Cicada tattoos symbolize transformation, change, rebirth, and the natural cycles of life. They can also represent resilience, longevity, and the ability to emerge stronger after periods of challenge.
As we said, Cicadas are more than just insects; they are symbols of transformation, longevity, and rebirth. Their life cycle, which includes prolonged periods underground followed by a brief, glorious emergence, mirrors the human experiences of growth, change, and renewal.
This symbolism makes cicada tattoos a profound choice for those who have undergone significant life changes or are embarking on new journeys.
Cicada Tattoo Ideas
Combining cicadas with elements like flowers, celestial bodies, or abstract patterns can add layers of meaning and personalization to your tattoo. Here are some ideas that anyone can try if they are considering a cicada tattoo.
1. Realistic Cicada Tattoos: A beautifully realistic cicada tattoo depicts every fine detail – from the cutesy vein patterns on the insect’s translucent wings to its large, soulful eyes. This type of design is perfect for those wanting an up-close look at a cicada’s anatomy. Opt for black ink only or add pops of color to mimic their bright red eyes or the iridescent sheen of their wings on a summer day. Place it on the forearm, shoulder, or thigh.
2. Watercolor Cicada Tattoos: For a whimsical and artistic twist, consider a watercolor-style cicada tattoo using bright jewel tones dripping and splashing across your skin. Focusing on the colors rather than details creates a fun, abstract look. Keep the cicada’s trademark red eyes for contrast. This type of tattoo pairs wonderfully with other watercolor floral or natural designs.
3. Minimalist Cicada Ink: If you want something more subtle, a minimalist cicada tattoo uses simple lines and negative space to depict these special insects. Focus on their two large transparent wings, prominent eyes, and strong legs. While stripped down, a talented artist can still capture their fragility and ephemeral nature. Place a single delicate cicada behind the ear, on the wrist, or ankle for an understated piece.
4. Cicada in Nature: For broader significance, consider combining cicadas with other natural elements like trees, flowers, and sunset skies in a nature scene tattoo. This captures their role in summer’s rich abundance while adding personal meaning. For example, frame cicadas alongside your favorite flowers or a nostalgic summer landscape from childhood. This makes for a larger, versatile thigh, back, shoulder, or bicep tattoo.
5. Swarm of Cicadas: What better represents these fascinating insects than depicting a flock or swarm? Dozens of cicadas adorning your skin symbolize transformation, renewal, illusion, and community. Keep design elements simple and repetitive for cohesion and rhythm. Focus on their bold black bodies, translucent wings, and soulful red eyes. This graphic look packs a punch when placed on calves, forearms, or shoulders.
6. Cicadas with Cherry Blossom: Cherry blossoms are a symbol of how beautiful, yet delicate, life can be in Japanese culture. This connects to what the cicada’s life cycle represents. Combine images of cicadas with soft pink cherry blossom branches cascading down to make a meaningful, feminine tattoo. Show the flowers’ temporary nature by including a few petals blowing in the wind.
7. Cicadas inside Mandala: Mandalas use geometric shapes to show ideas like unity, foreverness, and the way the universe works. Add brightly colored cicadas inside the complicated patterns of a mandala to make a tattoo rich with meaning. Have the cicada’s wings, eyes, legs, and other unique parts come out from the middle of the mandala.
8. New School Cicada: New school tattooing features bright colors, strong outlines, and playful irony. Design a cicada in this bold, graphic style by accentuating some body parts over others for a quirky appearance. Boost color saturation, enlarge their eyes, and add thick outlines. Include colorful background elements like flowers, rainbows, or trippy patterns. New school cicadas make fun, conversational forearm, calf, or thigh tattoos
9. Cicada in Origami Style: Origami represents transformation – perfectly matching the cicada’s symbolism. Design an elegant origami cicada using crisp folds, triangles, and trapezoids to mimic paper. Keep it 2D by using clean black line work on pale skin as the “paper.” Alternatively, show the cicada emerging from an open origami shape. Place anywhere from wrists to ankles.
10. Cicada with a Quote: Incorporate meaningful words or phrases that inspire you along with cicadas in your tattoo. For example, use “rebirth”, “renewal”, or “transformation” to represent personal growth. Or, pick lyrics symbolizing nostalgia from a favorite summer song. Use a delicate script font, allowing the text to flow gracefully around the cicada design.
11. Cicada with Celestial Elements: Incorporating stars, moons, or suns, these tattoos symbolize the cosmic connection of life cycles, appealing to those who look for deeper, universal meanings.
12. Cicada in Flight: Capturing the moment of emergence, these tattoos symbolize freedom and the realization of potential, perfect for individuals embarking on new chapters in their lives.
13. Cicada with Clocks or Timepieces: Symbolizing the passage of time and the importance of seizing the moment, these tattoos are chosen by those mindful of life’s fleeting nature.
14. Vintage Style Cicada Tattoos: Harking back to traditional tattoo styles, these designs have a timeless appeal, suitable for those who appreciate vintage aesthetics.
15. Cicada with Mythological Elements: Integrating elements from myths or folklore, these tattoos are for those who find meaning in ancient stories and symbols.
16. Blackwork Cicada: Blackwork tattoos use a lot of complicated black ink shading to make beautiful dark artwork designs. Thoughtfully placed blank spaces contrast with detailed textures, patterns, and tiny features. Create an awe-inspiring blackwork cicada tattoo featuring things like wings that look like lace, dotted bodies, and eyes with many surfaces.
Cicada tattoos Meanings and Symbolisms
More than mere insects, cicadas have captured people’s imagination for ages with their unfamiliar rituals of death and revival. Their unique life cycle mirrors the universal human experiences of transformation, from symbolic endings to hopeful new beginnings. Here are some popular meanings that you should know about:
Transformation and change: Getting a cicada tattoo can be a cool way to embrace the fact that change happens! Just like cicadas adapt as they grow, we go through different phases in life too. The tattoo reminds us that it’s natural to outgrow certain things and become new versions of ourselves.
Renewal or Rebirth: If you’ve bounced back from tough stuff before, a cicada tattoo could celebrate that personal resilience. It’s like you’re saying – I went through some dark times but I made it! I shed that old skin and started fresh, renewed.
Mysterious: There’s something mystical about cicadas – they disappear for years, and their songs pulsate from unseen places. A cicada tattoo hints that there are always mysteries in life yet to be revealed.
Awakening: Cicada songs wake up the forests with their rhythmic pulses. As a tattoo, this symbolizes spiritual or mental awakening – opening your eyes to new truths about yourself or the world.
Joy: Cicadas singing in the summer trees call us to stop and enjoy life’s simple pleasures – laughter, friendship, fun times. A cicada tattoo carries this reminder to celebrate every season.
The placement of a cicada tattoo can significantly impact its symbolism and personal meaning. For instance, a cicada tattoo on the wrist or forearm can signify personal growth and visibility, while a tattoo on the back might represent a more private reflection on change and transformation.
Size also plays a crucial role, with larger tattoos allowing for more detail and smaller ones offering subtlety and simplicity. Check out our photo gallery that has the best cicada tattoo designs:
Traditional Cicada Tattoo
Old School Cicada Tattoo
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Neo Traditional Cicada Tattoo
For people looking to get a tattoo that stands for strength during hard times, appreciates nature’s life cycles, or represents happiness and creativity, the cicada has deep symbolic meaning. With its wings stretched out and its celebratory song ringing, a cicada tattoo wonderfully shows the human journey of changing, being reborn, and finding pride in who we are.
References: Cicada Wiki