Throughout Egyptian mythology and ritual remnants, you’ll find a small insect making many appearances. These beetles have a rich history and symbolism, making them interesting tattoo inspiration. If you are looking for a meaningful tattoo idea, keep reading to uncover what scarab beetle tattoos represent.
Why Are Scarab Beetles Sacred?
These oval-shaped insects are unique amongst the beetle family due to their antennae, each of which ends in three flattened plates that come together to form a club.
This diverse section of the beetle world is actually quite common and found all over the world! So, why did the ancient Egyptians have such affection for them?
Depictions of dung beetles (a type of scarab beetle) can be found all throughout ancient Egyptian artifacts.
“Scarabs of various materials, glazed steatite being most common, form an important class of Egyptian antiquities. Such objects usually have the bases inscribed or decorated with designs and are simultaneously amulets and seals,”Britannica
Using a scarab seal for important documents would symbolize the owner’s power and authority.
The ancient Egyptians were enthralled with the life cycle of the dung beetle. These insects roll balls of dung across the ground to lay their eggs in. The Egyptians saw this as a symbol of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
Which God Is The Egyptian Scarab Beetle Associated With?
In ancient Egyptian religion, the scarab beetle was associated with the god Khepri (known for his scarab-faced appearance). This god represented the rising or morning sun as well as creation. Hence the scarab beetle symbolizing the circle of life.
“He was strongly associated with the Netcheru, the divine forces or energies, who were believed to be the spiritual beings who came to Earth and helped humanity, by passing on their knowledge, secrets of magic as well as the control over the universe, agriculture, mathematics, and other things of similar nature,”Symbol Sage
What Is The Meaning Of A Scarab Beetle Tattoo?
Due to the association this insect has with the god Khepri, a scarab beetle tattoo can feature similar themes to the sun.
You can incorporate an image of a sun in your scarab tattoo by adding a yellow orb near the beetle’s legs as if it is pushing the sun. The sun can represent getting through dark moments in life as well as positive energy.
Birth, Death, And Rebirth
Dung beetles go through a complete metamorphosis during their lifetime. A dung beetle begins as an egg in a ball of dung. Once hatched, the larva will eat their way through and transform into an adult.
Scarab adults feed on a wide variety of foods including dead animals, further enhancing the symbolism of the circle of life. The scarab motif was also often used in Ancient Egyptian burial tombs, making them an emblem of resurrection.
Ancient Egyptian Mythology
As the scarab was such an important symbol in ancient Egyptian life, a scarab beetle tattoo can represent your fascination and love for this mythology and time in history.
These beetles can be found all over the world and in the harshest of environments. They make their homes in deserts and are even resistant to fire! A scarab beetle tattoo can represent inner strength and toughness.
Scarab amulets were worn in ancient Egypt as a way to protect oneself against disease and death.
Is A Scarab Beetle Good Luck?
The scarab motif was often used in jewelry in Egypt, partly because it was seen as good luck. The Collector explains,
“During the New Kingdom, scarabs were used to provide protection and good luck, and some even believed that they granted spiritual powers to their wearers.”
Therefore, another powerful meaning of a scarab beetle tattoo is good fortune.
Scarab Beetle Tattoo Ideas
Colorful Scarab Beetle Tattoo
While colorful tattoos can be eye-catching, it is important to note that color ink does fade faster compared with black ink. So, your tattoo’s vibrancy will fade and you’ll need to get touch-ups to keep the crispness of your ink.
Realistic Scarab Tattoo
The hyper-realism style of tattooing is incredibly intricate and can make for awe-inspiring designs! The level of detail that goes into a realistic scarab beetle tattoo requires a tattoo artist who is well-versed in this style.
Choosing a tattoo artist is not the time to try and save money. Go to a professional tattooist so that you are more likely to walk away with a design you love.
Due to the time and ink it takes to create a hyper-realistic tattoo like the one above, expect a higher price tag.
Fine Line Scarab Beetle Tattoo
For a more minimalist scarab beetle tattoo, you could forgo the intense details and instead focus on fine lines. However, because they use less ink, fine-line tattoos do tend to fade quickly. To mitigate this, opt for a tattoo placement that is out of the sun and isn’t a high-movement area.
Egyptian Themed Scarab Beetle Tattoo
If you want extra details in your tattoo design, you can add other ancient Egyptian symbols such as the ankh, a cross image that means “life”.
Egyptian mythology is full of fascinating symbolism for tattoo inspiration, one being the scarab beetle. The meaning behind this insect makes for a powerful tattoo.