Tattoos have firmly entered our modern life. This art allows you to recreate incredible patterns and even full-scale paintings on the skin. Even though you can now draw literally anything you want with the help of a needle and ink, many still opt for minimalist sketches with a deep meaning. In this post, we have collected the most popular symbolic ideas you can use to create your unique tattoo.
Top 20 Popular Symbols and Their Meanings
Although, in people’s minds, there are things that have a certain meaning, you can put your own meaning into your tattoo, depending on your vision, fate, and life events. Here are some of the symbols often seen as body art and their common meanings.
1. Black sun
It is an old pagan sign that looks like a dark circle with twelve curved rays (like lightning). Even though a black sun tattoo has several modern interpretations, it often means a connection with the other world, ancestors, and death.
The four-leaf clover is a symbol of faith in magic and supernatural things. It is believed to bring good luck to its owner, primarily in financial matters. There is also a variant with three leaves, which refers to the Christian idea of the unity of the soul, body, and spirit.
Born leaders make crown tattoos. As a rule, in this way, they want to distinguish themselves from the crowd and emphasize their uniqueness. Also, this symbol can mean wisdom, intelligence, foresight, and a willingness to be responsible for one’s actions.
4. Geographic coordinates
Using geographic coordinates is an interesting way to fix the location of some important event. It can be the city where you grew up, where your children were born, and so on. They are also often used to fix and never forget some sad event.
The anchor is picked by self-confident persons who know exactly what they want. With it, you can demonstrate your constancy, strength, trustworthiness, and endurance. It is also often used by people whose life is somehow connected with the sea or ocean.
In addition to being an obvious expression of love and affection, hearts can signify youth, innocence, spiritual purity, and sincerity. Often they are supplemented with the names of lovers. Angel wings next to a heart can mean the loss of your loved one.
The lotus has no clear meaning, but it always means something good. Owners can thus demonstrate they are under the protection of higher powers and the Universe. Adherents of Buddhism and reincarnation often draw it.
In Western culture, this flower is often drawn simply because it is beautiful. In Japan, such a symbol can be interpreted in one way: you are ready for new relationships. Sakura flowers express independence, emancipation, sexuality, and mental strength.
9. Angel wings
Angel wings act as a kind of amulet. It is believed that it helps you attract a guardian angel to your side and thus have constant protection and support in any endeavor. As a rule, they are depicted in the shoulder blade area on the back.
All over the world, a ladybug symbolizes good luck. If you want to express your hope for the best in all your businesses or, maybe, to get a fortune, you can make a tattoo with this bug. It’s believed it attracts money. That is why it is often depicted next to a four-leaf clover.
Want to show you are happy in love? Paint a pink or red rose. A black flower means losing a loved one, a white one shows naivety and innocence, and a rose with many thorns means unhappy love.
Stars with five points stand for harmony and unity with the world. Some people who truly believe in symbolism make tattoos of four such stars as signs of four elements. You can also draw constellations under which you or your loved ones were born.
13. Om (Aum)
It is believed that it will help the picture owner find a way out even from a hopeless situation. Some people think an Om tattoo will give spiritual enlightenment and inner strength. Others consider the sign a talisman that should protect them from evil forces.
Japanese or Chinese characters are another popular symbol. As a rule, people choose a word that has a sacred meaning for them and translate it into the language they need. The main thing is not to make mistakes and choose the correct translation.
Diamond is a very durable mineral, which, undergoing complex processing, acquires facets. It can symbolize the fact that difficulties have hardened you, and you have become stronger. It shows your resilience, versatility, and confidence.
Sailors especially revered these birds. The appearance of swallows meant that there was very little left to land. The tattoo's meaning is the same: the swallow symbolizes hope, affection for loved ones, and a good soul.
Compasses help us navigate in space. A tattoo with such a symbol can also become a guiding star for you, thanks to which you will choose the right path to your goal. It can also mean courage, a passion for adventure, and self-confidence.
A mandala is a complex symmetrical figure and is some kind of visual embodiment of the Universe. Such an image can be interpreted as harmony, integrity, and unity at all levels.
Ornamental tattoos are special patterns that can recreate the drawings of ancient people. For example, it can be an imitation of Scandinavian wood carvings, designs of Indigenous Americans, or Mexican motifs.
Usually, skulls are associated with death. But a more accurate meaning depends on additional elements. A snake symbolizes wisdom and eternal life. A rose in the skull’s mouth is a risk and danger. If the skull is one, it denotes the beginning of a new life.
Secret Tattoo Language
A tattoo is not just a drawing but a message you convey to the world. That is why the creation of a sketch should be approached carefully. The images picked should reflect your inner world and current experiences. However, you can put your own meaning into the symbols you use or stick to what is generally accepted.