Tattoos have been a part of cultures all over the world. There have been various meanings attached to them. They were inked for ornamentation, social status, spiritual and religious reasons. Among the religious, tattoos with angels and wings have been popular. The designs symbolize protection, guardianship, beauty, spirituality, peace and keepers of dreams.
Wings depict the swiftness of flight which stands for freedom and aspiration. To some, winged angels can also mean childlike purity with the added element of playfulness and innocence. Majestic calm and harmony also oozes out of these designs.
Some enthusiasts choose to get wings inked on their backs; they feel like they're being watched over by a guardian angel. A feeling of protection is also associated with these tattoos. Sailors or those who make their living out on the sea opt to have wings coming out of an anchor; it is said that the wings protect them in adverse times on the high seas.
People get inked in memory of the beloved they have lost. It is a reminder of the fact that the person now resides as an angel in heaven for eternity. Initials or the person's name can be inked along with wings. Small wings are inked to commemorate the loss of an infant or a child. Wings are generally pure white, symbolizing innocence of the deceased child.
Level of detailing on the tattoo varies from person to person. Some designs have detailed individual feathers, while some have feathers on the outer side of the wings. If you choose to get any lettering, the wings are not as detailed; they are simple outlines shaded in white, to incorporate other details into the design and avoid compromise on the quality.
The fallen angel is another design you may want to consider. These are usually depicted as a beautiful angel with either a bloody sword in its hand or with torn or injured wings. The color of ink used is darker and heavier. Many bikers, Goths, Devil worshipers, and aficionados of the dark arts opt for this kind of a tattoo.
You can also be creative with your design. It can be combined with other designs as well. One popular design is to have a cross with wings. A person can also be depicted with wings to make it unique. A design can be influenced by Celtic or tribal motifs. Butterfly-style wings are increasingly becoming popular for angel tattoos.
Angel's wings, when inked on the back, look as if the person actually has wings growing out of his/her back. Depending on the person, size of the wings can differ. Many people opt for a design that covers the entire back, while there are others who get a smaller one which covers only the upper back.
Researching for the right type of wing design is important before you get inked. Talking to the tattoo artist can also be helpful to choose the right type of design. You may opt to get a temporary tattoo before you get the permanent one to ensure that you like the design so that you do not have to go through the lengthy procedure of tattoo removal.