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.
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, 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.
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.
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.