60+ Mysterious Raven Tattoo Designs With Secret Meanings

Raven Tattoo
Explore 60+ unique and spiritual raven tattoo designs with meaningful explanations gathered in our article. Choose one that suits your character the best!

The raven tattoo is one of the most popular bird designs. It has become widespread due to numerous different meanings. Moreover, the more elements you add, the more interpretations the design has.

Dealing alone with all the meanings and choosing one design is difficult because you need to get acquainted with a large amount of material, including Scandinavian and Celtic mythologies. Therefore, we’ve collected 60+ raven tattoo ideas and explained their meanings to make your choice easier!

💡 Note:
Before choosing a design, we suggest you find out how long the tattoo session lasts to better prepare you for going to the tattoo artist.

What Is the Raven Tattoo Meaning?

Raven tattoo

Raven is a symbol that has many meanings. Each culture interpreted it in its way. It gained the greatest fame in Scandinavian culture because ravens accompanied Odin, the supreme god. Also, for the Celts, this bird had a special meaning because it was used during ritual ceremonies.

As for other cultures, the raven tattoo has the following meanings:

  • 🐊 Ancient Egypt. The raven is a negative symbol, which means aggression and anger;
  • 🥢 Ancient China. People of ancient China associated a raven tattoo with power. There was even a legend that this bird lives in the sun which means sunrise and sunset;
  • 🏰 Japan. Raven means strong family love;
  • 🏹 Native Americans. The raven tattoo was a part of rituals;
  • IX Ancient Rome. The bird means hope for the next day and faith in good;
  • 🌍 The peoples of Africa. For them, the raven was a sacred bird, the killing of which could bring natural disaster.

It is also worth noting that raven tattoo meanings vary for men and women. Therefore, below we will explain them in detail.

  • 👨 Men. Men who get a raven tattoo are like ancient Celts and Nords. Therefore, this design means masculinity.
  • 👧 Women. The raven tattoo for them is associated with the desire to make a strong family and emphasizes their wisdom, reasonableness, and patience.

60+ Amazing Raven Tattoo Designs

The raven tattoo has many meanings in various cultures and religions. Each composition’s element also brings additional symbolism. You should know this to prevent getting an attractive raven tattoo design with a negative meaning.

Therefore, we have collected 60+ best raven tattoos with meanings in 12 different categories so you can choose the most suitable one.

We also suggest you check out the 8 steps on how to come up with a tattoo idea.


Unlike other designs, the small raven tattoo is not in a minimalistic style. Tattoo artists focus on details such as feathers. Due to this, the small design looks very concise and impressive at the same time.

It is important to note that the raven feather can mean pessimism, fragility, and the transience of life. However, the bird has a lot of feathers and their presence only helps it fly higher and higher. Therefore, such a design can also mean that you can cope with any difficulties (even if there are many).

💡 Note
There are many other attractive small ideas with deep meanings. Therefore, we suggest you check out 55+ small tattoos for men and 100+ for women.

Old School

Old school or American traditional style is a living classic. Sometimes it is also called primitive. There are the following reasons for this:

  • I Thick contours;
  • 🎨 A small palette of colors that consists of red, blue, yellow, and green.

However, these features have made old-school tattoos one of the most popular styles.

As for the traditional raven tattoo, the design can change its meaning depending on additional elements. For example, in one of the photos above you can see a raven with a scythe. Such a design would have the following meanings:

  • 🗡 Another world;
  • 🗡 Death;
  • 🗡 Fear.

💡 Note
More traditional tattoo designs are waiting for you in this article!


Raven designs are often complemented with geometric shapes or created only from them. In addition to being attractive, such ideas have other meanings. They are the following:

🔺 Triangle:

  • Power;
  • Stability;
  • Love;
  • Wisdom;
  • Fertility.

Two triangles also mean the power of the spiritual principle over the bodily, and three – health.

🔹 Rhombus:

  • New life;
  • Luck;
  • Fertility.

🔵 Circle:

  • Financial well-being;
  • Harmony;
  • Calm.
💡 Note:
You can find 70+ more classy geometric tattoo designs in this article.


Realistic raven tattoos fascinate and terrify with their detail, especially if it’s a design with a special meaning. For example, a raven on a tree without leaves symbolizes destruction.

As for the realistic style, it is the most complex one. It requires drawing even the smallest details. The result is a tattoo that is difficult to distinguish from reality.

💡 Note
It is necessary to choose a qualified tattoo artist so that your realistic design does not end up being an expensive mistake. Therefore, we suggest you get acquainted with the 10 best realism tattoo artists.


In Scandinavian mythology, ravens are very important symbols because they accompanied Odin, the supreme god. However, we will talk about Odin’s raven designs a bit later.

A runic compass can often be in a nordic raven tattoo. This element has the following meanings:

  • 🧭 Protection;
  • 🧭 Management;
  • 🧭 Definition of life path;
  • 🧭 Search for answers to all questions.

