Top 40+ Best Snake Arm Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
As most humans are hardwired to make a reaction when serpents are mentioned or seen, they make for intensely powerful tattoo designs.
In contemporary Western arm tattoos the snake symbolizes betrayal, mistrust and suspicion, and can demonstrate evil when combined with more positive themes to represent duality.
Older religions saw snakes as the symbol for fertility. Snakes are also well-known for their ability to shed their skin and begin anew, and they’ve been revered as creatures of rebirth and healing in other tattoo cultures like Japan.
Powerful symbolism combined with their physical characteristics help make snakes are popular arm tattoo option for collectors looking for a daring tattoo guaranteed to elicit reactions.
Check out this gallery of 40+ snake arm tattoos to see if it’s the right choice of concept for you.
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See more about - Top 121+ Cool Arm Tattoos
1. Delicate Snake Arm Tattoo Ideas
2. Black and Gray Upper Arm Snake Tattoos
3. Linework Upper Arm Snake Tattoo Ideas
4. Colorful Upper Arm Snake Tattoos
3. Dagger and Snake Tattoos
5. Flower and Snake Upper Arm Tattoo Ideas
6. Skull and Snake Arm Tattoo Designs
7. Traditional Snake Upper Arm Tattoo Ideas
8. Wrap Around Upper Arm Snake Tattoo Ideas
Snake Arm Tattoo FAQs
Snakes are often viewed through negatively thanks to the role they play in many religious texts, particularly the Christian creation story.
In Western tattoo culture, especially those that have religious roots in Christianity (such as the US, UK, and Australia), the snake symbolizes betrayal, suspicion, and mistrust.
The serpent also provides an element of duality to tattoo when combined with other more positive associations, such as the heart, or rose.
In other tattoo and older cultures, the snake is a powerful motif of immortality, re-birth and fertility due to the reptile’s ability to shed its skin, and it lacks the negative associations taught through Christianity from the Garden of Eden.
A common snake tattoo from the past is one of the snake God swallowing its tail. This creates a cycle of repeating life and death, which many ancients believed to be a representation of existence.
The Japanese snake tattoo, or hebi, can have a few different symbolic connotations. It’s often seen as a phallic/sexual symbol but also linked with the element of water and protection.
Unlike in predominantly Christian cultures, it lacks the ties with evil and temptation that many in the US have grown up with.
Serpent tattoos, as in many other cultures and mythologies, can also be tied to rebirth and immortality due to the reptile’s ability to shed it skin and start again.
A hebi themed tattoo will often be paired with a secondary motif (keshoubori) such as peonies and cherry blossoms, as these flowers match up with the snake’s cycle of movement in spring.
The most popular snake arm tattoos emphasis the reptile’s body shape and physical characteristics such as coils, fangs, and eyes as much as the symbolism a serpent conjures.
Popular styles and applications for use on snake tattoos include:
- Fine detailed single needle
- Realism tattoo (incorporates tree limbs, coils, scales, color)
- American traditional designs
- Traditional black and gray shading and gradation
- Japanese Style ½ and full sleeve tattoos
- Technical dot and linework black ink tattoos