Did you know that monotheism isn’t dominant when it comes to religions? In fact, there are more polytheistic religions in the world. Polytheism has a rich history, with gods and goddesses fighting battles and guiding humanity. When it comes to tattoo inspiration for women, there are multiple powerful goddesses to choose from.
The Viking Goddess, Freya
Do you have a fascination with the vikings, or maybe you are a descendant of these Nordic warriors? If so, Freya may be the goddess for you.
According to Britannica, Freya was the most renowned of the old Norse goddesses, and she was in charge of love, fertility, battle, and death. She had a chariot which was drawn by cats and she taught witchcraft to the Aesir (a tribe of gods).
“As a goddess of fertility and love, Freya perfectly exemplified the differences between the Vanir and the Æsir. While the Æsir were the war-like gods and the gods of vikings and warriors, the Vanir were the peaceful gods,”Symbol Sage
You may be thinking, “But isn’t that a contradiction to her role as a goddess of battle and death?” No, as she was seen as more of a defender than antagonizer. In fact, she valued warriors to the point that she took half of the soldiers killed in battle to her own version of Odin’s Valhalla, Fólkvangr.
A Freya tattoo can symbolize love and matters of the heart, as well as a warrior spirit. For this viking goddess tattoo, you could go the minimalistic route with a rune symbol meaning “Freya”, or you could choose a portrait of this goddess accompanied by her chariot cats. When getting a portrait tattoo, a popular tattoo style to choose is photorealism.
The Greek Goddess, Athena
Athena was revered as the goddess of wisdom and war in ancient Greece, and she was someone that was both highly respected and feared.
“Majestic and stern, Athena surpassed everybody in both of her main domains. In fact, even Ares feared her; and all Greek heroes asked her for help and advice,”Greek Mythology
Her birth is an unusual one: She came out of Zeus’ head after he was struck with an axe in an attempt to alleviate painful headaches. Athena was fully armed and ready to take her place among the Olympians.
Athena was a virgin, and refused to allow neither love nor passion influence her. But, she did have a soft spot for the heroes of the time. She helped all the main names in their quests including Hercules, Jason, Odysseus, and Perseus.
It wasn’t just the heroes that Athena enjoyed helping, but also humans that practiced crafts.
“…she taught humans to hone their domestic skills such as cooking, sewing, and agriculture. Athena could be a great tattoo design for someone who wants to focus on their craft without being swayed by their emotions,”Tatt Mag
An Athena tattoo could also be a symbol of strength and wisdom.
When it comes to an Athena tattoo design, common themes include owls as a representation of her wisdom and a shield (which could turn people to stone).
The Egyptian Goddess, Isis
Isis is probably the most well-known goddess of ancient Egypt.
She resurrected her husband and brother, Osiris, and played a vital role in a person’s transition into the afterlife – she brought them back to life.
“Isis shared her ability to overcome death with ordinary Egyptians. She mourned in the form of a kite, a bird whose shrill cry sounds like the piercing screams of a grieving mother. Then, she magically resurrected the dead,”The Collector
This powerful goddess was the symbol of a devoted wife, loving mother, strong female presence, and magical being. An Isis tattoo can be a reminder of strength in times of trouble, as Isis had to go through finding and resurrecting her husband and protecting her son, Horus, from her murderous brother. She went through a lot and thrived.
Isis’ hieroglyph is a throne, so if you would like to pay tribute to this goddess in a minimalistic way, the throne symbol could be the ideal choice. This deity is also often pictured with wings, so incorporating wings into an Isis tattoo portrait would be apt.
The Sumerian Goddess, Inanna
In the ancient empire of Sumer, there was a goddess who was often pictured around and riding lions.
Inanna was the goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war.
“Inanna is always depicted as a young woman, never as mother or faithful wife, who is fully aware of her feminine power and confronts life boldly without fear of how she will be perceived by others, especially by men,”World History
Never the mother figure, Inanna was seen as an independent woman who did what she pleased.
An Inanna tattoo can be a representation of the tattooee’s independence and not wanting to play by the rules. It can also be a symbol of the power of femininity.
For a tattoo design of Inanna, she is mostly depicted as a young woman for portrait tattoos. If you’re looking for a more simple tattoo design, as she was the goddess of fertility, one of her symbols is a bunch of reeds. As she was often pictured with the king of the jungle, a lion tattoo is an amazing representation of Inanna.
The Greek Goddess, Selene
Humanity has always been fascinated with the moon. For the ancient Greeks, the moon was a beautiful goddess.
The goddess of the moon, Selene, would drive her chariot across the sky to bring light to the night sky. She was actually a Titan goddess, so preceded the Olympians.
“Selene [is] depicted in ancient art wearing a moon symbol (usually crescent.) While she is most often shown as riding horses, some portrayals have her driving an oxen team. When this happens, her crescent moon is formed from the bull’s horns,”Greek Gods and Goddesses
A tattoo design of this goddess could be a representation of the beauty that comes with the night, and a symbol of femininity (the sun is often seen as masculine, while the moon feminine).
A Selene tattoo could be a simple crescent moon, or a portrait of a goddess with billowing cloak (which she was usually depicted in) riding a chariot.
If you want your next tattoo to represent feminine strength and power, look back on ancient mythologies and be inspired.