The butterfly as tattoo motif

Butterfly flash from Sebastian Aurich

The butterfly as tattoo motif? Boring, one or the other might say. But whoever believes that butterflies are ordinary is on the wrong track.

The soul of the deceased

In ancient times, it was believed that the soul escaped from the mouth of the deceased. On sarcophagi this was symbolized by a butterfly hatching out of a doll.

This belief is also anchored in Greek mythology. The word psyche means not only soul, but also butterfly. The young Psyche, Cupid’s beloved, is often depicted with butterfly wings.

in a christian context, the process of the insect larva, which frees itself from the cocoon, became a symbol of resurrection and salvation, which is opposed to evil. This often appears in the form of insects like flies or dragonflies.

In seafaring, there is a belief that a butterfly is the harbinger of a deadly mission at sea.

As you can see, the butterfly can symbolize transience, soul and death as well as resurrection.

let’s go traditonal

The butterfly as a tattoo motif has always been a part of the traditional tattoo culture. With tattoo legends like Bert Grimm, Christian Warlich or Percy Waters, butterflies have always been among their flashes. Because only a few basic colors, obtained from natural sources, were available for  the tattoos. The typical traditional look of black, red, yellow and blue is created. Colors like olive, green, turquoise were created by mixing the primary colors.

Your Traditional Tattoo

If the diverse nature or the historical background is not enough to inspire you, the butterfly as a tattoo motif can be designed in many ways. Be it through the pattern of the wings or as a hybrid combined with another motif. A woman’s head with butterfly wings for example would be a perfect match for a chestpiece. In any case a butterfly is not a boring motif.

Berlin School

On the Flash above you can see a completely unique, modern interpretation of this traditional classic. It is characterized by its clear lines and color contrasts. The designs can be used as filler as well as larger single motives for the front or back.

For traditional tattoos Swen is your contact person at Good Old Times Tattoo. Also check our flash wall in the store for more inspiration.

We are looking forward to your ideas after the lockdown. See you soon on your Good Old Times Tattoo Team.