What Does A Tattoo Mean In Your Dream?

We often get tattoos to mark a special memory, occasion, or to honor someone you love or something that is at the core of your personality or life. 

But what does it mean to dream of a tattoo? 

Dreaming of a tattoo can mean that you want to be different, you want others to recognize your unique traits and look past your appearance, or you want to be more creative.

Tattoos in dreams can represent a lot of other things, depending on the dream scenario, what kind of tattoo you get, and where on your body you are tattooed.

Let’s take a look.

Why Am I Dreaming Of Tattoos?

As tattoos are permanent, in dreams they can symbolize a decision in waking life that will stay with you forever. This might be something that will influence your life positively or negatively. 

It suggests a permanence of some kind, something you cannot take back once it is done.

Some dreams of tattoos may signify your desire to stand out, or for people to see past your appearance as it is and see the real you. 

Maybe you’re sick of people only looking at you in terms of first impressions or at face value. It could even be that you’re tired of small talk, and you want something to mean something to you.

You may feel bored and restless with the way things are, or you feel you can predict how your life will go, and you think it will be incredibly boring unless you do something about it.

It’s a call to explore ways in which you can express yourself more, and it may be a sign you’re about to embark on a new personal journey.

It may be that you’re looking for a new way to define yourself, that you want to be recognized for something else or to be noticed in general. 

If you’ve gone through some tough problems lately, and you dream of a tattoo, this may reflect how you want to change things up. You want things to be easier, to feel better, and more importantly, to have more meaning.

A dream of seeing yourself with a tattoo when you don’t have any in your waking life, and you don’t dream of getting tattooed can suggest that you don’t know everything about yourself in the way you thought. 

It may be that you’re about to discover something important about yourself, perhaps in the way you react to negativity or the odds stacked against you, or even how you react to the most positive news possible. 

A dream of seeing yourself tattooed may draw your attention to what makes you ‘tick’, what guides you through life, sees you through difficult times, and what you put your heart into.

As a tattoo is a permanent part of you once you get it, it may imply that coming events will shape your life or redefine what you believe in. It may mark a clear before and after part of your life. 

What Does It Mean To Have A Tattoo In A Dream?

People get tattoos in waking life for many reasons, and why you might have one in your dream can be as equally nuanced, so it’s time to get thinking. 

You may have a tattoo in your dream when you want some attention, or when you want people’s opinions of you to match how you see yourself.

Some tattoo dreams may signify a single experience that has shaped you into the person you are more than anything else, or it can be a call to understand a spiritual lesson you haven’t grasped yet. 

This is especially true if you keep dreaming of the same tattoo over and over. It suggests you haven’t understood your subconscious mind’s message yet.

The meaning of the tattoo can change, depending on whether you see yourself getting one, or if it is just on your body already in the dream, rather than the main focus.

Getting A Tattoo In Your Dream

Dreaming of someone putting a tattoo on your body suggests development in your spiritual path, or pushing yourself past what you think are your limits.

It may suggest that a decision you’ve recently made or one you’re considering will change your life forever. You aren’t taking this lightly, and you’re taking your time to make up your mind.

Getting an ankle tattoo implies that someone will approach you for your help, while a lower back tattoo denotes how you are keeping secrets or quietly thinking about a new journey. 

A wrist tattoo in your dream is a call to be more productive or to do things that satisfy you, rather than just doing what you think you should.

Suddenly Having A Tattoo In Your Dream

Suddenly having a tattoo in your dream is a call to understand your spiritual journey through life. 

A dream like this is common when you don’t know where your life is headed, or you can’t see where your decisions are leading. Maybe you’re only focused on the present moment, rather than what might be ahead of you.

It’s an encouragement to understand yourself better, and exactly what you want out of life, so that you may move towards it. 

It’s also worth thinking about if you liked the tattoo in your dream, or not. Liking the tattoo means that there are very positive things ahead of you, as long as you keep an open mind.

It also suggests that you are getting to understand yourself deeper, and this will only help you on the path ahead. It may make you make decisions easier and quicker, so that you can focus on other things.

Not liking the tattoo on your skin in your dream suggests that you think things in waking life are quite permanent as they are, or you feel you can’t change some aspect of your life or your nature.

This dream implies that you feel uncomfortable in your current circumstances, and perhaps it’s time to change things. Maybe a relationship has gone stale, and while you’ve tried to salvage it, nothing good has come of it.

Perhaps you don’t like your current job or lifestyle, and this dream is urging you to go after what you want.

If you dream of someone else with a tattoo, this can mean that someone is trying to get your attention but so far, they have failed to do so. It may also mean that you’re missing something important.

A dream where you are sitting in a tattoo parlor for the whole duration of your dream can signify that you need to be patient. An experience that is about to shape you to some extent is around the corner, and it will be difficult.

