Want something unique and mysterious to represent your life philosophy? These beautiful ouroboros tattoos are for you.
Ouroboros tattoos have been around for thousands of years. Known as “a snake eating its tail,” the ouroboros symbol mirrors the endless life cycles. It is also a common element in tattoos about rebirth and new beginnings.
But people are in love with ouroboros tattoos not just because of the symbolism. Design-wise, the intricacy gives tattooists room to be creative and bold. You can go big and wild, adding layers of details. Or you can opt for something minimal.
If you are searching for ouroboros tattoo ideas, look no further. From small to big, intricate to simple, this collection of ouroboros tattoos may be what you are looking for.
The history and meaning of ouroboros
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The earliest documented appearance of an ouroboros symbol dates back to Ancient Egypt. It appeared on the tomb of Tutankhamun, serving as a protector for his afterlife. And similar references were also found in ancient China and Norse mythology.
This symbol depicts a snake or a dragon devouring its tail, forming a close circle. It symbolizes life, rebirth, and renewal.
The way the head of the snake connects with its tails shows that the end can also be the beginning. And life is a never-ending cycle.
Why are people getting ouroboros tattoos?
Our lives are full of changes and transformations. And many of us are constantly seeking new growth opportunities. This is especially true in business, personal relationships, and life in general.
Ouroboros tattoos speak to this idea. They are associated with constant life changes. And because the ouroboros always flows in one direction, it suggests that life will always move forward.
Therefore, for those who embrace changes or deeply understand life, ouroboros tattoos are a perfect match for their point of view.
Disclaimer: This collection of ouroboros tattoos is for inspiration only. Please do not copy the artwork. If you love these tattoos, follow artists and show them some support.
Stunning ouroboros tattoos with meaning
Bold ouroboros tattoos that capture attention
There is a lot to play with in an ouroboros tattoo. You can add as many details as you want. Or you can customize the shape or colors to make it pop even more.
If you want a bold statement of your personality or attitude towards life, you may find your next ink in these gorgeous ouroboros tattoos.
Infinity symbol ouroboros tattoo
Most ouroboros symbol depicts a snake or a dragon biting its tail in the form of a circle. But the tattooist constructs the design as a figure 8, mirroring the infinity symbol.
Both the infinity and ouroboros symbols represent the endless cycle of life. Together, this should blade tattoo shows the wearer’s deep understanding of life.
Elegant floral back of neck ouroboros
The Ouroboros symbol can be something other than the central motif of a tattoo. This floral back tattoo shows how the ouroboros can elevate the entire design.
Eye and ouroboros tattoo
There’s a lot of information embedded in this backpiece.
The eye in the center may refer to an all-seeing eye, symbolizing guidance and god’s watch over humankind.
The snake curling around is shedding its skin and flesh, leaving only the skeleton. It may be addressing that truth will always reveal itself with time.
Ouroboros choker necklace tattoo
The placement of this ouroboros tattoo really highlights the entire look. From afar, it looks like an intricate choker, giving both meaning and visual impact to this neck tattoo.
Floral ouroboros and bee tattoo
Bee tattoos are not often seen with an ouroboros. But it makes sense here because the tattooist adds flowers to the symbol, resembling a wreath.
Black and white snakes ouroboros tattoo
While most ouroboros tattoos depict a single snake, including two gives extra intricacy and mystery.
The contrasting black and white snakes in this tattoo also symbolize the yin and yang balance, adding a layer of meaning to the ink.
Duo-color ouroboros mid-back tattoo
Red ink always stands out because of its vibrant color. This back tattoo shows a red snake intertwining with the ouroboros. It not only adds a pop of color. The movement of the red snake also brings liveliness to the tattoo.
Watercolor ouroboros tattoo
While the ouroboros in this tattoo may not have many details, the splashes of ink and the watercolor background accentuates the shape.The fluidity of a watercolor tattoo is also cohesive with the ouroboros symbolism – life is constantly flowing and changing.
Flowy dragon ouroboros tattoo
Unlike all the snake tattoos we just saw, the main element of this ouroboros tattoo is a dragon instead. While both interpretations are valid, the dragon creates a regality that elevates the design.
Elegant floral ouroboros tattoo
One way to create a personal ouroboros tattoo is by adding flowers. For example, it can be flowers whose language is meaningful to you. Or it can be your birth flower. Check out these flower tattoos for more inspiration.
Watercolor dragon ouroboros tattoo
Watercolor tattoos have a unique charm because of the boundless flow of colors. This dragon tattoo is a combination of an abstract form and a bold color palette.
Floral ouroboros thigh tattoo
If you want a big, bold design while remaining low-profile, thigh tattoos are for you.
The thigh is a big enough space to go wild. But at the same time, it is mostly covered by clothes. So you can control the visibility with different outfit choices.