This amulet will make it easier to achieve goals, follow destiny, and realize the purpose of life.


The raven is a bird that feeds on carrion and can live for many years. Therefore, the ancient Celts had a distrustful attitude toward this bird. They believed that the raven is a harbinger and a symbol of evil. Also, the Celts associated the raven with the goddess of battle, Morgan. Therefore, the bird was also a symbol of loneliness, death, and war.

However, the Celts also used the sacred raven symbol for rituals. So, such a design got the following meanings:

  • Prophecy;
  • The ability of a person to predict the future;
  • High power;
  • Deity.

Odin’s Raven

As we said earlier, ravens were companions of the supreme Scandinavian god Odin and accompanied him to the battlefield. His birds were called Hugin and Munin and each of them had its meaning:

  1. Hugin – mind and wisdom;
  2. Munin – memory.

Therefore, if you want to get a tattoo with Odin’s ravens, they will help you to get a clear mind and excellent memory.


In many cultures, a raven is associated with evil and a harbinger of trouble. However, what if you want to get such a design without negative meanings? In this case, you should consider the idea of ​​a raven tattoo with flowers.

In general, flowers are associated with spring, freshness, and life. These meanings are the opposite of the negative raven ones. However, their combination can mean the victory of life over death, good over evil.

Also, depending on the flower, the overall composition can get additional meanings:

🌹 Rose:

  • Love;
  • Passion;
  • Sensuality;
  • Hope.

🌻 Sunflower:

  • Loyalty;
  • Youth;
  • Freshness;
  • Good mood.

🌺 Chrysanthemum:

  • Wealth;
  • Power;
  • Persistence.

💡 Note
If you love the sunflower and want to use it in a raven tattoo, check out 70+ sunflower designs for inspiration.

Flying Raven

The design of a flying raven tattoo differs from the usual one only in the pose in which the bird is implemented. Due to this, the idea gets the following meanings:

  • Freedom;
  • Flight;
  • Openness;
  • Infinity.


The raven’s skull tattoo has two main meanings. The first is associated with a plague pandemic that hit the planet in the 14th century. Ravens fed on carrion seating on the skulls of the victims. In this case, a raven tattoo means death.

The second meaning of the raven tattoo on the skull design is victory over the enemy. The bird is the winner and stands dominantly on the skull of the stricken.

However, this design can also have other meanings:

  • ✈️ Forgiveness;
  • ✈️ Sacrifice;
  • ✈️ Strength;
  • ✈️ Power.


Raven sleeve tattoos are the largest designs as they are often located from the shoulder to the wrist. They consist of more than just a raven design. Therefore, if you want to get something with this bird, you can form a whole sleeve.

Take into account that sleeve tattooing can take more than 1 session lasting 2-6 hours. You can learn more about how long it takes to get a tattoo in our article.


Most often, a raven tattoo is gotten by men. Therefore, they should consider designs on the arm according to the following reasons:

  • 💉 Painlessness. A thick layer of skin, muscle, and fat protects you from painful sensations while getting a tattoo;
  •  🌄 Volume. The roundness of the shoulder and arm allows you to get a three-dimensional design;
  • 💪 Masculinity. The tattoo will emphasize the muscles’ relief and your masculinity.

💡 Note:
If you decide to consider such tattoo designs, we advise you to additionally familiarize yourself with 80+ male tattoo designs on the arm.


The raven tattoo is one of the most popular bird designs because it has many meanings. Everyone can choose an idea that best emphasizes his character and style. Moreover, it is versatile and great for both men and women.

We took into account the fact that there are many interpretations of such designs and collected in this article 60+ raven tattoos and explained their meanings in detail.

💡 Note:
Have you chosen an idea yet? Now it’s time to get acquainted with the list of highly qualified tattoo artists who can implement even the most complex design.


❓ What Does Odin’s Raven Tattoo Mean?

Odin had two ravens: Hugin and Munin. The first meant mind and wisdom, and the second – memory.

🧐 What Is the Spiritual Meaning of a Raven?

Raven has many meanings that may contradict each other: death and the beginning of a new life, impending failure and a strong family.

🤔 What Does a Crow Tattoo Symbolize?

In Native American culture, crows were prophetic beings. They possessed flexibility and wisdom. Also were a herald of change.

☝️ What Does a Nordic Raven Tattoo Mean?

Ravens are extremely important in Nordic mythology as they were Odin’s companions and signified mind, wisdom, and memory. Also, often such designs are complemented by runic compasses, which mean protection and the search for answers to all questions.

💀 What Does a Raven Skull Tattoo Mean?

The raven skull tattoo has several meanings. Firstly, the raven is associated with a plague pandemic, so it means death. Secondly, a raven sitting on a skull means victory over the enemy. Also, it means forgiveness, strength, and power.


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