Death is the one factor of life that no person can avoid. How we perceive death as an individual has much to do with our cultural and religious background. For some, a dark shadowy figure looms, patiently awaiting our death to snatch up our soul and send it to the underworld. Others believe that an angel of grace finally takes us to return to God upon our death. The face of death itself also holds great meaning and speculation for many, being portrayed as a faceless phantom, the gatekeeper of the underworld, merciful godly angels. In Mexico, it’s Santa Muerte.
Death has always been a commonly celebrated theme in Mexico, considering they even hold the Day of the Dead annually. Santa Muerte, also known as Our Lady of Holy Death’, is the Mexican Saint who personifies death. While occasionally depicted as a man, the deadly Saint will almost always be that of a female entity in Mexico.
Santa Muerte is often shown holding a globe, scales of justice, or wielding a scythe. While she is commonly viewed as a symbol of death, she is also meant to be a symbol of protection and comfort to the faithful. Despite the government and many Mexican religious organizations ushering people to avoid praising Santa Muerte, she’s still beloved by countless people. Because of her idolatry, many folks have taken to getting tattoos done of Santa Muerte.
With many different options for a Santa Muerte tattoo, people are finding unique ways of making theirs truly individualistic. This article is a list compiled of ten different Santa Muerte tattoos and designs categories. Hopefully, this can act as a helpful aid for anyone in need of some added inspiration if considering their own Sante Muerte tattoo.
Santa Muerte Tattoos:
1. Traditional Santa Muerte Tattoos
Because Santa Muerte has long been viewed as symbolic of death, it’s typical for her image to be that of a cloaked skeleton. As mentioned previously, she is often caring for a scythe, a globe, or scales of Justice. If unknown to someone, Santa Muerte’s image could seemingly come across as rather terrifying, but those who worship her would disagree because she’s also viewed as a protector to those most faithful.
As with many other genres of traditional tattoos, Santa Muerte tattoos of this style are often bright and colorful, coupled with the other attributes mentioned. If you, too, have considered the possibility of a traditional Santa Muerte tattoo but aren’t entirely familiar with what this could look like, this list was made for you. Here are some lovely examples of a more traditional style of Santa Muerte tattoo;
2. La Catrina Inspired Santa Muerte Tattoo
La Catrina, also deriving from Latin American culture, is another feminine figure. La Catrina is a figure used to symbolize that all human beings face the same fate of death, even the rich. She is also commonly associated with the Day of the Dead celebrations. Over the years, the image of La Catrina has become far more sophisticated and detailed.
Because of their femininity, their similar symbolism, and attributes, it’s quite common for people to incorporate La Catrina into their Santa Muerte tattoos. As La Catrina has a much prettier face than that of a skull, this is often considered a highly beautiful portrait tattoo. If you’re possibly intrigued by the idea of a combination of La Catrina and Santa Muerte in a tattoo, check out some of these gorgeous ideas;
3. Prayer Hands Santa Muerte Tattoo
Another option for anyone searching for the perfect Santa Muerte tattoo is to consider having her do prayer hands. Santa Muerte is attributed to faith, so it only makes sense for her to be praying. Praying hands tattoos are known to symbolize the actual strength of prayer and faith. Although, many tend to utilize these tattoos as a way to signify their faith and beliefs.
Regardless of the individual’s reasoning, variations of tattoos of Santa Muerte embracing prayer hands, even occasionally with a rosary attached, have become very popular. A prayer hands Santa Muerte tattoo is often done in a traditional tattoo style, again including loads of color. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and anyone can create their version of Santa Muerte. Here are some examples of prayer hands Santa Muerte tattoos that folks have previously had done;
4. Colorless (Shaded) Santa Muerte Tattoos
For some folks, the idea of getting a colorful tattoo is quite off-putting. This is the exact reasoning that colorless or shaded tattoos have become so favorable. Santa Muerte tattoos are no exception to having people commonly opt to have them done without any color. Shaded tattoos still offer their version of dramatic effect without skipping in details.
