In the western world, bats have not been viewed favorably as they are normally linked to darkness, evil, death and witchcraft. It did not help that classic Gothic fiction continues to perpetuate the fear-based associations.
An example of such literature is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where the titular character takes the form of a bat to prey on his victims.
In China, however, the bat is a symbol of happiness, longevity and prosperity. The Chinese consider it a blessing to have bats take up residence in their houses. For the Native Americans and many parts of Africa, the bat is a sacred animal that brings intuition, dreams, visions and heightened psychic senses. All of which are qualities that help one see the truth through illusions.
In nature, bats are nocturnal creatures that live in colonies. They have heightened audio sensitivity and are thus highly sensitive to their surroundings. For that, the bat also symbolizes intuition, adaptability and survival.
All things considered, a bat a tattoo can signify that an individual is extremely attuned and aware of his or her environment, and also sensitive to the emotions and needs of others. It is an appropriate symbol for people whose intuition plays a significant part in their lives. The bat reminds us that we should trust our instincts, and do not be afraid to venture into and explore what is hidden by the cover of darkness. In fact, in pop culture, all these qualities are embodied by the superhero, Batman.