Demi Lovato left some fans scratching their heads when the “Heart Attack” pop artist debuted a new spider head tattoo via their Instagram Stories on January 8. It turns out, the design has a very special meaning.

“It was the Grandmother Spider who taught us many things,” Demi, 29, shared in another Instagram Story post, sharing insight into the meaning behind their new ink. “She taught us about pottery and weaving. She taught us about fire and light and dark. She taught us that we are all connected on the web — each one of us having our place in this world.” 

The quote was taken from the Cherokee story “Grandmother Spider Brings the Light.” The character is present in other narratives, such as in “Grandmother Spider Steals the Sun,” in which she creates a clay pot to carry the Sun down to the Earth, bringing light to her side of the world. The figure is also known as a deity named “Spider Woman” in several other Native American tribes. 

Demi had the bold art inked onto the left side of their head atop a freshly shaved buzz cut, which was seemingly just for the purpose of making room for the tattoo, as Demi jokingly mentioned they needed to “fix” their hair in a separate Story.

Demi Lovato Spider Tattoo Meaning
Courtesy of Demi Lovato/Instagram

This certainly isn’t the “Confident” artist’s first tattoo — Demi received their first at just 16 years old. The words “You Make Me Beautiful” were inked across the right side of the singer’s ribcage. Demi then added a red dreamcatcher design around it years later. 

In 2014, the Disney Channel alum mentioned they “lost count” of all the tattoos they had received up to that point in an interview with iHeart Radio. “I have a lot,” Demi said. “It could be 10. It could be 26! I have a very very high pain tolerance.” 

As for one of their most noteworthy designs, Demi revealed they opted for the words “Stay Strong” on their left and right wrists following their 2011 rehab stint. 

“When I got out of rehab, that’s the first thing I did,” the Sonny With a Chance alum recalled in their interview. “I went and got tattooed, ‘Stay Strong’ because a lot of fans were telling me that, and it helped me get through a rough period, so anytime that I would feel triggered to self-harm or act out in an unhealthy behavior, I could look down at that and stay strong.”

Demi has often spoken about their struggles with mental health, eating disorders, addiction and sobriety journey. The singer recently made headlines when multiple outlets reported that they had recently completed another rehab stint.

The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer “returned home from rehab during the holidays,” a source told Us Weekly on January 9. “Demi will have a sober living companion [with] them during this transition. It was their decision to go back to rehab.” 

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).