It can suggest that something is about to happen. You are about to leave your comfort zone for the unfamiliar, maybe away from your loved ones, or somewhere you have always known.

This might be through your own choices, or life has other plans in store for you. Your subconscious urges you to resist the urge to fight change, and adapt to it instead.

If you dream of getting tattooed with someone, this refers to the strong connection between you, or how you are about to forge a lasting connection with someone in your waking life.

Consider Where You Get The Tattoo In Your Dream

It’s worth looking at where on your body this tattoo appears in your dream, as this will determine the meaning. Different places on your body mean different things in dreams, which are covered below.

Dreaming Of Getting A Tattoo That Wraps Around Your Arm

An armband tattoo implies that you feel there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you want. Maybe life keeps getting in the way and things feel impossible right now, and your to-do list keeps getting longer.

As this is a circular tattoo, it may suggest that you’re stuck in a vicious cycle in some aspect of your life. Figure out a way to be free of it.

A bracelet tattoo can suggest that an extraordinary event will come to you soon, which will build your inner strength, and your confidence in yourself.

If you dream of getting a full sleeve tattoo, this is a call to realize your true potential. You have barely touched on it right now, and while it will be a long journey if you do decide to try, it will be worth it in the long run.

It may suggest that you have no idea where your true limits lie, and it might be a good idea to aim for the wildest dream you can, and find out.

Arm tattoos in general in your dream can signal new and fast connections with other people, that you will enjoy for a time but won’t be permanent.

Getting A Chest Tattoo In Your Dream

Dreaming of being tattooed on your chest suggests that your mind is constantly in the past, instead of the present or the future. 

Your subconscious urges you to explore why that might be, and how you can get back to what is important.

Maybe you’re regretting a major decision or relationship you went with, rather than listening to your gut. Perhaps you trusted the wrong person.

Whatever the reason, your dream is telling you that it’s time to move on. You have a lot ahead of you.

Dreaming Of Getting A Facial Tattoo

Getting a face tattoo in your dream implies that you are trying to express yourself more creatively, or it can be a call to use creativity in all aspects of your life. 

Maybe something requires a creative solution, or you want to show people who you are more effectively.

It could be that you’re a naturally creative soul, but you haven’t found any ways to tap into your creative potential lately. Maybe time is limited right now. 

It may be an idea to work on your creative projects for even five minutes at a time, as this is still better than nothing.

Dreaming Of A Whole Body Tattoo

Getting a full body tattoo in your dream suggests that you are about to undergo a dramatic transformation in life, and this will not only affect your mind but also your body and your soul.

This might come about through a single decision you’ve made, tiny improvements to make your life better, or through serendipity. Keep an open mind when this change comes calling.

Consider The Style Of Tattoo You See In Your Dream

As there are many different styles of tattoos, this can affect your dream’s meaning, just as the subject or range of colors can. 

Here are just a few examples to get you started.

Black Or Gray Tattoos

Tattoos that are black and gray draw your attention to any opposites that coexist in your life. It may be that you’re feeling conflicted between loving someone and hating them, or being happy and sad at the same time.

Maybe part of your life is going fantastically well, while another is being neglected. 

It’s a call to bring opposing forces in your life into balance. Maybe you are focusing on only one aspect of your life when you should be looking at the bigger picture.

Perhaps you’re only focusing on one relationship when you need to maintain all the connections in your life. 

It’s also worth looking at some color symbolism, too. In dreams, black represents the unknowable aspects of life, the magic in mystery, despair, depression, change, or a call to soothe your spirit.

Gray represents an encouragement, maturity, wisdom, or experience that you need to harness in waking life.

Gray and black tattoos may be a call to change your life or to expect your circumstances to change dramatically.

Traditional Tattoos

Traditional tattoo designs are modeled after sailors’ tattoos which served as mementos from their trips across the ocean. 

Typically, they are very colorful, have bold lines, and in a dream, they represent a dramatic change in life, or how you are searching for some form of protection in an unstable part of your life.

Realism Tattoos

Tattoos that are incredibly realistic and look like the real subject fall under this category, as you might imagine. 

This type of tattoo implies that you need to see things more objectively. Try to see things for how they really are, instead of how you want them to be, or how you are afraid they will be.

Watercolor Tattoos

A very new style of tattoo, watercolor tattoos are very colorful, mimicking the soft shapes and brushstrokes in watercolor. 

A watercolor tattoo in your dream points to a tranquil period in waking life, and simple pleasures that can have a big impact on your life and how you move forward.

Tribal Tattoos

Tribal tattoos are typically all black, with bold designs that originate in many cultures across the world. 

In dreams, tribal tattoos are a call to listen to your intuition and to stay close to the people you love, ignoring any impulses to detach yourself from life and all the good things you have.

