Raven Tattoo Meanings

John Dietrich

As the iconic bird of peace, love, and piety, doves have a longstanding history as religious symbols in the Near East and Mediterranean regions. They’re rooted in Judaism, Christianity, and Paganism, and, in the secular world, they’re a powerful symbol for world peace. Below, we’ve put together a dove tattoo dictionary, explaining the meaning behind each one of these tattoo designs.

Raven Tattoo Dictionary

Celtic Raven: after observing ravens eating the dead soldiers on the battlefield, the Celts associated the raven with death and war. But, the Celts also believed that the raven had magical powers. Hence, the raven tattoo design has come to represent protection, magic, and prophecy.

Key and Raven: this classic tattoo design is a symbol of mystery. The raven was believed to be a purveyor of secrets, and the key he holds in his beak represents this.

Mythological Raven: in Ancient Greece and Rome, they believed that the raven had deep connections with the goddess and god, Athena and Apollo. As such, this raven tattoo design has come to represent the power of the sun and wisdom.

Odin’s Raven: Odin, the leader of the Norse gods, had two ravens, named Huginn and Muninn. These two birds were Odin’s eyes into the mortal realm. As tattoo designs, these ravens stand as symbols of divine wisdom and protection.

Tribal Raven: the Native Americans believed that the raven was responsible for bringing light to Earth. Since they believed that this bird brought light to darkness, it has become a symbol of balance between the good and the bad.

Wolf and Raven: the wolf and the raven were both renowned for their ancient wisdom in Native American lore. As such, this pair has come to represent knowledge and foresight as a tattoo design.

Known as a thinker, a strategist, and a god, it’s safe to say that the raven has a special place in our history. Whether you’re taken by this dark bird’s mysterious connection between the earthly and the spiritual realm, or you’re charmed by its wise look, raven tattoos make compelling designs that speak to us all. If you know of any additional raven tattoo designs, let us know about them in the comment section below!

Interested in learning about more tattoo design meanings? We’ve got the ultimate list of tattoo design meanings.