lord Vishnu who rests on the coiled body of the serpent Ananta. In other Hindu beliefs, the number 6 symbolizes the six chakras, or energy centers in the body, and the Kundalini, a coiled serpent energy believed to be seated at the base of the spine.

Note: The description above is how different religions and cultures may interpret the symbol of the snake differently. It does not necessarily reflect the views of any particular religion or group.

Symbols and images

  • In Christianity, a snake may be depicted with an apple or a forbidden fruit as a reminder of the Genesis story.
  • In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Naga or cobra is often depicted with many heads and may have many arms, symbolizing their divine status.
  • In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the Uraeus, a cobra, is often depicted as rising from the forehead of a pharaoh, representing royalty and ultimate power.

Tattoo designs

Snake tattoos, as with any tattoo, can be designed to resemble different styles and motifs. In Christianity, a snake tattoo can be designed to reflect the snake’s evil and deceptive qualities. In contrast, a snake tattoo done in the Hindu or Buddhist style can be designed to represent power, divinity, and transformation. A tattoo design is always personal, and it is up to the individual to decide what imagery and symbolism are meaningful to them.

Coiled snakeTransformation or rebirth
Snake shedding its skinRenewal or rebirth, personal growth and change, letting go of the past
Snake with wingsPower, transcendence, and spiritual growth

As with any symbolic meaning, the meaning of a snake tattoo is personal to the individual and may not necessarily reflect the meaning given in this article.

The Association of Snake Tattoos with Healing and Medicine

In many cultures, snake tattoos are commonly associated with medicine and healing. The snake is often seen as a symbol of rebirth, a representation of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The image of a snake shedding its skin is a powerful symbol of transformation and renewal.

  • The ancient Greeks worshiped Asclepius, the god of medicine, who was often depicted with a staff wrapped with a serpent. This symbol, known as the Rod of Asclepius, is still used by medical professionals around the world today.
  • In Hinduism, the snake is seen as a sacred symbol of kundalini energy, which is associated with healing, transformation, and spiritual awakening.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the snake is believed to represent the meridian system, which carries life energy, or qi, throughout the body.

The association of snake tattoos with healing and medicine is also represented in the world of modern healthcare. Many hospitals and medical organizations use the image of the snake to represent their services, such as ambulance services, hospitals, and medical clinics.

The snake tattoo is a popular choice for those who work in the medical field or have experienced a significant healing journey in their life. The number 7 is often associated with healing, as there are seven chakras in the body that must be balanced for optimal health and well-being.

Root ChakraBase of the spineRedGrounding, stability
Sacral ChakraLower abdomenOrangeCreativity, sexuality
Solar Plexus ChakraUpper abdomenYellowPersonal power, confidence
Heart ChakraChestGreenLove, compassion
Throat ChakraThroatBlueCommunication, self-expression
Third Eye ChakraForeheadIndigoIntuition, perception
Crown ChakraTop of the headPurple or whiteSpirituality, enlightenment

Those who choose to get a snake tattoo often do so to symbolize their healing journey or their connection to the healing arts. The image of a snake crawling up the spine, which represents the kundalini energy rising, is a powerful symbol of transformation and healing.

Famous people and celebrities with snake tattoos

Many people find snake tattoos to be an interesting and striking design choice. They are often seen in many different tattoo styles and sizes, and have been a popular choice for many celebrities and famous figures. Here are some famous people and celebrities with snake tattoos:

  • Rihanna: The singer has a snake tattoo wrapped around her ankle. She has said in interviews that the tattoo represents her zodiac sign, Scorpio, which is also represented by the symbol of a serpent.
  • Chris Hemsworth: The actor has a snake tattoo on his arm, which he got while filming the movie “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”. The tattoo was designed to match the character he plays in the movie, who has a serpent-themed costume.
  • Justin Bieber: The pop star has a snake tattoo on his left arm. He has said that the tattoo represents the Bible verse “wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove”, and also reflects his personal journey and growth.

The Symbolism of Snake Tattoos

The snake is a powerful symbol that has been used in many cultures and religions throughout history. In some cultures, the snake represents fertility and rebirth, while in others it represents knowledge, wisdom, and transformation. Here are some common meanings associated with snake tattoos:

Power and Strength: The snake is known for its strength and power, and is often seen as a symbol of resilience and the ability to overcome challenges.

Wisdom and Knowledge: In many cultures, the snake is seen as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. This is often related to the snake’s ability to shed its skin and be reborn, which is seen as a metaphor for personal growth and transformation.

Rebirth and Renewal: The snake’s ability to shed its skin and be reborn is often seen as a symbol of rebirth and renewal. This is why the snake is often associated with creation, fertility, and the cycles of life and death.

Protection: In some cultures, the snake is seen as a protective symbol. This is often related to the snake’s ability to defend itself and its territory.

Snake Tattoos and Numerology: The Number 8

For those interested in numerology, the number 8 is often associated with snake tattoos. This is because the number 8 is seen as a powerful and auspicious number in many cultures, and is often associated with luck, wealth, and prosperity.

