No doubt about it, the rose and skull tattoo is an example of two completely opposite symbols working perfectly together in one design. When done correctly, this tattoo design will showcase the best of both worlds in one.
The Meanings of the Rose and the Skull
Looking at the two symbols separately, the rose is symbolic of love, passion, everlasting love, respect, sacrifice, and can represent a memorial. Now the skull, on the other hand, symbolizes death, anger, morbidity, protection, strength, and decay. Deeper associations of the skull open the doors to unique meanings like the passing of a loved one, the defeating of an addiction and change, a rebirth, moving from one plane to another. It becomes more apparent with these associations how the skull and the rose can be tied together quite easily now.
The Rose and Skull Tattoo
When the rose and skull are combined in body ink, the overall meaning can be quite powerful due to the fact that both of these symbols have the ability to stand alone in a tattoo design. Now the combination of the two allows a wearer to memorialize a loved one by celebrating their life and passing together. The skull can be symbolic of death, but the rose adds beauty to the life lived. The rose can also symbolize the memories they left behind while the skull references their passing. Popular associations of the rose and skull are life and death, beauty and vitality, or the struggle between good and evil.
The Unique Rose and Skull Variations
The popularity in the rose and skull tattoo is due in part to this is one of the most versatile designs being inked today. The skulls and roses evoke different emotions, so it isn’t uncommon for this tattoo meaning to be misinterpreted. Rather than representing the passing of another person, it could be the skull represents an abusive relationship or an addiction, and the roses in the teeth of the skull show this person has made it through the challenges and has found peace. Perhaps someone battling cancer was diagnosed with a death sentence but went on to beat the disease, so covering the skull in pink roses is appropriate.
Although the rose and skull tattoo symbolizes the everlasting struggle between good and evil, it can have a deeper meaning for the wearer. Perhaps leading a destructive life in the past has stopped with the birth of a child, so the decaying skull symbolizes the past, the roses the future, and becomes a permanent reminder of moving forward.