Raven tattoo ideas

93 Elegant Raven Tattoo Designs That Will Change Your Life

If you have even seen the immensely popular anime called Naruto then you already know how symbolic and thought provoking ravens are. There is a character in the anime called Itachi who uses these creatures to trap the enemy in an illusion.

The raven tattoos are based on the notion of such illusions. In nordic mythology, Odin often used ravens for tricking people into doing his bidding. He also used two of his pet ravens for collecting information from all of the realms. While Odin traveled to the underworld, the ravens controlled the world. So, you can imagine just how significant these creatures have been in every literature.

The design of the tattoos are quite aesthetic as well. The pitch black of the ravens almost appears as a silhouette. Visualizing these tattoos both terrifies and intrigues us at the same time. Today, we are going to find out everything about the raven tattoos so that you can get the tattoo of your dreams. So, grab a coffee and enjoy the ride.

Inspiring Raven Tattoo Meanings That Will Change Your Outlook On Life

Raven Tattoo Meaning

The meaning behind raven tattoos are multifaceted with concepts branching mainly from norse mythology. Even in the contemporary media, there are quite some symbolic depictions of the tattoo that have a deep meaning.

Perhaps, the most straightforward meaning behind raven tattoos is the notion of transformation. The dark plumage of the raven portrays discarding the past and becoming the best version of oneself. Many scholars consider the raven tattoos to be the bearer of good luck and success.

Whenever you will see these magnificent creatures on your body canvas, you will feel hope even in the darkest of hours.

Even from the appearance you can sense the intelligence of ravens. While looking at their eyes, you can see that they are thinking and planning out things. That’s why they are often believed to be an emblem of wisdom and intelligence. 

Many people etch the tattoo on their body believing that they would become as intelligent as the ravens and make good decisions in their life.

Symbolic Raven Tattoo Ideas To Blow Your Mind

Raven tattoos allow you to completely pour your heart into the body canvas. You can try whatever you want. There are no restrictions whatsoever. If you wish to illustrate a craven wearing fancy human clothes then go for it. No one will hold you against it.

The contemporary raven tattoo ideas mostly focus on the rich symbolism and meanings they have. In nordic mythology and celtic cultures, ravens are depicted as a bridge between two opposing worlds. They are also viewed as accomplices for Gods such as Odin.

So, the tattoos are full of religious signs and symbols that have a strong message. Some tattooists prefer to add some natural elements into the mix to increase the ambiance of the tattoo.

To fix on a particular design, you have to think carefully about a design that symbolizes your character and personality. Only then you will truly be able to connect with the tattoo. For your sake, we have selected some of the most sought after tattoo designs on the internet right now. Choose carefully.

Nordic Raven Tattoo

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In the modern world, we always think of the raven as bad signs or omens of destruction. Whenever we see these alluring birds flying, we think that something bad is about to happen.

However, this was not the case in Norse mythology. Many vikings believed that the ravens were symbols of good luck and prosperity. During the battlefield, the sighting of the raven meant that Odin was watching over them.

So if you want the Nordic god, Odin to look after you in every step of the way then this is the perfect tattoo design for you. With the jarring patterns and tapestry of colors, the tattoo will keep your enemies away.

Small Raven Tattoo

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Small raven tattoos are the most sought after designs for their simplicity and elegance. Most raven tattoos are highly realistic therefore they can take quite some time. Not to mention, the immense pain you have to endure.

This tattoo is a hassle-free version of the enigmatic birds that lurk in the shadows. You can illustrate the tattoo on your forearm or neck. It will look good anywhere on your body canvas.

This is perhaps the only tattoo on our list that doesn’t have any sort of secondary elements. It solely focuses on the raven itself and the meaningful messages it conveys.

Odin Raven Tattoo

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Odin is known as the father of Norse mythology. We all know him to be the one eyed god. However despite having a single eye, he keeps information of all the realms. How does he do that?

Well, Odin has two pet ravens called Huginn and Munnin. He sends these two pets from his two corners of the world and delivers him messages and information.

Modern interpretation suggests that both Huginn and Munnin are used by the shamans for understanding the thoughts and minds of Odin. So if you believe in Norse mythology and want to delve deeper into the lore, the Odin Raven tattoo can be a good place to start.

Raven on Skull Tattoo

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In ancient mythology, raven is often associated with witchcraft and voodoo. Many people who practiced witchcraft use these creatures to receive messages from the dead. That’s why, skulls are a recurrent element in many of the contemporary raven tattoos.

