Cicada tattoo meaning and symbolism

The Cicada tattoo has meaning and symbolism related to rebirth, immortality, and the circle of life.

Religious meanings of cicada tattoos

An interesting aspect of the cicada tattoo is that it can be seen as a type of spiritual or religious symbol for different beliefs. The Cicadas represent the cycle of reincarnation in Buddhism.

In Hinduism, they are said to live underground for 7 years, and then they fly up to the trees and live their life cycle in a few weeks. Some Native American belief systems see them as having been placed on earth by spirit guides or “animal totems” to bring happiness.

Cicada hand tattoo
Cicada hand tattoo @ briannachtwn

Other meanings of cicada tattoos

personal transformation

The tattoo can also be seen as an emblem of personal transformation or change. In this sense it represents the idea that we go through many different phases of life and changes, and then we come back to who we were before.

the seasons

The cicada tattoo meaning can be about the renewal of the seasons. In the Spring they emerge from their shells (the ground) and fly towards the trees, reaching it in the summertime; this is when they mate, lay their eggs, and die. Their unborn children will go through the same process next summer.


The Cicada is also associated with music and the arts, because of its unique song. They make this sound by vibrating membranes in their abdomen. The way they can stay alive for so long (up to 17 years) makes them also a symbol of immortality.

To sum it up

The Cicada tattoo has meanings related to spiritual, personal transformation, music and art. The cicada can represent something alone but immortal. It is an organism that comes back every year into life, transforming itself.

what about Cicada tattoo colors? what do different colors mean?

The Cicada tattoo is also often painted in different colors, depending on the style and personal preferences. It can be done in black and red, but sometimes it’s also done in blue-green or multi-colored.

Red is commonly associated with life energy, danger (especially in tattoos of insects) and also passion.

Blue cicadas are often seen as symbols for freedom, wisdom or eternal changing. Green is representative of growth, change, fertility and new beginnings.

Black Cicada tattoos can represent magical powers or night forces. Black ink tattoos on white skin can look very bold and symbolic.

multi colored Cicadas are representative of the balance between different aspects of life. It’s also said that this type of tattoo looks mysterious, playful or original.

Cicada arm tattoo
Cicada arm tattoo @ o.myra.o

Cicada tattoo designs and their meaning – location, size, and style

The Cicada tattoo can be pretty much any size and style, but it looks best as a full or half sleeve, back tattoo or chest design. This insect is sometimes portrayed alone, but it’s also popular as part of a bigger piece (for example together with flowers).

The common Cicada tattoo location is the upper arm, shoulder blade or back. However, it can be done almost anywhere.

The Cicada tattoos come in different forms and styles: watercolor, blackwork and dotwork designs look especially attractive and detailed. If you want to go for a more realistic cicada design, then you should consider a blackwork tattoo.

Watercolor Cicada tattoos show off the creature’s beauty with soft colors and elegant patterns. Dotwork cicadas have sharp lines and they look more abstract but no less intricate.

blackwork Cicadas are highly detailed, realistic ink drawings that can be very colorful or black-and-grey only. They look like realistic tattoos, because of the fine lines and shading. These tattoos are also sometimes done in traditional American-style tattoos or Sacred-Geometry designs.


If you want to get a cicada tattoo make sure you do your research and find a tattoo artist with experience in insect tattoos. Cicadas have long limbs, so the tattoo should be proportional to the body part it’s going on. Usually making them big or covering a large area of skin is not recommended – even if they look cool – because they’ll look unrealistic and can appear cartoonish instead of something spiritual.