Tattoos have been a part of a number of cultures all around the world. There have been various meanings attached to tattoos. They were inked for ornamentation, social status, spiritual, and religious reasons. Among the religious and spiritually-inclined, tattoos with angels and wings have been very popular. Angel designs symbolize protection, guardianship, beauty, spirituality, peace, and keepers of dreams.
Wings are looked upon as distinctive angelic symbols, they are emblematic of divine beauty and innocence. Angel wings symbolize spirituality. For some, angels' wings do not necessarily pertain to religious themes, but for others, they have personal significance.
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 in life 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.
Many people opt to get inked in memory of the loved ones they have lost due to illness or an accident. The ink is a reminder of the fact that the person now resides as an angel in heaven for eternity. The initials or the name of the person can also be tattooed along with the wings. Small angel's wings are inked to commemorate the loss of an infant or a child. The wings are generally made in pure white, which symbolizes the innocence of the deceased child.
Depending on the reason why the person chooses to get the tattoo the level of detail will vary. Some designs have detailed individual feathers, while there are others that only have feathers on the outer side of the wings. If you choose to get any lettering, then the wings are not as detailed; they are simple outlines shaded in white, due to which other details can be incorporated into the design so that there is no compromise on the quality of the tattoo.
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.
The most popular location is the back. Angel's wings, when inked on the back, look as though the person actually has wings growing out of his/her back. Depending upon individual taste, the 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.