Medusa Tattoos, Designs, and Meanings

Updated on January 25, 2016
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Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

What Does It Mean?

If you're looking for an interesting tattoo design inspired by ancient mythology, Medusa maybe for you. In this article, I will discuss Medusa tattoo designs and meanings.

Medusa is a female character in Greek mythology. She was a Gorgon and was the child of Ceto and Phorcys. Her face was said to look like a monster and venomous snakes made up her hair. Anyone unlucky enough to stare directly at her face would be turned into stone. Eventually, Medusa was beheaded by Perseus.

She is a powerful emblem, and the inspiration for a variety of art, as well as in books, movies, and even video games. As a symbol, Medusa is still used today as an emblem of the flag of Sicily and in the coat of arms of the Dohalice village in the Czech Republic.

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Horror-style Medusa tattoo.
Horror-style Medusa tattoo.
Horror-style Medusa tattoo. | Source


This is a visually striking and deeply symbolic tattoo. In the end, your tattoo symbolizes what you want it too. That said, below are the meanings that may be applied to the Medusa tattoo.

  • Evil
  • Magic
  • Feminine Power
  • Lifecycle
  • Personality
  • Rebirth
  • Death
  • Envy
  • Jealousy
  • Freedom
  • Transformation

The snakes on Medusa's head are said to represent the natural cycle of life, symbolizing rebirth and death. Medusa was also said to have wings, which represent freedom.

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Medusa tattoo.
Medusa tattoo.
Medusa tattoo. | Source


Medusa is perfect for someone looking to get a tattoo out of the norm, and there are many ways to portray her. In the legend, Medusa has a hideous face, so some tattoos give her the face of a monster. However, some choose to give her the face of an angel. So if you're not into an evil face, you have the option to go with another look. Her face can be realistic-looking or cartoonish, drawn in color or in black ink.

Make sure that you take the time to view all the different designs in this article. This can help give you a general idea of what's available. Plus, you can pick up tips and ideas for your own Medusa tattoo design.

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Cartoonish Medusa design.
Cartoonish Medusa design.
Cartoonish Medusa design. | Source

Keep in Mind

There are some important things that you want to remember before you get this or any tattoo.

  • Make sure that you take the time to research your tattoo and know what it represents. You don't want to get inked and find out later that your tattoo represents something different from what you first thought.
  • Don't rush to get inked! People who rush usually have regrets about their tattoo later on down the road. Don't make this mistake. If you are having second thoughts or you're not completely sure about your choice, don't do it. Rethink your options and wait a few weeks. Once you're completely sure, get your tattoo. Remember, you are planning to wear this for the rest of your life.

Medusa is not a mainstream tattoo, but it's stunning when done correctly.

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Painting of Medusa
Painting of Medusa
Painting of Medusa | Source
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Questions & Answers


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        Gage 7 months ago

        No no no look im a huge Greek mythology fan and mudusa is no supost to be ugly but al these pics were showing her as an old hag

      • Seeker7 profile image

        Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

        This awesome LW! I have to say that Medusa is one of my favourite Greek Myth characters and so misunderstood. I think she originally started off as a Mother Goddess but seemed to have been transformed over time into the snake headed gorgon that we're familiar with. The artwork of the tattoos are beautiful indeed and do capture her different dimensions. For me I would need to choose a positive meaning - but I'm biased of course!

        I think as well, the bias may come in from an incident that happened to me many years ago. A psychic artist did a spiritual portrait of my guardian spirit and inner self & guide. He drew a head of medusa but the face was stunningly beautiful and I loved the artwork he produced. So there's my reason for being all in favour of the much maligned Medusa! LOL!

        This was a fabulous hub and as always fascinating!! Voted up + shared!!

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

        Quite eye-catching but I don't think I've ever seen this in real life. Interesting that some are just basic black, and others colorful. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

      • shiningirisheyes profile image

        Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

        Always a stunning piece of fine tattoo examples. I wonder if people turn to stone after viewing them! LOL

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

        A lot of color. Some are a bit scary. I guess Halloween would be a good time to get one..Not me.Hee

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        Just amazing tattoos.

      • Alastar Packer profile image

        Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

        Wonder if that Medusa in Clash of the Titans sparked folks up for Medusa tats. She was a wicked good Medusa in that flick and oh so deadly. The examples here are truly something, not sure how they come across to me yet though. Let come back again with a clear head and have another look-see again. Awesome style bro rick- you da man with the tat style hubs! Up awesome and useful!

      • kashmir56 profile image

        Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Awesome tattoos and beautifully detailed ,very colorful to !

        Vote up and more !!!

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

        these tats can be sensual, I like the style and the details voted awesome as per usual!!!!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I was too tired last night to visit; I wanted you to get my full attention, so now you have it. I love these tattoos....something about the detail and artistry....and the subject matter....that I really enjoy. Good job Ricky!

      • btrbell profile image

        Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

        The details on these are amazing! Another great hub! Thank you! Up and awesome!