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The Styles and Meanings Behind Greek Mythology Tattoos

Are you thinking about getting a tattoo inspired by mythology? Ancient Greece can be the perfect source since it’s full of amazing stories about deities, heroes, and rituals. If that sounds interesting, let’s talk about Greek mythology tattoos and their specifics. Check out these different styles and meanings to learn more about this body art!

What Is a Greek Mythology Tattoo?

Greek mythology tattoos feature a deity, story, or anything else related to that theme. Females often choose a Greek goddess tattoo to present their courage. Men go with powerful deities like Poseidon or Apollo.

The great thing about these mythology tattoos is that they are versatile. You can feature an entire mythological story on your back. Greek tattoos sleeve options are suitable for heroes or deities. You can also choose shoulder, chest, or even legs for tattoo placements.

History of Greek Tattoos

Tattoos weren’t popular in ancient Greece, and many connected them to bad people and behavior. The famous philosopher Plato stated that anyone who commits sacrilege should wear a tattoo as a mark. They would tattoo a person over the forehead or hand to show that society banned them. Persons who used to be servants also had these marks, even if they became free in the meantime. For these reasons, tattoo removal methods first appeared in ancient Greece.

Times have changed, and tattoos enjoy a much better reputation today. In Greece and throughout the world, young people go with mythology tattoos to honor the deities or for appearance’s sake. If you are thinking about this type of body art, schedule your tattoo consultation with an expert that can help you choose an option that suits your personality.

Styles of Greek Mythology Tattoos

Greek mythology tattoos primarily use black ink, while colors aren’t that often. However, imagery can be an important part of this body art. People often decide on 3D tattoos, which look like they come out from your skin. The experts use white ink and heavy shading to portray this illusion, which ensures the body art looks like it will come to life. Find the nearest tattoo studio to discuss this option with a stylist, and don’t forget to check out different mythology tattoo styles below!

Story-telling Greek Mythological Tattoos

The beauty of these mythology tattoos lies in their capability to tell a story. This approach requires at least a medium-sized tattoo since the stylist will need room to convey the desired message.

Your first step involves picking a hero or deity that will be the center of your tattoo. The focal piece or personality is in the foreground. The background could contain creatures, weather, architecture, or suitable symbols. Once you combine them, you might get amazing Greek tattoos sleeve options that attract everyone’s attention.

Portrait Greek Mythological Tattoos

These are classic Greek mythology tattoos since they portray a specific deity. The usual location is chest or shoulder, and the stylist uses a mixture of black and white. Their goal is to create a contrast where the portrayed deity will look powerful and be easily noticeable. 

Although they could be 3D, most portrait tattoos are 2D drawings. Stylists might use colors to deliver a dramatic effect. For example, thunders in the background or weapons and accessories could be in different shades.

Meaning of Greek Mythology Tattoos

This mythology is full of symbolism, which is why you want to consider the meaning of your tattoo. Each part you add to the body art, such as a statue or weather, can mean something. You begin by choosing a deity that will be the focal point of the tattoo. Males choose gods, while females could use Athena or Aphrodite for their Greek goddess tattoo. Here are some main categories and their meanings!

Poseidon Tattoos and the Meaning

Poseidon is the ruler of the sea, which is why you can’t imagine this tattoo without ships, storms, or massive waves. The famous characteristics of this deity are his long beard, and he’s always wearing his trident.

Whether you go for a small or large tattoo, Poseidon is a good choice. Apart from sailors, this body art shows you control your life and emotions, which is just like this deity controls the sea. The combination of Poseidon and sea motifs gives plenty of creative freedom to tattoo stylists.

Apollo Tattoos and the Meaning

Apollo is another Olympian deity often featured in Greek mythology tattoos. He’s Zeus’ son, famous for his beauty and athletic strength. Most stylists feature Apollo the same way we see him in statues. They might emphasize his athleticism but also luscious curly hair.

Here is who might choose Apollo for their tattoos:

  • A musician because this deity is strongly associated with music, which can be healing.
  • A dancer because dance goes together with music.
  • Any other artistic and creative individual, but also a teacher since Apollo teaches kids in some stories.

Zeus Tattoos and the Meaning

Zeus is the #1 deity and the leader in Greek mythology. Stylists often portray Zeus with long and waving hair, and his favorite weapon is a thunderbolt. Some prefer to feature him in a storm that he controls. Zeus’ eyes are gray or white, and his hair is grayish, too.

The primary association to Zeus is power. Whether you consider yourself the leader of your life or want to become stronger, this tattoo can be a smart choice.

Aphrodite Tattoos and the Meaning

It’s easy to guess why Aphrodite is the favorite Greek goddess tattoo. We associate Aphrodite with beauty, love, passion, and pleasure. Her symbols include doves, roses, myrtles, and swans. That gives plenty of options for your tattoo’s background. 

As for the goddess herself, most stylists portray her as a beautiful being rising from the sea. You can choose Aphrodite tattoos if love is your top priority in life, or you want to show you are a beautiful and strong female.

If you’re considering getting your next Greek tattoo, schedule a free consultation with the best tattoo artists in the industry at Skin Design Tattoo, with multiple locations across the country, including tattoo shops in Las Vegas, Hawaii, California, and New York City.

About the Author

Picture of Jacob Pullman

Jacob Pullman

Jacob Pullman is a former tattoo artist turned into a consultant-enthusiast-writer-educator. A change of career, before he started writing, he got a degree in PR and communications. He is passionate about traveling and exploring the world and cultures visiting all those funky museums as a modern art lover. His ultimate goal is to spread knowledge about relationships (but only theoretically, as he is still single), a healthy lifestyle, body art, and of course, everything related to tattoo art. That's how he went deep into digital marketing, working with Skin Design Tattoo to educate and share his knowledge and experience.