Raven Tattoos: The Ideal Style, Size and Location for your next Raven Tattoo

Title - The Ideal Style, Size and Location for your next Raven Tattoo

As I wrote this article about Raven Tattoos, I discovered much more behind the corvid imagery than what is available at first sight. Raven Tattoos convey a strong symbolism and deep meaning for those who choose to wear them on their skin. No wonder why they are so popular when it comes to getting a tattoo done. In this article, we will unravel together the different significations and history behind raven tattoos so you can find the ideal style, size, and location for your next ink. Bear with me; I hope you’ll enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Introduction to Raven Imagery in Tattoo Arts

Raven or Corvid Tattoos are undeniably popular in the arts, especially tattooing. Their imagery is captivating and has strong symbolism, mystique, and aesthetic appeal. Corvids, including ravens, crows, magpies, and others, have long fascinated humanity with their intelligence, adaptability, and enigmatic presence in folklore, mythology, and literature.

TIntroduction to Raven Imagery in Tattoo Arts

These birds are often associated with wisdom, mystery, magic, transformation, and death. In various cultures worldwide, corvids have been revered as messengers of the divine, guardians of the spirit world, or symbols of prophecy and foresight. Incorporating corvid imagery into tattoos, such as raven tattoos, allows our clients to tap into these profound symbolic meanings and express personal beliefs, experiences, or aspirations.

First and foremost, it is useful to understand ravens, their various species, and the difference between corvids and ravens.

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Raven Tattoo

Large, highly intelligent, and iconic birds, Ravens are known for their jet-black plumage, robust build, and distinctive croaking calls. They are found across various habitats in the Northern Hemisphere, including forests, mountains, deserts, and urban areas.

Ravens are renowned for their intelligence, problem-solving abilities, and complex social behaviors. They have been observed using tools, displaying social hierarchies, and playing games. In many cultures and mythologies, ravens hold significant symbolism, often representing wisdom, magic, prophecy, or death.

Are There Several Species of Raven?

Yes, there are several different species of ravens. The common raven (Corvus corax) is the most well-known and widespread, found across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Other species of ravens include the Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus), the fan-tailed raven (Corvus rhipidurus), the thick-billed raven (Corvus crassirostris), and the little raven (Corvus mellori). Each species may have its own unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors.

What is the difference between a Corvid and a Raven?

The term "corvid" refers to a family of birds known as Corvidae, which includes several species such as crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, and magpies. Ravens are a specific type of corvid, belonging to the genus Corvus.

While all ravens are corvids, not all corvids are ravens. Ravens are typically larger than most other members of the corvid family, with thicker bills and shaggier throat feathers. They also tend to have longer, wedge-shaped tails compared to other corvids. Additionally, ravens often have deeper, more guttural calls compared to the cawing of crows and other corvids.

So, in essence, ravens are a specific type of corvid, distinguished by their size, appearance, and vocalizations.

Overview of Each Corvid Species and Their Meanings

1.     Raven (Corvus corax):

The raven is a significant symbol in various cultures and mythologies. It is often associated with wisdom, magic, prophecy, and death. In Norse mythology, ravens are associated with Odin and are considered his messengers. Celtic mythology sees them as protectors and guides to the Otherworld.

2.     Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos):

Crows are often associated with intelligence, adaptability, and transformation. They are seen as symbols of mystery, cunning, and change. In some cultures, crows are believed to be good or bad luck omens. In Japanese mythology, the Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow, symbolizes divine guidance.

3.     Magpie (Pica pica):

Magpies are known for their striking black-and-white plumage and tendency to collect shiny objects. In folklore, magpies are often associated with superstitions and omens. Depending on the culture, they are sometimes seen as symbols of good luck or bad luck. In Chinese culture, magpies are associated with happiness and good fortune.

4.     Jackdaw (Corvus monedula):

Jackdaws are smaller corvid family members known for their distinctive gray nape and pale eyes. Due to their scavenging behavior, jackdaws are sometimes associated with thievery and mischief in folklore. They are also seen as symbols of curiosity and resourcefulness.

5.     Rook (Corvus frugilegus):

Rooks are social birds that often nest in large colonies, which is called rookeries. In some cultures, they are seen as symbols of community, cooperation, and wisdom. Rooks are also associated with agriculture and the changing seasons, as they are often observed foraging in fields and meadows.