Symbols and flowers ouroboros tattoo
Striking ouroboros palm tattoo
Another powerful tattoo with a unique placement. Hand tattoos, in general, are highly visible. However, palm tattoos are less overwhelming in terms of exposure. But they can still wow the audience when you open your palms for a reveal.
Skeleton infinity ouroboros tattoo
This forearm tattoo hides the meaning in its details. The skeletal snake represents death, and the other one represents life. Together, they form an infinite cycle, showing the endless transitions of life.
Fiery color ouroboros tattoo
The meaning of ouroboros tattoos may be heavy. But they don’t have to be dark.
This tattoo shows how to light up a design and add personality with vibrant colors. If you always see the good in life, you will rock this look.
Flowers and irregular ouroboros tattoo
Red dragon shoulder tattoo
Green and red are two highly contrasting colors. By putting them together, this dragon tattoo is surefire to catch the eye.
Yin and yang oriental ouroboros
FMA ouroboros couple tattoos
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga series about two brothers trying to master alchemy in order to bring their mother back to life.
The ouroboros symbol is seen on the body of various characters. It fits into the theme of the series, which is about life and death.
Such matching couple tattoos not only showcase the bond between the couple. It also proves that they share similar values and interests.
Moon ouroboros wrap around tattoo
Tribal ouroboros tattoo
Simplified ouroboros with moon phase tattoo
Like the ouroboros, the moon phase can also represent the change of seasons and life. While both symbols are pretty minimal in terms of design, together they create an intricate and sleek back tattoo.
Small porcelain ouroboros tattoo
Sun and moon ouroboros tattoo
Gorgeous blue symbols and ouroboros
Simple ouroboros tattoos for minimalists
You can reduce the size or keep only the basic form without losing meaning. So if you are a minimalist, below is a list of small and simple ouroboros tattoos for you.
Simple abstract ouroboros tattoo
This forearm tattoo may seem basic. It leaves out the details of the dragon and keeps only the shape.
But the gradient color echoes the ouroboros symbolism, showing the transition between life and death.
Armband ouroboros tattoo
Armband tattoos refer to those that wrap around the arm. The ouroboros is naturally an ideal motif for armbands because of its shape. But you can also make it look more refined by adding details on the scale.
Simple ouroboros shoulder tattoo
What looks like two overlapping circles on the shoulder is actually a simplified version of the ouroboros. This one may offer a direction for someone who wants a clean, minimal design.
Simple small ouroboros tattoo
FMA ouroboros behind-the-ear tattoo
Minimalist ouroboros tattoo
A simple ouroboros like this one addresses the topic of life in a light-hearted way. And it will definitely look good on both men and women.
Red oriental ouroboros rib tattoo
The ouroboros symbol may not be a big canvas to add elements. But you can incorporate patterns to create a unique look, just like this one here.
The white curves on the scales of the snake resemble those on ancient Chinese porcelain, giving us a peak of the wearer’s root.
Ouroboros and heart tattoo
Simple black and grey ouroboros
Creative ouroboros tattoo ideas
So far, we’ve seen some of the best ouroboros tattoos. But if you want a different and unconventional desing, don’t miss the following collection. They are the results of artists pushing their boundaries and bringing their imagination to life.
Yin and yang snake ouroboros back tattoo
In our interview with tattooist Intat, he points out that the balance between yin and yang is the core of his aesthetics. This snake tattoo on the back is a perfect example.
The intertwining snakes represent femininity and masculinity, light and darkness. Both the form and the meaning make this tattoo stand out.
Intricate symbolic ouroboros back tattoo
An ouroboros tattoo can be a combination of different elements and styles.
Take this back tattoo as an example. The abstract snake on the outside acts as a frame. And the stacking triangles in the center further push the idea of the eternality of life.
The curves and straight lines also create a surprising balance that appeals to the eye.
Conceptional ouroboros tattoo
Intricate realism ouroboros tattoo
No-face and ouroboros tattoo
No-face is a character in the Japanese anime Spirited Away. The way the tattooist puts the ouroboros and the anime together provides an approach to making a tattoo personal.
Read also: 48 Stunning Spirited Away Tattoos with Meaning
Intertwined snakes ouroboros tattoo
Crocodile ouroboros arm tattoo
An ouroboros tattoo doesn’t have to be a snake or dragon. You can be creative and experiment with your favorite animal like this one.
Ouroboros in a knot tattoo
Pour a glass
Because we all need a drink sometimes.
Symbols and ouroboros armband
One way to give a regular ouroboros tattoo a creative makeover is by forming the body differently.
Like a spine tattoo, you can align symbols or elements in a curve and wrap them around a limb. This way, you may come up with a more mysterious and sophisticated look.
Skeleton ouroboros tattoo
Script and ouroboros tattoo
This tattoo shows how you can turn an ouroboros into a quote tattoo or a one-word tattoo. Separate the snake in the middle and add the words that speak to you. Remember to keep the lettering simple, so the design stays sleek, and your message is clear.
Which of these ouroboros tattoos is your favorite?
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