From Hieroglyphics to the Human Body: Egyptian Goddess Tattoos

From Hieroglyphics to the Human Body: Egyptian Goddess Tattoos

These tattoos of Egyptian goddesses are beautiful and full of ancient symbolism.

Tattoos of Egyptian goddesses are becoming extremely popular, partly because of Valerie Vargas’ depiction of Isis on Rihanna but also because they’re intriguing figures with a rich history. The Egyptian pantheon is full of alluring ladies with incredible otherworldly abilities. These tutelary deities have a powerful feminine mystique, reigning over some of the most mysterious aspects of life and death, but best of all, they make for magical and visually striking body art.

Rihanna's Isis Tattoo!
Rihanna's Isis Tattoo!
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Isis Tattoo by Jamie Ames Navarro
Isis Tattoo by Jamie Ames Navarro

Isis is one of the most impressive goddesses from the pantheon. Her name means “throne,” and she’s thought of as the ideal matronly figure in Egyptian mythology — the perfect mother and wife. She’s the patroness of both nature and magic and is known as a protector of the underprivileged on top of being a confidant for aristocrats and rulers. Her domain is wide-reaching, encompassing both the realm of the dead and that of childbirth. In short, there are few female deities quite as profound as Isis.

Bastet Tattoo by Lars Uwe
Bastet Tattoo by Lars Uwe
Hathor Tattoo by Alice Checked
Hathor Tattoo by Alice Checked

Bastet, with her feline features and notoriety as the patron of perfume, is another striking Egyptian goddess, but what makes her so captivating as a tattoo are the rituals with which she’s associated. Every year in ancient Egypt, worshippers would gather at her temple to engage in a giant festival. All of the attendees would get incredibly drunk on wine in her honor, but that wasn’t the best part; they also mummified lots of cats. When the religious site was excavated, archeologists discovered the bodies of over 300,000 felines buried next to their owners.

Nekhbet Tattoo by Daryl Rodriguez
Nekhbet Tattoo by Daryl Rodriguez
Isis Tattoo by Myra Brodsky
Isis Tattoo by Myra Brodsky

While Isis and Bastet are by far of the most popular Egyptian goddesses in the realm of body art, several of the other female deities from the pantheon have appeared on people’s skin as well. Because of her unrivaled beauty, Hathor — “The Mistress of the West” — is also a popular subject, and the deathly aesthetic of Nekhbet’s half-human, half-vulture body has made her a frequent choice among the more hardcore mythology enthusiasts out there.

Bastet Tattoo by Mat Schultz
Bastet Tattoo by Mat Schultz
Hathor Tattoo by Dusty Neal
Hathor Tattoo by Dusty Neal
Isis Tattoo by Nick Rodin
Isis Tattoo by Nick Rodin
Nekhbet Tattoo by Sway Tattooer
Nekhbet Tattoo by Sway Tattooer
Isis Tattoo by Tony Adamson
Isis Tattoo by Tony Adamson
Bastet Tattoo by Vitaly Morozov
Bastet Tattoo by Vitaly Morozov
Hathor Thumb Tattoo by Lazer Liz
Hathor Thumb Tattoo by Lazer Liz
Isis Tattoo by Jaclyn Rehe
Isis Tattoo by Jaclyn Rehe
Sekhmet and Bastet Tattoos by Will Koffman
Sekhmet and Bastet Tattoos by Will Koffman
Isis Tattoo by Sandor Konya
Isis Tattoo by Sandor Konya

To see more divine body art, make your way over to these tattooists’ Instagrams. If you want a depiction of Isis, Bastet, or any of the other Egyptian goddesses (or male gods like Anubis, Thoth, Horus, and Ra), have one of them design your next tattoo. 

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