Fish tattoos are some of the most popular tattoos in the world for a number of reasons. Each region seems to have its own meanings for their fish and, as a great added bonus, they just so happen to look fantastic in tattoo form. On this page we are going to take a look at some of the fish tattoo meanings that people like to use and some of the ways that these cool tats can be designed.
The symbol of the fish is that of the Zodiac Pisces, the unity of Christianity with the ichthys, tranquility in water, transformation myths and much more. Knowing that, you should definitely never assume to know what someone’s fish tattoo represents unless it is very obvious. It also means that if you decide to get a fish tattoo you should get to know all of the meanings that your design could hold and then choose the ones that make the most sense for you.
The fish is a symbol of fertility and transformation, found ubiquitously in various cultures around the globe. Transformation is one of the most commonly used meanings because it is the type of thing that many people want to do and the thing that many people are most proud of when they are able to transform their lives.
Depending on the type of fish depicted, the mythology and history of the symbol changes, but the message of serenity is constant. The fish has long been used as a symbol of peace, so even if the specific fish you choose to get in your tattoo represents different things, you can always have your tat symbolize peace. This is pretty cool because it also means someone can simply choose the fish that they want to see in tattoo form, forget about all of the specific meanings attached to that fish, and just have it symbolize peace.
The Koi fish is a common symbol in Chinese and Japanese imagery, though it has definitely gained in popularity in other cultures around the world. The koi fish symbolizes determination and good luck, among many other things. It’s also a fish that comes in many different colors and patterns, which is why so many people choose it over all of the other fish in the sea.
In Japanese, “Koi” also means “love” and “affection” and so is a prevalent sign of these things. Most people don’t usually think of getting fish tattoos when they are looking to get love designs, which means it is a unique love symbol.
Through legend, the Koi is also a symbol of strength and courage as the Koi eventually transforms into a dragon, rewarded for its determination. As you can see, you can get a Koi fish tattoo for a variety of reasons, which is why it happens to be one of the most popular fish tattoos in the world. Obviously it is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to use two or more of the meanings that it represents, but there are plenty of folks who also choose it because of its unique looks.
In Christianity, besides the ichthys, the fish (and the fish tattoo) is a symbol of Christ’s ability to feed many with very little. It is a symbol of His miracles and the goodness he performed in the world. Although the symbol is originally a pagan tribute to the goddess of the sea, it has been adapted into the “Jesus fish”, a symbol of bounty nonetheless.
In Celtic mythology, the Salmon of Knowledge is a fish who fell into the Well of Wisdom and gained all of the world’s knowledge. The symbol appears as one or two fish intersected with an intricate Celtic knot.
Matsya in Hinduism is a reincarnation of Vishnu who appears in the form of a fish, sometimes half God with a fish bottom. The bravery and strength of Matsya is generally depicted with his image, fighting off demons with a sword. In the legend, the wisdom and determination of the fish is emphasized as he travels a great distance through many perilous obstacles.
In Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, a pair of touching goldfish are one of the eight auspicious symbols of these eastern religions. The fish are a good omen, symbolizing the ability of all beings to rise above the struggles of samara (the wheel of life) and not drown in troubles. They are a sign of happiness and serenity, peaceful, flowing creatures able to move freely through the water.
Some people will get their fish tattoos for their looks alone, which isn’t something that we would suggest doing unless you really know that you will always be happy with that image on your skin. As we pointed out earlier, though, there are so many meanings that can be used with fish tattoos so there is a pretty good chance you will end up finding one that really does make sense for you.
What’s kind of great about fish tattoos is that you can use a specific fish’s meanings regardless of how you get them designed. You could get a simple outline of a fish and it can represent the exact same things as a fully detailed fish. You can also get an abstracted version of your fish to give it a unique look, but even then you can use the same meanings. You don’t have to worry about making the design match the meanings you’re going for unless you really do want it to be obvious to everyone that sees your tattoo.
The color of the fish you get can also say something about you since each color also happens to have multiple meanings attached to it. Red can represent power and love, orange can represent joy, green can represent growth and harmony, and so on. Those looking to pack in as much meaning into their fish tattoos as possible can definitely do so by simply picking a fish that holds a special meaning and then using colors that add even more meaning to the designs.
Another reason why fish tattoos are so popular right now is because there are thousands of ways to get them designed, which means you can very easily come up with a way to make a one of a kind tattoo design. You can get a tiny fish that fits on your hand or wrist or you can get a very large fish to show how much that particular fish means to you.
Fish tattoos are also those rare types of designs that work equally well as minimalist designs and as realistic designs. Scales can look great when created by a good artist and nice shadow work can make the fish look like it’s swimming along on your skin. Likewise, a less detailed fish tattoo can look amazing in symbol form and can still represent everything that the realistic fish tattoo does.
If you are planning on getting a fish tattoo, you should think long and hard about the type of fish you are going to get and if you want to include any other elements in your design. Do you want to include water in the tattoo? Do you want to include multiple types of fish? Does it make sense to include text in your design, or will that throw the whole thing off? Those are just some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself before committing to a design. You can do all of this on your own or you can ask your local tattoo artist for some help coming up with some ideas.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what fish tattoos are and whether one of these designs might be the right choice for you. There are plenty of fish in the tattooing sea to choose from, each of which has some fantastic meanings that might make a lot of sense for you. Just be sure to take your time when choosing a fish to ensure that it’s the one that you’ll always be happy having on your skin, and then find a good artist in your area to create the design for you.