Henna Tattoos

Henna tattoos are traditionally used for weddings and as such, a dream of a henna tattoo implies a new chapter in your life or a new commitment to someone, as well as romance.

Flower Tattoos

Flower tattoos are sometimes chosen just for their aesthetic, as a way to honor beauty, life, and love, but more often than not each flower has its own symbolism.

Getting A Flower Tattoo In Your Dream

Typically, dreaming of getting a flower tattoo refers to how you are ‘growing’ as a person, shaped by your experiences and choices in life. 

It may reflect how life is going well for you right now, and the progress you’re making along your spiritual journey.

A flower tattoo can mean many things in a dream, so here are just a few examples to get you started.

A Cherry Blossom Tattoo

Cherry blossom flowers are a reminder that time is precious, the beauty of each situation is fleeting, and no single moment lasts forever. It’s also a reminder of your mortality, so seize the day while you have it.

A Chrysanthemum Tattoo

Seeing a chrysanthemum tattoo in your dream represents joy, optimism, and the connection you have with others.

A Lotus Tattoo

The lotus flower represents wisdom, enlightenment, reincarnation, and personal growth. It may also suggest that you’re about to undergo a dramatic transformation.

An Orchid Tattoo

Dreaming of an orchid in a tattoo design refers to your uniqueness, power, resilience, wealth, good luck, and productivity.

Dreaming Of Getting A Rose Tattoo

Dreaming of a rose tattoo may refer to romance, soulmates, protection, desire, dedication, and beauty.

It can also suggest that you are the first to defend someone you love when you feel they need it, but you are the last to admit when you need someone’s help. You think you are capable of defending yourself when you need to, rather than letting others speak for you. 

As roses can appear with other symbols, it’s worth taking a look at these too, as this can affect the interpretation.

An Anchor And Rose Tattoo

Seeing a rose with an anchor in a tattoo design refers to your dedication to someone close to you, and your respect for them. They have a lot of ‘weight’ in your life, and form an important part of it.

A Skull And Rose Tattoo

Death in dreams, even when appearing as a skull, refers to something ending and a great change in your life. The rose represents a new beginning.

A Dagger And Rose Tattoo

A dagger in your dreams represents a cutting truth, betrayal, death, or the means to defend yourself. When twinned with a rose in your dream, it signifies that not everything is lost, or, it may suggest that good can never wholly rid evil.

A Clock And Rose Tattoo

A clock in your dream tattoo refers to (unsurprisingly) time, and when a rose is included, it refers to how the love in your life shapes how fast or slow your experiences are, as well as love that transcends time.

A Compass And Rose Tattoo

Dreaming of both a compass and a rose in a tattoo represents how love guides your life, and may change the course of your life.

A Rosary And Rose Tattoo

Dreaming of both a rose and a rosary refers to Holy Mary and the dedication that faith provides you with.

A Dove And Rose Tattoo

Dreaming of both a rose and a dove honors someone who is no longer in your life, but your love for them still remains.

A Butterfly And Rose Tattoo

Dreaming of both a butterfly and a rose in a tattoo refers to how love has or will transform your life.

A Cherry Blossom Flower And Rose Tattoo

Traditionally, a cherry blossom flower refers to fleeting beauty, or enjoying every moment while it lasts. It signifies how nothing lasts forever, and the rose represents passion, devotion, or love in this context.

Watching Someone Get Tattooed In Your Dream

Dreaming of watching someone get a tattoo can refer to how important it is to understand someone’s motivations or thoughts in a situation you find yourself in.

It may mean that you’re trying to understand someone who confuses you, whose actions don’t seem to match their words, or you have no idea why they’ve done what they have.

A dream of a stranger getting a tattoo may be a projection of yourself. Maybe you don’t understand yourself as well as you think, or you want to change other people’s opinions of you.

Dreaming of someone you know getting tattooed implies that you have a complicated relationship with them, but part of the charm of your connection is that you don’t know everything about them.

Seeing A Woman With A Tattoo In Your Dream

Dreaming of a woman with a tattoo represents rebirth, renewal, expressing yourself, a call to be resilient, or to be grateful for what you have.

It may also suggest that you are going through some circumstances that will shape your mindset and priorities for a long while or an upheaval that will result in permanent change.

Consider where the tattoo is on her body. Dreaming of a woman who is tattooed from head to toe implies that you will soon meet someone who is not afraid to express themselves, and this confidence will soon rub off on you in ways you cannot expect.

A tattoo on a woman’s arms in your dreams suggests a fresh beginning in life, and on her legs suggests that you’re about to face some upheaval that will challenge you.

Dreaming Of A Man With A Tattoo

Dreaming of a man with a tattoo implies that you are now comfortable with who you are. You understand more than ever what helps you in life, what halts your progress, and what is the worst thing you could do.

