We all know the first question.
What is ouroboros? Because most people will look at you with the question mark on the face when you say “I want ouroboros tattoo.” Well, the ouroboros is an ancient circle symbol with a snake or dragon eating its own tail.
This type of tattoo is not very common among the tattoo community but it has extremely deep meaning and its popularity keeps growing. And of course, it looks very beautiful on the skin wherever you put it.
In this article, we will focus on ouroboros tattoo ideas and the meaning of this symbol. That way, you can see if the ouroboros tattoo is the right idea for you before you get it etched on your skin permanently.
What Does Ouroboros Represent?
To break it down for you the term ouroboros, or uroboros, originates in the Greek language and combines words oura and bora. The first word means tail and the latter word translates to eating or devouring. So, ouroboros is a tail-devouer.
It is an ancient symbol with a dragon and serpent or snake. The ouroboros was first discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun (1400 BC) and writings in ancient Egypt.
This is a rare tattoo that has multiple meanings. The symbol was a part of many cultures throughout history. The main symbolism of ouroboros is that life goes on even during terrible times. Which is the motto for many people.
And for some people, it is a symbol of immortality. Not immortality that they will live forever, but in the sense that to reach their goal no one can stop them. This is one of those tattoos that means your acceptance of death and rebirth.
Or for some people, ouroboros tattoo represents happiness with life or that their life is whole like a circle. For those people who have it all, faith, family, etc. this is a symbol that serves as a reminder of where you are in your life, your accomplishments, and all the hard times that you successfully endured.
In some cultures, there is just one way to represent ouroboros snake. Today, in the modern world, we use a realistic snake or different animal to depict ouroboros.
You can use your imagination and think outside the box. That said, you need to be aware of what the symbol represents, which is an animal circling eating its tail. This symbol can be represented in many ways. You can choose that mouth of the animal is closed or open. As long as the symbol is circular and the tail is there somewhere – it can work.
The body of the snake, serpent, or dragon on your tattoo can be twisted into a knot. Twisting or the knot brings complexity to the tattoo. This won’t change the meaning of the symbol in any way.
Where to Place Ouroboros Tattoo?
The placement of the ouroboros tattoo is simple because they are usually rounded-shaped. Of course, if you are using a knot or infinity shape, you and your tattoo artist can have some minor difficulties regarding the best placement for it. The magic of the ouroboros tattoos is that you can easily put them around the ankle, wrist, neck, finger, arm.
Ouroboros tattoos almost always look cool. For this type of tattoo, it can take a while to finish the design. The reason is simple; every person wants the tattoo to be unique, represent something they find relatable, and needs different elements included in this piece of body art.
This is a very cool idea for the tattoo. Remember, you need to find a tattoo artist with a great deal of experience and expertise, to make sure that your tattoo is a masterpiece. This is particularly important if the design is more on the difficult side.
40+ Best Ouroboros Tattoo Design Ideas
If you are not sure what type of ouroboros tattoo is for you, check down below our bold and powerful examples and choose the one that inspires you the most.
1. Snake Ouroboros Tattoo
While some people are afraid of snakes, it doesn’t stop others to get them permanently tattooed on the skin. Snake is a typical design in ouroboros tattoos.
You can put an extended, forked tongue creating a strong and powerful image. For your snake ouroboros tattoo, you can choose a skeleton of the snake to make it stand out more. This can make your tattoo design more personalized.
Around the snake, you can also add a cross, flower, small animal to make it more you and more challenging. Tattoos are all about what you want and what you need. If you love tattoos and ancient traditions this design is perfect for you.
Snake ouroboros tattoos look cool no matter where you put them on your body. Just make sure the spot of the tattoo reflects you.
2. Dragon Ouroboros Tattoo
Dragons symbolize power. So it comes as no surprise that instead of snakes some use dragons in their ouroboros design. Dragons in ouroboros tattoos are often used as a bolder design wherein you can include more details.
Dragon ouroboros tattoo looks cool even in a small place such as around your wrist or ankle. These small tattoos with their details can really stand out on your skin.
Dragon designs are for those who aren’t afraid to stand out primarily because dragons in ouroboros tattoos are rare. That’s why they are a little bit different piece of art. Your dragon can be in flames, have claws, wings, scales, anything you want.
Besides blackwork, multicolor tattoos can be very badass.
Men usually opt for dragon ouroboros tattoos because they enhance their masculine side. Since this tattoo is detailed and requires a lot of work to be done, it may be on the painful side (depending on the placement).
3. Infinity Ouroboros Tattoo
One of the most unique ouroboros tattoo designs you can choose is an infinity sign. The body of the serpent can twist in the middle thereby creating a symbol resembling the number eight. This type of tattoo represents the never-ending cycle of life.
Infinity ouroboros tattoo represents wholeness for some people. A tattoo like this is ideal for people who know and recognize what they need and want in life.
Not only does the infinity ouroboros tattoo look amazing, but it also bears a deep meaning to the carrier. Life, death, and rebirth are also represented with this amazing tattoo.
You can use a serpent, lizard, dragon, snake, or even a rope.
4. Yin Yang Ouroboros Tattoo
Yin yang is an ancient Chinese philosophy that represents two forces that complement each other. Yin is a symbol of earth, positivity, femaleness, darkness. Yang represents heaven, maleness, light, activity.
In harmony, yin and yang represent light and dark. Both these aspects cannot thrive without each other, without harmony. Yin yang is a spiritual tattoo.
Use your imagination and love for the tattoos to put yin and yang in a concept of ouroboros tattoos. You will have something unique that represents you and your inner battle.
5. Wrist Ouroboros Tattoo
Ask any tattoo lover about their favorite tattoo placement and almost all of them will tell you it’s the wrist. The wrist is perfect for an ouroboros tattoo.
