Tattoo a whale - tattoo design and meaning, placement, interesting photo ideas

The whale is a powerful animal. In ancient times, people were afraid of him because of his frightening size. Sailors considered it a monster capable of raising waves and sinking the ship with a blow of its tail. But despite its power and size, it is a quiet and beautiful animal, interesting and mysterious. Calmly and unhurriedly it swims in the waters of the ocean, feeding on plankton. Scientists are still trying to unravel the meaning of the animal's jumps out of the water, which in any person will cause admiration for the power of wildlife and its power.

Tattoos with the image of this marine mammal can be seen not so often. There is an opinion that the image is applied by animal advocates. But there are special meanings of this tattoo that positively affect the lives of men and women.

Who is suitable for the tattoo of a whale?

The symbol of the whale holds a special place in cosmology. It is associated with the moon and its cycles, as well as the planets Pluto and Neptune. People who wish to bring strength, depth, peace and empathy into their lives can use the tattoo as a talisman.

This symbol will suit people who:

  • Are in a state of search for themselves, want to pass the transformation with dignity;
  • Are under the protection of the totem Whale;
  • belong to the water signs of the zodiac - Pisces, Scorpios, Crab;
  • are born during the period of activity of the constellation of the Whale, i.e. from April 19 to 21 (the boundary between Aries and Taurus).

Besides, there is such a notion as "degrees of the horoscope". Certain totems are assigned to them.

The symbol of Keith suits people with these totems and degrees of the zodiac sign:

  1. Narwhal - Scorpio, 26 degrees.
  2. Blue whale - Pisces, 24 degrees.
  3. Sperm Whale - Sagittarius, 10 degrees.

The blue whale refers to a quiet totem. The sperm whale and narwhal, like the orca, are toothy. Coming to the salon, the choice of an image for a tattoo should be approached very carefully, because the totem symbol can have an impact on a person and his life, both helping and destroying.


The "whale" tattoo is a special job. These animals are considered one of the most dimensional and imposing mammals. In people they cause admiration, surprise, awe and a slight sense of awe. It is worth noting that the "whale" tattoo value is such, which displays all the qualities that people have not the first decade endowed these creatures. This depth, power, freedom, greatness, nobility, significance. If we believe the worldview that distinguished ancient peoples, whales are the creatures that control the ocean element. The Almighty gave them divine qualities that no one else had. Many believed so. And in Greece there was even a special cult, a belief in a goddess named Keto. This was the patroness of the ocean. It was her name that was taken as the basis for the name of the whales. People for a long time perceived these creatures as messengers from above. They seemed too unearthly because of their size and mysteriousness - because there was no information about them.

The influence of the Mustached and Tooth Whale totems

The mustached whale needs no rush. He is immersed in eternity, floating in infinity and sensing everything around him. Even a small tattoo can bring peace of mind, enhance the voice of intuition coming from deep within. The mustached whale is full of affection and love, appreciates kindness and knows how to be grateful. Despite the external thick-skinned, inside such a person is able to feel subtly.

He is close to such spheres:

  • Art;
  • psychoanalysis;
  • poetry;
  • history;
  • philosophy.

Totem will suit people whose profession is connected with these areas of activity. If such a person fails to achieve self-realization, she may snap and go to the side of destruction, destroying the world that does not accept her.

Tattoos with toothed whales reveal a person's darker tendencies. This totem is very dangerous. It represents a predator that devours living beings. Killer whales attack in whole packs, and their target can even be a congener. These creatures are very intelligent, well adapted in society, have leadership qualities.

Tattoos with images of orcas will suit financiers. People who feel the movement of capital and feel the benefits. They are concrete in their actions, cruel, exploit other people, skillfully play on their weaknesses. Such personalities destroy opponents. It is not for nothing that players in the stock and financial market, who have earned huge assets, are called Whales.