Although the main focus is on the raven and the skull, there are countless other elements in these tattoos. Tattooists never illustrate a tattoo that is solely for the purpose of terrifying people. They always tone it down with something joyful. Same is the case for raven on skull tattoo. To make it look much less intimidating, a scenic background is added where a flock of birds are flying when the sun is setting.

As for the skull, the two hollow eyes need to be the center of attention. Rather than using colors, it's best to utilize the negative spaces in your skin to depict the skull.

Raven Chest Tattoo

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Chest tattoos are considered to be one of the most painful tattoos to exist. As the skin in the area is highly sensitive, even the slightest touch of the stencil can leave quite a mark. That’s why, not many people dare to opt for such a tattoo.

However, having a chest tattoo means that the imagery is pretty close to your heart. When you have the raven chest tattoo, you will feel that the bird is cawing with the beat of your heart. It will appear as if you are providing it with the life juice to live.

These kinds of tattoos are highly colorful and consist of many secondary elements to complement the centerpiece. Some tattooists illustrate a gentle artwork of the heart at the middle section symbolizing that the tattoo is very close to you.

Gothic Raven Tattoo

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Gothic tattoos are for those who desire to appear a bit more dark and edgy. One of the quintessential characteristics of this raven tattoo is the two glowing red eyes.

The two eyes look as if blood is dripping down from it. Only the two eyes remain visible in the dark while the silhouette body of the raven is completely concealed in the shadows of the dark. To enhance the imagery, artists introduce some ornamental elements such as diamond and circle shapes.

In recent times, people have been gravitating more and more towards the goth trend. Because of this, the gothic raven tattoo has reached to one of the most talked about designs on the internet.

Traditional Raven Tattoo

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Traditional raven tattoos are highly stylized to the point that they don’t look real anymore. They appear more as symbols of joy and festival than ravens themselves. The glowing colors can bring you happiness even in the darkest of moments in your life.

The plumage of the raven is illustrated using a variety of shapes and symbols. It ranges from simple curves to geometric shapes that represent different cultures.

There are also the involvement of some natural elements that accentuate the overall imagery of the tattoo to the next level.

Black Raven Tattoo

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The color black and ravens are synonymous to the point that just the mention of the color can create a vivid image of the majestic bird gently flying in the sky.

The raven is known for their quintessential pose where they sit vertically on top of a pole or wall and rotate their head carefully assessing their surroundings. This pose has gained quite an attraction among the tattoo enthusiasts and they want to get this tattoo at any cost.

As the entirety of the raven is black colored, it's best to add some colorful leaves and feathers in the background to make it look mesmerizing.

Viking Raven Tattoo

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There is a strong association of ravens with the viking culture. The main pillars of the viking religion focuses on three gods named Odin, Loki and Thor. A raven is often seen on the shoulder of odin.

The bird is believed to be an accomplice of Odin when he is on the hunt. On a more significant note, many vikings consider ravens to be the creators of the universe. All in all, it's apparent that ravens have a strong spot in the heart of every viking and the tattoo showcases the love and respect towards the bird in a beautiful manner.

Celtic Raven Tattoo

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The celtics were obsessed with curves and intertwining symbols that portrayed the complexities of their characters. The celtic raven tattoo is no different. The full body of the raven is inked using intricate patterns that take you on a spiritual ride.

Drawing such a tattoo may seem arduous at first however there is a general trick to it. First of all, you have to illustrate a solid foundation. This foundation will work as the layout in which all the patterns will be etched on. After completing the layout, you can slowly ink the jarring patterns and color them as you like.

Raven claw Tattoo

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If you are an avid fan of Harry Potter, this is the perfect tattoo choice for you. There are four different groups in the Hogwarts school. They are respectively called Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Raven claw. The latter is often neglected as the movies tightly focus on the former two.

However, the scenario is different in the book. In this media, raven claws have equal amounts of importance and they play a crucial part in bringing the dark lord down. Their risk taking abilities along with sharp wit are always admirable which is why many people get the tattoo.

Raven Forearm Tattoo

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Forearm tattoos are hardcore as it becomes the first people looks at you. As society is quick to judge, it often belittles a raven forearm tattoo.

However, having such a bold tattoo makes you appear fearless. It also symbolizes that you have a hidden power which is waiting to be exuded through the imagery of the raven. The raven also blends quite well with your hair making it look like it is the harbinger of death.

Red Raven Tattoo

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If you are looking for a design to portray the intensity of your character then you should opt for this tattoo. The radiating red color in the plumage of the raven resembles the integrity and passion dwelling inside your heart.

The core of the raven is in its typical silhouette form. Contemporary tattooists add a glimpse of red colors in some places to make it appear whimsical. Looking at the hollow red colored eye will make you both uneasy and intrigued at the same time.

