Icarus tattoo meaning and symbolism

The Icarus myth is one of the most known Greek myths and it concerns the tragic story of a young man who wanted to fly like Daedalus, master builder of Crete. When Icarian escaped from King Minos’ labyrinth he did not escape alone but flew together with his son, Icare.

Icarus back tattoo
Icarus back tattoo @ torocsikartroom

When they were flying, the wax from Icare’s wings melted and he fell to his death in the sea. The Icarian Sea is named after him. The story of Icarus was chosen for this tattoo because it has a strong meaning which can be found not only in Greek mythology but also in wider symbolism like religion, philosophy, etc.

icarus tattoo meaning – what does it mean?

The Icarus tattoo meaning is quite deep and full of symbolism. According to Greek mythology, Icarus (which means not seeing the things as they really are) was a young man who wanted to fly like Daedalus (which means knowing all things).

However, the Icarian boy did not escape from King Minos’ labyrinth alone but his son, Icare (which means knowing something) was also on board.

There are different ways of interpreting this myth as its symbolism is quite broad and it bears many meanings depending on many factors that involve psychology, philosophy, religion or just your perception on what Icarus actually represents.

Icarus tattoo meaning – flight

The first obvious symbolic interpretation of this myth (which is also one of the most popular) has to do with the journey of our lives. It’s basically about the tragedy that comes when we make the mistake of thinking that it is possible to be happy without facing reality. The story has a lot to do with flying which represents hope, courage but also loss and failure, especially when things are done for too much ambition or egotism based on false pretence.

Another interpretation of the Icarus tattoo meaning is associated with religious symbols like angels, the divine light and the fall of man. The myth is about an angel who wanted to fly like God (which rules his domain) but he had limited powers which resulted in his failure. The only way for him to understand how it was like up there was by flying too close to the sun which turned out to be his demise.

Icarus tattoo symbolism – death

The Icarus symbol is connected with death in quite a few different ways. Most prominently, it represents the fall of man but also the darkness and materialism of man’s actions which leads to an unhappy outcome. Death symbolically represents the end of the journey, moving to another level but it is also about change.

The Icarus myth has a strong connection with Christianity as well because Icare’s father is named Daedalus. This name is associated with two planes: “daedale”, which means art and “daidala”, which means machines. The deadalus is associated with the Holy Grail while Icare represents Jesus Christ whose death and resurrection is the foundation of Christianity.

The Icarus tattoo meaning falls in the domain of personal interpretation which can make it quite ambiguous, mysterious or even abstract if you wish to go that path.

What about the color of icarus tattoos?

Most Icarus tattoos are black and gray but there are quite a few people who choose to make the symbol colorful. However, this is done with great care because color can change drastically depending on the tone of each specific color used. If you want to keep your tattoo design coherent, you should be very careful about it.

An interesting fact about Icarus tattoos though is that they are among the most popular male tattoos these days. The symbol itself is not only powerful but it also has a certain attractiveness to it which makes it perfect for tats on men. On top of this, the color contrast between the black and gray dusting with some hints of blue provides a very masculine image.

What about the location of icarus tattoos?

The best places to get an Icarus tattoo are the chest, shoulders and back because this will give you a lot of space to work with when designing your symbol. The placement is also quite significant because it gives the design a sense of power and stability which make the symbol even more representative of its meaning.

The Icarus tattoo design also has the ability to be quite versatile so you can play around with different shapes and styles while maintaining or creating a certain aesthetical form for your symbol. If you want to get an Icarus tattoo, there are no strict rules other than finding something which makes you feel inspired about it and which you will feel comfortable with wearing for the rest of your life.

The Icarus tattoo meaning became quite popular after an episode of the hit series “Kyle XY” aired on television. In this episode, Kyle has a dream about getting a tattoo to symbolize Icarus and his death because it made him realize how people can be so pretentious when it comes to their goals or ambitions that they forget about the possible consequences.

A lot of people who got an Icarus tattoo report back saying how much it changed their life in a positive way, which goes to show you this symbol is not only significant but also empowering when done right.

icarus tattoos best for men or women ?

Icarus tattoos are highly popular among men and there is a very good reason for this: design and placement. Since Icarus tattoos represent strength, power and stability they fit perfectly on the body of a man which makes it much more impressive especially when done in monochrome.

On top of that, if you want to add some colors to your tat, there are better places for that, like below the neck or on the arm where it will still look masculine but not as overpowering.

Women can make this symbol work though but they will need to be more creative with their design because the shape of Icarus wings is not something you want to mess with unless you know what you are doing.

icarus arm tattoo
icarus arm tattoo @kayatatt