Gothic tattoos symbolize the ideals of the subculture. Though to many, the preoccupation with the darker things in life may seem strange, but these ideas are really meant more as an enlightened view of things such as death (or rather a natural part of life), and beauty (or a deviation from what is touted as the ‘ideal’ of beauty). Many Gothic tattoos may also be steeped in mystical ideations, or even fantasy creatures or characters from literature.
Some of the most frequently seen symbols in Gothic tattoos are those of alternative religious ideology. The Gothic iron cross with its beveled, thick and thin lines is one example. But there are many cross designs that are used in Gothic tattoos such as spiderwebs, a simple Christian cross overgrown with creeping vines; a black or blood red blossom here or there, or even a few skulls scattered at the base. Some even like to use a tombstone-like cross; this design usually shows a stony gray cross with flat edges, and an encircled upper half. These may also feature flowers and skulls, as well as intricate spiral patterns.
Many Gothic tattoos feature the Pentagram (or Pentacle). Although the design of a Pentagram printed upside down is seen by a lot of people as being a sign of the Devil, the right side up Pentagram is simply a symbol of the four elements intertwined and encircled to represent unity and wholeness. This design is regularly done in a simple fashion, and in dark colors, but can occasionally be mixed with other symbols or in reds, blues or purples.
Symbols of Gothic Tattoos:
Gothic symbols meanings often deal with something dark and sometimes evil and satanic portents. These symbols may have been adapted from various cultures such as the Germanic, Pagan, Christian and Celtic symbols. Some of them may have been slightly modified. But most tend to symbolize death or evil. Some symbols may have been holy to those cultures, but the Goths twisted their meanings and turned them evil. How to draw Gothic symbols is easy as many of the symbols are merely words written in the Gothic script (known as Blackletter). The most common Gothic symbols are:
The Pentacle or the Five Sided Star appears in many cultures around the world and is one of the most visible Gothic Symbols. Its five sides represent the 5 elements as understood by the pagans: Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit. The star is inscribed in a circle which represented wholeness or completeness. Some Goths use the inverted Pentacle to symbolize Satan or death.
The number 666 is known across the world as the number of the beast or Satan. Goths often use this number as their symbol on their clothes or accessories.
Goat of Mendes:
The Goat of Mendes or the Baphomet, is an early Egyptian God of Fertility. This symbol may sometimes be used in isolation or with the pentacle or the reverse pentacle in the background to highlight its Satanic aspect.
The Ankh is another popular Gothic symbol that comes from Egypt. In Egypt, the Ankh was considered as the key of life and is found on various Egyptian tombs. It is said that it awakens the souls of the dead to a new life.
The crosses used as Gothic symbols come from Germanic culture. Some Goths use the inverted cross to symbolize death.
The Reaper of Death:
Death is drawn as a person wearing a hooded cloak, the face unseen and a scythe in its hand to reap the souls of the dead. This is another commonly used symbol and is also known as the Grim Reaper.
Varieties of Gothic Tattoos:
There are many types of Gothic tattoo designs which can be simple or ones with highly intricate designs. A good example of a simple Gothic tattoo would be a small dragon on the back of the neck done using black or green ink. In complex Gothic tattoo designs, the designs can be so complicated that it may take time for the watcher to know what all the tattoo is actually made up of. For example, a tattoo which consists of a big colorful dragon or a snake strangling a man who is turn trying to fight back.
Broadly, there are two types of Gothic tattoos; the fantasy ones and the occult ones. The former ones relate to all fantasy entities such as fairies, dragons, mermaids, vampires, etc.; whereas the latter ones relate to occults of pagan and Wiccan practices such as tarot, pentangle, athame, skulls, ankhs, etc. Therefore, when we say Gothic tattoo designs; it may include angel tattoos, cross tattoos, devil tattoos, dragon tattoos, fairy tattoos, lizard tattoos, monster tattoos, scorpion tattoos, snake tattoos, tribal tattoos, just to name a few.
Gothic Tattoo Designs:
As simple Gothic tattoo designs can be small, they can be made anywhere on or behind the neck, arm, leg, feet, or on the forehead. If you decide to make complicated Gothic designs, you would require some amount of space; such as on the chest, back, whole arm, stomach, etc.
Common Gothic tattoo designs are a cross which is too decorated, combined with barbed wires and knifes; an upside-down sword with a snake crawling to the top; a skull covered with green climbers; a red-colored heart with huge wings but caged in; and a big red dragon. These tattoo designs can even consist of surroundings and settings from the Gothic era such as a horrific castle belonging to the devil.
Gothic portrait tattoos are also famous among tattoo enthusiasts, such as a face of a women with long hair which consists of small skulls. Some other popular designs are a big skull with hair made in rose flowers, big stars with skulls inside, a blood-thirsty vampire biting a woman, a dragon or the devil binded with a cross, the body of a fairy but the face of a witch, etc. One of the most scary tattoo designs is a big face of the devil, monster, witch, or Dracula with additional details.