One of the most sought after tattoo design is the incorporation of feathers. In modern times as well as in the past, the feather has been an important element of tattoo designs all over the world. Since it is a pretty unisex tattoo element, feathers can create such an interesting part of the design, changing the way it looks – as well as the meaning behind it. Not to mention the wide array of colors and supporting design elements that you can incorporate into it.
Feathers are often thought of to hold symbolic meaning since they belong to one of the most beautiful living creatures, gifted with the incredible ability to fly. There is no doubt that feathers will remain a favorite tattoo design in terms of looks and meaning. However, once you have gone through some folklore, cultural significance and traditions, you will quickly notice that feathers are often used in tattoo designs to strengthen the meaning of life, freedom, liberty, independence and triumph. It can, at often times, also symbolize one’s ability to showcase their individuality.
Among the Native American culture, the feather tattoo holds the significance of a spiritual protection. The dream catcher, a widely known Native American folklore symbol has a feather attached to the bottom portion, said to be the vessel that bad dreams wash away through. This symbolizes protection much as an amulet does in other cultures. Feathers were even part of the attire worn by Native Americans from different birds indicating their individual status. Often times, wearing the right feather would provide them with protection as they entered the spiritual world. The Native Americans also associated the feather with elements of nature.
As the type of bird feather can often symbolize a stronger meaning, eagle feathers were thought of as a symbol of bravery and honor. Warriors were awarded these feathers in appreciation for their courageous feats. For this reason, you may often see military forces utilize feather tattoos more than others. Some cultures believed that a feather flying into your path meant that a soul had left the earthly realm. In certain cultures the feather was an important part of rituals and ceremonies. Christians endowed the feather with having many virtues and this shows in many feather based tattoo designs. It was part of the design on signet rings with each feather representing something specific.
Among the Celtics, it was believed that the medicine men (the Druids) would don robes that had feathers on them for special occasions. Egyptians also made use of feathers to appease the Gods. Some believe that feathers represent dreams as they are beautiful to look at but difficult to grasp. The feather represents freedom of movement and the ability to float over most obstacles. Due to these historic meanings is why so many people incorporate feathers into their memorial tattoo designs, honoring loved ones that have passed on.
Some connect feathers to angels and other celestial beings since feathers make up wings which these beings are supposed to have. The symbolism of feather tattoos include the truth, quickness, lightness of body and spirit, ability to fly, protection, hope, dreams, courage, the movement of the soul, a promise and the ability to float along.
With so much choice, culturally rich significance and so many positive qualities being attributed to the feather tattoo there is no doubt that you will be uplifted when you get one. But do consider all the possibilities in terms of design, the deeper implications and do some soul searching as to why you really want this tattoo before actually going ahead with it.