Grim Reaper Tattoo
The Grim Reaper universally symbolizes death, with unholy skeletons appearing in nearly every culture’s folktales and legends. Sometimes, the Grim Reaper simply collects souls. In other tales, he comes to claim the souls by killing the victims himself. There’s something both frightening and enchanting about the notion of death. An emotionless skeleton is the perfect way to capture every potential emotion attached to it. While Grim Reaper tattoos might be permanent, their meaning is far from constant. In today’s article, we’ll look closer at the meaning of a Grim Reaper tattoo. Along with that, let’s check out over 40 grim reaper tattoos today!
Grim Reaper Tattoos Meaning
The origin of the Grim Reaper is a mystery, along with its true meaning. While Thanatos is often quotes as the origin of the Grim Reaper, he only serves the same function. The Grim Reaper that we know appeared in medieval times, when disease was prevalent and medicine was racing to catch up. Knowing that something could strike you down at any second—as easily as a farmer would reap his wheat—struck fear into the people.
At the same time, death was considered necessary to avoid overpopulation, and sometimes it was a blessing to those living under tyranny. The Grim Reaper’s clothes may have been inspired by priests because of his neutral position as the soul’s escort. The scythe is what the Grim Reaper uses to collect souls, swiping through the body to sever its connections. Grim Reaper tattoos often have dice to represent the gamble of life, an hourglass to represent the passage of time, and crows that complement the Grim Reaper as messengers of death.
Related Read: Hourglass Tattoo Designs
Female Grim Reaper Tattoos
In Greek mythology, a boy named Thanatos served essentially the same purpose—transporting the dead to Charon, who would then ferry them over Styx into Hades. He was male because he was the opposite of life—who, in the case of the Greeks, was female. But that concept doesn’t hold true over all cultures. Many cultures in Latin America celebrate the lady of death, and this has influenced the depiction of the Grim Reaper, despite being a different figure of death.
Female Grim Reapers have the same scythe, but they might carry a swaddled child as well. Long, spindly hairs often let you know that the skeleton was once a girl, despite having no female features left in the bones. Sometimes, people skip the hints entirely and just draw a living, breathing female with a scythe, and occasionally wings. This figure is known as the Angel of Death. While technically different, she serves all of the same duties as the Grim Reaper.
Related Read: Greek Tattoo Meanings and Designs
Grim Reaper Tattoos Quotes
If you are interested in finding Grim Reaper tattoo quotes, we have a whole article dedicated to finding quotes for certain themes. Other than the obvious theme of death, themes about departure, separation, endings, pauses, time, and equality are all suitable topics to match the figure of the Grim Reaper.
Related Read: Tattoo Quotes
In today’s world, the Grim Reaper is just as relevant as it was in medieval times. He visits every one eventually, and there’s no escape. Whether you believe death is the end of things or simply a passage to the next world, whether you are too poor to afford food or too rich to throw away your money fast enough, and whether you are sick with a terminal illness or the healthiest person you’ve ever met—the Grim Reaper will visit you, and he can appear at any time. You might as well get a sick tattoo of him to see if he lets you off easy!
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