Coffin Tattoo Meanings, Ideas, and Designs
One popular, Gothic-themed tattoo symbol is the coffin. Mysterious, ominous, and rather dark, this tattoo choice makes a dramatic statement.
After all, we all know what a coffin is for. If you don't, you will eventually find out. This symbol is a reminder that we all face death. Because of this, the coffin tattoo can also be a reminder to live life to the fullest. We only have one life and one chance to make the most of our time here. Every time you view your coffin tattoo, you will be reminded of this stone-cold fact.
For many of us, death is a scary thought. As we age, it gets bigger, closer, and more real. When we are young, it rarely crosses our minds, but as we enter the last stages of our lives, it may become a thought that lingers nearly all the time. While many fear this final moment, some embrace it. These people are satisfied and anticipate the afterlife.
The History of the Coffin Symbol
Since 1380, the word coffin has been used to refer to any box in which the dead are buried. A coffin is a tapered hexagonal or octagonal in shape, while a casket is a rectangular box. They usually have lids that open, either by lifting or on a hinge. These vessels for the dead are probably somewhat more meaningful to those from cultures who bury their dead (as opposed to cremating). The coffin has also been a longtime symbol of vampires, who are said to sleep inside them to hide from the sun.
Design Options for Your Coffin Tattoo
Anything that is associated with death can be linked within coffin tattoos, including:
- The names or birth and death dates of loved ones
- Dia de Los Muertos iconography
- Birds, especially ravens and vultures
- Anything Gothic
- Crosses, rosaries, and other Christian objects
- Skulls or bones
- The grim reaper
- An hourglass or a clock
Although many coffin tattoo designs are done in dark colors, some are very bright For example, the coffin-and-candle tattoo above is very colorful and has a lit candle placed inside the coffin. Coffin tattoos are perfect for someone looking for a Gothic design. Vampires, spiders, spider webs, or bats can all be incorporated.
Coffin tattoos can also serve as memorials. In such cases, someone may have a beautiful coffin designed with roses and vines. They can also have inspirational words included on banners. Some examples of this would be "mortality," "perseverance," "live forever," or "never die."
What Does a Coffin Tattoo Mean or Represent?
Some interpretations of the coffin tattoo are positive, while others are more negative or dark.
- Gothic sensibilities
The coffin with a candle inside might represent the ability to see the light in dark situations. It may also symbolize a path of light in the afterlife. Overall, a coffin tattoo can be symbolic of the thought that one is prepared for death. It may represent that you are at peace with yourself and your life. Remember that in the end, your tattoo represents what you want it to.
Know Before You Go
There are some important things that you should remember before you get a coffin tattoo (or any tattoo):
- Be sure to take the time to do research, just as you are right now. Make sure that you completely understand what your tattoo represents and stands for.
- Don't rush to get inked! Most who do have regrets about their decision down the road.
- If you are not sure, wait. Make the right choice the first time around.
© 2012 Richard Ricky Hale