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What does a moth tattoo means? The complete guide!

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In today’s article we are going to talk about one of the tattoos that is trending worldwide, and it seems that it will continue to add followers: the moth.

Yes, it is surprising because it is not a very attractive animal and, to some extent, has been reviled in some cultures, but the reality is that its symbolism has prevailed over its traditional fame and is more alive than ever.

Therefore, in today’s article we offer you:

Some Moth Tattoo Designs

We are going to start by offering you some moth tattoos in different styles and, in addition, we will show you the tattoo artist who has done them, so you know who to go to or who to follow.

(Hyper) Realistic Moth Tattoos

Amy Whiting - Blackwork

moth-tattoo-hyper-realistic-black

This tattoo is made by Amy Whiting, tattoo artist from Somerset, in the UK, and she is a blackwork tattoo artist with a fantastic technique.

Hana Carver - Realistic

realistic-moth-tattoo-hana-carver

This tattoo is a realistic blackwork from Hana Carver, tattoo artist from Tauton, in England.

realistic-moth-tattoo-melissa-garcia

Realistic Moth Tattoo Black and Gray Ink

This is another fantastic big sized moth tattoo, what do you think about it?

Talking about styles, it is done in a realistic and a little bit Neo Traditional tattoo, perfectly done with a fantastic result.

We do like the placement and the size too, so we just think it is perfect.

The tattoo is done by Melissa García, a very talented woman tattoo artist working in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at Naos Tattoo.

Neotraditional Moth Tattoos

Corey Cuc - Neo Traditional

neotraditional-moth-tattoo-arm

This moth tattoo in Neo Traditional style is made by Corey Cuc, from Ohio.

Justine Wolf - Neo Traditional color

justine wolf neo traditional color moth

And this one is made by Justine Wolf, a tattoo artist from Brussels, only 24 years-old and an amazing future!

Some more moths on different tattoo styles

Freddy - Dotwork

dotwork moth tattoo freddy

This dotwork tattoo work is done by Freddy (Fox Trott Tattoo), from Düsseldorf, in Germany.

Justine Wolf - Neo Traditional color

luna-moth-color-morgan-lefay

This is a Luna moth tattoo fully colored with an spectacular design made by Morgan LeFay. She is from Tacoma, in Washington (US). Morgan works at Pacific Ave Tattoo.

simple-moth-tattoo-chris-kirkpatrick

Simple Moth Tattoo

We do like realistic moth tattoos, but it is not the only way to do it.

This is an example of a simple but beautiful moth tattoo for you.

As you can see, with only a few lines and black spots you can have an amazing design, harmonic and fantastic, isn’t it?

This tattoo is made by Chris Kirkpatrick, working at Cloven Tattoo, in Columbus, Ohio.

simple-moth-tattoo-soeur-louve

Unique Moth Tattoo

We do love when a tattoo artist can find her own brand, like every tattoo she does is 100% recognizable.

This is just the case of Soeur Louve, a wonderful tattoo artist working at Lab Paris, of course, in Paris, France.

We can say this tattoo has a simple design, and we can say this design is really eye-catching and very special and unique.

Nice work there!

moth color tattoo flowers la curieuse

Moth with Flowers Color Tattoo

And now, something different, full of color and joy!

This is a big size tattoo with a moth, some flowers and leaves with a fantastic design and a perfect and unique finish.

We do love the color palette the artist has chosen, and we think this work is just fantastic.

This tattoo is made by La Curieuse, an extremely talented woman tattoo artist from Belgium working at La Bagarre Private Tattoo Studio.

We can say La Curieuse has her own personal tattooing brand, because every tattoo she does, you know it in the first second.

And we think this is the point of becoming a master at your work.

Luna Moth and Death Moth tattoos

Now that you’ve seen some general tattoos, let’s move on to two options that are being a huge trend, the Luna moth and Death moth tattoos.

Some Luna Moth Tattoos

Luna moth are perhaps the latest trend, but it has a very interesting symbolism as an animal that chases the light, in addition to the nocturnal component of the moon, which gives it a very strong mysticism.

Ben Luke - Blackwork

luna-moth-blackwork-ben-luke

This Luna moth with a moon is made by Ben Luke, a Canadian tattoo artist from Kamloops, in British Columbia.

Kitty Lightning - Color tattoo

luna-moth-color-tattoo-kitty-lightning

Now, one Luna Moth in color style made by Kitty Lightning, from Iowa, in the US.

luna moth tattoo maddie

Luna Moth Realistic Tattoo

This tattoo is the perfect example of something perfectly done.

As you can see, a realistic Luna Moth Tattoo in the leg, and a big size one.

All with black ink, and with a lot of linework.

