Spider Web Tattoo Variations From Racism To Spirituality

Spider Web Tattoo Variations From Racism To Spirituality

- in Tattoo Meanings
Spider Web Tattoo

One of the most criticized tattoos of the past and present is definitely the spider web tattoo. For the most part that is due to the spider web tattoo link to things that are negative in nature, such as racism, prison, murder, gangs, and violence.Spider Web Tattoo Nevertheless, in modern times, the spider web tattoo has become associated with positive meanings too. This tattoo has a rich history and we will take a closer look at this popular tattoo symbol.

History of the Spider Web Tattoo


For a long time, the spider web tattoo has been a symbol of incarceration. It has served as a symbol of serving time behind bars for decades. The tattoo began to gain popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, as more and more inmates began to get it inked to mark their time served. In fact, as far as prison tattoos go, the spider web is at the same range as the famous teardrop tattoo. Just as the spider web tattoo can, the teardrop tattoo as well represents time spent behind bars.

-White Supremacy

Although the spider web tattoo can be used to symbolize time spent in prison, there is a much darker history to this tattoo then most people are familiar with. This tattoo was also a symbol of white supremacy groups. They were inked on the elbows to symbolize their loyalty to their group. Spider web tattoos gained popularity in prison systems all across the United States during the late 1900s. Even nowadays, the tattoo is still a popular prison tattoo. But in the late 1970s, to wear such a tattoo would come at great cost. Many white supremacy groups had rules when it came to the spider web tattoo. Some groups required that you would have to kill a minority before you could wear such a tattoo. This link has given the tattoo a negative perspective, and rightfully so.

Even though this tattoo has been viewed as a symbol of prison and racism, in modern times, it is not as negative. In fact, the tattoo can be associated with several positive meanings. When you take a moment to view the piece, it is truly a work of art. It is almost like the web’s creator is an engineer. Only then we can find the true meaning surrounding all the negativity behind the spider web tattoo.

-Native Americans

The spider web has been associated and linked to the Native Americans for centuries. The spider web is also linked to the dream catcher and Spider-Woman, who is a Native American character. Spider-Woman was considered to be an important figure to several different Native American tribes. She would weave protective webs over the cradleboards of all newborns. By doing this, the newborns were protected from all that is bad. As a tattoo, on the other hand, the spider web can symbolize protection.

So, the spider web tattoo can symbolize both positive and negative meanings. If you are thinking about getting one, you should be aware of how it will be viewed by others. The public’s perspective is negative and probably will be for years to come. We shouldn’t judge someone for wearing this tattoo though, because it doesn’t mean that they are a racist, criminal, or a former inmate. These days, the tattoo is appreciated for its true value as a popular tattoo symbol and it should. But even so, if you choose this tattoo, don’t be surprised if you are labeled. This is something you have to take into consideration.


The spider web tattoo can represent both positive and negative meanings. It is important that you learn and fully understands all the meanings behind this design. Here are some meanings and symbols associated with the tattoo.

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

As previously mentioned, it is very important to know what this tattoo can stand for and represent. It may take decades, if not longer, for the spider web tattoo to shake such negative associations or it is possible that it never will.

This tattoo can also be combined with several different symbols. Of course, the most popular is the spider. The most popular spider design chosen for this tattoo is the black widow. The black widow is a deadly spider famous for its bright red hourglass symbol located on its back. The female black widow is also known for eating her mate once she no longer has a need for him. The black widow may represent death, evil, power, or strength. It is also possible that one may choose the black widow tattoo to symbolize a near-death experience.

Besides spiders, there are a few different symbols that can be considered. Since they are usually inked on the elbows, someone may consider getting a star inked on the ball of the elbow. You could use a few different symbols, such as a heart, diamond, or a skull. Starting with the fact that these tattoos are often viewed as a dark symbol, such tattoo designs may include graves, vampires, or other Gothic symbols.


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