If you dream of a man with tattooed legs, this implies a turning point in your life’s path. A back or neck tattoo suggests that good fortune is on your side, and it will turn the tide, while a tattoo on his arms implies that you’re about to feel freer.

Dreaming Of Getting A Tattoo And Regretting It

Surprisingly, a dream of regretting a tattoo doesn’t refer to regret in your life, but something more positive than you’d first assume.

Dreaming of getting a tattoo and completely regretting it – perhaps the instant you see it, or later on – refers to a transition in your life, an internal conflict coming to an end, or the end of a source of negativity in your life.

It may be that you’re about to free yourself from a toxic relationship, workplace, or time in your life where every wish or dream seems impossible. 

Covering Up A Tattoo In Your Dream

A dream of covering up a tattoo refers to how you want to change elements of your past. You think things would be better if they had been different. 

You might wish that you never decided on a specific choice, avoided a certain relationship, trusted someone better, or chased after a particular dream.

A wish like this is only natural, especially if you’re still reeling from a mistake you’ve made, or regret is burning a hole in your thoughts. You want to spare yourself the pain of it.

It’s important to remember that it has all led you to this present moment, and you wouldn’t be who you are without it. Maybe things would have been better, but they might have been worse, too.

A dream like this may also suggest that you’re trying to hide an aspect of your personality from someone. 

Maybe you think they will like you better if they see an edited version of you, but that won’t serve you in the long run, and it will be an exhausting thing to constantly keep up.

Your dream calls upon you to be brave enough to be your most authentic self and to allow others the chance to accept you for who you are. It will also mean that you are happier in the long run, too.

Dreaming of covering a tattoo with something temporary like makeup suggests that you need a better reason for doing something, or a more concrete foundation to work from.

Getting A Tattoo Lasered Or Removed In Your Dream

A dream where you get a tattoo laser removed suggests that you want to start over in life. You might be bored with where you’re at in life, sick of the way things are and how you seem to be reacting to everything.

Maybe you’re in a job that bores the hell out of you, and you feel it’s a waste of time rather than something that actually makes a difference or makes you happy.

Perhaps a life-defining decision hasn’t turned out the way you thought, and now you can’t help but ask yourself what would have happened if you had taken the other path. You want to take it back.

It could be that you’re surrounded by people you don’t get on with, or you feel they don’t understand you, or you find yourself in arguments more often than not. Whatever the reason, you long for a fresh start.

It can also signal a tricky period ahead of you. It may be that you’re about to be thrown into a difficult situation, where there are no easy answers, no clear solution, and this will stress you out more than you’d care to admit. 

When this comes, you might also want to return to a simpler time, where things were easier, and you didn’t have to worry about so many problems, if any. 

Dreaming Of Tattooing Yourself

A dream where you tattoo yourself represents how you want others to see you as different from them. You want to stand out. 

It can also denote a refusal to stay in someone else’s shadow or conform to their expectations. You want more for yourself than that. 

You’re dreaming of something bigger than yourself, bigger than what others want for you. Is it time to go after it?

A dream like this also stresses the importance of knowledge and knowing why you are doing something, especially when you’re embarking on a solo journey in life. Some situations call for a more concrete plan than just winging it.

Being A Tattoo Artist In Your Dream

A dream of being a tattoo artist reflects your desire to change your life. Maybe you’ve played things safe all your life, and it hasn’t gotten you anywhere interesting or done you any favors.

Perhaps you’re a creative person, but you haven’t been able to find any outlets to express yourself that feel like they mean something to you, or provoke a response in others. 

You may be feeling blocked creatively, where nothing you are trying is working, or it just doesn’t satisfy you in the way it should.

It could be that you’re bored with where you are in life, and you want to live differently. A dream like this is a call to adventure, to find what matters to you, and to go after it with everything you have.

Your Tattoo Dream Is A Positive Sign, If:

  • Your dream tattoo reflects who you are, and you want to get this design in waking life
  • You’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo
  • Someone you know has recently got a tattoo
  • You have recently got a tattoo
  • Seeing someone you know get tattooed in the dream
  • You are a tattoo artist in your dream, and you enjoy the work within this scenario
  • You get tattooed with someone you love in the dream
  • You dream of tattooing someone you love
  • You have just made a life-altering decision in waking life that will affect your life positively

Final Thoughts

A dream of a tattoo can mean different things depending on the scenario. If the tattoo itself in your dream is something you want in waking life, this may just reflect your desire to be tattooed, or it can suggest that you need to be more open.

Maybe you need to find a way to express yourself more honestly, without worrying who might judge you.

Or, it may suggest that you’ve made a choice that will come to define the next stage of your life, and you’re curious about how things will turn out for you. 

A simple way of shortcutting the search for the meaning of your tattoo dream is to recall how you feel when you see the tattoo. Often, emotions are our signposts in dreams, and will dictate the meaning behind any dream symbol.


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