Scorpion Tattoo Meaning

Tattoos have become a popular trend within our modern culture. Although they’ve been around since the Bronze Age, their importance and significance within humanity remain. Each person who embarks on this journey has their own reasons for inking their body.

Some choose to mark their body with a tattoo as a reminder of a time or event in their life. Others love the aesthetic value of tattoos and seek to make their bodies as a living canvas of art!

Regardless of how you view tattoos, you’re probably reading this article because you want a specific tattoo. Keep reading to learn about the Scorpion Tattoo meaning so you can decide if it’s right for you!

A scorpion tattoo on a man's neck. Scorpion tattoo meaning.

Why Get a Scorpion Tattoo?

The scorpion is one of the most easily identified creatures in the world. With a venomous stinger and two sizable pincers to protect it, this arachnid gives off unique and identifiable meanings that connect with many people worldwide.

The curves and line structure of the scorpion are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This makes it a desirable choice for many people seeking their first tattoo. Adding a scorpion to another object, like a skull, rose, flame, or sword can also alter the tattoo’s meaning for the bearer.

The History of the Scorpion

The scorpion is one of the most feared arachnids known to its fellow animals and humans. Despite its small stature, it staked its claim in this world long ago. Although it can be seen as unfriendly, it’s also earned respect. When one encounters a scorpion, the natural instinct is to approach with caution.

The scorpion’s venom can cause a hallucinogenic effect on those it stings. For this reason, many ancient shamans used scorpion venom on their spiritual journeys to connect with the spirit realm on a deeper level.

Traditional Scorpion Tattoo Meanings

A tattoo is a unique symbol that will be different for each person. Even if you get the exact tattoo as another person, the significance and meaning will not be the same as what it means to someone else.


A scorpion.  Many scorpion tattoo meanings have to do with how people perceive scorpions.

Although the scorpion creature may appear small and harmless, this arachnid carries an incredible inner strength that rivals other larger creatures. A scorpion is a fierce fighter that doesn’t back down in the face of danger. With a deadly stinger, it can take on even the most dangerous prey to show its strength and determination.


In the same way, a scorpion can be feared simply by its familiar hooked tail and large pincers. Animals and people who know of the scorpion’s painful or deadly touch will take care when encountering a scorpion.


A male scorpion does a distinctive mating dance with its female counterpart. The dance is characterized by the two scorpions grabbing one another’s pincers and moving around in a dance-like fashion. This dance represents passion and arousal.


The Scorpion Tattoo has also been attributed to protection from evil spirits. The tribal style tattoo is particularly associated with this meaning.


Although the sting of many scorpions will leave the victim numb and in pain, some scorpions have venom that can cause death within minutes.

For this reason, some people choose to represent the deadliness of the scorpion by pairing their tattoo design with a sword or skull.

Other Meanings

A tattoo is deeply personal and can mean whatever the bearer chooses it to mean. However, knowing the meaning from a worldview can often give the bearer confirmation of their tattoo choice.

These are a few other meanings of the Scorpion Tattoo: warning, endurance, perseverance, rebellion, defensiveness, energy, betrayal, evil, mystery, loyalty, and self-defense.

Modern Scorpion Tattoo Meanings


Within the LGBTQ+ community, a scorpion tattoo can mean the person is HIV-positive.

This is a subtle way that others can identify with that person or surround them with support.

Zodiac Inspiration

Zodiac Scorpio symbol.

Many Scorpios get a zodiac tattoo of their sign as a symbol of their identity.

The Scorpio Zodiac Sign includes those born Oct 23-Nov 21, and is considered the eighth sign of the zodiac.

This zodiac sign got its place in the heavens from the Ancient Greek Mythology story of the battle between Artemis and Orion, as told below. Because of the scorpion’s great victory in the battle, Zeus gave the creature its place in the sky among the stars.

This sign is also connected with the Greek mythological story of a reckless Phaeton, son of the sun god Helios. Phaeton was eager to prove his lineage and stubbornly insisted on driving his father’s carriage. Some translations say that the scorpion caused the horses of the sun to spook, scorching the earth and creating the African desert.

Scorpios are deeply emotional people with strong intensity. Their seriousness can come across as harsh, but despite their powerful personality, they crave intimacy. They often stand apart from the norm and make great leaders!

Other positive attributes of the Scorpio zodiac sign are that they are determined, focused, brave, loyal, honest, ambitious, and devoted. Some negative traits include jealousy, manipulation, secrecy, resentment, micromanagement, and stubbornness.