The Ideal Style, Size and Location for your next Raven Tattoo

The Ideal Style, Size and Location for your next Raven Tattoo

As we focus more on Raven Tattoos, let’s delve together into the dark art and gothic aspects these birds can unleash.

Dark art raven tattoos are characterized by their bold, intricate designs, often featuring elements of gothic, surreal, or macabre aesthetics. They are a piece of choice for anyone into it.

One of the defining features of dark art raven tattoos is their emphasis on mood and atmosphere. These tattoos often incorporate dark, dramatic backgrounds, with swirling clouds, ominous skies, and haunting landscapes as backdrops for the central raven motif. This creates a sense of depth and mystery, drawing the viewer into the eerie world of the tattoo.

Gothic raven tattoos often feature dark and atmospheric imagery, with crumbling architecture, moonlit landscapes, and eerie forests setting the stage for the mysterious raven. These tattoos may incorporate gothic motifs such as skulls, roses, bats, and crosses, adding to their haunting aesthetic.

Symbolism plays a significant role in gothic raven tattoos, with the raven representing various themes such as death, transformation, and the unknown. The raven's black plumage is often seen as a symbol of mourning and mortality, while its intelligence and adaptability lend it an air of mystery and wisdom.

Witchy Vibes: Exploring Witchy and Raven Tattoos

In recent years, witchy tattoos have surged in popularity, with the raven emerging as a prominent symbol within this trend. But why has this style experienced such a rise, and what makes the raven such a favored motif among those embracing witchy vibes?

Witchy Vibes_ Exploring Witchy and Raven Tattoos

Mystical Allure:

Witchy tattoos evoke a sense of mystique and magic, tapping into ancient traditions, folklore, and the occult. Ravens, with their association with witchcraft, mystery, and wisdom, perfectly encapsulates this mystical allure. Their dark plumage and enigmatic presence make them a fitting symbol for those drawn to the mysterious and otherworldly.

Connection to Nature:

Ravens are creatures of the wild, often associated with the untamed beauty of nature. In witchcraft and paganism, there is a deep reverence for the natural world, and the raven symbolizes this connection. As people seek to reconnect with nature and honor its power, they are drawn to tattoos that embody this primal energy, with the raven being a popular choice.

Pop Culture Influence:

The rise of witchy and raven tattoos can also be attributed to their prominence in popular culture. From books and movies to television shows and social media, witchcraft, and its associated symbols have captured the imagination of a wide audience. Characters like the Witches of Eastwick, Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, or the television series "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" have helped popularize witchy aesthetics, including raven imagery.

Empowerment and Identity:

Witchy tattoos symbolize empowerment and self-expression for many people. They allow individuals to embrace their inner witch, celebrate their connection to nature, and reclaim symbols historically associated with fear or negativity. In a world where personal expression is increasingly valued, witchy tattoos offer a way for individuals to proudly display their beliefs, interests, and identity.

The rise of witchy and raven tattoos can be attributed to their mystical allure, connection to nature, rich symbolism, pop culture influence, and role in personal empowerment and identity expression. As these themes continue to resonate with people seeking tattoos that reflect their spiritual journey or aesthetic preferences, the popularity of witchy and raven tattoos is likely to endure.

Norse Mythology Tattoos: Odin's Ravens and Beyond

Norse Mythology Tattoos_ Odin's Ravens and Beyond

Let’s delve into the rich mythology of Odin's ravens, Huginn and Muninn. According to Norse mythology, Huginn (which means "thought") and Muninn (which means "memory" or "mind") are two ravens that serve as the companions and messengers of Odin, the Allfather and chief god of the Norse pantheon.

Huginn and Muninn are often depicted as Odin's trusted messengers, flying across the nine realms of Norse cosmology to gather information and deliver messages to the gods. They perch upon Odin's shoulders and whisper secrets and knowledge into his ear, aiding him in his quest for wisdom and understanding.

Huginn and Muninn symbolize the importance of intellect, curiosity, and the pursuit of knowledge. Their ability to traverse the realms and bring back information to Odin underscores the value of seeking wisdom from diverse sources and experiences.

In addition to their role as messengers, Huginn and Muninn are associated with battle and warfare. As symbols of death and fate, they remind of the inevitability of mortality and the cyclical nature of life.