The interpretation of ancient peoples

Before you decorate your body with a beautiful image, you need to know the meaning of the tattoo "whale". According to the belief of ancient people, whales ruled the oceans, due to which they have long been endowed with divine qualities and it further emphasized their importance. The ancient Greeks worshipped the goddess of the ocean depths Keto, her name consonant with the word "whale". Many speculate that this was the basis for the name of the whales.

For a long period of time, many peoples around the world saw whales as divine messengers whose mission was to restore justice. This worship of these mammals was due to their enormous size and the lack of substantial human knowledge about them. For a long time, mankind was unaware that whales posed no danger to them.

Peoples who were intimately involved in seafaring saw whales as treacherous, dangerous, and unpredictable in the depths of water. Seafarers used to believe that these powerful animals could sink ships and drag them into the depths of the sea. The most famous "monster" is Moby Dick - the great white whale from the world famous novel of the same name.

And today there are many hunters for these mammals, they put the whales in danger of extinction. Still, there are people and organizations that are trying to protect them. For example, the society for the protection of marine fauna for this purpose does a lot, very often it cooperates even with the world famous tattoo conventions to raise money for the protection of marine life.

Photos and meaning of tattoos for women

In female tattoos, the whale is used to express harmony, serenity and tranquility, grace and plasticity. This animal represents the all-encompassing power of love, compassion and care. The whale acts as a protector, chasing away all evil and negative.

The sea giant has a beautiful curve of the body, so tattoo artists often use it to create lunar outlines. Drawing a whale on a woman's body is identified with the power of the tides, the birth of the young moon. This image symbolizes the blossoming of the female nature, youth and beauty.

The ocean is considered the cradle of life, so the tattoo of a whale on a woman's body takes on a special meaning. For girls, such pictures become a symbol of strong family bonds, as well as the endless care of children. Whales belong to the class of mammals. The females of these animals are willing to sacrifice themselves to protect their offspring. Tattoos depicting a whale and a cub signify togetherness, interconnection with family, understanding and patience. They convey the image of motherhood.

Eternal childhood in the soul, playfulness and dreaminess are so peculiar to the female nature. In this sense, the whale is very rarely used as the basis for tattoos. But it is not necessary to associate this image with immaturity. He is suitable for individuals who have not lost the ability to wonder, admire the world and the beauty of its phenomena.

Photos and meaning of tattoos for men

The representatives of the stronger sex choose a tattoo with a whale to emphasize their resilience, perseverance, the will to win. In the original sources, this animal symbolizes masculinity. In the ancient beliefs of the people of Oceania whale is listed as "Father of Peace.

The image of the whale on the male body becomes a symbol of confidence, invincible spirit, fearlessness, boldness and courage, striving for glory.

At the same time, it remains the embodiment of wisdom, harmony, and foresight. In tattoos, the whale is a protector and protector with tremendous physical strength.

For many men the creative power has a special meaning. Tattoos with a whale close to the spirit of creative individuals. Also, they are chosen by men who are in the role of mentor in life or are businessmen. These people inspire awe and respect, they are loyal to the family, have inner strength and serenity.

Anatomy [ edit | edit code ]

Like all mammals, whales breathe air with their lungs, are warm-blooded, feed their calves with milk from milk glands, and have hair (though rather reduced) [9] .

The body is spindle-shaped, similar to the streamlined body of fish. The fins, sometimes also called flippers, are paddle-shaped. At the end of the tail there is a fin of two horizontal blades that act as a propulsor and stabilizer, providing forward movement due to wave-like movements in the vertical plane (unlike, for example, fish and aquatic reptiles, in which the plane of movement of the paddling tail is horizontal).

Different groups of cetaceans have developed different protective devices to protect their skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays of the sun: for example, the blue whale is able to increase the content of UV-absorbing pigments in the skin ("sunburn"); others, like the sperm whale, trigger a special "stress response" as to protect against oxygen radicals; others, like the fin whale, use both methods [10]. In cold water, whales maintain their body temperature due to a thick layer of fat under their skin. This layer protects internal organs from hypothermia.

