The all-seeing eye tattoo is a very popular tattoo that has an assortment of design choices for people to choose from and just as many meanings. This is the type of tattoo that you can get just about anywhere on your body and in any size. Many people are curious when they see the all-seeing eye image and very rarely know for sure what it represents.
What’s really great about the all-seeing eye is that it’s pretty easy to find at least one meaning that makes sense for you, but it’s important to know all of the meanings before you commit to this tattoo design. On this page we will take a look at some of the most popular meanings as well as some of the different ways that you can get the tattoo designed to accentuate those meanings.
Popular American All Seeing Eye Tattoo Meanings
The all-seeing eye, also known as the Eye of Providence, is most commonly seen as the symbol of the Christian God, often used in American iconography to represent the strong Christian background that the country has adopted.
If you’ve ever used American money, then you have definitely seen the all-seeing eye before. The eye is imaged on the American dollar bill, pictured above an incomplete pyramid, encircled by beams of light to emphasize the eye’s significance. It is associated with Freemasonry and more recently with the purportedly surreptitious organization, the Illuminati.
It is also used on many state seals within the United States as well as in Eastern Europe. The eye is a representation of God and his omnipotence which is then created as a symbol of the power of the country or state by which it is used. In this way, anyone who uses this version of the all-seeing eye might want to use one, two, or all of the meanings that were used by these entities. Some people might like the “power” meaning alone, while others will also want to include the religious meanings as well.
Other Popular All Seeing Eye Tattoo Meanings
One of the reasons why so many people are drawn to the all-seeing eye is because it brings with it a certain amount of mysteriousness. Anyone looking for a tattoo design that symbolizes mystery will find that there aren’t many options out there that are better than the all-seeing eye. You can be sure that anyone who sees the tattoo will wonder what it represents and will imagine that the owner must be interesting.
Just like in America, people all over the world get their all-seeing eye tattoos to show that they are deeply religious. The symbol has been used for centuries in Christian churches and books, so it’s one of those designs that feels timeless. Since the all-seeing eye does have so many meanings, many people who want to use religious meanings will be sure to include other imagery, such as crosses or clouds with sunbursts, to make their meaning a bit clearer.
Another popular all-seeing eye tattoo meaning is awareness. The symbol shows that the owner is always aware of his or her surroundings and never has his or her guard down. When using this meaning, people will often give their eyes a more open and alert look to make that meaning come through a bit better.
The eye can also symbolize security in multiple ways. It could mean that you want protection from negative outside forces, or it could mean that you take pride in being there for the people around you. In both cases, the eye is there to show that someone is looking out for someone else, which is a great tattoo meaning for some people.
The Triangle and the Eye in All Seeing Eye Tattoo Designs
The all-seeing eye is almost always enclosed in a triangle, pointing to the pyramid over which it is pictured on the dollar bill. The triangle is often embellished with a design, sometimes made to appear like a frame, geometric shapes, or mandalas. When getting the all-seeing eye tattoo, people love to include the triangle not only because it adds a cool new element to the tattoo, but also because it gives the eye a bit more life.
The eye itself is usually done semi-realistically with the pupil looking directly forward, although it can be rendered to appear looking away as well. You can’t always decipher the meaning by simply looking at the eye, but in some cases it can give you a clue about what it represents.
The eye looking forward can be seen to mean that the owner of the all-seeing eye tattoo is the type of person who constantly observes the world in front of him. They want to show that they are the type of people who will not be taken advantage of and who will look out for the people around them.
An eye looking away could mean that the owner of the tattoo prefers to look “inward” to find the answers to life’s questions. There really aren’t that many tattoo designs out there that have this meaning, so it’s a great tattoo to get if you are the type of person who finds joy in breaking things down in your head rather than trying to find them out in the world.
Whether you use a deep or playful meaning, the eye can have pretty much any look to it that you want to use. It can be very realistic looking, which is the most common style, but it can also be cartoony or more abstract.
