Seashell tattoo meaning and symbolism

Tattoos with a seashell as a design are very popular. The symbol of the shell has different meanings and it can be combined with other symbols to create your own special tattoo.

Seashell arm tattoo
Seashell arm tattoo @ dominikamazurr

people could only survive in coastal areas where they found food like shrimps, oysters, and clams. They also used seashells as a decoration. In many ancient cultures, people wore decorative shells on their bodies.

The shell is one of the symbols of the mother goddess Cybele, image of fertility and rebirth.

What’s the meaning behind seashell tattoos?

The shell is one of the universal symbols of protection. It protects us from danger, bad weather and it shelters us in our journey through life.

This tattoo symbolizes a return to your roots. The shell refers to the search for who you really are, so this design helps to overcome identity crisis or confusing situations in which you don’t know who you are anymore.

The shell implies protection and sheltering against all evil, it is a symbol of serenity.

Also, the shell tattoo design represents purification and enlightenment which can be achieved through meditation or other spiritual practices. The shell is also meant as a symbol of fertility and rebirth. A woman’s womb resembles a sea shell so this tattoo is a symbol of fertility, motherhood and femininity.

The shell tattoo can highlight the need to feel sheltered in your journey through life, which reminds us that every storm comes to an end sooner or later. This image can be used as a reminder of this universal law of the eternal return that everything recurs over time.

Seashell ankle tattoo
Seashell ankle tattoo @ kosobuddha

Shell tattoo colors and their meanings

While most shell tattoos are black or grey, you can also use the color of the ocean in your design – turquoise blue will be a wonderful addition to any tattoo with seashells. Besides, this color promotes calmness and serenity making it perfect for people who suffer from stress-related conditions.

Turquoise blue is also connected to the water element (which is ruled by the moon) and it has healing properties which make it perfect for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This color can be combined with purple that symbolizes spirituality, but also with orange that stands for creativity.

colorfull seashell tattoo
colorfull seashell tattoo @siccsad

What about incorporating starfish into your seashell tattoo?

The starfish tattoos are also very popular and they symbolize the same elements that the shell does. The starfish itself is also a symbol of hope, good luck and guidance.

Starfish tattoos are usually done in black while the shell is gray, but you can also use any other color that fits your style.

Putting these two together will give you a design that combines all meanings and elements that the shell and the starfish have in common, along with a personal touch.

Wrap Up

As you can see, there are many symbolic meanings of this tattoo design. The idea behind seashell tattoos is to remind us of the biggest forces of life: motherhood, fertility, and protection from evil.

This tattoo will help you with your search for your true self and the meaning of life. If you also choose to incorporate starfish into your design, it will take your tattoo to a whole new level. Even though this type of tattoo is mostly chosen by women, men can sport the tattoo as well even though they are not as popular among men as other designs such as skulls or dragons.

seashell arm tattoo
seashell arm tattoo @ francesco_cassiani_artist