Wolf and Raven Tattoo

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Although there are no connections in the ecology between these two animals, they have quite similar characters and behaviorism. Both of them represent the notion of being alone. Wolves mostly hunt alone.

They lurk in the shadows while the other apex predators hunt in broad daylight. The raven also keeps to themselves as they sit in the branches of trees and look at the horizon. Combining these two dark organisms can definitely portray imagery commemorating your solidarity lifestyle.

Raven Neck Tattoo

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There are a high number of people who feel insecure about their neck, especially those who have a weak chin. They have narrowed down posture which makes them look insecure about their body. The raven neck tattoo helps them lift up their mood with its aesthetic imagery.

The inner plumage of the raven is depicted with gentle curves that feel like it's waving with the gentle breeze of the summer. One of the typical stances of the bird is standing on a branch of a twig. So, you should definitely add it and include some colorful leaves all around the raven.

White Raven Tattoo

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We are all accustomed to seeing the enigmatic bird in bold and black colors. However, some albino ravens have white plumage.

Watching such a unique looking raven will surely create a mix of feelings within you. We are always intrigued by concepts that we don't have much grasp about. Furthermore, it is also believed by many that white ravens have the ability to heal people. They bring good luck and peace to the world. Therefore when you have the tattoo, your mind will be devoid of all malicious thoughts and intentions.

Flying Raven Tattoo

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Have you ever looked at a raven flying majestically? They also perfectly angle their wings so that they can fly swiftly. They use the aerodynamics of the wind and angle the wing perfectly to gain the maximum moment.

When the raven flies, it feels like the entire world rejoices. The scene makes us feel if only we could have the same ability then we could fly away from all our problems.

Artists exaggerate the imagery to an extent by making the feathers a bit more colorful and by adding the moon and the sky in the background. This way, you can actually feel that the raven is shifting away gradually.

Raven Feather Tattoo

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The feathers of any of the avian species are majestic because of their intricacy and beautiful shape.

These components of the bird are a straight line with tiny hairs stemming out from it creating a jarring design.

The feather of the raven has been revered in many cultures as both a symbolic and religious emblem. They were used by the Aztecs as headdresses for the higher ups of the society.

Although the feathers of ravens are strictly black colored, you have the freedom to color them as you like. The variation of colors will make the tattoo look much more majestic than the natural attire.

Raven Head Tattoo

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Although each part of the raven contributes to its elegance, there is just something alluring about its head. From the atypical posture to the subtle expressions, the head of the raven conveys a range of emotions.

You may be opting for a three dimensional representation of the raven head however it's quite redundant nat. Most contemporary artists illustrate it in the two dimensional style as it is both more artistic and symbolism. Therefore, you should do the same.

Sacred Raven Tattoo

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In the ancient folklores, the raven is represented as an enigma that bridges the gap between surrealism and reality. In many cultures, they are revered as creatures from which the entire world took its original shape. That’s why you will see the symbols and signs of them throughout historic caves and temples.

The sacred raven tattoo focuses on these enigmatic symbols and messages. With this tattoo, you will look like someone who is full of ancient wisdom and intelligence. The jarring patterns will represent the intricacies of your character.

Raven Wing Tattoo

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The appearance of the wings is just like the other avian species on the earth. It has the same morphological features with a dark tone. What sets the raven wings apart is how they use them.

Ravens may appear serene creatures however when they are threatened they attack fiercely with their wings dismantling the enemies. They also angle their wings in the perfect manner so that they can fly swifty. Because of these reasons, the raven wing tattoo has gained so much respect among the tattoo enthusiasts around the world.

Raven Back Tattoo

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Back tattoos have a knack for allowing you to pour your entire imagination into the body canvas. With a vast proportion of space, you have the liberty to illustrate one of the grandiose looking raven tattoos of all time.

The ultra realistic raven tattoo with feathers protruding from its body is more than enough to steal the attention of even the dullest of minds. However, it's recommended to add some natural elements such as scenic background in the tattoo. A bunch of whimsical clouds shaping as a path behind the raven can appear quite symbolic.

Raven Shoulder Tattoo

Raven Shoulder Tattoo

The shoulder blades have the same dimensions as the raven head. Therefore, it's only fair to illustrate it in this sacred place of the body.

These tattoos are mostly hyper realistic, consisting of heavy shading and highlighting to make the raven look as natural as possible. The position is important. You should begin drawing the tattoo on the shoulder blade and slowly reach the lower part of the rib to illustrate the other birds. When it's done, the raven will look like it's not just a tattoo but a part of your body.

