Snake Meaning and Tattoo Ideas
Snake tattoos are utterly classic. Ok, so I'm biased. I've got quite a few serpentine tattoos. I'm just compelled that way for reasons beyond the scope of this article on snake-meaning and tattoo ideas.
I can say, if you're a diverse soul, and recognize the depth of your own diversity, a snake tattoo might appeal to you.
Why? Let's take a look at snake symbolism throughout various cultures.
Snakes in many cultures (African, Chinese, Native American Hopi to name a few) are associated with water, and this emphasizes their connection to healing. Why? Because water is symbolic of healing, cleansing and purifying.
Some keywords pertaining to symbolic snake meaning and snake tattoo ideas...
Are you intent on personal purification? Is the concept of healing, renewing and clarifying vital to you? If so, you may owe it to yourself to research this aspect of snake tattoo meaning. The more you research this angle of snake symbolism, the more you may find yourself empowered by it.
In Greek myth, snakes are symbolic of health and healing as we see them associated with Asclepius (see the Staff of Asclepius tattoo meaning here), who was a renowned deity of medicine, healing and said to grant regenerative powers. That sense of renewal comes from the snake who sheds off the old (skin) and emerges shiny, bright and new after each shedding.
Asclepius' snake is singular, but myth also shows many deities with double-snakes, and these will have powerful meanings of balance, duality, and joining opposing elements for the purpose of unification - even enlightenment. You can learn more about these symbolic concepts of double-snakes on my Caduceus tattoo symbolism page.
Are you acutely aware of the inherent polarities in all life? Do you constantly seek temperance and happy-mediums and balance? If so, you may want to look into some very ancient wisdom about the double-snake symbolism. For example, you can look to ancient alchemy who use the double-snake illustration as a sign-post to denote the conjugation of opposites with a goal for higher (illumined, balanced, advanced) results (offspring/progeny - a union of two causing a birth of something new and fundamentally more advanced). You can also research double-snake symbolism in Hindu myth/legend where you'll learn about a metaphysical connection as discussed in the kundalini phenomenon.
Snakes are also protective symbols. They are considered protectors of the underworld in Greco-Roman ideology, and are often seen in funerary art to convey guardianship over burial sites. Countless ancient cultures recognize snakes as protectors of abstruse mysteries, and that's why we see snakes commonly adorn magical personalities through history. Whether a priestess like Pythia or a sage like Hermes, when you see a snake associated with powerful archetypes of deep (esoteric/occult) wisdom, it is a symbol of protecting sacred knowledge. Let's face it, the snake can be a pretty intimidating force, and so, it's a perfect icon for guarding that which is profoundly mystical. Just another aspect to consider while you contemplate snake tattoo meaning.
As you continue your research about snake symbolism, you're going to find tons of meanings and varying discussions about what this noble creature represents. That's why I find it so appropriate as a tattoo. The snake is a shifter, and as my own inner landscape shifts, I find my snake tattoos are fully qualified to shift with me. To be sure, snakes can accommodate fathoms of moods, meanings and ideas - and so they make perfect emblems of power.
I hope you've enjoyed these scant thoughts on snake tattoo meaning. Check out the links below for more rounding-out of your research.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!