The Meanings Behind Heart Tattoos

Understanding The Meanings Behind Heart Tattoos

Researchers have found varieties of the heart symbol used throughout history, dating all the way back to the time just prior to the ice age.  Symbols of the heart have been used by just about every culture, from the ancient Egyptians to Greek mythology to the tribes of Africa.  So it is no wonder that heart tattoos are as popular as they are today.

Heart tattoos have evolved from the symbol on the sailor’s arm as a tribute to his mother to one of the most complex designs with the greatest number of variations around.  Heart tattoos are common on both men and women and can be designed as a tribal tattoo, a Celtic tattoo, or even your basic greeting-card style heart.  They can be placed on numerous area of the body, commonly showing up on arms, ankles, hips, chests, and lower back areas. 

Heart tattoos can mean many different things to many different people.  Throughout history, different cultures have used the heart to symbolize different things and no singular meaning has made itself common to date.  The same applies to heart tattoos.  Depending on the color, style, combinations with other items, and placement on the body, a heart tattoo can mean almost anything.

Common Heart Tattoo Meanings

Heart tattoos can represent any number of meanings, moods, and personalities.  One of the most common in western culture is the red heart symbolizing love.  These hearts are often combined with roses or banners stating the loved one’s name to proclaim everlasting romantic love.  Heart tattoos combined with daggers, swords, or knives can represent either betrayal or courage, depending on the person wearing the tattoo.  One type of heart tattoo design is commonly acknowledged as the “sacred heart of Christ”, and the wearer of this tattoo is stating their devotion and understanding of the love of Christ in a Christian sense.

Tribal hearts rendered in basic colors usually represent an individual with their emotions under control.  Heart tattoos with wings, normally found on the shoulder, chest, or lower back, is known to signify a person with a happy, pure, and free spirit.  This can also be designated by a heart design with a halo above it.  Hearts combined with other symbols such as animals, sports items, or nature indicates a love for that particular item.  Heart tattoos displayed as broken, black, or only half is displayed symbolized grief and loss. 

There are few symbols in the world that can match the complexity of the heart, and heart tattoos are no different.  Whether they signify passion, loss, or love, heart tattoos have been around for generations and are gaining in popularity every year.  Regardless if it is the individual’s first tattoo or their tenth, a heart tattoo is an everlasting reminder of a passion of the individual decorated with it.

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