The Skull

The Skull Tattoo Meaning.

The skull symbolises the transitoriness of life, life that ends with death. It also symbolises the materiality, the vanity and attraction for worldly and frivolous, material things. It is a symbol of the divinities of the underworld, of the dark Gods of religions.

It symbolise the negative aspects of life and religions, but It is also used to represent the life force in man.

“Memento Mori”

This saying was used by the Romans, from the Latin literally means “Remember that you must die”. It’s very pronounced today and used in the Tattoos. This saying was used a great deal in popular Christian painting. The Memento Mori was mainly represented as a skull surrounded by flowers or dried fruit.
The skull symbolises the moon, the shadow and the dying sun, It is the god of the dead and the flowing time.
The skull also has positive aspects, It symbolizes the vitality and strength of life contained in the head of man.

Skull Tattoo Meaning

The skull is a symbol of the swift passing of time

Skull Tattoo Meaning

Jolly Roger or Skull with crossbones

A Skull with crossed bones symbolizes death but also the force of life contained in the loins. The cross bones are often Shins.

It is a symbol widely used in different contexts.  The Jolly Roger, a symbol of piracy, with the aim of terrorizing the victims and induce them to surrender without even fighting.

Alchemical Symbol of the Skull

The Skull depicted with a grave and a crow is a symbol of darkening and mortification, “earth to earth” and means death for the world; but it is also what survives and is therefore used as a memory to life.

Buddhist (Tantric):

Skull filled with blood means the renunciation of life. It is an emblem of Yama, God of Death, and of Tara in Its most obscure aspect.


In Christianity, the skull is a symbol of vanity, of contemplation of death, It is the emblem of the hermits.
The skull depicted on a cross is eternal life after the death of Christ in Golgotha, the “place of the skull” where the skull of Adam, the first man, was said to have been buried.

The skeleton

The Skeleton symbolises, like the skull, mortality, the rapid passage of time and life. A skeleton depicted with a scythe and an hourglass represents the Reaper, cutting off lives, but also means the Moon, the God of the Dead. It is often associated with Saturn, and with the Mayan God of Death and underworld. It also means the state of putrefaction and is represented in black.

The Grim Reaper

The Reaper is a personification of Death, It’s seen as natural entity, nor female or male, nor good or evil. His task It’s just the one to escort the souls of the mortal humans to the Dead Realm.

Revelation 6:8:

“The Lamb of God opens the seven seals of a book ‘written within and on the backside’. After the opening of the fourth seal, Death rides into the world. He is the fourth knight of the apocalypse. Hell follows him.”

Skull Tattoo Meaning

Gustave Doré – Death on the Pale Horse (1865)

Skull Tattoo Meaning

Skull Tattoo Meaning

“Death”, Major Arcana, Card N.13

Skull Tattoo Meaning


The Bones symbolise the indestructible principle of life, resurrection but also mortality and transience. The destruction of the bones precludes the resurrection.
In the Tarots Cards We find the representation of Death in the Major Arcana as a N.13 card , depicted as a skeleton.

This Card often shows a Grim Reaper riding an horse, with dying people of any social class, kings, bishops and poor people. This card symbolize giving up to every material and meaningless things.

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