Tattoos have been a form of self-expression and body art for centuries, and with so many designs and styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the perfect one. Not to mention the fact that with tattoos gaining popularity and the increase of artists worldwide, there is most certainly a rise in tattoo "trends" and certain imagery/styles being used more commonly.
One can easily be influenced by Instagram and Pinterest when it comes to deciding on what tattoo to get next, but before getting a traditional dagger tattoo just because "it looks cool," consider the symbolism behind some of the more common tattoo designs that have actually been around for many years.
Disclaimer: If you do really want to get a tattoo for the simple fact that it looks cool, that's also okay. Your body, your choice!
Image: Kate Murray Tattoo - Peony
1. The Peony
Peonies are a popular tattoo design, particularly in Asian cultures, and they are often associated with beauty, prosperity, and good fortune. In Chinese culture, the peony is known as the "king of flowers" and is a symbol of honor, wealth, and happiness. In Japanese culture, peonies are a symbol of bravery, good fortune, and romance.
The color of a peony can also impact its symbolism. Red peonies are often associated with love and passion, while white peonies represent purity and innocence. Pink peonies are a symbol of grace and elegance, and yellow peonies are associated with prosperity and good luck.
2. The Red Dragon
A red dragon is a popular tattoo design that holds great symbolism in many cultures, including Chinese, Japanese, and Welsh mythology.
In Chinese culture, the dragon is considered a powerful and benevolent creature, and it's often associated with good luck, strength, and fortune. The color red is also significant in Chinese culture, representing good fortune, happiness, and prosperity. Thus, a red dragon tattoo can symbolize the positive qualities of both the dragon and the color red.
In Japanese culture, the dragon is also highly regarded, but it's considered a more aggressive and powerful creature than in Chinese culture. A red dragon tattoo in Japanese culture can symbolize strength, power, and fierceness.
In Welsh mythology, the dragon is associated with protection and defense, and it's often depicted as a red dragon. The red color of the dragon in Welsh mythology represents bravery and courage.
Image: Finn Guthrie Tattoo - Skull & Snake
3. The Skull & Snake Combo
This one, usually done in traditional style, is a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts and holds significant symbolism. The skull is often seen as a symbol of death, mortality, and the impermanence of life, while the snake represents transformation, healing, and renewal.
In some cultures, the snake is also seen as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, as well as protection against evil spirits. The combination of the skull and snake in a tattoo design can symbolize the duality of life and death, and the idea of transformation and rebirth after a period of darkness.
Additionally, the skull and snake design can represent the concept of mortality and the importance of living life to the fullest. It can also be a reminder to embrace change and transformation, even when it's difficult or painful.
Image: Joshua Ewers Tattoo - Dagger
4. The Dagger
Generally, a dagger tattoo represents courage, strength, and bravery. It can also symbolize the willingness to protect oneself or others from harm.
In some cultures, the dagger is seen as a weapon of justice and can symbolize the fight against oppression or tyranny. For example, in medieval Europe, the dagger was used as a symbol of the resistance against the ruling powers.
In some religious traditions, the dagger can represent spiritual power or enlightenment. For instance, in Hinduism, the goddess Kali is often depicted holding a dagger, symbolizing her ability to cut through ignorance and bring enlightenment to her followers.
Image: Demon Dance Tattoo - Cherub
5. The Cherub
In Christianity, cherubs are often associated with love and devotion, and they are seen as protectors of the Garden of Eden. As such, a cherub tattoo can represent purity, innocence, and a connection to the divine. It can also symbolize the presence of a guardian angel or a loved one who has passed away.
In popular culture, cherubs are often associated with love and romance. A cherub tattoo can represent the idea of finding true love or the importance of cherishing the love that one has already found.
Image: Amy Kate Tattoo - Doberman
6. The Doberman
This design has certainly been gaining popularity over the last while. The Doberman is not only reserved for those who love the breed, which is know for its courage, intelligence, and athleticism.
In some cultures, the Doberman is seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune. It can represent the idea of overcoming adversity and achieving success through hard work and determination. It can also represent strength, courage, and the willingness to protect oneself or others from harm.
Image: Lee Cawley Tattoo - Moth
7. The Moth
A moth tattoo design can hold various meanings, depending on the context and personal interpretation. In general, a moth tattoo is often associated with mystery, transformation, and the pursuit of knowledge.
In many cultures, the moth is seen as a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and can represent the idea of personal growth and transformation, or the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment.
The moth is also seen as a symbol of death and the afterlife in some cultures. It can represent the idea of letting go of the past and embracing new beginnings, or the idea of finding peace and acceptance in the face of mortality.
At the end of the day, your tattoo does not have to have any meaning to you, but sometimes it's cool to know what they might symbolize.