The third eye refers to the spiritual gate leading to higher consciousness. The third eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment that has deeply personal, spiritual and psychological significance to each practitioner.
The third eye embodies your ability to see both the inner and outer worlds associated with reflection, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences, visions, and precognition.
Located in between the eyebrows, the third eye chakra or ‘Ajna‘ is the sixth of your seven chakras and translates to “perceiving” or “command” in Sanskrit. It represents connection to wisdom and insight, allowing you to access the inner guidance coming from deep within, enabling you to cut through illusion and access deeper truths.
Tattoos are often visual representation of individuals most important internal symbols, helping make the third eye a versatile theme in ink expression and stylistic inspiration.
Read on for the top 105 examples of third eye tattoos followed by useful contextual questions to help frame your future ink decision making.
1. Animal Third Eye Tattoos
These assembled animal third eye tattoo examples veer wildly between subtle, understated pieces and complete madness (one black and gray cat even has five eyes!). There’s excellent usage of technique, whether it’s shading to feature fur and feather effects, or vibrant colors showing off realism or in supporting the main image. I like how some pieces opt for a mishmash of applications, employing color and black and gray to effect contrast in pieces, or utilizing geometric and line principle to build broader bits of body art unconstrained by borders and boundaries.
2. Black and Gray Third Eye Tattoos
There’s a range of techniques employed in these black and gray tattoos. A lot demonstrate effective mixing of line work and shade – particularly the different Eye of Providence tattoos on display that manage fine line black ink and thicker, sharpie style approaches. Another cool aspect is the different placement of these third eyes – either being incorporated into wider tattoo imagery on arms or legs, or deployed in awkward yet symbolic positions like the hands or outer section of the wrist.
3. Color Third Eye Tattoos
These third eye tattoos use wild color palettes and 3D new wave approaches to make a statement. The third eye is a great symbol for incorporating into a more vivid wider design, and I like that the artists are willing to frame third eyes with other unusual images and vibrant colors. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a Stormtrooper or Bart Simpson utilize their third eye with any skill though, they strike me more as reflexive/reactive types!
4. Delicate Third Eye Tattoos
These examples show off the premise that delicate, fine line technical ink can achieve a suitably skilled, beautifully etched third eye tattoo. Some are almost minimalist in their delivery, yet their delicate flow and fine detail make clever pieces of body art.
5. Dreamy/Surrealistic Third Eye Tattoos
There’s some weird visions out there, yet that’s precisely what your third eye is supposed to promote when looking to visualize that internal spiritual connection. These ink examples are effectively drawn, and embrace their weird concepts by using quality color and shade principles to bring them to life on the skin.
6. Floral Third Eye Tattoos
Flower inspired third eye tattoos look great in black and gray. The range of saturation and shading styles allow the images to look markedly different, as well as appeal to bother Eastern and Western cultural attachments, such as the classical rose or lotus.
7. Geometric Third Eye Tattoos
The majority of these third eye geometric tattoos are either riffing on Eastern concepts of spirituality and enlightenment found in Buddhism or Hinduism, or the strong Christian imagery of the triangular Eye of Providence theme. They may differ in philosophical approach, but share commitment to applying quality etching contrasting scale and shape, epic linework, bordering shapes, and abstract supporting concepts.
8. Large Third Eye Tattoos
Large third eye concepts are shown off in all their glory – with some transformative ink designs and delivery exemplified above. Large tattoos allow for a range of interlinking themes to be involved in a tattoo, or the singular idea of the third eye can dominate the artwork. I love when the subjects (and artists) take significant risks by making large works so visible on exposed flesh.
9. Linear Third Eye Tattoos
A simply etched, professionally delivered third eye tattoo gets the symbolic meaning across with more understatement and nuance than other technique. There’s nowhere near as much innovation, but that’s okay when delivering a crystal clear concept as the tattoos above do.
10. Ornamental Third Eye Tattoos
These tattoos are effective at taking a central third eye concept and building them out with clearly defined technical support, such as flowers and frames. They create a more versatile image where the artist is able to flex technical might through contrasting shade, color, pointilism, or line work in creating larger, more expansive tattoos.
