Mushrooms may not be the first thing people think of when they think of body art, but mushroom tattoos are not only aesthetically unique, they are also full to the brim with meaning. In general, they are a symbol of male virility; however, in China they are a symbol of rebirth and happiness. In Mexico they signify enlightenment, and in some African tribes they are seen as a symbol for the human soul.
Most people use mushroom tattoos in a colorful way. These generally depict things like fairies or elves perched atop a large, brightly hued mushroom. They may also have a distinctly psychedelic feel reminiscent of hippie culture; for example you may see a toad licking a mushroom that has melting rainbow colors; the mushroom may also be incorporated with a peace sign, with the cap at the top, and three roots at the bottom. As well as encompassing some of the other pieces of symbology, this style may also be indicative of a connection with a certain drug culture.
It is not unusual to see mushroom tattoos that mesh the mushroom with other symbols. For instance, a mushroom re-shaped and colored in the hues of a rose; a mushroom with butterfly wings, or turned into an otherworldly creature. The latter example is by far one of the most common of this particular style and may include things like ferocious teeth; red, glowing eyes, and possibly even claws. You may also see mushroom tattoos that are turned into large, ornate spaceships. These ships usually have brightly colored lights around the cap and dust flying out from beneath it.
Many mushroom tattoos are done in a cartoon-like style. These pieces may show the mushroom in a variety of styles, but most frequently it is transformed into a person, or small creature. They usually have large eyes peeking out from beneath the colorful hat of the cap. This style may be cute or aggressive depending on your style. The cute version may contain things like long eyelashes, bright colors, and large pouty lips. The aggressive style may be covered in spikes, wear a sneering expression, and may have a flaming background.
Although seen far less frequently, some people may prefer their mushroom tattoos to be simple. These can vary from a simple outline of a whole or sliced mushroom, or have a large amount of realistic detail. One idea for this style would be to use a design similar to those you would see in a botany book: faded colors, each line carefully drawn and marked with a description.
All deep meanings aside, mushroom tattoos are seen so infrequently that they will almost certainly be one of the more unique pieces those around you will come in contact with.