Spider Web Tattoo Variations And What They Mean

One of the most heavily criticized tattoo designs out there is that of the spider web. This is mostly due to the fact that there are negative connotations associated with the spider web tattoo.

Some of the negativity surrounding this tattoo design involves racism, prison, gangs, murder, and violence.

Although, today, the spider web tattoo has become associated with lots more positive meanings too. This is a tattoo design that has a deep history, but there is also a lot of controversy surrounding it for this reason.

If you are thinking about getting this tattoo, then you might want to consider some of these things first. In this article, we are going to be exploring the different variations of the spider web tattoo and the meaning behind them.

This includes all of the meanings from racism to spirituality, looking at both the positive and negative meanings of the tattoo. Just keep reading to find out more.

Spider Web Tattoo Variations and What They Mean

The History Of The Spider Web Tattoo

The spider web tattoo design is one that comes with a lengthy history as it has had various different meanings throughout time.

We are going to look at all of the different meanings behind this tattoo design below, so you can understand why there might be some mixed feelings about this tattoo.

Prison Association

For a very long time, the spider web tattoo design has been a symbol of incarceration. It has often been associated with serving time behind bars, and this is the reason why this tattoo gained in popularity during the 1970s and 1980s.

This is due to the fact that more and more inmates were getting this tattoo design to mark that they had served time in prison. The spider web tattoo design is almost as famous as the teardrop tattoo. The teardrop tattoo represents the same thing as the spider web tattoo does.

Spider Web Tattoo Variations And What They Mean
Credit: butch_made

White Power

Although the spider web tattoo design is negatively associated with spending time in prison, it also has a far darker meaning than this. The spider web tattoo was also a symbol for white supremacy groups. These tattoos were often inked on the elbows of people within these groups as a way to symbolize their loyalty to the cause.

Spider web tattoos started to become increasingly popular in prison systems throughout the United States during the late 1900s. Even today the tattoo is still a popular prison tattoo.

However, in the late 1970s, wearing this kind of tattoo would come at a cost. There were lots of white supremacy groups that had rules when it came to wearing such a tattoo. 

Some of these groups even made it a requirement that you would need to kill a minority before you were able to wear the tattoo. This is one of the reasons why the tattoo is thought to be so negative, and for good reason.

Although the spider web tattoo has been known as a symbol of both racism and serving prison time, modern society has put its own spin on the tattoo. It is often associated with various different positive meanings. Some people like to think of it as a work of art.

A lot of time and energy goes into a spider creating their own web, and this is something that is also reflected in the design of the tattoo.

Native Meaning

The spider web tattoo design has also been associated with and linked to the Native Americans for hundreds of years. The spider web in itself is linked to the dream capture and spider woman, who is a Native American character.

It is known that she would weave protective webs over the cradleboards of all of the newborns.

In doing so, the newborn babies remained protected from anything bad. This is why the spider web tattoo is also thought to be a symbol of protection, providing a more positive spin on the tattoo design. This highlights the fact that this tattoo design can be both positive and negative. 

If you have been thinking about getting a spider web tattoo, then you will need to think about how it can be viewed by other people. The opinion of other people may be swayed by the fact that this tattoo has so many negative connotations.

However, it is just as important to not judge someone for giving this tattoo as it is also often appreciated by people for its beauty and value. Lots of people that get this tattoo will not even be aware of the negative associations with it. 

Just because someone has a spider web tattoo, it doesn’t automatically mean that they are a former inmate, racist, or a criminal. They may have simply been drawn in by the beauty of the design, and all of the positive things that it could also be in reference to.

Just keep in mind that other people might think the same way about you if you were to sport this tattoo. Although, if it is important to you for a positive reason or because you like the design, this shouldn’t put you off getting it.

Spider Web Tattoo Symbolism

As you know from the information that we have shared with you, the spider web tattoo can have both positive and negative meanings for different people.

It is really important to fully understand the meaning behind this tattoo before you get it. Some of the meanings behind the spider web tattoo include:

  • Incarceration
  • Death
  • Beauty
  • Design
  • Magic
  • Protection
  • Safety
  • Prison
  • Radical
  • White Supremacy
  • Evil
  • Creativity

As we have already mentioned, it is essential to be aware of all of the things that are associated with the spider web tattoo and what it can stand for or represent.

It might still take a long time for the tattoo design to get rid of all of the negative things that it is associated with, but this might never happen. 

The spider web tattoo can also be combined with lots of other different symbols. One of the most popular designs that is paired with this tattoo is that of the spider.

Although, the most popular type of spider that people get tattooed on them with the web is the black widow. 

For those that don’t already know, the black widow is a deadly spider that is well known for its bright red hourglass symbol that can be found on its back. The female black widow is also widely known for eating her mate after mating, when she no longer needs him around.

The black widow can also be a representation of other things like evil, death strength, or power. It is also a possibility that a person would choose to get the black widow tattoo design as a symbol of a near death experience.

As well as spiders, there are various other symbols that you might want to think about. Due to the face that spider web tattoos are often tattooed onto the elbow, you might consider getting a star into your chosen design. 

Some people will choose to get other symbols, like a heart, skull, or even a diamond. As these tattoos are often seen as a dark symbol, even if they do not have a negative meaning, you might also want to think about other symbols like graves, vampires, or gothic symbols.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know everything there is to know about the meaning of the spider web tattoo design, you can make a fully informed decision about the tattoo that you want to get next.

Although, if you still have some unanswered questions, then you can check out some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Can Anyone Get A Spider Web Tattoo?

Yes, anyone can get a spider web tattoo. These designs are most commonly found on men, and they are usually included into themed tattoo designs. They are most commonly linked to themed tattoo designs. 

Spider Web Tattoo Variations And What They Mean
Credit: kjazz6363

Do Elbow Tattoos Hurt?

Getting an elbow tattoo is typically a painful experience, but this will depend on how good your tolerance for pain is. There isn’t much protection offered by fat and muscle in this area, which means that it is a very sensitive part of the body to get tattooed.

What Does The Spider Web Tattoo Symbolize?

Traditionally, the spider web tattoo is thought to symbolize the struggle in a person’s life that they need to overcome. For sailors, this tattoo would show that they want to go home, and the web would represent their long wait.

Max Peters