Well, doing this, so clear, so clean and with this definition is not for everyone, only masters can do it with this final result.

Talking about the master, this tattoo is done by Maddie, a fantastic woman tattoo artist working at Copper State Tattoo, in Phoenix, and we are big fans!

Some Death Moth Tattoos

And we also wanted to show you the Death moth tattoos, which were the first in this field, and are still a strong trend in animal tattoos, because of the great emotional load it has.

Tony Steylen - Blackwork

death-moth-tattoo-tony-steylen

This big and bold tattoo is made by Tony Steylen, tattoo artist from Sydney, in Nova Scotia, Canada. He works at Heart & Dagger Tattoo Studio.

A.M. - Color tattoo

am-color-death-moth-tattoo-hand

Something different here, a color death moth tattoo made in the hand by A.M., tattoo artist working at Fantastic Damage Tattoo, in Florida (US).

hyper realistic death moth tattoo oskar gurbada

Hyper Realistic Death Moth Tattoo

Well, this tattoo is not for everyone and, because of this, we can say we do like it more.

Yes, it is a very bold design, huge size and a little creepy, so it is perfect to be an unique and powerful piece of work.

As you can see, this tattoo design is a huge Death Moth in the upper part of the back, in black and gray and with a perfect line work in the wings.

This masterpiece is from Oskar Gurbada, a fantastic tattoo artist from Poland, working at Toruń city.

Very nice job!

The meaning of the moth tattoo

It will probably surprise you if I tell you that the moth tattoo has a lot of meanings, but it’s the reality.

The moth is an animal with a touch like a bit of another world that makes it very special, and its nocturnal habits give it the rest.

Here are the main meanings:

The first, personal transformation:

When we talk about moths, as with butterflies, the first thing that comes to mind is transformation, and it’s no accident.

I’m not telling you anything new if I tell you that moths start with an egg from which a larva hatch.

That larva has only one goal in life, and that is to eat as much as possible in order to have enough energy to transform.

Once they have it, they build the cocoon and the metamorphosis begins, which will last for many days during which it will be fully exposed.

When this transformation is finished, the moth’s definitive form will take place, which it will keep until it dies.

This story has a lot of personal transformation and change, always moving forward no matter how hard the road is, so it is the main meaning of this tattoo, but not the only one.

Self-acceptance, the next on the list:

Moving on in this list, the second of the moth tattoo meanings would be to accept oneself.

This is because, normally, moths are compared to butterflies.

And they lose out.

They are not as graceful and their flight is not perfect, but there they are, being fascinating creatures with a ghostly, otherworldly air.

This can vary towards accepting oneself as one is and feeling proud and happy with it, since perfection, like everything in life, is subjective.

In third place, faith

There’s a very cool thing about moths:

They fly in total darkness because they are guided by moonlight.

In itself it is already curious, because being a nocturnal insect to go towards the light what it does is to leave you totally exposed to the dangers.

This titanic effort to stay alive by going towards the light in the dark can be the perfect simile of having faith and not losing it no matter the moment you are living.

And yes, it is quite a life lesson.

Finally, the symbol of death

Moths are nocturnal creatures, some of them don’t eat during their last phase and die of starvation within a week of emerging from the pupae.

What’s more, the most repeated tattoo is the Death Moth, which is quite a statement of intent (fear not, another one that is repeated a lot is the Luna Moth, which is not bad either).

In fact, they are so famous that when a hunter sees a moth resting in a tree, he usually has a reputation that something unexpected is going to happen, whether it is an extraordinary hunt or an accident.

For this reason and more, the moth is, so to speak, a precursor of death in Western symbolism.

Some FAQ's about Moth Tattoo

Moth tattoos are a trend right now, and they are becoming more and more popular since 2019, mainly because the symbolize this animal has.

It symbolizes mainly 4 things: Self-acceptance, faith, personal transformation, and death, with a big emotional charge.

The same that the others (Faith, acceptance, transformation and death), but death moth has a strong symbolism because of the path of the animal, like a skull on its back.

The same that the others (Faith, acceptance, transformation and death), but Luna moth has an special pattern and you can play with the moon too.

4 Responses

  1. I have always believed after my grandma passed that she brings me signs with moths because with my daughter was little she was scared of them and my grandma and grandpa assured her that they were beautiful creatures when never hurt her and they would look after her so I’ve had numerous numerous encounters with moms but never really lifting to their meaning until I just read what you had to say and I just want to say thank you I had already planned on getting a moth tattoo but now I can do it with not only my heart but with my head too.

  2. I want to get a moth tattoo on my left hand, I’m looking for faqs, so I can have a answer when people ask me what I got it for, I’m thinking my answer is something like peace, and sensitivity, gentle being even tho moths suck. Umm that’s it.

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