Aztec Tattoos – Ideas, Meaning & Aztec Tattoo Designs

aztec tattoo

Cool Aztec forearm tattoo

Aztec Tattoos are a complicated matter, this article will clarify some of the Aztec people’s culture and help you make decisions about Aztec tattoo designs and which is appropriate for you.  There is a difference between Aztec, Mexican and Spanish art.  Prior to the invasion of the Aztec Empire by Spain the Aztecs were building a written language. These are the topics that have been translated for sure; the Aztec numbering system, and the Aztec calendar system. However, even some of the calendar uses aren’t completely clear. In addition, the Aztec people had a very complex military system with warrior ranking that is and maybe never will be completely clear to us.  We know that the Jaguar and Eagle were considered high ranking among the warriors.

Back to the calendar; each of the twenty days of the Aztec calendar is assigned to an Aztec god or deity.  Among them are the Jaguar and the Eagle. Beyond this you will need to read on and study additional information about Aztec deities you might want to include in Aztec Tattoos. Last word, we really don’t know if the Aztecs practiced the art of tattooing.  However they were extremely artistic and practiced numerous art forms; many of them centered on decorating themselves and their buildings. They wore costumes and painted on themselves.

Types of Aztec Tattoos

Eagle Aztec Tattoos – Eagle Aztec tattoos could illustrate a person wearing the traditional warrior costume. The headdress is generally described as feathered with the large beak coming over the top of the head with the point of the beak ending in front of the fore head.  The eagle is a high ranking warrior, represents the west and is a God. It is the fifteenth day on the Aztec calendar cycle.

Skull Aztec Tattoos – Skull Aztec tattoos represent the sixth day, is a deity known as Death and signifies the north. Aztec tattoos with the skull god included are popular these days for men.  Skulls in general are popular and including your heritage is an additional plus with these Aztec tattoos.

Flower Aztec Tattoos – Flower Aztec tattoos would symbolize the last or twentieth day of the calendar.  Flower represents the direction south and like all calendar days; represents a deity.

Serpent Aztec Tattoos – Serpent Aztec Tattoos would represent the serpent or snake god and is the fifth day of the calendar.  These Aztec tattoos would represent the eastern direction.

Bird Aztec Tattoos – Bird Aztec Tattoos would include the eagle and the vulture.  You could choose other birds, but these birds are gods, warriors and are on the Aztec calendar.  The vulture is an awesome illustration.  It represents the south and the sixteenth day of the calendar.

Warrior Aztec Tattoos -  Warrior Aztec Tattoos open a world of possibilities.  Here are a few ideas, jaguar, eagle, shields, the animals rather than humans in costumes, the costumes, and the wepons assigned to them.  Keep in mind the higher ranking a warrior; the more artistically elaborate the costume and gear.

Sun Aztec Tattoos – Sun Aztec Tattoos will have a very special meaning.  The sun represented a world or universe with its own species and inhabitants.  A world lasted 52 years. A world was called a sun.

Sun God Aztec Tattoos – Sun God Aztec Tattoos are frequently requested.  But the truth is that as far as we know the Aztec people did not have a Sun God so to speak.  However they did have a God who represented the sun among other things; Oll?n in the native language, for I know no other translation is the deity of all movement of the earthly and universal things like the sun, moon, earthquakes, excluding, rain wind and water.  So if looking for Sun God Aztec Tattoos, this would be your choice. Aztec Tattoos using this symbol would look awesome. There is also mention of a lowly god who sacrificed himself to become the sun.

Aztec inspired back tattoo

Aztec inspired back tattoo

Moon Aztec Tattoos – Moon Aztec Tattoos are a difficult subject as well and similar to the sun minus the importance of the sun marking the 52 year periods of Worlds. Metztli was supposed to sacrifice himself to become the sun.  He was a lowly god over worms and such.  Because of his failure, he became the moon instead.  In the world of Aztec tattoos this would be a fabulous sleeve tattoo using the original Aztec pictographic style language to tell the story of how the moon came to be.

God Aztec Tattoos – There are many Aztec gods and goddesses; too numerous to list in this article.  Aztec gods and goddesses also come in groups.  For instance the Skybearer group represents north, south east and west and supports the sky.   Cihuateteo are goddesses who died in childbirth.  They have positive and negative duties. Luckily we still have images of these spirits.  Childbirth was considered a battle so these goddesses accompanied warriors into battle.  They also stole children and did other not so good things depending on your perspective.

Coloring of Aztec Tattoos

All Aztec Tattoos should use color unless you have your heart set on Tribal Aztec Tattoos.  Because the Aztec people were such prolific artists they used lots of color and their images are full of it.  If you want authentic Aztec tattoos and illustrations stick with the images on record. They’re awesome designs and make spectacular tattoos.

Placement of Aztec Tattoos

The beautiful thing about Aztec tattoos is there is one for every size and shape and for every person; especially if you’re looking for meaning.  If meaning is important to you and you want others to know it, show it off. In other words put it where it’s visible.  If you choose Aztec tattoos of the calendar it will require some careful consideration. I have seen some very beautiful recreations of the actual stone calendar that was recovered after 3000 years.  Then again, I have seen Aztec tattoos of the drawings of the calendar that actually included the images of the gods in color in the outer rings.  This type of tattoo requires the entire back.  After reading this article you’ve probably figured out that within the Aztec calendar there is a God that watches over your birthday.  If you want a smaller tattoo for say your foot, neck, ankle, this could be a good choice.

More Aztec Tattoo Pictures

Aztec arm tattoo

Aztec inspired forearm tattoo

Aztec inspired tattoo covering shoulder

Aztec inspired tattoo covering shoulder

Aztec tattoo

Great looking Aztec tattoo on shoulder

Aztec serpent tattoo

Lovely Aztec serpent tattoo on calf

 

 

Aztec Symbols

 

The Aztec day sign cipactli (crocodile).

The Aztec day sign cipactli (crocodile).

 

The Aztec day sign cuauhtli (eagle).

The Aztec day sign cuauhtli (eagle).

The Aztec day sign ocelotl (jaguar).

The Aztec day sign ocelotl (jaguar).

The Aztec day sign tochtli (rabbit).

The Aztec day sign tochtli (rabbit).

The Aztec day sign cuetzpalin (lizard).

The Aztec day sign cuetzpalin (lizard).