Huginn and Muninn are popular motifs in Norse tattoo art, often depicted alongside Odin or as standalone images. These tattoos symbolize intellect, wisdom, the pursuit of knowledge, and the importance of introspection and inner reflection. They may also connect to Norse heritage and mythology, symbolizing cultural identity and pride.

Tattoo artists often draw inspiration from Norse mythology when creating designs featuring Huginn and Muninn. These tattoos may incorporate intricate details such as Norse runes, Viking imagery, and symbolic elements associated with Odin and the ravens.

Edgar Allan Poe Tattoos: Homage to the Master of Macabre

Edgar Allan Poe Tattoos_ Homage to the Master of Macabre

Raven tattoos and Edgar Allan Poe's literary legacy are intricately intertwined, as Poe's famous poem "The Raven" has left an indelible mark on both literature and tattoo art. Here's how the two connect:

In "The Raven," Poe uses the raven to symbolize death, loss, and mourning. The raven's repetitive refrain of "Nevermore" reminds the protagonist of grief and despair. As a result, the raven has become synonymous with themes of darkness, mystery, and macabre, making it a popular motif in tattoo art for those drawn to gothic aesthetics and Poe's literary legacy.

As a result, tattoos featuring imagery from Poe's works, including ravens, skulls, and other gothic motifs, have become popular among fans of his literature.

Raven tattoos inspired by Poe's literary legacy often feature elements from "The Raven" poem, such as the raven perched upon a bust of Pallas, a reference to the Greek goddess of wisdom. These tattoos may also incorporate other symbols and imagery associated with Poe's works, such as quotes from his poems or stories, Edgar Allan Poe's signature, or motifs from his tales of mystery and horror.

Ideal Size, Location, and Tattoo Style for Raven Tattoos

Ideal Size, Location, and Tattoo Style for Raven Tattoos

When considering the ideal size, location, and style for a raven tattoo, it's essential to consider personal preferences, the symbolize and meaning for the bearer, the design's complexity, and the body's anatomy. Here's a guide to help you make these decisions:


  • Small: Small raven tattoos are ideal for subtle placement and minimalistic designs. They work well on the wrist, ankle, behind the ear, or finger. A small raven tattoo can be minimalist in style, featuring simple linework or silhouette, or it can incorporate intricate details in a compact size.
  • Medium: Medium-sized raven tattoos allow for more detail and intricacy while still being versatile in placement. Common locations for medium-sized raven tattoos include the forearm, upper arm, calf, or thigh. This size allows for more elaborate designs, such as a raven in flight or perched on a branch, with finer details like feathers and facial features.
  • Large: Large raven tattoos make a bold statement and are suitable for areas with ample space, such as the back, chest, or thigh. A large raven tattoo can feature intricate details, shading, and color, allowing for a more realistic or artistic interpretation of the bird. This size is perfect for incorporating elements like a Gothic landscape, moon, or other symbolic imagery.


  • Forearm: The forearm is a popular location for raven tattoos. It offers a visible canvas for the design while still allowing for versatility in size and style.
  • Back: The back provides ample space for large-scale raven tattoos, making it an ideal location for intricate and detailed designs.
  • Chest: A raven tattoo on the chest can symbolize protection or serve as a tribute to loved ones, especially when placed over the heart.
  • Thigh: Thigh tattoos offer a larger canvas for medium to large-sized raven tattoos, allowing for intricate details and shading.

Tattoo Style:

  • Gothic: Gothic raven tattoos embrace the dark and mysterious aesthetic of the gothic style, featuring intricate linework, ornate details, and dramatic shading to evoke a sense of haunting beauty and gothic romance.
  • Norse or Nordic: Norse or Nordic raven tattoos draw inspiration from Viking mythology and Norse symbolism, incorporating runes, knotwork, and other traditional Nordic motifs to create bold and powerful designs that pay homage to the ancient Norse gods and their connection to the raven.
  • Blackwork or Darkwork: Blackwork or Darkwork raven tattoos focus on the interplay of light and shadow, using solid black ink and negative space to create striking contrasts and bold, graphic imagery that highlights the raven's silhouette and symbolism in a style reminiscent of etchings or woodcuts.

Ultimately, the ideal size, location, and tattoo style for a raven tattoo depend on individual preferences, aesthetic preferences, and desired symbolism. Consulting with one of our skilled tattoo artists can help refine your ideas and bring your vision to life with a custom design tailored to your body and tastes.