Because whales, like dolphins, need to come to the surface occasionally to breathe, only half of their brains can sleep at certain times.

Choosing a tattoo and a place for it

Whales have a large size and unique body composition. Because of its size, such tattoos are preferably placed on the back or in the chest area. Allowed angle of inclination in the range of 45-90 °.

The sketch with a female tattoo will fit perfectly on the thigh. If the drawing depicts a whale with a curved silhouette (similar to a sickle), it is desirable to use broad body parts, such as the waist, ribs. Tattoos on the collarbone are traditionally considered female. Such drawings emphasize the graceful lines of the body, delicate features, give elegance.

There are several ways to place the inhabitant of the depths on the leg, such areas are used:

  • thigh;
  • foot;
  • calf;
  • ankle;
  • lower leg.

If the chosen sketch implies a large-scale plot, it is worth transferring it to the back. Such pictures can include whales soaring in the sky or outer space, having wings, holding the earth and other objects (ships, houses, mountains and forested areas). An arm can also be used for large images. The whale can be placed on the shoulder, hand, or forearm. You can even stuff an entire arm.

Ideal body areas for small drawings are:

  • thigh;
  • neck;
  • abdomen;
  • The wrist.

Tattoos on the ribs are hidden from prying eyes. This place is suitable for a totem animal, which will act as a personal talisman. The secret symbol can also be hidden behind the ear.

Ideas in sketches and styles of tattoos

Usually tattoos do not have a gender identity. With the exception of a few options. The delicate pink color scheme is used only in women's tattoos. More often all such drawings are made in the style of watercolor. The sketches are dominated by softness, pastel colors. The image has smooth lines or blurred contours.

Geometric drawings in the technique of linework or graphics will look compact. These sketches contain a minimum of details. Rather interesting look images in the style of origami with Asian motifs. Based on the different geometric shapes can create bizarre combinations.

And all figures can be the same form or different. Drawings in geometric style like drawings. Some of them are so complex that they can convey the natural plasticity of the body of the whale.

For people who prefer old-school drawing techniques, sea-themed sketches are popular. Next to the whale on the tattoo you can see a sailboat, anchor, lighthouse and other similar objects.

Other techniques and styles can be used for drawing whales:

  • Asian oriental;
  • traditional;
  • tribal;
  • minimalism;
  • abstractionism;
  • realism and 3D.

A whale jumping out of a circle or triangle represents a protector. A silhouette of a tail raised above the waves of the sea and enclosed in the same figures has a similar meaning. Such tattoos are considered traditional for the peoples of Polynesia, the Haida and Maori tribes. They were allowed to do only men. And the Dotwork technique allows you to perfectly trace all the relief nuances and features of whale skin.

The ambiguous symbolism of the whale can be a deterrent. Not everyone will dare to decorate their body with an animal with so many contrasting meanings. On the one hand, whales embody the fears and terrors of the sea depths, death and vices, on the other hand - represent the birth of life, tranquility and wise strength. Such specific tattoos will ideally suit eccentric people, unique personalities with a strongly pronounced vital position.


It represents the power of cosmic waters, renewal, both cosmic and personal, as well as absorbing the grave. The stomach of the whale is both a place of death and rebirth. In the Old Testament, the whale is a symbol of Jonah. To be swallowed by the whale means to enter the darkness of death; emergence from the belly of the whale after the traditional period of three days of lunar eclipse means emergence from the cave of initiation into a new life, resurrection. In Christianity, the whale symbolizes the devil. His jaws - the gates of hell, and his stomach - the very hell.

KIT is a mammal, which by virtue of its size symbolizes the importance and significance.

Archetype of absorption, sucking, swallowing. Many people worshipped as a sea god. Often acted as a symbol of the devil: open mouth of the whale served as an allegory of the gates of hell, and the stomach - the very underworld. The sign of the whale also meant cunning.

