The Cthulhu is a creation of author H.P. Lovecraft and has become one of the most famous images and stories that he has ever created. This creature was written about in Lovecraft’s story, The Call of the Cthulhu and became one of his most famous works to day.
The octopus/Kraken like monster is the subject of this story published in 1928. Fans of Lovecraft and this story are some of the individuals you will see with the Cthulhu tattoo and for good reason. This creature looks terrifying and the idea of running into it is the things that nightmares are made of. However, when the Cthulhu is immortalized on the skin, it becomes a little easier to face. The question is, why would someone want this creature tattooed on their skin and what is the meaning behind it.
In this post we will discuss the meaning and symbolism of the Cthulhu tattoo. By the end of this post we hope you have a better understanding of the Cthulhu and where it originates from. We also hope to explain the symbolism behind the Cthulhu and what Lovecraft was aiming for when creating it.
What is the Cthulhu
The Cthulhu is a cosmic being that was thought up by H.P. Lovecraft and was introduced in his short story called “The Call of Cthulhu”. It was published by Weird Tales in 1928. Since its inception, the Cthulhu has become popular in cultural references. In this story, the Cthulhu is worshipped by members of a cult. It looks like an octopus mixed with a dragon and a human caricature. The name Cthulhu came from the universe where the Cthulhu and other entities like it existed, Cthulhu Mythos.
It is said Cthulhu was most likely born on the planet Vhoorl from Yep and Nub in the 23rd nebula. During his travels, Cthulhu went to Xoth which was a binary green star system. This is where he mated with Idh-yaa. Idh-yaa gave birth to four children named Ythogtha, Zothommog, Gthanothoa and Cthylla. The family then went to Earth where Cthulhu reproduced with his sister that went by the name of Kassogtha and she had two children called Nctolhu and Nctosa. At this point, Cthulhu and his family turned their attention to building R’lyeh which was the green stone city on the continent of Mu. This was before Ythogtha destroyed it. This is when the great war started between the Great Race of Yith, Mi-go, the Shoggoths, Elder Things, Flying polyps and of course, Cthulhu and his family. When all was said and done, they all decided to stop fighting and share Earth.
There is a lot of stuff going on in this story, but we assume most people visiting us to look up Cthulhu probably has a good idea of the story behind it.
Cthulhu Tattoo Meaning
The Cthulhu tattoo does have some meaning behind it for the people that are brave enough to wear this entity on their body. Through research and talking to Lovecraft fans, the meaning of the Cthulhu tattoo, as all things written by Lovecraft, is that we are small and insignificant compared to what is out there in the universe. No matter how hard we try to understand this, we are reminded that we don’t have the ability to fathom what is in the universe. The Cthulhu tattoo represents mysticism and wonder. It represents the unknown and the things we have no clue about.
It is fascinating to think about the wonders of the universe and what is potentially out there. By getting the Cthulhu tattoo, you are saying that you are aware of our insignificance in the world and you are ok with it.
Cthulhu Tattoo Variations
Most of the tattoos featuring Cthulhu are going to involve the image of the part octopus, part dragon being from the planet Vhoorl. We do see different variations of this tattoo which include different images from the story. Below are some examples of the types of Cthulhu tattoos we have seen.
Cthulhu with Cult Symbols Tattoo
There are many cults that are spoken about that worship Cthulhu and to add those symbols to the tattoo only seem fitting. These different cults have symbols that can be incorporated into the Cthulhu tattoo. Some of these cults include the Black Brotherhood, Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh, Brothers of the Yellow Sign, the Chorazos Cult, the Chesuncook Witch Coven and the Brotherhood of the Beast to name a few. To have these images included with the tattoo add some cool details to an already amazing tattoo.
Cthulhu with Wings Tattoo
The Cthulhu with wings tattoo is a staple of the image. Surprisingly, there are a lot of Cthulhu tattoos without the wings which are part of the imagery. There aren’t many things the Cthulhu cannot do. It can swim, fly and is a vicious warrior. To leave the wings out is a choice by the person being tattooed. However, it is understandable as the image of the Cthulhu is a large one if you want it to be detailed like it should be.
Cthulhu in Water Tattoo
The Cthulhu tattoo in water pays homage to the octopus like features of the Cthulhu. The water is a place where the Cthulhu feels at home and is able to maneuver easily and fight within the depths of the ocean. It seems only fitting to have you Cthulhu tattoo incorporated into an aquatic scene. Adding water to the Cthulhu tattoo also helps with tattoo placement because the water can fill in those gaps that might look strange without any ink.
Being as how the symbolism from H.P. Lovecraft is that we are tiny beings in the universe that don’t understand squat, it is reasonable if you don’t understand the story of the Cthulhu. However, if you have read the stories and are a fan, the Cthulhu tattoo looks amazing and will be the centerpiece of all your tattoos. If you need a recommendation for a tattoo artist that has experience in this area of work, let us know and we would be happy to help you.