Sacred Heart - The Sacred Heart is one of the most popular forms of tattoos. It is representative of Jesus' heart and his divine love for all things. There are many variations of this symbol, some depicting the flames of passion and others still being depicted realistically almost like a real heart.
Sailors - Once common tattoos amongst Navy men. Usually depicted wearing the white sailor uniform and cap.
Sailor Girl - Classic pin up style tattoo. Wearing a sailors uniform but with a low cut top showing an ample bosom.
Sailor's Grave - Old school tattoo done to remember fellow Navy men lost in battle at sea. It is depicted as an anchor or 'lifesaver' being held by an American Bald Eagle with a banner inscribed 'Sailor's Grave'.
Samurai - Ancient Japanese warriors known for their discipline and swordsmanship. They were also noted for their honor choosing to commit suicide instead of submitting. It is a popular form of tattoo in the Japanese tradition and can be part of a full 'suit' covering the entire body depicting war scenes.
Scorpion - The scorpion is a deadly creature and can kill a human being very quickly. It is associated with revenge because of its nature. Even still it is a very popular form of tattoo even amongst those not born under its astrological sign.
Sea Horse - The Sea Horse is a very unusual looking sea creature that has many associations. As a tattoo it can mean numerous things from the strength of the horse and ruler of the sea.
Semper Fidelis - This is popular amongst US Marines for its meaning 'Always Faithful'. It can be used alone or alongside an anchor or bulldog as a US Marine Corp tattoo.
Shamrock - This small clover like plant is associated with the Celtic people of Ireland where it was believed to be a sacred plant. St Patrick adopted it to denote the 'Holy Trinity' of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a tattoo it has been appropriated by far right groups even though it is still a popular tattoo amongst those recognizing their Irish heritage.
Shiva - A Hindu god depicted with four arms outstretched and one leg raised symbolizing the 'cosmic 'dance'. He is usually surrounded by flames and is the 'giver of life'.
Sickle - Associated with either communism or death as in the 'Grim Reaper' giving it a meaning of death and its inevitable rebirth.
Skull - The skull is a recurrent theme in tattoos mainly because of its unique appearance. Skulls as tattoos can take many variations and meanings. They can be grisly with worms boring through the skull or can have a more new school look with a bold bright appearance and a green 'X' in place of a socket and a dagger going through it.
Snake - Snakes are a recurring form of tattoo in may different styles from modern American tattoos to Chinese style tattoos. It is associated with renewal because of the snakes ability to shed its skin. The snake was also associated with knowledge and temptation in the Christian tradition. There are many different styles of snakes and can be depicted on their own, coiled around a sword or dagger (which is a medical symbol) or emerging from a skull.
Spider - Spiders can be deadly insects such as the black widow spider or the fearsome but generally harmless tarantula.
Spider Web - This is a tattoo that can symbolize a prison term. They are tattooed on the elbows and can also mean that the person sporting it has killed someone.
Spirals - This is a Celtic symbol found on the ancient burial tombs of the Celts in Ireland. They are thought to represent the three realms in the celtic belief system of the underworld, overworld and the world.
Star - The star is a popular form of tattoo and can take on many different forms such as shooting star tattoos. They can also have many different meanings associated with them.
A lot of people seem to be getting them because they express their inner desire to be a star. Shooting star tattoos can also symbolize a brief fleeting moment in ones life just like the brief wonder of seeing a shooting star race across the night sky. They can also be a symbol of reaching ones ultimate destiny and are popular among stars of the Hollywood variety.
Shooting stars, asteroids, and the movement of the heavenly bodies in the night sky have always fascinated humans. Some cultures have always had strong beliefs and superstitions in the meaning of shooting stars. Traditionally shooting stars also meant a new birth and changes in ones life and also a wish for a better life.
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Statue of Liberty - The most famous statue which stands for liberty, freedom and independence to all that follow the 'American Way'. It has become a popular form of tattoo particularly in the aftermath of 9/11. The Statue of Liberty is one of the first things many immigrants would see on arrival in the 'land of opportunity' and as such means new beginnings.
Sun - The sun is a powerful symbol common amongst all cultures. It is rich in meaning and symbolism and is most commonly acknowledged as the 'giver of life' without which, all things would perish. As a tattoo it can be depicted in many different forms, from the sun with flames around it to a tribal style of Haida depiction with human-like face.
Sun and Moon - It can mean the interplay of opposites as in male and female, hot and cold, Yin and Yang. Both the sun and moon nourish us in different ways.
Sunflowers - Sunflowers are a common tattoo because of their striking appearance and bright yellow color.
Swallow - Swallows have always been a favorite tattoo amongst sailors because of their association with good luck and homecoming.
Swastika - Originally an ancient symbol that was a sign of creation but now internationally recognized for its Nazi associations. Because of its negative associations not many people get it tattooed unless belonging to a far right group or as a complex piece where its obvious power is played down.
Sword - The sword has many connotations such as justice and virtue, but also danger. They have magical powers and often appear in myths and legends.