A snake, lizard, or dragon eating its tail around the wrist creates a perfect infinite circle. Also, you can add some tattoos and small designs to incorporate them with one another.
The tattoo around the wrist is small, and you can cover it up easily. Tattoos here also are easily removed, which is good to know if your artist doesn’t do a very good job or you decide to make some changes eventually.
6. Celtic Ouroboros Tattoo
The Celtic theme has a long history and tattoo lovers often use it in designs, especially knots. Knots for the Celtic represent a bond between two humans. For some, knots symbolize the bond between nature and humans.
Celtic ouroboros tattoos are very beautiful, especially for their design and details. Since this kind of tattoo can be very complex, you made need two or more sessions (depending on the actual design).
If you want a tattoo and you are a person who loves elaborate ink, then this design is perfect for you.
7. Tree of Life Ouroboros Tattoo
The tree of life ouroboros tattoo represents eternity, knowledge, wisdom, life, progress, and willpower. There’s a lot of designs for this kind of tattoo, but it’s safe to say all of them look majestic.
Combining the roots and tree itself in ouroboros tattoo can be challenging. For that reason, tattoo artists prefer designs in a bigger size.
Tree of life tattoos are not for everyone due to their details, costs, and other factors. That said, if you want to rock an unusual piece of body art, a tree of life ouroboros tattoo is a great choice.
8. Ouroboros Armband Tattoo
Armband tattoos are among the most popular designs in this industry. Historically and traditionally speaking, a solid black armband represents a tribute to a loved one who passed away.
We all know that the black color means death and mourning of the person wearing it. In memory of your loved one, an armband tattoo needs to be a little bigger to make the statement.
If you use your imagination, you can add some details and color. For example, girly girls can make their armband ouroboros tattoo design act as a piece of jewelry.
9. Norse Ouroboros Tattoo
Viking or Norse tattoos are some of the most symbolic tattoos out there. This is a great way to honor your ancestors if you are Scandinavian. Norse ouroboros tattoos are powerful and bold statements for anyone who wears them.
The central points of this design and artwork are mythology and religion. History tells us Vikings were covered up with tattoos. If you like their culture and history, and you want the tattoo to represent that but with a twist, this is a perfect solution for you.
One of the symbols that artists use in ouroboros tattoos is the Viking compass. In mythology, this compass is a magical stave that helps find a way through the bad weather and storm. It is a symbol of protection and guidance, so it comes as no surprise people choose to incorporate this design in ouroboros tattoos.
10. Masonic Ouroboros Tattoo
Do you want to add a fun twist to your tattoo and something that really stands out? If you love tattoos that scream for attention a Masonic ouroboros is a wonderful option.
Masonic themes are ideal for persons who love mystical and mysterious vibes. The symbol of infinity as a Masonic symbolism can be seen in a lot of exposes during the eighteenth century. It is represented as a snake, usually twisted in a ‘figure-of-eight’ position, a never-ending loop with no limit. This image reflects the rebirth of Freemasonry.
The symbol of infinity appears in English Freemasonry and it can be seen in a design of various Masonic objects e.g. clasp for Masonic apron. The theme of rebirth, as we know, is associated with an ouroboros. For the Masons, this is a symbol of eternity.
11. Colorful Ouroboros Tattoo
The best way to get your ouroboros to stand out is to go beyond blackwork and get a multicolor tattoo. Or just one color!
If you love tattoos with a pop of color, then you can easily add various hues and patterns to your ouroboros design. Ouroboros represents life. By adding color to that design, you’re actually bringing more joy and personality to your tattoo.
Colors also have a long history in tattoos. For example, if you go for a dragon ouroboros, who’s to say it should be in black only? Why not add blue or yellow to the mix?
Men and women alike can go for multicolor ouroboros tattoos. It all comes down to how you like your ink. Your preferences are crucial here.
Colorful tattoos give the impression of power, freedom, and independence. They also showcase your creativity. That’s why you shouldn’t impose restrictions on your imagination. Explore your creativity and see where it will take you.
Choosing the right color is an important part of a design. Tattoo artists recommend considering a few things before your ink gets on the skin. First of all small colorful tattoos can sometimes visually blend and look muddy, especially if your tattoo artist has no experience.
Big tattoos with colors look much better. Their shades stand out and they can look more clear. Also, your skin tone can impact how color will look on you and how long they’re going to last. Remember, darker shades tend to last longer on skin. Vibrant colors like pink, red, yellow, green, orange tend to fade faster.
Since they are relatively short-lived, you will need touchups here and there at some point. Keep in mind that some colors are hard to cover up with another tattoo, and can be tricky to remove.
However, colors can enhance the symbolism of ouroboros tattoos or values you find relatable. Every color has its specific meaning. Take some time to explore their meanings before you choose colors for your ouroboros tattoo.
12. Flower Ouroboros Tattoo
Everybody wants their ink to have symbolism and hold deep meaning. Incorporating flowers in ouroboros tattoo is the way to go.
The beauty of the flowers ouroboros tattoos is that they can be large or small. It all depends on your preferences. They are pretty in all sizes.
Flowers, in general, tend to bring a positive vibe. They represent happiness, love, or joy. Every flower has a different meaning. Also, they can mean something different from one person to another.
Tattoo artists recommend you should have a specific image in your mind or do your research before deciding which flower to add to ouroboros. Choose what speaks to you and what you love.
There are no rules when it comes to choosing placement for these kinds of tattoos. But you may want to ask your tattoo artist about the best place for your flowers. For example, you can put cherry or plum blossom around your snake or lizard. Plum blossom is traditionally from Japan and its culture. This is a classic flower to choose for your tattoo. You can take wildflower or rose to scale it up to your arm or torso. Keep the lines sharp and tidy.