Pinecone Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Pinecone Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Simple, beautiful, and widely recognized, Pinecone tattoos make for aesthetically-pleasing skin art, but also carry ancient and powerful associations along with them. In today’s article we’re going to take a closer look so that you can see for yourself what we mean. As it turns out, the common Pinecone is not as common as one might think!


What is the History of Pinecone Tattoos?

If you are looking for a symbol that qualifies as ‘ancient’, then the Pinecone definitely fits the bill Pinecones have been around for longer than we’ve been recording history as a species, because Conifer are some of the oldest plant life-forms on the planet.

The distinctive shape of the pinecone, while well-known, is not just a beautiful form but also performs an incredible bit of function. Those prickly scales each house seeds, which are in turn nurtured on both sides within the pinecone’s structure.

It’s pretty darned efficient and obviously works as-advertised, something humans picked up a long time ago, so that pinecone illustrations and entries in literature are part and parcel of the human experience.

Pinecones seem common, yet as one of Nature’s masterpieces works, they are anything but. While we can’t date the first pinecone tattoo,  we imagine that it was among the first designs to grace human skin and for as long as we have conifers, some out there will choose to also wear Pinecone tattoos!

What Do Pinecone Tattoos Symbolize?

Pinecone tattoos represent life eternal. Through cycle after cycle, they ensure regeneration of the conifer as a species, and this meaning is popular in a number of cultures.

The Aztec goddess of agriculture, Chicomecoatl, is depicted holding pinecones and a pine to this effect, and the Celts used to put pinecones under their pillows for fertility, while the Romans thought them to be associated with Venus.

They even have associations beyond life and regeneration, as Egyptians depicted a pinecone in-between the rising snakes on the Staff of Osiris. In ancient Assyrian, winged beings are shown to carry them, so that pinecones also have symbolism in regards to spiritual enlightenment.

Those ‘common’ cones we used to play with as kids have quite a lot of deep meaning behind them but we suppose that this is not a huge surprise – those little things make excellent hiding places for enormous and breathtaking trees such as pines and firs in the first place!


What Do Pinecone Tattoos Mean?

Pinecone tattoos can mean that one feels an affinity with Nature, especially in the cycle or life and rebirth.

Incorporated with cultural-theme tattoos, the meaning even gets expanded, so a simple pinecone can be the mark of the enlightened, a seeker of wisdom, or even simply one who is always young at heart.

Some even choose Pinecone tattoos for their beauty alone. You don’t really need a deeper message than that, after all, and the subtle browns along with distinctive structure really make for a lovely piece of skin art all on their own.

Ultimately you’ll have to decide on your design and depending on what you choose to put around it or if you decide to depict it on all on it’s lonesome, you’ve got a good range of meanings to choose from.


Where Do Pinecone Tattoos Usually Go?

With a symbol as old as Pinecone tattoos, there really is no ‘standard place’. These tattoos might be on an ankle or the arm, or you might find more than one of them as part of a more complex nature backpiece. 

If you are looking to communicate something about yourself, the outer and upper arm is one of your best choices, as this is easy to cover at work and to ‘free up’ for external viewing once you are on your way home.

If the message is more personal and you’d prefer not to advertise, then the back, hip , or ankle might be better, so just decide how ‘public’ you want it to be.

Don’t be afraid to ask your artist about the best placement, either– some of the tattoos are not only composed and drawn by your artist, but actually placed so that the shape of the body, visibility of muscle or bone, is all taken into account and this can make the difference between a great tattoo and an AMAZING one.


Characteristics and Styles of Pinecone Tattoos

You’ve got a lot of style options with Pinecone tattoos and a seemingly-infinite set of variations to choose from. Your Pinecone tattoo could be photorealistic, a beauty of efficient color, shade and perspective, or you could go with something more exaggerated such as New School.

If you like technology, a Geometric tattoo rendering of a pine cone is still quite easy to recognize – as we’re quite familiar with the pinecone’s efficient and beautiful design almost at an intuitive level.

Choosing your style and depiction is one of the most fun parts of tattooing, so just be sure to take your time. Decide whether the pinecone will be alone or providing aesthetic background or symbology towards your tattoos message as a whole.

While this sounds complex, it really isn’t – just think about what you want to say and decide is the pinecone will be the ‘lead actor’ or if it’s going to simply play an aesthetic or a supporting role. Once you know that, then you’re ready to make a masterpiece of your own that you’ll be enjoying for a lifetime!

Some final words on Pinecone tattoos

An ancient symbol of life, rebirth, and enlightenment, Pinecones also happen to be extremely beautiful and can look amazing in skin art renderings. Whether your own Pinecone tattoo is going to carry a complex message or if those cones are simply there to look beautiful is all going to be up to you.

Once it’s in place you’ll be able to see it for yourself – the nostalgia and recognition of pinecones is just as mighty, if not more so, then the lovely trees that the actual cones will grow to be!

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