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Meaning and history of skulls tattoos

The first thing that you can instinctively think looking at a skull is the Death and of this, the skull, is universally the symbol. In tarot card, Death is often depicted with a skull, and it is a symbol of change, whether good or bad.

The skull may represent the victory of Death on Life and the transience of existence, but the negative impact of message may be tempered by the belief in life beyond death. In Christian culture, for example, the skull is a symbol of eternity, and repentance, a reminder to walk the right way.


In medieval paintings the Adam’s skull was painted at the base of the cross of Christ, symbolizing the redemption of man. An ancient symbol that sees a snake clinging to the skulls indicates knowledge and immortality, while the snake inside the skull symbolizes the knowledge that survives death.

skull with roses tattoo

Historically, the skull was a popular symbol of triumph over an enemy and a warning to the defeated in battle. The skull was also the sign of the Nazis during World War II.

Very popular, especially in the world of bikers, the “Jolly Roger” or the black pirate flag with at the center, the skull and crossbones, classic of tattoo in style “old schools“.

In New Guinea the skulls were placed outside the hut of the doctor to remember that death is always present in life.

But the skull can also become an ironic and funny symbol. In Mexico for example there are the so-called “Calaveras“: decorated and colored skulls with more vivid and bright colors. They are the skulls of “Feast of the death”, the feast in Mexico which people use to go to the cemetery in and have lunch on the graves of their dead. It ‘s a way to celebrate the death, but also life. Laughing at what most topics is the only way to exorcise the fear and life better.

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