If you were to ask most people why they got a tattoo, very few would say anything about their desire to impress others or even acknowledge what an external view of what the tattoo could represent.
That’s not to say that the majority of tattoos are enigmatic, but those that do exhibit esoteric qualities are deeply personal and therefore as close to the spirit of a tattoo as possible.
Tattoos are wonderful because they allow us to showcase an attachment to a certain idea or emotion that may or may not be relevant or even immediately obvious to others. Because of the visual nature of tattoos, it is quite easy to design something that would be instantly recognizable and explainable by most, but that sort of mass appeal detracts from the purpose of a tattoo.
Perhaps a man would like to get a tattoo that is deeply personal to him, but it has no meaning to anyone else. This could be in the form of an abstract expression or an ethereal idea that only has a minute connection to anything in reality. The tattoo might be incredibly beautiful to passing eyes, but only the wearer and perhaps others who are involved in the idea would understand the depth of its true meaning.
Esoteric tattoos speak directly to the core idea of what a tattoo should mean. The idea isn’t to create a billboard, but rather something that speaks directly to the wearer.