To many, the Devil — or Satan — is a direct symbol of evil and wickedness. But it is not understood that only a small number of people get Devil tattoos to symbolize evil.
In fact, many people get Devil tattoos to show their ties with the pagan worship of both modern and ancient times. These tattoos often depict the Devil in one of his earliest artistic incarnations. During medieval times, the Devil was pictured as cloven hoofed, with horns, a goatee and forked tail. Another reason a person would get such a tattoo is simple: rebellion. The Devil is a symbol of chaos and an uncontrolled spirit.
In the 50′s, the Devil was often portrayed in artwork as a charismatic figure, talented in the art of manipulation; he often causes people to commit the gravest of sins by using his charms alone. Since then, many people have created Devil tattoos to portray this kitschy imagery.
An extension of this variety of artwork is often seen with a female Devil. She is usually seen in the pin-up style, and is often displayed alongside an angel figure to show the contrast of good and evil.
Although it is natural for Devil tattoos to take on a sinister quality, many people opt to make it light hearted. Some figures assume a decidedly child-like quality. Rather than bearing a baleful image, they appear more like a chubby, red and mischievous toddler, much akin to the image of Cupid. These images will depict this small, naughty creature with a pointed tail and horns.
Many people choose Devil tattoos that are significant to them. For instance, in classic art, the Devil was shown playing the violin. A musician may find that this fits not only with their work, but their image of themselves.
Classical art is often used for tattoo designs. The Devil has appeared in many famous paintings, and the depth and detail of these works can be beautifully replicated onto skin. Considering that these paintings were meant to tell a story, it can create a picture that holds much meaning to the wearer of this art.
A lot of people decide to create their own designs for Devil tattoos. Some will use the literal figures, both archaic and modern, while others will pick only the pieces that are most appropriate to them. Some will choose to backdrop their picture of the Devil with the classic fire and brimstone perception of Hell, and others yet will show the Devil walking amongst us.
It is undecided whether the existence of the Devil is real, or simply a metaphor to explain why humans behave the way they do. Whatever your belief may be, using this symbol for your tattoo may likely be a metaphor for the way you behave.