The raven is a very powerful animal totem, a protector and spiritual guide, a shape-shifter, a messenger, and a symbol of transformation. The black color of its plumage speaks of emptiness, secrets, and mystery, but it is also a solar symbol.
In mythology, the raven brought the sun to humanity and thus became a symbol of light. From ancient times, myths about this animal speak of its great intelligence and concern for humans. It also gave the moon and stars to its people, fresh water, and fire.
There is a myth that says when it stole fire, the smoke that came out turned its plumage, which was originally white, into what we know now: very black.
The intelligence of ravens has made them admired birds. The god Odin is described with two ravens as eyes and ears, symbolizing memory and thought. As a spiritual guide, it is the one who keeps secrets hidden, associated with the world of shadows and magic.
In other parts of the world, it is associated with death, saying that if they pass by flying, death will come. It was also said to be the mediator between life and death.
Although many still think poorly of this animal in modern times, it was highly respected in the ancient world for its healing powers, wisdom, gratitude, and affection for all its associates.
The Meaning of Raven Tattoos
The raven tattoo holds both positive and negative meanings, often depicted in black and associated with Vikings, skulls, feathers, or tribal designs. It’s particularly popular among women.
In this article, we’ll explore the nearly infinite ways to interpret a tattoo of the darkest bird there is. If you’re here, chances are you love tattoos and are interested in taking action yourself.
We invite you to check out this short-term skull and raven tattoo that will give you a sure test. It happens right here by clicking on the image below.
There are many different meanings to a raven tattoo, both positive and negative, and that’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this article.
This bird has long been a symbol of negativity, death, and mystery. Some people think of death when they see the black bird due to the negative symbolism attributed to it over the years.
Despite all these negative symbols, some people choose to embrace the best attributes of this very intelligent and wise animal. Like the parrot, this bird has the ability to speak, for example…
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it must be said that every tattoo has the meaning its owner wants to give it.
No rule is perfect, certainly not in the world of tattoos. But there are certain meanings that arise frequently, and that’s what we’ll look at now.
The most recurring negative meanings are:
- Black magic
The most recurring positive meanings are:
- The future
- Inner self
Raven tattoos can be done in many different variations and styles. The bird can be represented by various symbols representing death, such as the skull symbol.
It’s also not uncommon to see raven tattoo designs infused with blood.
The Meaning of the Black Raven Tattoo
A tattoo symbolizes the life and personality of its bearer, and the raven is no exception.
Anyone who gets it inked onto their skin wants to claim the qualities of this spiritually pure and richly endowed bird.
This bird’s wisdom is evidence that it can learn from its mistakes, making it incredibly difficult to catch or deceive in the real world. That’s what the owner of this dark tattoo wants to express.
Also known for being hard to catch (or kill) thanks to its intelligence that some people don’t even suspect. It knows how to get out of the situation without much complexity.
That kind of “rebellion” is another symbolic aspect of this creative bird. And communities like Gothic are absolutely fanatic about this kind of symbolism.
Viking Ravens Tattoo Meaning
The Vikings have their own meaning and mythology related to the raven. Known as “hrafn” in Old Norse, it was also a personal name carried by some men long ago.
Additionally, Odin, the great Norse god, had a pair of ravens named Huginn and Muninn.
These birds are described as sitting on Odin’s shoulder and whispering in his ear. Just like the “good and evil” demons said to perch on everyone’s shoulder and show them the way to a particular decision.
According to this ancient tradition, Odin used his ravens to travel around the world. They informed him at the end of the day about what was happening in every part of the world.
Due to this connection with their main god, many Vikings had a deep and sincere respect for these creatures, perhaps more than any other culture in antiquity.
As symbols of balance and bearers of certain protective magic, ravens helped the Vikings win battles on the battlefield.
Unlike in other societies where the presence of carnivorous birds disturbed and discouraged soldiers, the Vikings preferred to see ravens flying over a battlefield, as any pair of them could be Odin’s ravens, echoing to him the valiant efforts of fallen warriors that they could bring back.
Skull and Raven Tattoo Meaning
Many people think of death when they think of the raven, because this bird has long been a symbol of darkness, death, and mystery. Where does the connection between the raven and death come from?
As a scavenger bird, that is, one that feeds instead of hunting, it is associated with death. Because it eats corpses. Moreover, in medieval cities plagued by plague and war, they were almost always found pecking at decomposing bodies…
Just as they can be seen at the side of the road when it comes to an animal hit by a car. They were therefore very quickly associated with death.
And what symbol represents death and its spirituality better than the skull? Obviously none. So the combination of the two guarantees that you can go in search of quite complex meanings.
But be careful not to fall into the negative trap. Because the meaning of the skull can be quite positive, and it is even the spiritual emblem of many communities.
Woman with Raven Tattoos
Meaning Needless to say, a tattoo has the meaning the person wearing it wants to give it.
And tattoo representations have no special meaning, whether you’re a man or a woman. However, here is a list of different ideas behind uniting the black-feathered bird with the skin.
- Protection (because it monitors events)
- Magic (usually dark, pagan, or otherworldly)
- Future (its bird’s-eye view gives them a kind of omniscience).
- Secrets (for the same reason they can see the future).
- Death (not as a cause of death, but perhaps as an omen).
- Light (Native Americans believed it brings light to the earth).
- Shadows (literal and psychological; ravens represent the unconscious and unknown side of a personality).
- The Inside (Jung connected ravens with parts of our psyche we don’t want to see). War (they come to help clean up the battlefield).
- Prophecy (due to their advantageous position). Memory (they represent the shadows of all people and events of the past).
- Misery or pain (perhaps because of their association with war and death).
- Intelligence or wisdom (of course, ravens are extremely intelligent creatures).
- Thoughts (direct our attention to unconscious thoughts, memories, and desires)
These are the most interesting facts that came to mind when we asked a person who has a raven tattoo. Feel free to leave us a comment (at the end of this article) if you think we can add something to this list.
Tribal Raven Tattoo Meaning
Pop culture in movies, magazines, and many other fields has made the raven even more iconic for artists.
By creating a character that represents equal parts pain and hope, they become a true symbol with multiple meanings.
The tribal raven is a popular tattoo design used by people interested in Native American myths.
Most tribes saw the raven as a bearer of wisdom and cunning, although the positive often outweighed the negative.
The mental realms inhabited by the raven and that it could traverse thanks to its intelligence made it a hero in many stories, or at least a harbinger of luck for the hero of the story.
With a raven to guide them and give them clues, everyone could come out ahead even in the most difficult situations.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that this bird is associated with tribal designs, offering at times beautiful and unusual tattoos. This is one of our favorite associations. This is the favorite tattoo animal of Louis Loveless.
Feathered Raven Tattoo Meaning Many people also recognize the raven in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Raven” which claims that a raven “nevermore” speaks to the narrator. This raven reminds
- Hello everyone! My name is Jade Blunt, and I'm a passionate tattoo enthusiast. Let me share a bit about my life and my journey in the world of ink and skin.
Ever since I was a child, I've been drawn to art and creativity in all its forms. However, it was when I turned 18 that I discovered my true passion: tattoos. I remember my first tattoo, a small design on my wrist that marked the beginning of an adventure that would change my life forever.
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My blog has become a corner of the web where the tattoo-loving community can connect, share ideas, and explore new trends. I've also had the privilege of interviewing some of the most talented tattoo artists in the world, who share their unique experiences and knowledge within my pages.
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