Tattoo Artists and Art

8 tarot card tattoos and their meanings

Tarot card tattoos

Tarot card tattoo by Roberto Euan, featuring The Sun and The Moon cards. Photo from the artist’s Instagram.

I’m currently obsessed with tarot card tattoos! Probably because at the moment I am learning how to interpret tarot cards, as my mum is a professional reader. I also have my own tarot card tattoo on my inner arm as part of my left sleeve.

Tarot card imagery is just stunning. There are so many different designs and an infinite number of original ways for a tattooist to interpret the metaphorical imagery.

Tarot tattoos

Death tarot tattoo by Anna Zachariades, photo from Instagram

There are loads of different forms of tarot, but the Occult deck consists of 78 cards which can be used to give a reading to someone who requires guidance in a certain area of their life. Tarot is very rewarding for those, like me, who are often searching for hidden meanings and messages. Really, you can analyse the figures and images in your own personal way – there are no ‘right or wrong’ meanings.

I think tarot cards tattoos are stunning. You rarely find two tarot tattoos that look the same. After browsing some spectacular tarot card tattoos online, I wanted to share these with you alongside descriptions of what each card means.

Tarot tattoos

Ace of Pentacles card drawing by tattooist Stephanie Houldsworth, photo from the artist’s Instagram

My mum runs a website called Tarot Readings Online and she has been reading tarot for over 30 years. You can book a tarot reading through her website – you’ll select your own cards online and receive a very personal reading from her over the internet (not a computer generated one like many other online tarot sites).

She has taken the time to interpret the 8 different tarot card tattoos below, to give you an insight into this artistic and beautiful form of divination.

Tarot tattoos

Death tattoo by Sophie, photo from the artist’s Instagram @sophiextattoo

Tarot tattoos

Death tarot tattoo by Emily Carroll, Birmingham. Photo: Instagram

1. Death
Key Words: Change, Re-birth, Beginnings, Transformation, Renewal

Simply put, this card signifies the ‘death’ of something, and the rebirth of something else. Out with the old, in with the new! Death represents parting, letting go, the end of one phase in our lives and the beginning of a new one.

This can be most positive when it relates to a long wished for, liberating ending to something which may have gone on for far too long. This card can often represent inward changes too, such as letting go of old habits and seeing things through ‘fresh eyes’.

The Death card is unjustly one of the most feared, but in fact it is one of the most positive as it signifies new and exciting opportunities entering our lives for the better.

Tarot tattoos

Strength tarot tattoo by Isa Art Tattoo, photo from Instagram

2. Strength
Key Words: Courage, Inner Strength, Manipulation, Compassion, Kindness

The card Strength touches upon the extraordinary power in compassion, kindness and understanding of a difficult and challenging situation.

The attributes of inner strength, courage and empathy for others is reflected in this powerful, yet gentle card. Inner strength, fortitude and a softer approach – not force – will win the day here!

You can assert yourself without too much ‘power’ being used, but don’t be a doormat either. That’s the message of this card.

The Chariot by Instagram @dearemilyann

The Chariot tarot card tattoo by Instagram @dearemilyann

3. Chariot
Key Words: Contest, Conflict, Triumph, Drive, Control, Ambition, ‘The Travel Card’

The Chariot stands for pushing forward fearlessly. It shows that we can achieve anything through freedom, ambition, drive, control and our inherent determination, as we travel though life.

The Chariot reflects great vigour, initiative, skill and a willingness to take risks. It is often known as ‘the travel card’, indicating that travel in some form may be an issue in the reading.

The Hermit by Instagram @anthony_robicheau

The Hermit tarot card tattoo by Instagram @anthony_robicheau

4. Hermit
Key Words: Retreat, Banishment, Soul-Searching, Reflection, Patience, Solitude

The Hermit is the card of seclusion, quiet reflection and turning within. It characterises an introverted phase in life, during which we shield ourselves from outside influences. It also stands for enlightening experiences, seeking guidance from others, or listening to our own inner voice.