For these reasons, a zodiac-themed scorpion tattoo would make a great choice for anyone born under the Scorpio sign.

Cultural Significance

A stone carving of a scorpion.

Ancient Greek Mythology

In ancient Greek mythology, the scorpion signified an agile, deadly fighter. For this reason, the symbol can represent one who is a literal fighter, such as a boxer or other kind of competitor. However, it’s also a popular choice for one who has been in a battle for their life, like cancer survivors or survivors of other life-threatening events.

In Greek mythology, there is a story of the goddess Artemis, the protector of all animals. Angered by Orion, who threatened to destroy all animals, she sent an army of scorpions to attack him.

After his death, she learned her anger was unwarranted. She set him in the night sky as part of our constellations to honor Orion. Likewise, Zeus cast the great scorpion into the constellations to symbolize its victory.

Egyptian Mythology

The most dangerous scorpions in the world reside in Egypt, so it stands to reason that scorpions were a part of the country’s mythology. Egypt had two kings named King Scorpion because of their poisonous and venomous way of ruling.

The scorpion was also attributed to specific gods. The goddess Isis used large scorpions as protection while journeying to find her mate’s body. Many Egyptians would pray to the goddess Serket for safety and health during childbirth.

African Lore

In African culture, the scorpion is associated with life and death. Despite the deadly nature of the arachnid’s sting, they also attributed healing properties to it. Those who choose a Scorpion Tattoo related to African lore often include sand dunes or desert roses as part of the tattoo.

Mayan culture

In Mayan culture, the Scorpion Tattoo signified several varying meanings. It specifically signifies fire, due to the painful sting felt when touched by the stinger.

This tattoo is also associated with Ah Tabai, the God of hunting, most likely due to the predatory skills a scorpion takes when hunting its prey. It’s also associated with surgery since this predator numbs its victim before killing it.


The scorpion symbol can be found in many ancient weapons and amulets. The creature represents harm, empowerment, anger, death, protection, and transformation within the Buddhism.

Variations on the Scorpion Tattoo

As with any tattoo, there are many ways to vary the style or look of the tattoo. The style of it will vary greatly, depending on which artist you choose to complete the work of art. But the style itself is the starting point of what you want your design to look like.

Tribal Scorpion

These cultural tattoos often include patterns that show flowers or animals. The style is associated with thick lines drawn in black ink. These simplistic tattoos don’t use color or shading.

Minimalist Scorpion

A minimalist tattoo is exactly what it sounds like: a tattoo using simple lines with less shading. Because of its simplicity, this is a popular choice for women.

Geometric Scorpion

This tattoo style has grown in popularity in recent years, especially regarding animal or creature tattoos. This style is identified by the geometric shapes that are found throughout the shape of the tattoo.

Realistic Scorpion

Once more, this style is given right in the name. This scorpion tattoo is highly realistic art. Some artists are able to achieve such a state of realism that the art looks alive. This style is heavily shaded, often using color or several shades of the same color.

Where to Place Your Scorpion Tattoo

Deciding on the style and finding the right artist are two of the main choices you need to make before getting your Scorpion Tattoo. However, you’ll also need to consider where you want to permanently leave your scorpion mark on your body.

A tattoo artist working on a client's leg.

Shoulder or Back

This is always a good option when marking your body with creatures of some kind. There’s plenty of room for a tattoo of any size. Plus, this location will closely connect with the Egyptian goddess, Serket, who often had a scorpion on her shoulder.


Another great choice simply because there is plenty of space for a scorpion tattoo of any size. It’s also easy to show, especially when you hit the beach in the summertime!


This is a creative placement choice for this tattoo. Firstly, it can signify how a scorpion might crawl up one’s leg in search of prey! It’s also easily hidden by long pants or socks if the bearer needs to cover their tattoo.


The neck is a particularly vulnerable spot because of its proximity to the head and the major artery of the neck. This shows that the bearer is fearless and strong.


If you want your scorpion tattoo to be visible, you can’t get more visible than the hand! This location may receive intense reactions when you reach out to shake someone’s hand. But it can also be seen as a sign of friendship, communion, and coming together.

Embark on Your Scorpion Tattoo Journey!

Closeup of a scorpion.

Now that you’ve learned about the Scorpion Tattoo meanings, you’ve got all the information you need to decide if this tattoo is right for you. Will you embark on the journey of a Scorpion Tattoo?

Looking for other fierce tattoos with a meaning behind them? Check out the other Tattoo Meanings blog posts on our website!

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