The whale. Picture from Harley's Bestiary (England, 13th century).

This interpretation was associated with the legend that sailors, mistaking the whale for an island, threw anchors at it and it dragged the ships into the abyss.

In H. Melville's novel Moby Dick, the whale alternately turned into a god and a devil, and sometimes acted as both at the same time. The "big fish," which swallowed Jonah and in whose womb he stayed for three days, was represented as a whale. In early Christian art the fish was represented as a dragon, a hippopotamus and sometimes a dolphin.The mythologem of Jonah in the whale's womb was interpreted as a symbolic prophecy of Christ's three days in the tomb. Thus, the whale symbolized the idea of the second birth, the resurrection.

There is an interpretation of the legend of Jonah as an initiation into the mystery: the whale represents the darkness of ignorance that swallows a man when he is washed away from the ship - birth - into the sea - life. Е. П. Blavatsky theorized that the expression, "great whale" comes from the word Keto, the name of Dagon, god of fish. Jonah, in her opinion, was actually placed in a cabin hollowed out inside a giant statue of Dagon.

Swallowing motifs have been peculiar to the mythological image of the whale since Old Testament times. Its open mouth served as an allegory of the gates of hell, and its stomach as hell. The biblical prophet Jonah, swallowed by the whale, "cried out from the womb of the underworld" and was ejected after three days. Interestingly, the original name of Jonah's devourer, "big fish," "dag gadol," was translated into Greek as "ketos megas" and later became a common whale. It is extremely unlikely that a whale is capable of actually swallowing a man. It is believed that the word "whale" in the Bible refers to the sea, especially since Jonah describes a common drowning ("he plunged me into the deep," "the waters embraced me," "the sea grass was wrapped around my head").

Christian theologians interpreted this myth as a symbolic prophecy of Christ's three-day sojourn in the tomb and his miraculous resurrection. This, however, does not agree well with the symbolic Christian legends of the whale-island, which exuded sweet breath and lured small fish into its mouth, because it dragged ordinary sailors under water - and without any prospect of resurrection.Elena Blavatsky believes that "Keto" originally was Dagon - inconceivably ancient sea deity, and Jonah was in fact placed by enemies inside the giant statue of Dagon.

The term "whale" entered our language from Greece. Ketos, or Keto first meant the ancient Greek goddess of the depths, and later any sea monster.

Perseus saves Andromeda from the "whale"

Ancient Greek myths mentioned at least two "whale" monsters. The first, the Ethiopian, was sent by Poseidon to devour Andromeda, daughter of King Cepheus and Cassiopeia (the latter once claimed to be more beautiful than any Nereid, which provoked the wrath of the sea god). Poseidon sent the second Ketus to Troy after King Laomedonte refused to pay him for the erection of the city walls. The monster had standard intentions - to eat the king's daughter, but in the first case the monster was killed by Perseus, and in the second - Hercules. More often than not, ancient Greek whales were depicted as snake-like creatures with huge teeth.

Heracles kills the "whale" with hook and arrow

The Indian relative of the leviathan whale was the Makara, an aquatic creature, most often depicted as a huge elephant-headed dolphin. It was considered a vahana (riding animal) of the gods Ganges and Varuna, as well as a symbol of Kama, the god of love and debauchery.

The latter is of particular interest. On the other side of the world, in South America, there are legends of the encantado. - enchanted), the shapeshifting dolphins (Amazonian inias, or boto) who live in a magical underwater kingdom. For Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Guiana, these dolphins become something like European mermaids. They supposedly know how to turn into humans.

Makara, the elephant dolphin.

The transformation occurs mostly at night. A werewolf can be identified by a prominent "dolphin" forehead (to hide it, the "enchanted" have to wear hats all the time), extraordinary musical talents, and extreme lustfulness. After communicating with a sea lover, human women become pregnant and give birth to normal children.

