50+ Santa Muerte Tattoo Ideas: Wear Your Beliefs With Pride!

Santa Muerte Tattoo
Is there a difference between a Santa Muerte tattoo and a Grim Reaper tattoo? Read now, we have collected more than 50 ideas for the best Santa Muerte tattoos in different places!

Imagine a picture of a caring woman with a skeletal face, adorned in a vibrant gown and trimmed with golden embroidery. She has only recently found her place in Mexican culture, and is none other than Santa Muerte. 

In this article, we will talk about the origin of this saint lady of death, how she is associated with it, and show more than 50 ideas for tattoos with Santa Muerte.

Can Death Really Be a Saint?

Can Death Really Be a Saint?

Santa Muerte is literally translated as “The Saint of Death,” and she is speculated to be a modern folk deity who popped up in Mexico in the second half of the 20th century and gained popularity in the early 2000s. Today, she is an unofficial Day of the Dead patron saint.

Her traits seem to be a personification of death, featuring a mix of both Aztec mythologies (the goddess Mictēcacihuātl to be exact) and Catholicism, but none of those cultures recognize her.

Despite this, Santa Muerte gained a huge popularity. She is often depicted as a female skeleton wearing a long colorful robe and holding a scythe, similar to the Grim Reaper. But unlike him, Santa Muerte is not feared, she is often prayed to by people who are facing difficult times. 

The Lady of Holy Death is associated not only with the concept of death itself but also with a deity who can help with:

  • Protection from harm
  • Healing from illness (which was especially relevant during the coronavirus pandemic)
  • Help in finding a job
  • Success in love
  • Justice in legal matters

A tattoo with Santa Muerte is believed to hold the same purpose, as a sign of luck and prosperity. However, some people make a tattoo with the Saint Lady of Death just for the sake of her cool appearance.

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Don’t confuse Santa Muerte with La Calavera Catrina, another iconic figure in Mexican culture.

Is It Okay to Tattoo Santa Muerte?

It depends on how you look at the Santa Muerte tattoo outline. Even though Santa Muerte is not an official goddess, she still holds great significance for her followers. And for believers, a tattoo of a divine being usually means taking an oath on blood and flesh.

You could say that it’s like being caught in a vicious circle: if the tattoo itself is already wrong, then covering it or removing it can be considered an even worse act of disrespect.

But this can also be said about tattoos with any other divine beings. You will rarely hear accusations of tattoos with Greek gods. Therefore, la Santa Muerte tattoo is just a matter of your perception.

Of course, it’s always important to be mindful of any cultural heritage, especially when it comes to tattoos. So, before you jump on the trend of getting a Santa Muerte tattoo, take some time to do your research. As we say: appreciate, and don’t appropriate!

Best Santa Muerte Tattoos

Best Santa Muerte Tattoos

The worship of Santa Muerte and the rebellious spirit of her followers made an impact which led to increased recognition and acceptance. Of course, such widespread devotion naturally translates into a form of tattoos.

In the following sections, you will see more than 50 ideas of a Santa Muerte tattoo design, inspired by her various looks, both traditional and adapted. In addition to that, we will show examples of tattoos on different body parts and in different styles.

Traditional Santa Muerte Tattoo

A simple and classic Santa Muerte tattoo. She is often depicted in the form of an icon, with her head covered, and praying. Some tattoos show items like the hourglass or the globe for more detailing, as these are the items associated with Santa Muerte.

A traditional design of the Santa Muerte tattoo typically consists of solid black ink with heavy use of shadows.

Neo-Traditional Santa Muerte Tattoo

In 2012, a historian of Latin American culture named Andrew Chesnut published a book about Santa Muerte and how her figure gained popularity over the decade. He also stated that Santa Muerte is associated with 7 colors, each representing her virtue:

  • Brown — enlightenment and wisdom
  • White — purity and protection
  • Black — “black magic”
  • Red — passion and love
  • Gold — money and prosperity
  • Purple — healing
  • Green — justice for her followers

That being said, you can use these 7 colors in a neo-traditional Santa Muerte tattoo if you believe her virtues will guide you through life’s challenges.

Santa Muerte Owl Tattoo

Some resources depict Santa Muerte with objects other than a scythe, such as an hourglass, globe, or even an owl. This bird is considered a spiritual guide and messenger of Santa Muerte between the dead and alive.

