Tattoos are a gratifying way to adorn your body with meaningful symbols, names you might regret later, and even animals that simply look cute. If you’re struggling to figure out what ink to get next (or first), consider a zodiac-inspired tattoo.
Whether or not you can prattle endlessly about all the intricacies of your birth chart doesn’t really matter; zodiac tattoos can look awesome on anyone. There are myriad ways to incorporate astrology into your body art: You can choose one particular placement in your birth chart to represent, like your moon sign, or stay classic with your “main” sun sign. (If you want a deeper understanding of the sun, moon, and other signs in your chart, this handy explainer will help.)
Each astrological sign is represented by an animal or figure, a symbol, and a constellation that can be used as inspiration for your tattoo. You can choose to tattoo one of the three or combine them into one cohesive piece. The signs are also are divided into three natural elements — fire, water, air, and earth — that make for great tattoo imagery.
Whether or not you know the difference between your sun, moon, and rising sign, let this guide of zodiac tattoos (presented chronologically by sign, of course) persuade you.
Aries is considered the first sign of the zodiac, represented by a symbol that’s shaped like a V with curved tips. The fire sign is also represented by the ram, as illustrated below in the design created by Texas-based tattoo artist Isabella Almaleh. Behind the detailed ram, she added a crescent moon surrounded by a shadow of dotwork and added a wreath of long, slender leaves around the whole piece. The red of the ink is apt for the fiery sign.
Instead of focusing the whole piece on a ram, you can symbolize one with accents, as Australian tattooist Phryn Hosler did with the rabbit tattoo below. Hosler created a flash sheet full of these cute rabbits that are customized for each zodiac sign. Here, the rabbit has curly horns and hooves, representing the ram, plus the Aries symbol on the animal’s chest. The tiny stars surrounding the small animal make this dainty art excessively adorable.
For Aries-inspired ink, astrologer Sophie Saint Thomas says to “go big or go home,” and tattoo artist Lee Mullen did just that for his client with the goddess below. Color is all over this gorgeous piece, starting with the purple hair, the pink flower, and green leaves. There are also traces of pink around her face with the fire sign’s curved symbol on the cheek. Mullen added curved ram horns to the woman, giving this tattoo its astrological bent.
The earth sign Taurus can be illustrated in many different ways. The sign’s symbol, for example, is a circle with a wavy line that borders the top of the shape. Of course, the constellation is also an option, or the bull, which New York City-based artist Marissa Monroe drew with precision below. She focused on just the bull’s head and made it whimsical and almost cartoon-like. There are pink and black stars around the head and on the eyes. The tiny star hanging from the animal’s nose ring is a vibrant pink, a perfect example of how to add a small touch of color to your tattoo.
Chicago-based tattoo artist Ceci Shalitzin drew a goddess with curved horns. Around the base of either horn is a series of circles that almost look like pearl necklaces. The woman has loose, wavy hair that Shalitzin detailed painstakingly. She added a sideways crescent moon on the woman’s face plus the Taurus symbol right in the middle of her chest. The flowers and leaves underneath the goddess add a natural element to the tattoo that represents the earth sign well.
Geminis may get a bad rep on social media, but the possibilities for Gemini-themed tattoos are too good to avoid. Instead of an animal, the air sign is represented by a pair of twins and a symbol shaped like a column with curved lines on either end.
Almaleh excelled at representing the twins here by making them a mirrored image of each other. The detail here is phenomenal — you can even see the individual strokes of eyebrow hairs on each woman. The twins are bordered by several flowers of various sizes and leaves.
Pennslyvania-based Jessica DiBattista focused on representing the Gemini symbol in vibrant colors. The figure is filled with three colors, light blue in the middle bordered by pastel pink, and a thin white line that traces the whole shape. She added a crescent moon in a bright yellow color. Both shapes sit on top of a blue shading with tiny blue and black dots.
Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Markece Zanders‘s version of the air sign’s symbol is etched in black ink on his client’s arm. He also added color to this piece with swirls of blue smoke behind the all-black symbol. Pink flowers with yellow pistils lie on either side of the piece.
It seems pretty on the nose that the water sign Cancer is represented by a sea animal, specifically, the crab. Its symbol looks like the numbers six and nine sat right next to each other.
