Scythe Tattoo Meaning with Ideas & Designs

The scythe, a sickle-shaped tool, was traditionally used for agricultural activities like cutting grass and crop harvesting. The scythe, besides representing farming, also means death.

Over the years, tattoo enthusiasts have inked different designs of the scythe to signify several things.

You need to understand the scythe tattoo meaning if it is something you’d want to have. Read on to learn more.

Scythe Tattoo Meaning

Scythe Tattoo Meaning

The scythe was a farm tool with a long curved blade that looked like a sickle. It was mainly used for agricultural purposes. In Greek mythology, the Scythe was the Grim Reaper’s tool. The grim reaper was a mythical representation of death. He is depicted wearing a long black robe and holding a sharp scythe in ancient literature, art, movies, and even tattoos.

In ancient times, the grim reaper would typically appear when someone was about to die. Legends say he would use his sharp scythe to separate the soul from the dying body. He would then go with the soul to its resting place, which could either be hell or heaven. Here are the main symbolisms of scythe tattoos. 


As body art for tattoo lovers, the scythe has been used to signify death. It is a representation of the cycle of life. Like fruits that grow in spring, mature and ripen in summer, and are harvested in autumn, all lives on earth will also come to pass. Similarly, humans are born, live for a moment on earth, and die when the time comes.

For some people, this tattoo and its association with death brings fear to them, while it is a source of comfort for others. The latter believe everything that has a beginning must have an end, so they take that opportunity to live their best lives. Scythe tattoo wearers appreciate life in its full measure since they understand it will come to pass one day.


This tattoo marks a new beginning after the end of a cycle to some people. Well, as plants’ existence comes to an end in winter, they are reborn in spring. Some people tattoo it to show a new beginning in their lives, mostly after going through a dark phase.


The scythe tattoo could also represent strength. We live in a cruel world, and more often than not, we are fighting against different things to survive. This could be illnesses, addictions, change, and love, among other things. This tattoo, therefore, signifies the effort you’re putting in to survive different things in life.

Why Scythe Tattoos are Popular

The fact that every living thing on earth shall come to pass makes the scythe tattoo popular. Death is inevitable. This tattoo shows just how precious life is, and the things around it make it even more beautiful. It is drawn as an appreciation of the nature of life and preparation for life after death. It gives humans comfort that however beautiful or ugly life might be, it has to come to an end.

Its significance to new beginnings also makes it popular for gothic fashion lovers. We all go through different phases in life, and we have the ability to turn them around into something better. The scythe will show new beginnings, whether it is a new job or coming out of certain addictions and behavior. 

Who is Scythe Tattoo for?

The Scythe tattoo is an important body art for people who believe that life has an end, just like it had a beginning. They want to make better use of the days they’re on earth before they die. You need to understand that this tattoo is not for people about to die, but it is a recognition that their day will come sooner or later. It is an acceptance of death rather than its fear.

It is also a perfect body art for you if you believe in your ability to change a particular aspect of your life from bad to good or better. If you’re going through a rocky path, you can have it tattooed on your body to signify the strength to fight through it all. In this way, it is a positive symbol to show that the wearer isn’t allowing the dark days to keep them from happiness.

Tattoo enthusiasts can also draw this bold design without any meaning in mind. Before you have any tattoo, make sure you understand its meaning first. Be sure to check out several designs before choosing one that resonates with you.

Best Placement for Scythe Tattoo

Scythe tattoos can be drawn anywhere on the body, depending on the wearer’s personality. It is best when drawn on the back as an enormous design. It can be done as a plain design with no additions or combined with other designs such as flowers or words to depict some special meaning. Some people even ink it on their faces.

This tattoo can be drawn as a small image on the arm, neck, leg, or thighs for minimalists. It is primarily tattooed in black color to show its primary meaning of death. Slight shading on the handle and upper parts of the blade makes it more appealing to the eye.

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Scythe tattoos are often conspicuous images that bear a lot of meaning, making it no surprise that they are rapidly gaining popularity among tattoo enthusiasts. The main thing it represents is death and the eternal cycle of life. You can include additional symbols to a scythe to make it more striking.

About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!