This detail also came from Mesoamerican culture, as owls were known as the harbingers of death and symbol of dark forces. But now, a Santa Muerte owl tattoo symbolizes spiritual guidance, wisdom, and protection.

La Muerte Book of Life Tattoo

That’s right, the character La Muerte from the cartoon “The Book of Life” was indeed inspired by Santa Muerte! However, this cartoon is not factually accurate, but rather a cultural compilation in a fictional form. 

For example, La Muerte was never married to Xibalba. Moreover, Xibalba is not even a god, but an Aztec name for the Underworld. But still, La Muerte does a good job of conveying the themes of life, death, and remembrance, reflecting the cultural richness and traditions of Mexican folklore.

Santa Muerte Chicano Tattoo for Men

Men choose the Santa Muerte tattoo as a symbol of inner rebellion. The Chicano tattoo style personifies this in the best way possible: realistic, with a touch of crime, and attractive.

Some men might see her tattoo as a symbol of confronting mortality and embracing a different aspect of masculinity.

Silhouette Santa Muerte Tattoo

Many people choose to wear their belief in Santa Muerte on their skin, much like any other religious tattoo does. A significant number of Santa Muerte tattoo stencils are prepared in the form of an icon.

We mentioned previously that the Catholic Church does not recognize Santa Muerte as an official saint. But, surprisingly, many of the worshipers of this goddess are Christians. They claim that nothing prevents them from believing in Jesus, God, and Santa Muerte.

You can show your devotion to your faith in many ways, including with a tattoo. For example, check out our selection of cross tattoos!

Best Placements For Santa Muerte Tattoo

Best Placements For Santa Muerte Tattoo

In general, there isn’t a single perfect location to have a tattoo. Everything relies on individual preferences, one’s ability to cope with pain, as well as personal boundaries regarding dress codes or cultural convictions.

In this selection, we have collected only the most popular places for a tattoo of de la Santa Muerte.

Santa Muerte Tattoo on the Arm

Starting with the classics, a simple Santa Muerte tattoo design on the arm is the standard safest choice for tattooing. Biceps, forearms, and shoulders provide many options for sizes and visibility. Easy to tattoo and just as easy to cover when needed.

Santa Muerte Back Tattoo

Placing a deity on the skin, especially on such a large area as the back, should not be taken lightly. And for those who are building their relationships with La Santisima, this will be a sign that she will protect you and cover your back.

Santa Muerte Chest Tattoo

By placing such a tattoo, you seem to be opening the way to your heart to the goddess. Tattoos on the chest are very intimate, you can’t show them in public, so it’s a great choice for those who want a closer connection with the spirit.

Santa Muerte Leg Tattoo

If a tattoo on the chest opens the way to the deity through the heart, then a tattoo on the legs means that Santa Muerte will guide the wearer to the right path in life.

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Summary

Santa Muerte tattoos are also full of symbolism and meaning. Some people get tattoos to show their devotion to her, while others just think she is beautiful. Many misconceptions are associated with her, but we tried to determine tattoos with this particular deity.

At the very least, the Santa Muerte tattoo is also about power: think about how many times she’s been criticized since her appearance, and how many times she’s been tied to various cults. And yet, there she is, blooming on the official holiday of the Day of the Dead.

We hope you enjoyed this short inspirational story about the iconic figure of Mexican culture — Santa Muerte. We have collected more than 50 Santa Muerte tattoo photos, feel free to share your thoughts on your tattoo ideas with a professional tattoo artist!

FAQ

💀 Is Santa Muerte Like the Grim Reaper?

Kind of, Santa Muerte is often associated as the female version of the Grim Reaper in Mexican-American cultures.

🤔 What Does the Santa Muerte Symbolize?

Despite somewhat scary, skeleton vibes, Santa Muerte has a caring touch. She’s a guardian saint for her worshipers, covering love, health, and justice.

🤷‍♂️ What Does It Mean if Someone Has a Santa Muerte Tattoo?

They’re probably into Mexican culture and use a Santa Muerte tattoo as a symbol of protection. But it could be other personal motifs, too.

👍 Can I Get a Santa Muerte Tattoo?

Since Santa Muerte is not an officially recognized goddess, there’s nothing wrong with tattooing her. However, a few might think of you as a cult member because of earlier controversies with Santa Muerte.

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