Tattoos have become one of the most common and popular forms of body art today and objects used as inspiration for creating tattoo designs may range from religious symbols to objects in nature such as flowers, plants, birds and animals. One of these is owls, which make a perpetual source of fascination for the human race and this is what accounts for people’s interest in this amazing animal and its increasing use in this form of art. Like all other tattoos, owl tattoos too have a deeper symbolic significance, which bears an influence on the decision of the bearer to have such a design etched on oneself.
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Symbolic Meaning of Owl Tattoos
Owl is regarded as a mysterious creature, with its nocturnal nature and unusual behavior, as it is the creature of the dark, which avoids coming out in the daylight. Its physical appearance is equally intriguing, with large, brilliant eyes and sharp sense of hunting, making it s source of perpetual amazement. Owl occupies a significant place in various cultures around the globe, such as Hindu, Celtic and Egyptian cultures. Here are some deeper symbolic meanings associated with an owl, according to different cultures and countries:
- Native American culture – The owl stands as a symbol of wisdom and intelligence in various cultures and societies, particularly the Native American culture. It is revered as a creature related with intellect and education, which makes owl tattoos a preferred design among both, men as well as women, who hold wisdom in high regard. They are also seen as the symbol of protection of knowledge. Perhaps, the use of owls in ancient times for making predication about the weather is the reason behind them being regarded as knowledgeable creatures.
- Angels of Death – In some parts of the world, owls are considered to be the Angels of Death as the belief is that they accompany the soul in its final journey from death to afterlife. In fact, there is also a belief that these mystical animals can communicate with the departed souls. For this reason, it is considered ominous to see an owl in dreams as it is supposed to point to the death of the dreamer or someone close to him.
- Religious Significance – There are some places around the globe where owls have a religious significance too. For instance, Hinduism reveres owl as the carrier of Goddess Laxmi, the bringer of wealth and riches. On the other hand, it is associated with Athena, the Goddess of Learning, in the Greek culture.
- Symbols of vision and hope – Owl comes across as a symbol of hope that one has the ability to find way in great darkness, just as the owl traverses great distances through murky and mysterious nights. It stands as the testimony that there is always light in the darkest of darkness, one just needs to enhance one’s vision and expand one’s horizons to get to it. In this way, owls stand as the ultimate symbols of vision and hope.
- Purity of the soul – The owl bears a close association to the moon and the night, which is the reason why it is regarded as a creature of great intuition. It is regarded as the guardian of the sacred and stands for the purity of the soul.
- Symbols of independence and wisdom – To some, this bird signifies freedom, as do other winged creatures which have the ability to fly free. In short, owl can be regarded as the symbol of independence, wisdom, vision, protection, mystery and rarity. In this way, owl designs are used in tattoos to stand for one of these meanings, according to the perception and purpose of the bearer.
Placement of Owl Tattoos
Since owls are related with mystery and mysticism, these creatures make a widely popular choice among young tattoo enthusiasts around the globe, both men and women. Owl tattoos come in a variety of sizes, big, medium and small and can be placed anywhere on the body, depending upon the size of the tattoo. A large owl tattoo with great detail looks good on the stomach, rib, shoulder, thigh, back, spine, chest, while smaller ones can be seen on the arms, legs, wrist, neck and ankle. Hips and shoulders are other suitable places to show off owl tattoo designs. Dragon, phoenix, fish, lion, celestial objects stars, moon, birds and many other elements such as flowers, dreamcatchers, feathers, anchors, arrows, compass, musical symbols, heart, infinity symbol, trees can also be used to enhance the owl tattoo designs or it depends on the bearer.
Popular Owl Tattoos Designs
There is a great variety available in terms of designs of owl tattoos as the creature itself is so elegant and beautiful, which makes them one of the most attractive options of tattoo designs. There is a kind of magical aura around this mysterious creature which makes tattoo lovers revere this design to such an extent. Here are some common owl tattoo designs which make a hot favorite among the talented designers as well as discerning tattoo lovers:
- Barn Owl Tattoo Design – Some tattoo designs depict various varieties of owl tattoos, each one standing for a different meaning. For instance, a barn owl tattoo stands for mystery and is preferred by those who want to carry an air of mystery and intrigue around themselves. The snowy owl is a creature of great dignity and elegance, with its beautiful white feathers and prominent physical features, this particular owl tattoo designs is quite eye catching and is bound to be noticed by the onlookers, which fulfills the true motive of bearing the tattoo.
- Hourglasses with Owl Tattoo Design – Some people establish a link between the owl and time, which is why clocks or hourglasses are used as a popular combination in the owl tattoos. There are some people who get a baby owl tattoo design etched, which represents their love for their children. Some even have the name of the children added to the design of owl tattoo.
- Tribal Owl Tattoos – This make another popular choice for featuring owl tattoo designs. The Native American culture takes owls as a sign of impending death and misfortune. Tribal owl tattoo designs can sometimes stand for their fear of the gravest and may be seen as a symbol of protection by the bearers.
- Celtic Owl Tattoo – Similarly, Celtic owl tattoos too stand for the danger of death. However, at the same time, some people of this background relate owls to wisdom, and for them owl tattoos represent wisdom and intelligence. It is entirely their personal view which has a bearing on the meaning of owl tattoos.
Owl tattoos can bring hope and internal strength to the bearer as they always give them the inspiration to look for light in darkness and success in struggle. Some other design elements such as flowers, birds, key, religious symbols and texts cam be incorporated into the basic owl tattoo design to customize its meaning according to the thinking of the bearer. This tattoo design has a lot in it, when designers and bearers look at it in terms of creativity as they can have it made attractive, vibrant and colorful, with rich use of colors, rather than conventional black and grey designs. It totally depends upon the bearer whether he wants the latter or the bold and colorful one, but both the designs can look equally good.
Owl tattoos are a classic example of adding meaningfulness to eye catching and attractive designs, and tattoo lovers can ask for nothing more. Perhaps, this is the reason that this tattoo design is getting global in terms of popularity and it is equally loved by all the age groups and both the sexes.
Owls have been regarded as creatures of mystery and mysticism as they come out in the dark, while some even believe them to be related to death. But owl is also related with knowledge, wisdom and vision. All the deep symbolic meanings as well as eye catching appearance, together make owl tattoos a hot favorite among tattoo lovers. They can be featured in various sizes and designs, on different body parts. These vibrant designs have today become a much loved option for both men and women.