Snake tattoo meanings resonate with many people and carry a slew of connotations. Not all of the attributes of the snake are good qualities. In history, however, the snake was known as a more powerful and kind symbol than we remember today. Snake tattoos are actually symbols of:
The snake was viewed in early history as a positive symbol for many reasons. First, the snake regularly sheds its skin to reveal a new layer. This sloughing was viewed by native cultures around the world as rejuvenation. They revered the snake for shedding its old self and showing a new, better version. For this reason, the snake is known as a symbol of transformation.
Snake tattoo meanings can take on either a feminine or masculine tone. Female snakes care for their nest of eggs. This mothering is what makes the snake a symbol of fertility, femininity, and motherhood.
On the other hand, the venom of the snake and its aggressive qualities can take on masculine meanings. The venom is actually viewed as symbolism for dualities. Tribes reflected that the venom could be used to kill or to heal. Good and evil coexist peacefully in all creatures, they decided.
In further symbolism for this belief, snakes were often depicted in Aztec culture as two headed. They demonstrated the capability of all creatures to choose from good and bad qualities.
The snake is also a symbol of healing. The symbol for paramedics and health facilities in western culture is a medical staff entwined by two snakes. This meaning comes from Greek mythology. Because of this affiliation with medicine, some paramedics and doctors get snake tattoos.
A Less Pleasant View of the Snake
On the other hand, snakes in western and Christian culture are seldom positive symbols. The bible describes the devil as a serpent that tricks two humans in to disobeying God’s orders. For this reason, the snake is a symbol of cunning and hidden knowledge.
For many people, the snake is just a symbol of a slithery, slimy creature that should be avoided. Snakes have been chopped with garden tools much more than they have been adored. Some people actually choose snake tattoos because they are intimidating.
Depending on what culture you are in, snakes can represent very different things. They have been portrayed as villainous in many movies such as The Jungle Book and even the modern snakes on a plane. It can be hard to believe that our ancestors once prayed to these reptiles for prosperity and fertility. Snake tattoo meanings can be a surprising and fun story to explain to friends.
These regal reptile tattoos are sure to cause a stir!