New York City-based tattoo artist Sophie C’est La Vie incorporated blue hues and the crustacean into her Cancer-inspired tattoo. The swirls of pastel, cobalt, and navy blue blend beautifully on the large crab. La Vie often likes to incorporate florals into her pieces, which is why there’s a flower right below the sea animal. She added stars, leaves, and a moon to this serene piece.
Toronto-based tattooist Vonne represented the crab in another unique way. The center of the animal’s body is replaced with a woman’s face with finger waves, thin eyebrows, Twiggy-like bottom eyelashes, and a teardrop falling on her cheek (clearly, she drew inspiration from the looks of the 1920s and 1960s). Eight crab legs and two claws protrude from either side of the head.
Shalitzin loves incorporating women or aspects of femininity into her designs. which is why she created this gorgeous Cancer-inspired woman with long twists and a crescent moon in the middle of her forehead. Behind her head lies abstract art similar to a mandala pattern. In the woman’s hand is an orb that contains a crab. The sea animal is hollow except for the Cancer symbol that lies on its body.
As its name suggests, the fire sign is represented by the majestic lion. Leo‘s symbol is a circle with a curved line that juts out from the side and hooks at the very end. Almaleh represented the fire sign with a lioness. The detail on this large cat is so captivating that it almost feels like its eyes are staring right into your soul. She added three roses behind the animal’s face and patterns of dots, circles, and fine lines around the cat and florals.
This version of the lion was created by Markece. This cat is complete with piercing eyes and a mane of hair that looks like it’s being blown by the wind on the client’s shoulder. He covered half of the animal’s face in a mixture of florals and leaves. The pistil of one flower is replaced by the lion’s eye.
Libra‘s symbol looks like an upsidedown horseshoe on top of a line. Instead of an animal, this air sign is represented by the scales to symbolize balance. Vonne depicted the scales in the form of a naked woman with a third eye. This woman has a head full of glorious curls and in each hand, she holds a celestial body: the sun in her left hand and a crescent moon in the right.
Ohio-based tattoo artist Jay Harris created ink focused on Libra’s symbol. The solid sign is on a cracked circular stone base with several florals and leaves surrounding it. There are three types of flowers in yellow and pink hues with bright shamrock-green leaves.
New York City-based tattooist Shamil interpreted the air sign in a more literal way — with an actual scale — and a grotesque twist that is not for the faint of heart. A realistic-looking human brain sits in the right pail while the left has a human heart, most likely symbolizing balancing logic and emotion. He further represented the sign’s balance with the yin-yang sign at the base of the scale and, of course, the libra symbol right above the instrument.
Earth sign Virgo is embodied by a maiden who is often referred to as a goddess of wheat. Its symbol is a cursive M with a loop attached to its right side.
Shalitzin included both elements in the tattoo below. She created a goddess with flowers in her hair, white irises and pupils, and the Virgo symbol on her forehead. Behind the woman’s head is a sun with dotwork shading between each of its rays. If you look closely, you’ll notice that her hair was also shaded with dotwork. Soberanis also included flowers beneath the maiden’s face, a butterfly, and planet Earth.
United Kingdom-based Lauren Smith used the Virgo constellation in the body art below. But instead of tattooing stars, Smith shaped the constellation with flowers and vines. She added a few budding florals and varied the size of each bloom.
What other creature than a scorpion could accurately represent the oft-misunderstood Scorpio? Its symbol is a cursive M that extends into a small arrow at the tip. Of course, many Scorpios like to get the venomous arachnid to represent their water sign. The one below is a perfect example.
South Carolina-based artist Allex Redd tattooed this scorpion with incredible detail and made sure that the tips of its tail and pinchers look sharp. Blue is a great color to represent the complicated water sign.
DiBattista created a colorful version of the Scorpio constellation. Black and white dots connect the yellow and black stars in this ink. Swirls of pastel blue, bubblegum pink, and purple hues are all around the perimeter of these stars. There are tiny dots of black, white, and yellow all around the swirls of color to represent other stars in the distance.
