Below you’ll see a fun collection of symbol tattoos that range from the super simple to the delightfully complex. These symbol tattoo ideas come from cultures all over the world and many are so ancient that they’re packed with centuries of meaning. For instance, if you’re looking for a little help in the health department, you might check out the Caduceus, an ancient Greek symbol of health still used by doctors to this day. Or perhaps you’re feeling a little lost in life? Check out the Vegvisir, an old Icelandic symbol guaranteed to help you find your way.
Whether you’re looking for health, wealth, love, or just a few ideas for a tattoo that means something, then rest assured that you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for the perfect tattoo to help you cultivate solidity, patience, or longevity, or want to commemorate a favorite strength you’ve already got, you’re sure to find the right tat among the symbols below.
Need a little luck in your life? The Gibu Auja symbol, which dates back to the fifth century, is an ancient Rune symbol said to bring good fortune.
This sleek little Latin tattoo means “through difficulties, to the stars.”
This Swedish Malin symbol is an acknowledgement of the fact that setbacks are often a natural part of moving forward in life.
This old Icelandic Symbol is actually a compass, said to garuntee that your never lose your way– whether you’re lost at sea, in the woods, or just in life.
A favorite of sailors for many years, swallows were traditionally associated with the approach of dry land. The fact that they mate for life, however, has also made them popular symbols of love.
Since ancient times, the moon has always been associated with the feminine, the subconscious, and the mystical. This moon cycle tattoo is a reminder of the seasons of life, and of its ebb and flow.
The Greek word Meraki is unique in that it’s a little hard to nail down the meaning completely. It essentially represents doing something with love, creativity, or passion.
Copper is often associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, thanks to its own beauty and its ancient use in producing mirrors. It tends to be associated with beauty, femininity, and creativity.
It may seem obvious, but what better symbol to keep you on the right paths in life?
The Hamsa is a popular Middle Eastern symbol meant to indicate the hand of God. It’s said to protect its bearer and bring them happiness and good fortune.
Ever heard the phrase “the clock’s ticking?” Tattooing a clock or pocket watch on your body is a surefire way to remind yourself that life is short, so you better get to living!
We’ve all had our setbacks in life, but if you’re the type that’s always determined to rise from the ashes, a Phoenix is an awesome symbol of determination.
Though Hollywood has given the star symbol a whole new set of connotations, it’s also been used throughout history as an indication of light piercing through the darkness.
It may be one of the most beautiful creatures in the world, but the cool, graceful tiger is not one you want to tamper with.
The yin-yang is a symbol popular in Eastern philosophy. It deals with the harmony or balance that can be achieved in duality. For instance, light cannot exist without dark, day without night, men without women, etc.
Ever have problems bulldozing your obstacles? Having this strong, steady fellow hanging out on your ankle is a great way to remind yourself to combine strength with patience, determination, and loyalty.
The Ankh is the ancient Egyptian symbol of life. So if you love yours, this may be the way to go!
The Eye of Horus was believed by ancient Egyptians to have powers of healing and protection, so this is a great tat for those who want to know that someone is always looking out for them.
If you’re the type to go against the grain, then you might consider a colorful Koi fish tattoo. These little guys are known for their ability to swim against very strong currents.
If you’re determined to flourish no matter where life takes you, the Lotus flower could be a great tattoo for you. The gorgeous flower is known for its ability to grow in muddy environments.
An anchor is a great way to remind yourself to stand firm and steady, no matter how stormy the sea around you. As you can see here, an eternity symbol is a cool way to make this classic tat even more powerful.
This sacred Zia sun symbol is a little tattoo that packs a whole lot of meaning. The four directions of its rays symbolize the four directions, four seasons, four stages of life, and four elements, with the circle in the middle binding them all together.
As anyone who has ever experienced a major life transformation can tell you, change is not necessarily always a bad thing. The butterfly is a symbol of rebirth and emerging from the darkness as beautiful, stronger creature.
Some Native Americans tribes believed thunder to literally be the call of the thunder bird, a powerful creature whose favor insured victory in battle.
While the idea of an acorn tattoo may sound a little nuts, these little guys were actually considered good omens by the English during the Norman Conquest. Though tiny, they can grow into huge trees that are strong and steady enough to outlast us all.
The wings on the Caduceus symbol represent those on the feet of Hermes/Mercury, messenger to the gods. The intertwining snakes represent the balance of opposites. This classic symbol has been so associated with good health over the years, that it’s still used by many doctors to this day.
Legend has it that three keys worn together will unlock the doors to health, wealth, and love.
Still understood as a universal symbol of badass-ness, skulls have been warn since ancient times to ward off evil or illness.
If you need a little reminder to go with the flow, even during the rough times, a bamboo tattoo might be just the ticket. No matter what nature dishes out, bamboo is almost always left standing tall thanks to its flexibility, adaptability, and resilience. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the plant is often associated with longevity in the Chinese culture.