Raven Hand Tattoo

Raven Hand Tattoo

Your hand has the perfect proportionality for illustrating a magnificent raven tattoo. With the protruding fingers, you can easily draw the tail of the bird in its entirety.

One of the main reasons people prefer this tattoo is because of the feeling that they have control over it. Having something in your hand always makes you feel that you are the master of it. The raven tattoo is no different. Furthermore, the tattoo is always visible therefore it's easy for you to get inspiration any time of the day.

Simple Raven Tattoo

Simple Raven Tattoo

Simple raven tattoos are delicate emblems that are mainly catered for the wearer themselves, not for showcasing to the entire world. The most suitable place for the simple rave tattoo is the forearm or the neck where you will be the only one that can view the tattoo.

Because of the delicate nature of the tattoo, it's recommended not to use a lot of hard hitting colors. One way to achieve a serene color palette is by diluting the colors gently with your finger.

Raven Sleeve Tattoo

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Sleeve tattoos have quite some mysticism revolving because of how you can control the dynamics of the tattoo. When you put some pressure on your muscles, the raven tattoo will expand. The moment you relax, the tattoo will return to its original shape. How magical is that!

These tattoos are highly realistic. Looking suddenly at the tattoo will make you startled because of how natural the raven looks in your sleeve.

Tribal Raven Tattoo

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In the north American tribes, ravens are quite a significant figure because of a diverse number of reasons. Most tribes consider ravens to be tricksters. They caused mayhem and chaos. Because of their dark body, they could easily blend in with the shadows leaving no clue who was the culprit.

On the other hand, they are also believed to be the harbinger of good luck and prosperity. Because of the duality in their symbolism, the tribal raven tattoo is depicted using black and white colors.

Geometric Raven Tattoo

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Geometric raven tattoos bridge the gap between biology and mechanics. The tattoo looks either natural or artificial. It's a beautiful looking depiction of a raven that is hard to ignore.

There is a wide range of lines and curves all throughout the body. It is done in such a way that the bird's body looks compartmentalized. With the resurgence of technology in the current era, this geometric tattoo will make you look stylish and up-to-date.

Raven Arm Tattoo

Raven Arm Tattoo

Arm tattoos are bold and beautiful and they pack quite a lot of punch. So, this tattoo on our list is not for the faint hearted. You should only consider it if you don't care what the society thinks about it.

The raven arm tattoo expresses the desire of being free. We are constantly constrained by the shackles of modern society. It's as if our voices are duct taped, our hands are tied and our eyes are blind folded. With the expressive imagery of the raven tattoo, you will be able to rebel against the conformities of society.

Watercolor Raven Tattoo

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Watercolors are the most artistic hues to depict the magnificence of such a distinct bird which is prevalent in places all throughout the world. With the watercolor, the jarring black color can be illustrated in a polished and refined manner.

The main reason why the watercolor raven tattoo is so revered is because of the trace it leaves. The diluted colors make the raven appear as if it's exuding a dark energy so strong that it can twist the very fabric of nature.


Raven tattoos are often misinterpreted because many bigoted people on the internet have been spreading false information about them. If you try looking for anything regarding them, you will be utterly confused.

Thats why, we have decided to answer some of the most burning questions on the internet pertinent to raven tattoos to clear all your doubts.

Q: What Is The Best Place For A Raven Tattoo?

Ans: There is no easy answer to this question. Each person has their own preference. Some people may like grandiose tattoos covering a large portion of the body canvas. If you belong to this group then you should definitely go for a back or chest raven tattoo. On the other hand, if you prefer a discreet tattoo that will only do your bidding then you should opt for a forearm or neck tattoo.

Q: Are Raven Tattoos Evil?

Ans: No they are not. Although ravens have been associated with black magic and other sorts of witchcraft, most cultures highly respect these creatures to be a sign of transformation and good luck.

Moreover, a tattoo doesn't have any sort of superpowers attached to them. They are neither good nor evil. They are just artistic representations of ideas.

Q: Can Females Get The Raven Tattoo?

Ans: There is no jurisdiction prohibiting females from getting the raven tattoo. They have the equal right to enjoy these delicate artworks just as the males.


While they may caw at the most unusual of times, ravens are one of the most amazing creatures to ever exist on the planet. Their native demeanor may deceive you however they are extremely intelligent. Sitting on the top of the poles or twigs of the tree, they carefully assess each and every situation. They only hunt when they know that they will surely be successful.

Because of their immense intelligence and wisdom, many people aspire to be like them. Their rich history and cultural significance further solidify the reason why they are so respected.

When you get the raven tattoo, you will come off as someone who is deeply knowledgeable, passionate and knows what they are doing. The beautiful designs along with the alluring eyes will always remind you to be your best self.

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