The art of tattooing has come a long way in the past few decades. It’s gone from a societal taboo to a serious craft, not to mention a extremely edgy trend. In today’s world, tattoos mean so much more than something you don’t remember getting after a bachelor party (not that that doesn’t still happen regularly.) All tattoos have a special meaning for each person who chooses to get inked; that piece of art is a reminder for them to carry for the rest of their lives. Just because a tattoo is small, however, doesn’t mean that it can’t have just as much meaning as a full-body tatt. As they say, good things do come in small packages. Check out these 13 small tattoos that have some seriously beautiful meanings, including the powerful symbolism behind the semi-colon tattoo you’ve probably seen around the internet.

  1. Moon Phases

    Moon Phases

    This beautiful tattoo detailing the moon’s phases can mean a few different things. This tattoo can symbolize the ever changing nature of life through the constant changing of the moon.

    It can also represent a cyclical nature; just as the moon phases in circles, time, karma, and life also revolves in a circular motion. This is especially beautiful if you’re a Cancer zodiac sign, as the moon is your patron planet.

  2. Inguz Symbol

    Inguz Tattoo

    This Greek symbol of Inguz means, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Very inspiring as a daily reminder for all of us that willpower can be unstoppable.

  3. Lotus Flower

    Lotus Tattoo

    This ancient Chinese flower tattoo has a beautiful meaning. The lotus flower can grow in muddy waters and still bloom beautifully above the water’s surface. This plant is seen as a representation of the ability to rise above unpleasant environments and circumstances and achieve enlightenment.

  4. Ohm Symbol

    Ohm Tattoo

    If you’re familiar with the practice of yoga, you know that the incantation of “Ohm,” is said as a mantra to channel intense spiritual and creative powers. This symbol for “Ohm” represents four different states of consciousness and illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).

  5. Exploration Glyph

    Explore Glyph Tattoo

    The term “glyph” is short for “hieroglyphics,” the form of writing used by the ancient Egyptians. This means of writing was done through a vast series of symbols that carried various meanings. This glyph, which looks like a capped mountain, means “exploration.” This is the perfect tiny tattoo for anyone with a little wanderlust.

  6. Anchor Tattoo

    Anchor Tatto

    This is a more common tattoo, one that you’ve probably seen before. The anchor symbolizes strength and stability, it can often symbolize one person who you consider your “rock” or your source of strength.

  7. Alchemist Symbol

    Alchemy Tattoo

    Alchemists are people (we say “are” because, although this is an ancient practice, alchemists do still practice alchemy today) who dedicate their lives to the transforming of matter. Traditionally, alchemists turned basic metals into gold and were often searching to find elixirs of immortality. This symbol of the alchemists symbolizes balance (presumably between science and magic), metals, love, and artistic creativity.

  8. Viking Symbol

    Viking Tattoo

    Anyone of Danish or Scandinavian decent will especially appreciate tattoo. This minimalist symbol means, “Create your own reality.” The symbol is traced back to the ancient Norse Vikings, which brings an extra cool element to the edgy tattoo.

  9. Open Delta Symbol

    Open Delta Tattoo

    Two for one in this image! The first tattoo (the one on top) is an open Delta symbol; Delta is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet and also signifies the number 4. This slightly open Delta signal symbolizes someone who is open to change. The tattoo below, a variety of crossed lines, represents strategy.

  10. Malin Symbol

    Perservere Tattoo

    This Swedish symbol, which originates back to Skovde, Sweden, is called the Malin symbol. This Malin symbol means, “You have to face setbacks in able to go forward.”

  11. Zen Circle

    Zen Tattoo

    This small tattoo may look simple, but it has a very deep meaning. This incomplete circle, which is traditionally thicker on one side, symbolizes zen. More so, this zen circle means enlightenment, the universe, and the strength we all have inside of all of us.

  12. Ship Tattoo

    Ship Tattoo

    A ship tattoo, no matter the size or design, usually symbolizes the same thing: a journey or an adventure. This is a great little tattoo to represent life and the epic journey we all take.

  13. Semi-Colon

    Small Tattoo Meanings

    Possibly the most beautiful tattoo of all, the semi-colon tattoo means exactly what the semi-colon itself means: a sentence or thought that could have stopped but decided to keep going.

    While this can represent the strength to go forward in life, it has an even deeper meaning for a specific group of people worldwide. Project Semi-Colon is a movement in which people who considered taking their lives, but didn’t, tattoo a semi-colon on their wrists. They could have ended their thought, their sentence, their lives, but they decided to go on. Beautiful.

What do you think of these small but powerful tattoos? Share your thoughts and your own tiny tatts in the comments section below.