Spiritual tattoo ideas cross cultures and religions to create designs rooted in faith, protection, and enlightenment.
No matter the origin of your faith or the culture you identify with, there are an amazing array of tattoo ideas that you can apply to tell your spiritual story.
This collection of 55 best spiritual tattoo designs bring together symbolic concepts regarding faith, enlightenment and protection, ranging from major religious motifs to more esoteric demonstrations of belief that you can use as inspiration for your own design.
1. Mandala Tattoo Ideas
Mandala tattoo art is linked to spiritual philosophies regarding balance, unity, and perfection. Mandala design elements carry a strong association with Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, yet also resonate as a practical affirmation in Western society for those seeking a path of enlightenment and spiritual awakening.
Mandala, the Sanskrit word for circle, is a hugely popular contemporary tattoo style, with designs ranging from painstaking linework and tribal inspired tattoo art, through to geometric patterns and elaborate floral designs reminiscent of adult coloring books and yoga inspired artwork.
Your mandala design may also link up with other spiritual symbols, or form the basis of a more complex body art piece that represents a deeper spiritual meaning.
2. Cross Tattoo Design Ideas
The Christian cross is the most recognizable spiritual symbol in the world, and is one of the most meaningful tattoos displayed by people of faith.
Cross tattoos are so widespread that they may be the most prominent form of visible body art, at odds with society’s views on tattoos of the hands, face, and fingers.
A Cross tattoo idea comes in many forms, there are countless different types you can apply, with positive and negative connotations. However, these religious tattoos are particularly effective when etched simply in black ink or alongside a psalm or passage from the Bible.
3. Buddha Tattoo Ideas
Buddha tattoos are a tremendous representation of the path towards spiritual growth and mindfulness, featuring some of the most expansive spiritual tattoo designs applied in ink.
Buddhist teachings have no issues with being included in body art, provided pieces are etched respectfully. Please note: your Buddha image should always be placed as high on the body as possible as this is closest to the spiritual plane.
With so many different incarnations of Buddha to choose from, how you define your buddhist tattoo image is up to your own inspiration. Designs can be as simple as a good luck black ink concept, to more illustrative spiritual tattoo ideas applying geometric principles, a lotus flower, or animal motifs such as dragons and koi fish.
4. Egyptian Spiritual Tattoos
Tattoo collectors with a love for Ancient Egypt can create tattoo ideas offering a mix of deep meaning and artistry.
Hieroglyphics, the pictographic Ancient Egyptian written language, combine with an amazing pantheon of animal Gods – who had different roles and responsibilities in everyday life – to provide ways to reflect on the rich symbolism of the most interesting era of Antiquity.
Whether you’re getting a small tattoo of beautiful Queen Nefertiti, a fearsome jackal-faced piece of Anubis, the God of the Dead, or small tattoos warding against the evil eye, Ancient Egypt body art makes meaningful tattoos more exciting and fun.
5. Christian Religious Tattoos
Christian iconography provides fantastic design choices for those that love more elaborate expressions than simple cross tattoo designs and affirmations of faith.
Jesus, scenes from the crucifixion, popular biblical metaphors, and the blessed Virgin Mary scratch the surface of Christian imagery talented tattoo artists can bring to life, either as standalone small tattoos, or as part of large sleeve pieces.
6. Symbolic Hamsa Tattoo Ideas
The Hamsa Hand is a protective sign designed to bring its owner long life, happiness, and good luck. Current tattoo interpretations of the Hamsa come from ancient Middle Eastern amulets and tribal tattoos symbolizing the Hand of God.
While in Islam tattoos are perceived to go against the word of Allah, Hindu tattoos of the Hamsa feature the hand along with Gods such as Ganesha, Kali, or Lord Shiva, while having the Evil eye inside the design is used for protection against questing evil spirits.
When worn with fingers facing down, the Hamsa lets in more positivity, good fortune, and plenty into your life and when worn facing up, the Hamsa mirrors the traditional warding symbol of protection against negativity and the Evil Eye.
7. Sacred Heart Tattoo Designs
The sacred heart is a unique and interesting religious symbol that has become a great tattoo for collectors that want to show their faith with a cooler, more neo traditional image different from the ordinary.
Sacred heart tattoos represent Jesus’ love for mankind linked with images of indescribable pain, and can include the burning bush, the Crown of Thorns, or swords pushed through the organ.
These painful, yet beautifully lurid design elements – even in the classical black traditional tattooing style – are drawn to show Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross for mankind.
8. Om Symbol Tattoo Design
Om is believed to be the first sound in the universe, and is a chant or mantra in Buddhism used to calm and center energy.
The Om symbol ranges from simple tribal tattoos referencing enlightenment and spiritual growth, to hugely innovative designs linking Eastern symbolism to practices such as yoga and meditation.
You will often find the om making up part of a larger design incorporating meaningful tattoos along with images such as the lotus flower, Buddha, wards against evil spirits or alongside Sanskrit text.
9. Faith Tattoos
Faith tattoos make a personally religious statement of great symbolic meaning by linking simple ideas into a larger expression of belief.
Faith designs are often the single word flowing cursive script, or short Christian affirmations that apply simple symbols to create the message of ‘faith, hope, and love.’
The faith tattoo style contains elements of Christian cross tattoos with a more personalized spiritual meaning, and is a popular method of displaying visible tattoo art.
10. Sacred Geometry Spiritual Tattoos
Many of the world’s oldest belief systems are prescribed upon the ideals of Sacred Geometry, whereby the universe is made up of recurring symbols formed from the relationship between mathematical and geometric patterns.
It’s the fantastic basis for brilliantly elaborate tattoos, from Metatron’s Cube, the Celtic Triskelion, and the beehive’s hexagons, to more elemental designs relating to wind, water, earth, and fire.
Sacred geometry has also been co-opted by organized religion and eastern philosophy. You’ll find examples in everything from Sanskrit script and Hindu tattoos of Ganesha and Shiva, to contemporary linework tattoos featuring mandala design.
11. Angel Tattoo Ideas
Angels in tattooing are etched to symbolize protection. Winged angels are the guardians sent from God to humans as messengers between the two worlds.
Angel tattoos and wing ink creations are often depicted in memorial body art signifying the loss of a loved one (this can include beloved pets), who then act as guardians of the subject’s spirit.
Angel tattoos may be accompanied by dates, names, halos, or Bible script, but can also be used in large spiritual tattoos or work replicating Greco-classical romantic art and sculpture.