Of all the Greek stories we know and have infused into our culture, Zeus has to be the most famous of them all.
What image did you think of when you read his name?
It is likely you pictured a large, well-muscled man with long flowing white hair and an impressive beard, wearing a toga and possibly throwing a lightning bolt.
Zeus tattoos are a popular choice for fans of Greek tattoos because he’s such a leader of the pack.
Zeus is not only the King of Deities, ruling over Mount Olympus, he is also responsible for so many of our favorite Greek myths because he has fathered so many deities.
Though Zeus is something of an iconic character, most people only know his main talking points: Lightning bolts, well-built body, lover to many, and father to even more.
But if you’re going to get a Zeus tattoo, it might be a good idea to take a deep dive into his legend.
Who is Zeus, why is he such a popular tattoo choice, and what can we learn from him?
Common Themes in Zeus Tattoos
Zeus tattoos are often done in black and grey portrait style, but there are no rules against putting your own spin on it.
There are a few key images you may want to include, however.
- Zeus Tattoo Lightning
Zeus holds his lightning bolt as if it were an Olympic javelin.
This shows not only his status as the sky deity but his athletic power as well.
- Throne of Zeus
Zeus sat on a black marble throne with flecks of gold.
Zeus Tattoo Meaning
Above all, Zeus tattoos represent strength and power.
He could also represent the yin/yang qualities that life has.
He was kind and merciful to some while being cruel and malicious with others.
He can represent the complicated relationship between our higher selves and our base urges.
Zeus Tattoo Designs
Zeus is a complicated deity who could be both benevolent and wicked.
If you’re someone who loves a deeply flawed protagonist and likes to read a lot of unbelievable stories, Zeus is the deity for you.
Still mulling over your Zeus tattoo?
Check out our Zeus tattoo gallery for some inspiration!
Zeus Tattoo Ideas
- Zeus Tattoo Sleeve
- Black & Grey Zeus Tattoos
- Small Zeus Tattoos
- Zeus Tattoos on Back
- Zeus Forearm Tattoos
The Symbolism behind Zeus Tattoos
Zeus has quite a few stories in Greek culture.
He’s truly at the center of it all.
But he was almost never born.
Kronos, a Titan and Zeus’s father, became the King when he overthrew his father before him.
An oracle warned Kronos that he would meet the same fate and be usurped by one of his sons.
So, Kronos swallowed every progeny that his wife, Rhea gave birth to.
When Rhea gave birth to Zeus, she hid him in a cave.
She then handed a boulder wrapped in a blanket to Kronos, who gobbled it up without thinking much about it.
When Zeus had grown, he joined the Kingdom disguised as a servant.
One day, he gave his father some stuff in a glass.
After swallowing it, Kronos threw up Zeus’s brothers and sisters.
Zeus then divided power among his siblings.
Zeus became the sky deity, Hades the deity of the underworld, Poiseden the deity of the sea, and Demeter the deity of the earth.
Zeus had two other siblings, Hera the deity of marriage and birth, and Hestia the deity of the domestic home.
The reason you often see Zeus with his trusty lightning bolt is that he is the deity of the sky and has dominion over rain, clouds, and everything of that nature.
He is also a shape-shifter and can turn into any animal he chooses, something he uses to his advantage.
- Zeus And All His Progenies
Though Zeus is often seen as a symbol of power, prestige, and justice, he has a dark side.
He could indeed be kind and in some stories, he would save his divine peers or even a common human.
He could also be vindictive and jealous, dishing out harsh punishments for anyone who disrespected his authority as the sky deity.
It’s an interesting topic to wade through in modern times because, obviously, there was never a real sky deity named Zeus who could turn into a bird.
The stories are fictional, but they remain the same.
Taking this into account when considering your Zeus tattoo- the choice is yours.
Based on the reason you want a Zeus tattoo, these stories may not factor into your decision.
But if it’s something you were unaware of that has changed your opinion on the deity, it’s worth considering choosing someone else from Mount Olympus to pay homage to.