Symbolism of the Number 8:Meaning for Snake Tattoos:
Strength and StabilityThe snake tattoo can represent stability and the ability to overcome challenges.
Wealth and ProsperityThe snake tattoo can be seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, especially when combined with other lucky symbols.
Balance and HarmonyThe snake tattoo can represent balance and harmony, as well as the ability to maintain a sense of equanimity in the face of change.

Overall, snake tattoos are a popular and meaningful choice for many people. Whether you choose to get a snake tattoo for its spiritual symbolism, its association with famous celebrities, or simply because you find snakes to be beautiful and interesting creatures, there are many different ways to incorporate this powerful symbol into your body art.

The Evolution of Snake Tattoo Designs Over Time

Snake tattoos have been around for centuries and have gone through various evolutions in design over the years. Here, we’ll take a close look at how snake tattoo designs have changed over time and what each design represents.

Number 9: The Ouroboros

The Ouroboros is a circular depiction of a snake swallowing its own tail, a symbol that goes way back to ancient Egyptian mythology. The word “Ouroboros” is derived from the Greek words “oura,” which means tail, and “boros,” which means eating. This design represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

  • In ancient Egypt, the Ouroboros was considered a symbol of the sun, and it represented the journey of Ra, the sun god, through the sky.
  • In Greek mythology, the Ouroboros was a symbol of the cycle of life and the continuity of nature.
  • In alchemy, the Ouroboros represented the unity of all things and the endless journey of self-discovery.
A snake swallowing its own tailThe cycle of life, death, and rebirth

Today, the Ouroboros is a popular tattoo design among people who value the transformative power of change and growth. It is often combined with other symbols such as the moon, the sun, or the tree of life, to create a more intricate and personalized design.

The meaning of snake tattoos in modern society.

Snake tattoos have been popular for centuries, and their meaningful symbolism has not diminished over time. They are a favorite choice of tattoo for those who desire to represent their unique character and traits. While snake tattoos may have different cultural and traditional meanings in varying societies, their significance has continued to evolve in modern times. Let’s dive deeper and explore what snake tattoos symbolize in modern society.

The number 10

The number 10 is often associated with snake tattoos as it is the number of its distinctive pattern. While many people may not be aware of this fact, it is interesting to note that the number 10 has various meanings in different cultures. The number 10 is usually related to completion, perfection, and the attainment of spiritual consciousness.

  • In Christianity, the number 10 symbolizes the Divine order and human’s obligations towards God’s laws.
  • In ancient Egypt, the number 10 symbolizes the completion of life, which is represented by the journey of the soul through the ten stages of passage to eternal life.
  • The number 10 is also significant in Chinese culture as it represents the completion of a cycle, and the beginning of a new cycle or phase in life.

A snake tattoo with the number 10 signifies the spiritual passage and transformation of a person’s life. It could represent an individual’s desire to embark on a new phase of life or the completion of a journey that brings them closer to spiritual enlightenment.

CompletionThe end of a journey marking a new phase
Spiritual ConsciousnessConnection to a higher power
TransformationChange in life

Snake tattoos with the number 10 are often worn in visible places on the body, such as the arms, back or neck. The symbolism behind snake tattoos with the number 10 is significant and can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on an individual’s beliefs, values, and experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Snake Tattoo Symbolize

1. Is Snake Tattoo a Symbol of Evil?

No, Snake Tattoo is usually not a symbol of evil. In some cultures, snakes are seen as symbols of rebirth and transformation. However, in some religions and myths, snakes are also associated with cunning, deception, and temptation.

2. What Do Snake Tattoos Mean in Japanese Culture?

In Japanese culture, snake tattoos are called Hebi Irezumi. They symbolize wisdom, protection, and good fortune. In some stories, the serpent is seen as a shapeshifter, which can represent adaptability.

3. What Does a Snake Tattoo with Wings Mean?

A snake tattoo with wings can symbolize freedom, transformation, and divine power. The wings can be seen as the ability to rise above struggles and gain a new perspective on life.

4. Are Snake Tattoos Only for Men?

No, snake tattoos are not limited to men. Women can also get snake tattoos, which can represent fertility, renewal, and sensuality.

5. What Does a Snake Wrapped Around a Dagger Mean?

A snake wrapped around a dagger can symbolize danger, conflict, and strength. It can also represent a willingness to defend oneself or others from harm.

6. What Does a Snake Eating Its Tail Mean?

A snake eating its tail, also known as Ouroboros, is a symbol of infinity and the cyclical nature of life. It can represent the eternal cycle of birth, death, and regeneration.

7. What Does a Snake Emerging from a Skull Mean?

A snake emerging from a skull can symbolize the triumph of life over death, wisdom over ignorance, and transformation over stagnation. It can represent overcoming obstacles and emerging stronger from difficult times.

Closing: Thanks for Reading!

We hope these FAQs have shed some light on the symbolism of snake tattoos. Remember that the meaning of a tattoo is ultimately up to the person getting it. If you are considering a snake tattoo, take some time to research different designs and think about what resonates with you. Thanks for reading and we hope you visit us again soon for more interesting articles.