Colorless tattoos can even offer the added effect of darkness or mystery to a tattoo if that’s what the wearer is trying to portray. Often considered very aesthetically appealing, colorless or shaded tattoos are indeed very eye-catching to anyone who sees them. Many dedicated artists have created beautiful and colorless pictures of Santa Muerte for tattooing. Take a look at some of these pieces for some added inspiration;
5. Small Santa Muerte Tattoos
A lot of folks often opt out of getting a Santa Muerte tattoo, under the assumption that they are always done as a large tattoo. While it is true that Santa Muerte tattoos are often big or utilized for sleeves, this isn’t always the case! Many people have chosen to create smaller versions of Santa Muerte tattoos or their unique concept to fit it on a smaller location of their body, like wrists or fingers.
Many also assume that small tattoos are always lacklustre or need further detail. However, in most cases, tattoo artists can still portray an immaculate level of detail, even in small spaces. If you don’t have the space on your body for a large tattoo, or you’re just beginning your tattoo journey and looking for a smaller piece to start with, then these small Sante Muerte pieces may be what you need;
6. Santa Muerte Sleeve Designs
On the opposite side of someone wanting a tiny Santa Muerte tattoo, maybe someone is hoping to get a Santa Muerte sleeve. A sleeve is generally referring to a tattoo that wraps around the entirety of one’s arm. However, a leg can also be a recipient.
Many people love to utilize portraits as the main component for sleeves. This is not only for their sheer size but also their detail and beauty. Santa Muerte tattoos have long been sought-after as a design for a sleeve. Santa Muerte is a fantastic choice for a theme, offering many different meanings and imagery.
If you’ve been dreaming of a Santa Muerte sleeve, but are overwhelmed with the amount of thought that needs to go into it, then check out this list for some added help;
7. Unique Santa Muerte Tattoos
For some folks, a necessity for their tattoo is that it be one of a kind or entirely original. This is much to do with the fact that everyone wants their tattoos to properly express who they are as a person while not being the same as someone else’s. For this reason, many people will either design their tattoos themselves or choose a talented tattoo artist that can edit a previous rendition of one.
Unique tattoo designs take a lot of thorough thought put into them, and Sante Muerte tattoos are no exception. If you’ve been attempting to invent your design for a Santa Muerte tattoo, but are struggling with conceptualized ideas, then try looking at these uniquely done tattoos;
8. Sante Muerte Chest and Back Tattoos
Another place folks often place large tattoos is on either their chest or back. Utilizing this large canvas allows for people to portray entire scenes or pictures. Due to the number of items and attributes associated with Sante Muerte. The issue that can arise when one wants a larger tattoo is that it comes with a lot of prior thought.
As most come loaded with details, a tattoo artist will want a specific idea or image presented to them beforehand. A large chest or back Sante Muerte tattoo may require time in the tattoo chair, financial commitment, and design efforts, but could turn out looking like this;
9. Santa Muerte and Owl Tattoos
Another excellent option for anyone looking for a Santa Muerte Tattoo is to have her portrayed alongside her owl. An owl has often been depicted with Sante Muerte, as it is said to symbolize her ability to negate darkness and her infinite wisdom. The owl is also said to act as a messenger between Sante Muerte and the afterlife and guidance within darkness for all who require it.
With such meaningful symbolism, it’s no surprise that so many choose to tattoo their Sante Muerte with an owl. Here are some examples of some beautifully done Sante Muerte and owl pieces;
10. Sante Muerte and Hourglass Tattoos
The final option to look into for Sante Muerte’s tattoos is that of her with her precious hourglass. Like her scythe or globe, Sante Muerte can often be found clutching an hourglass. The hourglass has always been used to denote Sante Muerte’s relationship with time, as well as a message of patience for all those who worship her.
Each grain of sand represents a moment in a person’s life, it is truly a very meaningful item to have tattooed alongside Sante Muerte. Here are some options for anyone seeking out a Sante Muerte and hourglass tattoo;
In conclusion, there’s been a wide array of designs made concerning Sante Muerte tattoos. While all slightly different in their aspects, each Sante Muerte tattoo holds a lot of symbolic meaning and outward beauty. All of these tattoos were incredibly detailed, with each bringing something truly unique to the table. Hopefully, any reader will now have a better-conceptualized idea of what sort of Sante Muerte tattoo they would like to get. Whether you choose a traditional Santa Muerte tattoo, a Sante Muerte tattoo inspired by La Catrina, or even a tattoo of her holding one of her many items – it’s sure to be a work of art!