Pyramid tattoos take inspiration from the ancients. The pyramids are an amazing example of how long art can endure. They’re simple, permanent, and amazing. They weathered the years well…at least, for how old they are. Did you know that Cleopatra lived closer to us than to the construction of the Great Pyramids? That’s how long these things stick around for. When someone complains to you that ‘tattoos are permanent’ and asks ‘what if you regret it?’ just take a look at these babies. They might not be the beautiful marble structures of yore, but they still look amazing and awe-inspiring. By following the perfect aftercare instructions on this page, they’ll look amazing for thousands of years.
If these things can stand around for thousands and thousands of years without losing their form, then tattoos can be beautiful for just as long. Let’s check out some of the most beautiful and mysterious pyramid tattoos in today’s gallery!
Pyramid Tattoo Meaning
Let’s set aside the history of pyramids for a second. Without pointing at a specific culture or time period, what do pyramid tattoos mean? What do they symbolize? How can we use them in modern tattoo design? The triangle that makes up the main form of the pyramid is popular for a reason. It’s one of the most cost-effective forms of support in construction. It has the fewest number of points a polygon can have without curving its lines. The peculiarities mean that the number three is regarded as sacred in many contexts. Furthermore, the pyramid shape is known for its strength and stability.
The main meaning of a pyramid tattoo is ‘support.’ In a time without tattoo numbing cream (such as the ones I write about here), you definitely needed some emotional support to get a tattoo. Pyramids survive through all kinds of weather, making them highly reliable. They are constructed not to highlight the shape of a triangle, but to support something. The Pyramids of Giza wore a smooth marble coat, while the Aztec pyramids were meticulously crafted around the movement of the sun and stars. Along with their supportive meaning, they were a symbol of power. Those who owned the pyramid were not to be messed with. The amount of time, man power, and wealth required to build them were outstanding and almost incomprehensible in modern times.
Lastly, the pyramids served as a seal and holy location. They encapsulated holy power and a thousand years of knowledge. Furthermore, they were built to try and acquire more power and knowledge from the powers that be. They served as tombs of gods in Egypt and the stopping point for gods in the Aztec Empire on their eternal journey. Pyramid tattoos represent all of this and more. A person with a pyramid tattoo is typically supportive, strong in the face of adversity, and has a lot of hidden knowledge rattling around in their brain. They might also be a huge history buff—or maybe they love geometry! You never quite know, but one thing is sure—pyramid tattoos mean that someone has continued the age-old tradition of body art for another hundred years, at least!
Geometric Pyramid Tattoo
A minimalist pyramid tattoo can easily be mistaken for a simple triangle. It’s difficult to distinguish the two, to be honest, so I’ll talk about the meaning of both here. Pyramid tattoos on your neck are small enough to show off without taking up the whole area. Pyramid arts tattoos are also easier to ink as a geometric or minimalist design. Instead of taking the realistic approach, you give yourself a lot more freedom by picking this route. However, this changes the meaning a little bit. What is the significance of a geometric pyramid tattoo? How does the meaning of a basic triangle fit into the pyramid theme?
Well, first of all, the tattoo retains its meaning of ‘support.’ Triangles are quite supportive, no matter how they are turned. I wasn’t exceptionally good in Industrial Technologies, but it has something to do with dispersion of weight and pivoting and cost effectiveness. So, yeah. Support. Another meaning that stays is the holy associations. Even if you strip away the Aztec and Egyptian history of pyramids, you still have all religions where three is holy to consider. The Trinity is the most obvious one, with each point representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A triangle also symbolizes balance and clarity. You can use a triangle to literally balance weights. In a metaphorical sense, you can look at the geometric pyramid tattoo and remember to balance the important things in your life. It keeps you from making crazy decisions. The color of the triangle changes its meaning, but you can learn more about color symbolism in the rest of my posts.
Aztec Pyramid Tattoo Meaning
Mesoamerican pyramids aren’t the perfect triangles that we sometimes imagine with pyramids. Instead, they use step pyramids and have holy areas at the very top. As such, they are entirely different creatures, and deserve their own section when talking about pyramid tattoos. Pyramids served as a place of both worship and storytelling. The history of the Aztecs and their gods were inscribed upon their pyramids. The practice of human sacrifice and tales of the region also graced the walls. The writing was very similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics, in that they used a similar glyph structure that many early languages did (and which some languages, like Chinese and Japanese, do to this day).
