Athena tattoo meaning and symbolism

Athena is the greek goddess of wisdom, just war, handicrafts and reason. She is the daughter of Zeus and a beautiful woman named Metis.

Athena represents that which is noble, logical, brilliant, just and fair in women. She was born from Zeus fully grown and clad in armor.

Armed with her shield, spear and helmet she entered into the ranks of the greatest Greek heroes to fight against evil overcome misfortunes and dangerous obstacles, to spread civilization and defend justice.

Athena was customarily portrayed wearing body armour and a helmet and carrying a shield and a lance.


Her symbols include

  • Owls 
  • Aegis
  • Olive Trees – Olive branches
  • Armor
  • Gorgoneion


What do athena tattoos imply?

As symbolic tattoo it means intelligence, industriousness, inventiveness; clever ideas; perfection; good taste; ability to science; art; justice; protection of the weak and helpless.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, so she symbolizes all kind of knowledge and learning. That’s why Athena tattoo represents brainy people, scientists, philosophers, teachers etc.

Athena herself symbolized wisdom, courage, bravery and resourcefulness, especially in warfare. She also represents crafts. symbolsage

athena shoulder tattoo
athena shoulder tattoo @ bartektattoo

It also stands for comfort and wealth or even luxury because Athena was the one who invented weaving technique which made her very wealthy.

Another meaning is that she brings peace and prosperity to the wearer.

It may signify indomitability because Athena was the only one who dared to stand up against Zeus when he wanted to destroy Athens with thunderbolt for not accepting his invitation for marriage.

She also represents victory, justice and authority.

In mythology she helps Perseus to kill Medusa, she gave Theseus a magic sword to defeat the Minotaur and helped Heracles fight against Giants.

Even though the mythology is over, it still has its influence on modern society.

Athena tattoo meaning may be different for men and women

Men are usually attracted by her strength, courage, victorious battles or even wars. They get tattoos of her to show their boldness, masculinity and authority.

Women like the better part about Athena which is wisdom, intellectual activities or victory over injustice. They get tattoos as a symbol of those traits they would want to have in themselves.

Athena factShe’s one of the three Virgin Goddesses along with Artemis and Hestia

Athena tattoo designs

The most common place for athena tattoos is on the back, shoulder blade area or the forearm.

The designs and shapes vary from realistic to watercolor and cartoonish ones.

Athena tattoos are usually done in blackwork, neo traditional, realism or portrait style.

Why go for an Athena Tattoo?

When you are looking for a tattoo, it is important to find something that tells about yourself. Something that represents your values and ideas.

Athena tattoos are perfect choice for women because she symbolizes many traits which may be absent in modern day woman. She is strong, resilient, independent and intellectual.

Women are often treated as weak, emotional or stupid. They are not given freedom to speak out their opinions. It is very hard for woman to be successful in science or art which used to belong to men’s world before.

Athena represents all of those values that women may find important and would want to have themselves.

She gives women power and authority because she is the one who stands up to men, even against Zeus.

It is also important to point out that there are many successful women in modern world who serve as inspirations for other girls.

Related questions

What’s the best color for an Athena tattoo ?

Typically people choose black and grey, neo traditional or realism style for Athena tattoos. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to color, it is all about personal preferences and tastes.

What is the best design for an Athena tattoo?

There are many symbols that represent athena, such as owls, snakes, olive tree etc. Her helmet or a shield may also be a part of the athena tattoo design.

How big can be an Athena tattoo?

Typically athena tattoos are small and placed on shoulder blade, ribs or back. The bigger ones may be placed on arms or cover the half of the back.

Athena leg tattoo
Athena leg tattoo @ lorie_garcia_tattoo