Shalitzin added a scorpion to a woman’s shoulder with this ink. The woman has loose, wavy hair with a few tendrils falling onto her forehead. The Scorpio symbol lies on her shoulder in bold black ink. The tattoo artist created the phases of the moon that form an arc above the woman’s head.
The fire sign Sagittarius‘s symbol is a slanted arrow with a perpendicular line close to its tail end, and for that reason, Saint Thomas recommends arrow tattoos. It’s also represented by an archer, but this archer is a mythical centaur, a creature that is half-man, half-horse.
Almaleh chose to represent the sign with a heart-shaped arrow and bow, but the figure holding it is a cherub. The curly-haired baby is standing above a detailed rose. To complete the tattoo, she added teeny tiny stars as details.
Markece tattooed a centaur with a bow and arrow on his client’s neck. With his tattoo machine, he drew muscles on this mythical figure that appears to be galloping into battle.
Though it’s an earth sign, Capricorn is symbolized by the mythological sea goat, which has the body of a goat and a fish’s tail. The symbol is a lowercase N that curves into a loop at the end. La Vie drew the entirety of a sea goat on her client’s shoulder, but it’s merely the skeleton of the creature. Around its horns, she added a crown of flowers.
Guadeloupe-based tattooist Djonny Cleon focused only on the sea goat’s face for his client’s piece. He made sure to not skip on the detail here; on the mammal’s large curved horns, there are thin swirls of white, meant to depict ridges. This goat looks intense and fierce with its thick face and slanted eyes.
Mexico-based tattooist Karen Cecilia Martinez Peralta, known as La Mala del Cuento, completely reimagined the sea goat with purple and pink ink. The feminine figure looks like a mermaid with her scaly, wavy violet tail until you see the ridged horns and hooved hands that confirm she’s the mythical creature. She has vibrant green eyes with long lashes and a pink heart on her cheek. She also rocking a blunt cut with angled bangs.
The last of the air signs is Aquarius. Its symbol is two short parallel zig-zag lines, which can easily be incorporated into body art. It’s embodied by the water bearer, a healer who pours water onto the land. Romania-based tattoo artist and owner of Black Book Tattoo Dishy expertly etched a colorful version of the water bearer onto their client’s skin. The hues in this piece are so magnificent and vibrant that the mermaid’s scales appear to be sparkling. She added an ombré effect to the stars, leaves, the tail, and even the water.
If you’re looking for something more subdued, minimalist art like the piece created by Florida-based artist Kaylee Ruiz works well, too. She created a profile with fine-line work, but the upper half of the face is gone and replaced with the air sign’s constellation.
North Carolina-based tattoo artist Dax Trail also went for minimalist art and created a botanical Aquarius constellation. She added tiny black dots to connect the solid stars. There is also a delicate-looking lavender plant with buds in a light purple hue.
The last of the water signs is Pisces. Its symbol looks like two Cs faced in opposite directions with a line running through the middle where they meet. As Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Liv Northy‘s tattoo shows, the sign is represented by two fish that are typically seen moving in opposite directions, almost like the yin and yang symbol. They dipped their tattoo gun into colorful purple and blue pigments for this serene tattoo. The small fishes look like they are swimming on the client’s skin with their lengthy, detailed tails. They used the same two colors to add the Pisces constellation right underneath the animals.
Taking liberty with the two fish the Pisces is associated with, Shalitzin drew only one that covers part of a woman’s face for the tattoo below. The woman’s hair flows in waves that were shaded with precision by the artist to give it dimension. Shalitzin also added a large flower with leaves to the side of her head and one on the top of her head that could be part of a mandala. The Pisces symbol in the middle of her forehead is a dead giveaway that it’s a tribute to the water sign.
Pennslyvania-based artist Elle K Yancy provides yet another rendition of the Pisces fish. She opted for koi fish and made sure to capture every last detail from the flowing tails to the tiny scales. There are a series of solid dots on the top and bottom of this tattoo (it almost looks like each fish is blowing bubbles). The water sign’s symbol sits smack dab in the middle of the animals.
As evidenced above, there are countless means of representing the zodiac on the body with a tattoo. You can even combine different astrological signs together if you’re feeling experimental. It’s just a matter of giving your tattoo artist the freedom to create the best body ink for you.
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