The earliest known pyramids served as tombs, which matches the Egyptian use pretty closely. As such, they represent honor for the dead, hidden secrets, respect for history, and foundations. Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, their construction took into account the location of the sun and stars to create ideal worship locations. For example, during spring and fall equinox, a specially-carved image of Quetzalcoatl will light up from head to tail. This only happens during those days. The Aztec pyramid tattoos share this reverence for nature and for things unseen. While Aztecs are remembered for their practice of human sacrifice, they still had a thirst for knowledge of the world around them and beyond. Their pyramids are a testament to this. You would think they’d develop some sort of tattoo sunscreen since they paid such close attention to it, but alas, I only have modern tattoo sunscreens to write about.
Egyptian Pyramid Tattoo
If you want a pyramid tattoo on your forearm, it’s probably best to stick with an Egyptian pyramid tattoo. The Pyramids of Giza are the most recognizable subjects. These three towering structures hold rulers of old within their walls, and their shadows are even visible from space during certain times of day. They also have three smaller structures at their base, if you want to be completely accurate. If you would like to create a unique Egyptian pyramid tattoo, then think outside the box. Add color to your tattoo and combine it with other symbols.
Modern tattoo styles really make the pyramids stand out and guarantee that your design won’t look like it was plucked out of a history book. At the same time, no matter what style of Egyptian pyramid tattoo you choose, your respect for history will be apparent. After all, the Egyptians considered tattoos a sacred form of art. Whether you put your pyramid tattoo on your forearm, ankle, wrist, chest, or any other place, these amazing structures continue thousands of years of tradition.
Other Pyramid Tattoos
The most obvious thing to pair with alternative pyramid tattoos are the gods associated with them. Did you get an Aztec pyramid tattoo? Throw in Quetzalcoatl. He’s a really cool tattoo design all by himself, being a feathered serpent and all. A warrior wearing a jaguar skin also looks pretty cool. For Egyptian tattoos, there are a plethora of gods to choose from. You can read more about them in my full Egyptian tattoo article.
The favorite combination with pyramid tattoos strays far from mythology, though. An eye is included which could represent everything from the Eye of Ra to the Evil Eye to the All-seeing Eye and beyond. However, most of them have to do with conspiracy theories. Its association with certain groups and supposed ‘shadow organizations’ running stuff behind the scenes makes the symbol one loaded with meaning and controversy. Only get a pyramid eye tattoo if you’ve thoroughly checked out the different designs and avoid those that match schools of thought separate from yours. The last thing you want to do is put a normal eye above your pyramid and have people assume you’re a conspiracy theorist!
After pyramid eye tattoos, pyramid and clock tattoos are a favorite. I’m not sure where the theme originated, but the meaning and popularity are easy to understand. Both pyramids and clocks can represent the passage of time. When time is in short demand for us mortals, a pyramid and clock tattoo allows us to respect that through art.
Your Pyramid Tattoos
In the grand scheme of things, pyramids have one big thing in common with tattoos—they outlive their creators. However, that’s an excellent thing. Being known for the art you loved long after your name is forgotten is something to relish. Do you think I’m exaggerating about that? There have actually been mummies found with tattoos that tell whole stories about the world around them! If you choose to get one, your pyramid tattoo will add onto the millennia-old tradition of tattoo art. It will show people now and in the far future that you valued the past. It shows that stability, structure, and history are integral to you and your culture. The union of earth and sky—mortals and gods—is something that will follow you long after your soul has been whisked elsewhere.
What about in the meantime? Well, you have an amazing pyramid tattoo to show off to everyone you know. Modern, traditional, geometric, minimalist, new school, Egyptian-flavored, or even Aztec inspired pyramid tattoos all have the same effect on the people of today. They show everyone that history is something to be treasured, just like art. They give you a conversation starter and an outlet into a special interest of yours. Your tattoo even shows a hidden depth to you—something as mysterious and well-hidden as the depths of a pyramid’s tomb. Find your design and wear it proudly. That’s what I call Ink Done Right!