11. Third Eye Tattoos with Hands
These hand and third eye pieces do an excellent job creating solid conceptual imagery. I love the use of subcontinental style – think henna tattooing of India and South East Asia with dainty, curving fine line ink and shape work – incorporated into the third eye enlightenment theme as either frame or housing for the idea.
12. Third Eye Tattoos with Moons
These third eye tattoo examples in black line style allow the main image support from the moon, which can be linked to spiritual awareness and behaviour. They similar to the delicate tattoos – looking more to lay out the inner vision with subtle ink placement rather than sledgehammer of size, or wild technical/color applications.
13. Tiny Third Eye Tattoos
These tiny tattoos are small, minimalist bits of body art that are suited to a variety of placements, such as the hands, fingers and feet. They may need more upkeep than a larger, more solid piece of ink, but can be carefully concealed or subtly shown off at any time depending on the subject’s wish.
14. Neo Traditional Third Eye Tattoos
Neo traditional tattooing allows the old school methods of technical ink to flourish when meshed with modern conceptual approaches. The third eye is a tremendously old school concept, but hasn’t been a huge tattoo factor until recent years, as popularity has increased in both the art form and Eastern spirituality. The tattoos above are examples of the successful mix between old and new schools in delivering bad ass tattoos with a third eye bent.
Third Eye Tattoo FAQs
How can you open the Third Eye?
Anatomically, the third eye is believed to located in the geometric center of the brain, located directly between the eyes. The pineal gland “third eye” works harmoniously with the hypothalamus gland.
Activating the third eye can be accomplished through meditation. Mastering this art helps activate the pineal gland and the pituitary body. It also teaches you to relax with greater ease, open your mind, and explore your inner consciousness.
In the chakra systems, the third eye is the sixth chakra. The third eye chakra’s starts in between your eyebrows, just above the bridge of your nose.
This chakra is responsible for the link between your mind and the outer world, allowing you to experience clear thought and mind expansion by tapping into the third eye. When your third eye chakra is balanced, you access the ability to self-reflect, see the world and understand it.
Other methods to help meditation in broadening consciousness include fasting, prayer, chanting, yoga, expanded breathing techniques, and a controlled diet.
What are some of the dangers of Opening the Third Eye?
According to third eye philosophy, there are dangers to opening your third eye, particularly when the chakras are imbalanced, and your internal spirit is out of normal rhythm.
An unbalanced third eye when awakened can lead to spiritual emergency and inner crisis, which can be demonstrated by hearing voices, visual hallucinations, and other dramatic delusional reactions and adverse cognitive effects.
Is the Third Eye specific to any religion?
The third eye is documented in all major religions. Its major focus is on opening consciousness beyond the regular senses to achieve spiritual knowledge and enlightenment.
The third eye concept goes all the way back to the Wadjet, or Eye of Horus, of Ancient Egypt some 4000 years ago. It was a protective symbol linked to inner vision and remains one of the oldest symbols used in linking to internal consciousness.
In Christianity, the concept of the third eye describes seeing in a non-dualistic manner and approaching things in the way of mystics. The third eye is also described in the Eye of Providence, a popular image linked to God’s watching over humanity from heaven.
The third eye is also referenced obliquely in the Torah and Quran.
Buddhists regard the third eye as the “eye of consciousness,” representing the vantage point from which enlightenment beyond one’s physical senses is developed.
In Hinduism It is referred to it as “the eye of knowledge.” Hindus place a “tilak” between the eyebrows as a representation of the third eye. The third eye also relates to Hindu God Shiva, the god of destruction. His third eye opening is often a harbinger for catastrophe and destruction.
In traditional Chinese religions such as Taoism, “third eye training” involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed. The goal is to help students tune in to the undercurrents of the universe and gain a foundation in which to develop advanced meditation levels and gain greater consciousness.
Enjoy these inspirational third eye tattoo designs? Click here for more galleries focusing on elements of the inner conscious:
- Eye of Providence Tattoo Ideas
- Top 103 Lotus Flower Tattoo Ideas
- Sanskrit Tattoo Ideas
- Eye of Horus tattoo ideas