Like mermaids, the "enchanted" love to kidnap people - women, their children born to them, or the first runaways with whom they can play and communicate in the underwater realm. The magic of the mesmerized is very strong - they command the weather and subdue the mind, so much so that even experienced shamans can't undo the spell.

Similar beliefs still exist today. Some Brazilians still avoid approaching rivers alone and panic when they see a dolphin. It is believed that the legend of the dolphins has a very real background. The curious Amazon inies are not afraid of people and love to watch them, sticking out of the water, and the dolphins' genitals are very similar to the human ones.

According to an ancient Eskimo legend, dolphins emerged from the fingers of the girl Sedna, cut off by her cruel father, when she clung to the boat, resisting attempts to drown her.

Psychoanalysts interpret the image of the whale as a maternal social ego. According to some of the cosmological ideas of the ancients, on the back of the giant whale, floating in the boundless ocean waters, the universe rests.

In Russian mythological tradition is known wonder-yudo fish whale.Dove Book reported that the Earth rests on an iron oak tree, which grows on the backs of four golden whales swimming in a fiery river. In the original version there were seven such whales. But the earth was weighed down by human sin, and the four whales moved into the Ethiopian Desert. After the Flood, the remaining whales went there as well. The earth thus lost its foundation.

A profound image of the act of swallowing, sucking in, the motif of absorbing the vitality of the victim. In Christian tradition, the whale means the devil, with its open mouth an allegory of the gates of hell, and its stomach the receptacle of hell itself. "You cast me into the depths, into the heart of the sea, and the streams surrounded me, all your waters and your waves passed over me" (Jonah 2:4). In the Bible, the whale symbolized the long-suffering prophet Jonah, whom the people sacrificed to the sea to calm the storm. For three days and three nights Jonah was in the dark womb, after which the whale spewed him back out. This sign is interpreted as a symbol of transformation and transformation. Psychoanalysts understand the image of the whale as the maternal social ego chosen by the subject for its refuge from a state of insecurity and despair. Sailors perceive the image of the whale as a sign of insidiousness. In Melville's novel Moby Dick, the whale is either a god or a devil, or both at the same time.

Whale Constellation
Whale Constellation. The astronomical atlas "Uranography" by Hevelius.

In ancient Mesopotamia, the constellation Keith was dedicated to the monster Tiamat, a symbol of terror and the depths of the sea. Greek myth tells of the terrifying Whale, who lived off the coast of Ethiopia, in the possession of Cepheus. In despair, Cepheus turned to the oracle, asking what to do to ward off trouble from his country. The oracle answered that in order to appease the whale, the king's favourite daughter, the beautiful Andromeda, must be sacrificed to him. Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia decided to sacrifice their daughter to save their country and took Adromeda to the seashore. But luckily Perseus, who flew by, helped the girl and, with the help of Medusa Gorgon's head, turned the whale into a rock. To immortalize this deed, the gods turned the heroes of this story into constellations.

In Russian tradition, the miracle-yudo fish whale is known. The Book of Doves describes the image of the ketra-fish. There the Earth rests on an iron oak standing on golden whales that swim in a river of fire. In the original version, the earth was founded on seven whales. Then it was weighed down by human sin and the four whales went into the Ethiopian desert. After a Flood all whales have gone there. So Old Russian man associated the end of the world with the symbol of the whale. In a cosmological context, the bottom of the whale's stomach could mean the cosmic bottom, the extreme point of the fall, from where it is impossible to hear the voice of the one who got there. This position could also mean salvation. "...But I will offer You a sacrifice with a voice of praise; what I promised, I will fulfill: the Lord has salvation! And the Lord said to the whale, and it spat Jonah out on dry land" (Jonah 2:10).

Whale Crest
Coat of arms with whales of the German island of Borchum

In European heraldry, the figure of the whale appeared quite late. As a rule, the whale was placed on the coats of arms of settlements and communities of whalers, symbolizing the main occupation of the inhabitants of these towns and places.


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