Cerberus Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

Tattoos of Cerberus have several different meanings. Often, this tattoo represents strength, aggression, and intimidation. It can also symbolize fearlessness and a strong will. Sometimes, Cerberus tattoos are meant to represent Hell or are otherwise connected to death.

In this detailed article, we will explore the different meanings that a Cerberus tattoo can have. 

Who Was Cerberus?

In Greek mythology, Cerberus was a three-headed dog who guarded the gates of the Underworld. He was born to Typhon, a storm giant, and Echidna, half-snake, half-woman. He prevented the living from entering and the dead from leaving the Underworld; he was often called the Hound of Hades.

Cerberus was sometimes described as a snake but most commonly as a dog. He is often depicted with three heads, though he can have as few as one and as many as one hundred. He usually has a snake for a tail and often has several snakes coming out of his body as well.

Cerberus Tattoos

Since tattoos of Cerberus tend to be more masculine in nature, it is common for men to choose this tattoo. They are usually medium to large in size which adds to their intimidating appearance. 

Most Cerberus tattoos are completed in black and gray ink, though some use color; for example, some tattoos incorporate red flames to illustrate Hell. Some images show metal chains around the necks of the dog. The majority of Cerberus tattoos show just the dog itself, without added images. Occasionally, a tattoo may have a moon or clouds in the background. 

Some tattoos of Cerberus show the entire body of the creature while others focus on the heads. Medium-size tattoos are commonly found on the arm or thigh, while larger pieces are often done on the chest, back, or stomach.

Physical Strength

Cerberus had to have incredible strength in order to be chosen to defend the gates of the Underworld. This creature is often depicted with a very muscular body that illustrates how strong it is. He had so much strength that when Heracles was challenged to capture him, it was thought that it could not be done.

People may choose to get a tattoo of Cerberus because they value physical strength in themselves and in others. These individuals may be involved in bodybuilding or other hobbies and sports that require a strong body. This tattoo can symbolize the person’s commitment to training their body to have great strength and power.

Aggression and Intimidation

The image of Cerberus is quite striking and you can see why this creature was chosen as the guard of the Underworld. The three-headed dog is often shown snarling, with sharp teeth, and pulling on the chains around its necks. Cerberus is aggressive and intimidating to anyone who dares approach it.

An individual might opt to get a Cerberus tattoo because they want something to frighten or intimidate others. A tattoo of Cerberus is a great choice when looking for a creature that is threatening and aggressive. Someone who chooses the tattoo for this reason, will have the dog illustrated with an open, growling mouth and pointed teeth.

Fearlessness and Bravery

Cerberus is a creature that shows no fear; he is willing and able to face up to anyone who comes near. Guarding the Underworld, even death does not scare Cerberus, who is surrounded by the dead constantly. He is brave and courageous in his role, not backing down from those who approach him.

There are two reasons a person will get a Cerberus tattoo to represent fearlessness. The first reason is that they want to display to others how brave they are; it is a sign not to mess with them. The second reason is that the person is actively trying to develop more courage in their life.

Underworld, Hell, and Death

As the guard to the gates of the Underworld, Cerberus is commonly associated with Hell and death. People who have a fascination with these topics might choose this tattoo as a way of showing their interest. These individuals are likely to have other tattoos that also represent death or the afterlife.

Someone who is intrigued by death might get a Cerberus tattoo as a symbol of their attraction to this theme. These individuals may have religious beliefs about Hell, or they may see Hell as just a concept from mythology. Either way, this tattoo shows their curiosity about death.

Strong Will and Perseverance

In the mythology of Cerberus, he is captured by Heracles but eventually returns to the Underworld. Some say that Cerberus was able to escape Heracles’ capture, while others believe that Heracles took him back after proving that he completed the challenge. If Cerberus was able to return on his own, this shows how strong-willed he was.

People who want a tattoo that shows their dedication and ability to persevere might choose an image of Cerberus. Regardless of how the creature ended up back at the gates of the Underworld, he shows his strength of will through his duties as a guard. This tattoo can demonstrate a person’s capacity to keep going despite the adversity that they face.


Harry Potter

In the Harry Potter film and book series, there is a three-headed dog who is named Fluffy. This character was based on the myth of Cerberus and has many similarities to it. In Harry Potter, the dog belongs to Rubeus Hagrid, one of the professors at Hogwarts. 

Fluffy is described in the book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as a growling, drooling, three-headed monster with yellow fangs. The creature guards a trap door that leads to the Philosopher’s Stone. By playing music, people are able to get past Fluffy, as he falls asleep.

Tattoos related to Harry Potter have been popular since the first book was released in 1997 and the first film came out in 2001. Fans of Harry Potter may choose a Cerberus tattoo to show their love of this series, particularly if they are a fan of Hagrid as well.

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