Skulls in all shapes and sizes have become one of the hottest fashion statements in pop culture. Who knew?
Somehow the skull, which was ever popular as something to creep you out at Halloween, has made its way into the fashion world. It adorns shirts, pants, runners, jackets, underwear, sleepwear. It has also made its way to hair accessories such as headbands and hairclips. Trendy jewelry also bears the skull on rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets and one of the most popular tattoos is of course, the skull. It has also become a popular symbol for many heavy metal bands.
Why? Is it bad? Is it evil?
Throughout the world skulls hold different meanings for different people and cultures.
Bikers have certainly helped to boost its popularity. They wear it on their jackets, rings, have skull tattoos and even decorating their bikes with them. The skull to them is the symbol of death and the end of mortality, meant to induce fear and respect. To some bikers it also symbolizes immortality and fate. Wearing a skull will remind them that life and death go hand in hand and that you can’t hide from fate.
The skull also signifies danger. When used with crossbones it is a symbol for poison that is used widely on chemical and hazardous material containers. Pirates also flew their skull flags proudly, warning everyone that they were a force to be reckoned with. To anyone who dared confront them, it was surely a sign of danger. They could be shot at it with cannon balls, slain by the sword or forced to walk the plank. It was not a flag to be taken lightly.
While to some it may symbolize evil and terror, to others it has a good meaning. In many cultures the skull, paired with wings symbolizes life after death. A serpent through the eye of the skull represents the knowledge gained in the afterlife.
In Mexico edible sugar skulls are made to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The belief is that on this day, the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. Sugar skulls are painstakingly and colorfully crafted and sold in street markets to decorate the altars and also taken to the cemetery to honor the dead children.
To the ancient Aztecs and Egyptians it was a symbol of good luck.
Skulls represent both positive and negative energy. They can represent good and evil and also life and death. It is all in your perception and belief of the symbol. It is also perceived by some that the skull represents a guide that takes a persons soul to the afterlife. Some people who have experienced a near death experience see the skull as a symbol of toughness and bravery for having survived.
As with all things, it is all in the eye of the beholder!