A tattoo is more than just a decoration for the body, more than just fashion. It’s a visual expression of an attitude towards life. A tattoo is a work of art created in pain on a canvas of skin.

Getting a tattoo is possibly one of the most personal and permanent decisions you are likely to make and even if it is the most beautiful, well done tattoo you’ve ever gotten, you may not like it in years to come. That’s why it is important to be sure the image you put on your body is something you are okay with seeing there for the rest of your life.

As you already know if you’ve been reading us, our website takes you on a journey through all tattoo styles and the portfolios of the most skilled artists in the world while presenting you the symbolism behind the imagery used in tattoo designs.

If you want to highlight specific aspects of your personality, animal tattoos make a great choice. Animal tattoos are overwhelmingly meaningful. Why? You only have to look at the folklore and mythologies of different groups to see the crucial role that animals play in shaping cultural and spiritual beliefs. It is no surprise, therefore, that animal depictions remain one of the most popular tattoo designs.

One of the most popular choices when it comes to animal tattoos is the owl. People get them in all shapes, sizes and styles.

So what do owl tattoos mean and why are they so loved? Besides the intriguing visual appearance, many people choose to get an owl tattoo because of its rich symbolism.

Throughout history and across many cultures, people have regarded owls with fascination and awe. Few other creatures have so many different and contradictory beliefs about them. Owls have been both feared and venerated, despised and admired, considered wise and foolish, and associated with witchcraft and medicine, the weather, birth and death.

The owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness, the latter meaning evil and death.

The owl is a unique bird that’s mostly associated with wisdom and knowledge. Rather than intellectual wisdom, though, owls are connected with the wisdom of the soul. With the ability to see in the darkness, it represents the idea of seeing beyond illusion, masks and deception. The owl can see what others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom.

However, there are other qualities that owl has. Owls are often seen as mysterious, mostly because many owls are strictly nocturnal and humans have always found night to be full of mystery and the unknown. Owls live within the darkness, which includes magic, mystery, and ancient knowledge. Related to the night is the moon, which owls are also connected to. It becomes a symbol of the feminine and fertility, with the moon’s cycles of renewal.

The owl’s close association to the moon and the night is the reason why it is regarded as a creature of great intuition. It is regarded as the guardian of the sacred and stands for the purity of the soul.

Owls are symbolic of death in many traditions. In most cases however, it should not be taken literally: if the owl is associated with death, it can be viewed a symbolic death, meaning a transition in life, important changes that are taking place or about to happen. They are also symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection and magic.

Owl comes across as a symbol of hope that one has the ability to find way in great darkness, just as the owl traverses great distances through murky and mysterious nights. It stands as the testimony that there is always light in the darkest of darkness, one just needs to enhance one’s vision and expand one’s horizons to get to it. In this way, owls stand as the ultimate symbols of vision and hope.

As a conclusion, owl tattoo meaning is heavy. Keep this in mind before you embark on setting your owl tattoo as a permanent marker.

Owl tattoos are a classic example of adding meaningfulness to eye catching and attractive designs, and tattoo lovers can ask for nothing more. Perhaps, this is the reason that this tattoo design is getting global in terms of popularity and it is equally loved by all the age groups and both the sexes.

In the image gallery below you’ll find 50 of the most beautiful owl tattoo designs we’ve seen. Check them out and maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your next ink piece.

Owl Tattoo

Owl Tattoo

most beautiful owl tattoo designs

owl tattoo

beautiful owl tattoo

yin & yang owl tattoo

Owl tattoo with Peony

For more ink inspiration, also see:

These Striking Solid Black Tattoos Will Make You Want To Go All In
Beautiful Surrealist Double-Exposure Tattoos Mash Up People, Architecture & Nature
50 Of The Most Beautiful Wolf Tattoo Designs The Internet Has Ever Seen
35 of the Best Architecture Tattoos or How To Have Your World on a Sleeve
50 of the Most Beautiful Mandala Tattoo Designs for Your Body & Soul