Skull Symbolism: 6 Top Meanings (Death, Danger…)

The skull is most often associated with death. But it is a sign that may be interpreted in a variety of other ways. Other than death, skulls symbolize mortality, warning, wisdom, danger, quirky fashion, and strength.

People in today’s society have taken the skill to symbolize things other than death and gloom. It also represents something cool that you can wear as jewelry, print on a t-shirt, or even have tattooed on your body.

When you encounter a skull in your dreams, it might symbolize a variety of things. Often, it symbolizes the need to be careful in your waking life, seek wisdom, embrace your own fashion sense, or be courageous.

Skull Symbolism

Skulls Symbolism in Aztec Culture

Skulls have historically been very closely tied to Aztec culture. To this day, Mexicans celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, a celebration and commemoration of dead relatives. In this celebration, skulls are a prominent feature.

Interestingly, the Aztecs (and still today at Dia de Los Muertos), skulls aren’t a sad or morbid symbol. They’re often painted and work on outfits.

Back when the Aztec empire was at its peak, people were often sacrificed to the gods and their skulls were stacked as ornaments by temples. Recently, at a temple in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, a huge skull rack (called a Tzompantli) was discovered. Its prominence at the temple reinforced the belief that the racks are sacrifices to the gods.

It’s believed that the Aztec skulls were not only symbols of death but also life, rebirth, and overcoming fear of death.

Related Article: Skeleton Symbolism

Skull Symbolism in Western Culture

1. Death

The most dominant thing the skill symbolizes is death. It is for this reason that a skull symbol will be displayed on a warning sign, indicating that death is possible if the sign is ignored.

It serves as a reminder that death will come to all of us one day. Despite the fact that a skull is simply a portion of a complete skeleton, it brings with it the idea of death wherever it is viewed. This knowledge causes us to reflect on our own mortality from time to time.

Thus, it reminds us not only of death but also life and how we should live our lives.

For some, seeing the skull therefore helps us to realign our priorities in order to make the most of our lives.

Others choose to have skull jewelry, or a skull tattooed on their bodies to serve as a constant reminder that we are mortal beings.

Related: A-Z List of Animals that Symbolize Death

2. Warning of Danger

The skull has a long history of being used as a symbol of warning or danger. Most people will pause whenever they see it for the first time. Going down a path with a skull sign at the start would be a bad idea.

Some people believe you can avoid danger by wearing a skull pendant when you’re in the spiritual realm.

You can, for example, wear skull jewelry to ward off negative energy either actively or passively. It certainly keeps us on our toes as we progress through life and is an appropriate symbol for protection, whether it’s for you or others.

Related: The Red Sky also Symbolizes Danger

3. Poison

Today, we often see the skull (and in particular the skull and crossbones) as symbols of poison.

In fact, even official packaging has the skull and crossbones on it to warn people that the contents are poisonous.

In a dream, you may see the skull and crossbones as a subconscious signal to yourself that there is someone who is a poisonous influence in your life. They might be negative all the time, poisoning your happiness, for example.

4. Wisdom

The skull is also a symbol of wisdom. Its wise message is that that your life is important and you must be brave to pursue your dreams.

While at first you might look at a skull and feel fear, it’s really telling you to be wise about your decisions in order to avoid danger.

Skull symbolism is a representation of wisdom because it teaches about the value of life.

You might also see the skill in the works of Shakespeare, or sitting on an ancient book. Because of this, we can look at a skull and think of the wisest sages in our history who embraced the skull symbol as their own.

Related: The Owl also Symbolizes Wisdom

5. Style and Decoration

The skull sign is a frequent fashion industry symbol. It’s the longest-lasting fashion trend symbol. Because of this, tattoos, accessories, piercings, clothing, jewelry, and so on all have similar features.

A Skull is an aesthetic piece. Embroidered on forearms, splattered on shirts, and drawn on printed ornamental objects, the skull has evolved into a stylish logo.

Skulls have been thought to protect their wearers from illness and evil spirits, as well as to fend off disease.

The skull’s prominence in the fashion business is largely due to its global appeal and adaptability, both in terms of style and the symbolic message it conveys.

Thus, it’s safe to assume that skull jewelry will stay fashionable for some time to come, as it’s a classic fashion item that’s never gone out of style.

6. Courage

The skull is worn and embraced by people with courage. They’re people who don’t fear death.

Seeing a skill in a dream may therefore be a sign that you must alter your frame of mind and commit to courageously taking action.

You must be aware of your fears and what’s holding you back then learn from them. Develop the courage to overcome your fears in order to live your best life.

You must realize that even successful people experience numerous setbacks along the way, but they never give up hope. Courage is only necessary, after all, because fear exists.

As a result, you must fail early in the game, fail frequently, and fail forward consistently. Simply get to your feet and move forward with courage.

The skull gives you a message that you shouldn’t be too soft in life; instead, you should take on obstacles that will force you to grow as a person. Maybe you should strive to be someone who isn’t afraid of failing because failure is just a step toward success.

What is a Skull’s Dream Meaning?

Dreaming of a skull can mean a number of different things. It’s hard to know exactly what it may mean, and you need to reflect on this for yourself.

Some possible spiritual meanings of skulls in dreams may (or may not) be:

Skull DreamPossible Meaning
1. A skull on a bookSeek wisdom. There may be wise people around you
2. Piles of skullsYou must walk past the skulls, which may be metaphorically a sign that you need to be courageous in your waking life.
3. A skull at the beginning of a pathThis is usually a warning. In your waking life, beware of making bad mistakes and ensure you think carefully about all decisions.
4. A stylistic skullA stylistic skull, such as a skull tattoo, may be a sign to embrace your own style even if it’s not the fashion of the day.


The skull is a very symbolic object, and while it is predominantly a warning about death, it does not always connote something ominous or sinister.

Skulls are also quite prevalent in contemporary society. Skull tattoos, necklaces, rings, and prints are all too common, and we see them everywhere. Wearing jewelry with skulls on it might bring about feelings of courage and strength.

Those who see a skull in their dreams can interpret it in a variety of ways. It may be a warning about the future, a sign to be courageous, or even a sign to listen to the wisdom of those around you.