This card is often misunderstood to represent solitude, loneliness and abandonment, but this is not so. This is more about taking time out from the normal hub of everyday life and simply spending some quality time on our own in order to think things through clearly and without distractions!

The person who follows the guiding light of the Hermit will find clarity, strength and the joy of being able to be alone with himself… sometimes!

Often this card can literally represent a sabbatical from work – a time-out period of rest.

Tarot tattoos

A very unique interpretation of The Lovers card, by tattooist Jess Hobbs, photo from Instagram

Tarot tattoos

The Lovers tarot tattoo design, by Stephanie Houldsworth. Photo: Instagram

5. The Lovers
Key Words: Dual Relationships, Choice, Love Affairs, 2 Paths (Material V Spiritual)

This card combines two topics. It deals generally with choices connected to love, as in deciding between 2 lovers perhaps – but it also reflects those times in our lives when we are faced with other important and potentially life changing choices .

These choices may lead to the rejection of a previous framework of life over another. Here we are being asked to decide between the material and the spiritual, at its simplest, money or happiness… real love or security?

Tarot card tattoos

The Moon tarot tattoo by Roberto Euan, photo from Instagram

Tarot tattoos

The Moon, by Emily Carroll Birmingham, photo from Instagram

6. The Moon
Key Words: Illusion, Uncertainty, Fluctuation, Insight, Intuition, Imagination, Intrigue, Deceit

The Moon leads us into the mysterious realm of darkness and night; into the hidden depths of the soul; to our premonitions, desires and dreams.

The positive side of the Moon represents romantic dreaminess, lively fantasies and an innate, almost intuitive sensitivity. It can represent the beginnings of true psychic development and links to all aspects of the mind.

Yet this card also reflects a dark side, the depths of the soul, gloomy foreboding, illusion, misunderstandings intrigue and often – deceit! You could be deceiving someone, or they you, or you could, quite simply be fooling yourself.

It is the terror that we feel when we walk through a deserted forest at night, although we don’t think twice about it during the day. It is that unreasonable fear of the dark, the unknown and the imagined threats that lurk therein.

In effect, this card can simply be saying to you… is this all in your mind?

Tarot card tattoos

The Sun tarot card by Roberto Euan, photo from Instagram

7. The Sun
Key Words: Cheerfulness, Prosperity, Energy, Happiness, Optimism

The Sun is a wonderful card, it is an image of optimism and fulfilment – the dawn that follows our darkest night. It represents a time in our lives where we are full of life and feel truly happy.

When you see this card, it speaks of success in all you undertake. The message of this card is one of energy, vitality and confidence.

It is additionally a symbol of youthfulness (or children) and of feeling reborn in ourselves. It represents looking at the sunny side of life. It can also literally stand for sunshine and holidays abroad or happy family life. In answer to any question, this means a resounding YES!

Tarot card tattoos

The World tattoo design by Kurogosu Tattoo, photo from Instagram

8. The World
Key Words: Attainment, Goal, Success, Triumph, Achievement, Reward, Freedom, Travel, Liberation

The World shows the harmony and the joyful culmination of working towards something which we really desire. It also represents freedom from ties, escape, liberation and broadening horizons.

In massive terms – this means that we have reached our goal, so far anyway, although there could be more to come soon. In terms of external experiences this means that we have found our place in life, we are free and able to go in any direction we choose.

Unwanted ties and restrictions have fallen away and we have taken a significant step towards becoming who we really are. On the plane of events it stands for a world of happy times in which we enjoy our existence with openness and vitality.

‘The world is your oyster’ is your mantra now. It can also refer to overseas connections or that you plan to travel abroad. 

Tarot tattoos

Colourful tarot half-sleeve by Alison Reber, photo from Instagram

Tarot card tattoos

Tarot tattoo flash by Hannah Louise

Words: Beccy Rimmer (Intro) and Tarot Readings Online
Photography: Instagram, various, as credited

3 replies »

  1. Terrific article! That is the type of information that are supposed to
    be shared around the net. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this post upper!
    Come on over and visit my site . Thank you =)

Leave a Reply