The Hamsa Hand in All Seeing Eye Tattoos
The hamsa hand is sometimes incorporated into the design along with the Eye to create a symbol of protection. The all-seeing eye in this way becomes a ward against the Evil Eye, blending culture of the Middle East with the culture of the West.
The hamsa hand is also sometimes looked at as the ultimate good luck charm. People often include them in their designs because they want to add to their luck or simply avoid running into bad luck.
In some cases the hamsa hand is part of the main all-seeing eye tattoo meaning, standing out in the design even more than the eye does. In other cases the hand is designed in a way to make it more of a background piece and the eye itself is the focal point of the design. If you plan on including a hamsa hand in your all-seeing eye tattoo, be sure you think about what you want others to focus on when they see the tat.
Keep in mind that some people see this Eye as a symbol of evil, but they could still use the beautiful all-seeing eye design in a positive way. It’s a rare tattoo that holds meanings on both ends of the spectrum like that.
Common Symbols in All Seeing Eye Tattoos
Owls, a symbol of wisdom, or other birds and animals are sometimes used to create a larger image, often with geometric lines added. These shapes fill space surrounding the Eye to add visual appeal as well as a design more specific to the individual.
The all-seeing eye’s meaning does not change in most of these cases, but the animals can certainly add to the overall meaning of the tattoo. That’s why it is important to understand what the animal you’re interested in represents. If you know all of the meanings that are attached to the animal you want to include in your all-seeing eye tattoo, you can be sure that you will always be satisfied with what your ink represents. This also helps to break down your options so you can find the perfect animal to include in your tattoo.
The eye is almost always still human in these cases, but it isn’t unheard of to use the animal’s eye instead. This design choice will come down to how important the animal is to the owner and whether that particular animal eye will stand out as well as a human eye would. In these cases it is best to have multiple designs drawn up to see which looks better or if some tweaks need to be made to ensure it looks amazing on the skin.
All Seeing Eye Tattoo Design Options
The all-seeing eye can be designed much smaller and more simply, placed in a smaller area of the body. None of the meaning is lost when getting a smaller all-seeing eye tattoo, but the tattoo could be seen as being a bit more personal when it is small and hidden on the body. Of course, you could also get a smaller all-seeing eye tattoo simply because you want to be able to fit multiple other tattoo designs around it.
The eye is often done in simple lines without detail but still encased in a triangle. Lines representing light beams, within or outside of the triangle, are often included as well to ensure the eye is clearly represented. What’s interesting with this type of design is that the beams don’t necessarily add to the meaning of the tattoo, but they do make the eye appear to be that much more powerful. You could look at the beams as showing the eye’s strength, making the all-seeing eye tattoo meaning come through a bit clearer to others.
Choosing an All-Seeing Eye Tattoo Meaning and a Design
As you can see, there are a bunch of all-seeing eye tattoo meanings and designs to choose from, which is why it is such a popular tattoo. If you are planning to get one of these designs, be sure to pinpoint the meaning(s) that you like so you can get the best artwork for your tastes.
As far as design goes, you really do have a ton of options. Some people will choose to go with the classic black and grey all-seeing eye look with a simple triangle and an eye, which is the most recognizable version of the tattoo. There are also people who choose to go all-out with their all-seeing eye tattoos these days, adding in bold colors and extra imagery to make their designs unique. It really does come down to personal tastes; you can make something completely new or you can instead choose to use one of the classic all-seeing eye tattoos.
Like most other tattoos, the all-seeing eye tattoo meanings that you want to use will work regardless of the size of the design. You can get a large design that fits on your back, or you could instead opt to get a smaller all-seeing eye that fits on your wrist. In either case, you can use any of the meanings that you want to.
What really matters is that you understand what the all-seeing eye represents. There may be some meanings that you like and others that you don’t. You can still get the tattoo even if some of the meanings don’t make sense for you, but in that case you will probably want to add to the design to emphasize what it represents.