What does a skull symbolize?

What Does A Skull Symbolize?

of reading - words

Death has always fascinated men. Ignorance of what is happening in the afterlife gives free rein to the wandering of all imaginations. πŸ€”

Everyone according to their religious beliefs, convictions or personal experience has their own theory on the subject. But most of the time, it is uncertainty that dominates!

Faced with this questioning and such fatality, human beings have chosen to tame death by symbolizing it. The most frequent representations of death are the famous Great Grim Reaper and of course: the skull and crossbones!

The skull has inspired many painters and writers who have integrated it into their works to better illustrate their message. In addition to the skull in art, the symbol was later widely adopted in the fashion and jewellery industry.

This symbol is often associated with rebellion or the questioning of precepts and conventions. Today, we are going to lay bare once and for all the symbolic meaning of the skull and crossbones! πŸ’€

1) "Pirate Skull" symbol

The representation of a skull can be summed up as a skull devoid of flesh and dominated by two large, wide-open orbits that accentuate its frightening side. The skull is frightening: the sight of it irremediably provokes a deaf anxiety tinged with questions!

The pirates who scoured the seas in antiquity made no mistake in choosing the skull and crossbones as their symbol. What is the purpose of the Pirate Flag? To intimidate the adversary and convey a message of fear!

When a ship had the misfortune of crossing their boat on which the black-bottomed flag was hoisted, it immediately knew what to do.

Nowadays, the pirate flag is proudly displayed on fashionable clothes such as this magnificent
Skull and Bones Pirate jacket made of buffalo leather that appeals to the most daring. πŸ’ͺ

pirate skull ship

2) "Viking skull and crossbones" symbol

The Celtic Warriors had the unfortunate habit of beheading their enemies in order to recover their skulls.

It was very important to them: it is inside the skull that the spirit, power and bravery of their opponents resides! By collecting the skulls of defeated fighters in this way, they thought they would increase their strength and courage. 😀

The Viking Warriors, on the other hand, did the same and had a real cult towards enemy skulls. Their pride was to drink from one of these skulls to gain the strength of the other to complement their own.

Viking warriors were admired by their fellow Vikings for their special dishes. A little anecdote tells us about this link: the word used in Scandinavia for toasting is "skΓ₯l" which translates as bowl. But "skull" means skull in English!

Every time two mugs collide in the Nordic countries, it is a reference to this tradition that is recalled. Drink like a true Viking with this
Viking Skull Mug!

drink beer save water

3) "Mexican skull and crossbones" symbol.

Death is at the origin of festive events that take place annually in early November over 48 hours in Mexico. It is the "dia de los muertos" or in English: the Day of the Dead.

Far from being a moment of sadness or melancholy nostalgia, these celebrations are dedicated to celebration, song and dance. Altars are erected in homage to the dead.

Numerous offerings are deposited in order to share the banquet with the deceased: sweets,
sugar skulls and even tequila! πŸ₯‚

October 31 marks the arrival of the children's souls. It is an opportunity for young people to disguise themselves as disturbing creatures such as mummies, zombies or the living dead.

Girls and boys take to the streets with a pumpkin πŸŽƒ just like the Halloween party! Instead of the famous "a candy or a spell", young Mexicans say "calaveras, calaveras" to get candy and coins. "Calavera" means "skull and crossbones" in Spanish.

Nowadays, the famous Mexican skull and crossbones have become an internationally prized symbol. It is omnipresent in tattoos, on clothes, necklaces, bracelets or rings. Many jewels stage the Day of the Dead with the image of this splendid Mexican Skull Ring in solid silver 925!

sugar skull half face makeup

4) "Human Skull" Symbol

As a result of the influence of pirates, the skull became synonymous with freedom from rules, insubordination, disorder and every man for himself.

For some people, wearing a skull on a piece of clothing or a vehicle is a way of assuming their rebellious side, refusing the dictates of a society in which they create a special place for themselves. But this does not mean that they put themselves on the margins of social life and human exchanges!

By proudly displaying their skeleton banner in this way, they claim their difference but not their opposition. Their goal is not to question things, but to live out their desire for freedom, just like those bikers who happily swallow asphalt, especially on the famous Route 66 that links the east and west of the United States of America. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ


This way of life is also materialized through jewellery with skulls. Numerous models are available with the effigy of a skull often embellished by another associated symbolism.

They have been adopted by bikers, rockers, punk, rap and gothic fashion. The skull and crossbones are an integral part of any self-respecting collection!

Historically, the message conveyed by the skull was clear: a human skull surmounting two crossed shins signified the presence of imminent danger. ⚠️ Thus was created the legend of the sea pirates, but also that of the road pirates in the image of the Hell's Angels (bikers with a sulphurous reputation).

The presence of a skull and crossbones on a standard is enough to keep away any curious and discourage the most reckless.

hells angels biker vest

5) "Skull and crossbones tattoos" symbol.

Tattoos with skulls are becoming more and more common. Those who put the skull forward often do so with a desire to assert a certain state of mind.

It is also a kind of acceptance of the fatality of reality in order to better tame it, no doubt. Every life ends with death, but rather than dreading this obligatory outcome, tattooing it in one's flesh allows one to prepare for death psychologically without fearing it any more. πŸ™


Depending on your desires, interests and beliefs, a short-lived skull and crossbones tattoo can be the perfect way to invite itself on your skin! Ephemeral and easy to apply, they have the advantage that they can be replaced according to your moods.

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6) "Skull and Works of Art" Symbol

Appeared in representation in the Middle Ages, the skull was used to signify the salvation of the soul. Thus tamed, it began to be integrated more and more frequently in artistic works as an indicator of the passage of time and post-mortem life.

Numerous painters, such as Dali and Picasso, made it possible to democratise the use of the skull in pictorial art, and sculptors followed suit.

Modern times, combined with evolving technologies, have made the skull a common two- or three-dimensional figuration. A perfect example: these superb decorative skull heads ! 😍

decorative human skulls

7) "Skull and crossbones jewelry" symbol.

The gothics made the skull and crossbones their emblem. Synonymous with rebellion and life on the fringes of society, they display it everywhere on their fashion accessories: bracelets, rings, pendants, necklaces... and even gadgets are an opportunity to clearly show what they think!

Example: this
Gothic Leather Bracelet with spikes, combining the softness of lamb leather with the worrying aggressiveness of the spikes.

Surfing on this trend, designers and fashion designers have jumped into the breach and it's very good news for all Skulls fans! πŸ’€

gothic leather bracelets


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