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Eye of Horus Tattoo: Meaning

What does the Eye of Horus tattoo mean?


An eye tattoo is one of the most evocative types of body art you can have inked on your skin.

But an eye tattoo with over 5,000 years of history and mythology behind it? That’s something bigger and more special entirely.

With that in mind, you might have noticed that the Eye of Horus tattoo has taken off in a major way in recent years.

Let’s take a look at what the symbol means, where it came from, and why people are getting the Eye of Horus tatted onto their skin:

Ink Like an Eygptian – What is the Eye of Horus, and Where Did the Symbol Originate?Eye of Horus Tattoo on knee

As highlighted, the Eye of Horus is a symbol hailing from Ancient Egypt.

The symbol depicts the right eye of the Egyptian god Horus, a falcon-headed deity whose appearance you’ll probably recognize right away if you’ve ever watched any Hollywood film that deals with Ancient Egypt!

According to the myth, Horus’s eyes were torn out by his uncle Set (also a deity), but they were later restored by a different god.

In gratitude, Horus offered his eyes to his deceased father Osiris, and the offering sustained Osiris in the afterlife.Eye of Horus Tattoo on chest

If that description sounds brief, highly symbolic, and open to many different interpretations of what the eye might actually mean, well – that’s sort of the point!

In Ancient Egyptian culture, the Eye of Horus became a symbol for many different things – including rebirth, resurrection, royal power, protection, healing, good fortune, peace, and wisdom.

Added to this, the simple appearance of the Eye meant that it could easily be drawn, stenciled, or recreated on many objects – from amulets to trinkets, to utensils – helping it become popularized in Ancient Egyptian trade and culture.ankh eye of horus tattoo behind ear

What does the Eye of Horus tattoo look like as body art and why has the symbol become popular?

For a symbol that is well over 5,000 years ago, the Eye of Horus has remained the same since it first appeared in Ancient Egyptian culture.

If you’ve ever seen a tattoo of the Eye of Horus, you might already note that it can be very captivating despite its minimal look.

The Eye of Horus is usually depicted as a left eye (as opposed to the right eye, which is called the Eye of Ra). It is a hybrid of a human eye and a falcon eye.the eye of horus tattoo on belly

The eye is typically rendered in a straightforward style – it will have a dark black pupil; a pronounced eyebrow above it; a long, thick line extending horizontally from the far corner of the eye; a thicker, less even line going vertically downwards (this line is often stylized in different ways, including with crosses or other symbols); and a diagonal line which extends outwards from the tear duct and ends in a spiral.

Ok, so…why are Eye of Horus tattoos so popular at the minute?

Let’s consider a few reasons:egyptian ankh and eye of horus tattoo on finger

Eye of Horus Tattoos are Simple and Captivating

A large part of the popularity of these tattoos is directly related to how simple and striking the symbol is.

With just a few curves, straight lines, and flourishes – you’ve got a tattoo which is eye-catching, literally.

For newcomers to the tattooing world who are looking to get something small but meaningful for their first piece of ink, this is a good option.eye of horus tattoo female on back

Eye of Horus Tattoos are Symbols of Protection and Healing

The Ancient Egyptian myth of Horus teaches us several things.

One of them is that those who have suffered or fought battles have the possibility of finding healing and protection for the future.

Horus’ eyes are returned to him as a gift, and – out of respect – he goes on to offer them to his deceased father. Therefore, to many people, the Eye of Horus represents restoration, healing, rebirth, and wisdom.eye of horus tattoo male on neck

Eye of Horus Tattoos can Represent a Person Wanting to Make Themselves Whole

Similar to the previous point in some ways, but the Eye of Horus tattoo can be meaningful to someone who was missing from their life – but is now in the process of making themselves whole.

Remember, tattoos don’t have to be about who you are or the values that define you, they can be a reminder of a journey you are currently undertaking.eye of horus meaning tattoo on ankle

What else should I know about the Eye of Horus tattoo meaning?

Many tattoo artists have reinterpreted the Eye of Horus symbol in different ways within their body art styles, meaning that the symbol can be depicted very simplistically over very elaborately, depending on the artist.

A quick look through Instagram’s hashtags will give you an idea of the creativity that goes into some of the Eye of Horus tattoos out there.tribal eye of horus tattoo

Many prominent figures and celebrities have latched onto the Eye of Horus symbol in recent years.

Model Naomi Campbell reportedly has a private island with a mansion in the shape of an Eye of Horus symbol, while online public figure/rapper Young Pharaoh had the symbol tattooed over his eye.

There has been a darker side to the popularity of this symbol, however.

Many online conspiracy theorists have associated the Eye of Horus symbol with evil or cryptic ideas, similar to how the triangular Eye of Providence has been associated over the years with the conspiracy theory of the Illuminati.Eye of Horus Tattoo on forehand

Takeaway: The Eye of Horus is a Striking Symbol with a Vast Ancient History

The Eye of Horus tattoo is favored by thousands of individuals because it is a striking, straightforward option that also comes with a rich mythology and plenty of symbolic meaning.eye of horus tattoo ideas on chest

It also presents possibilities for tattoo artists, who can play around with the simple nature of the symbol and make it much more elaborate if they want.geometrical Eye of Horus Tattoo on shoulder


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