Heart designs are a classic and standard among tattoo aficionados. They are seen as symbols of togetherness and love, more so, romantic or erotic love. However, it is not necessary that the same meaning is interpreted by everyone. There are many meanings associated with hearts. Depending on the personality of the individual, the meaning of the design can vary. The meanings also change when the heart is combined with any other symbol.
Heart tattoos became popular in the early 1900's. The popularity began with men who were going to far off lands. Sailors or soldiers who were leaving to fight in World War II were the ones who started the trend of getting inked with hearts. Sailors chose the red heart with the word 'mom' written in the center. Soldiers, on the other hand, got inked with their girlfriends' or wives' names in the center of the heart before they left for war.
There are a number of designs that incorporate the heart iconography. Some of them may seem similar, but they often have their own unique aspects.
There are many variations of the sacred heart. However, the typical one is seen surrounded by thorns with a flame escaping from the top. If tattoos are to be seen from the religious angle, then these can be regarded as Christian symbols. They symbolize devotion to the divine heart of Jesus Christ. The symbol also represents his love for humanity.
A locked heart is very common for women as well as men. Many times, this design is made by couples who want to share a permanent symbol of their relationship. Often, couples choose to divide the design between themselves. One of the partners gets inked with a locked heart, while the other partner gets inked with the symbolic key. This design has become a rage, as it is a better way to share a tattoo compared to the ones with names which lose their significance in case the relationship ends.
There are a multitude of tribal heart designs. The tribal versions are also associated with love; however, they have a tribal touch. The design often consists of black lines which form the heart.
This is a symbol for lost love, or it can also represent that the person is hurt in love. A variety of objects can be used to pierce the heart. The objects used include arrows, daggers, and other sharp piercing objects. If someone wants to be creative, they may even opt for wooden stakes. This is another common design for men and women. A pierced heart with an arrow can also mean that Cupid has struck the person, and the person has fallen in love.
There are a number of meanings attached to a heart with wings. For some, it means free spiritedness, lightheartedness, and a jovial disposition. Yet, there are others who look it as a sign of the person being left behind with a loved one having passed away.
A realistic heart is a little more edgy. It will usually have the shape of a biological heart, with arteries and veins running through and across it. This has become a hot favorite in recent times. Symbolically, this is not different from the other designs.
When you decide upon a design, you should decide what you would want it to symbolize. There are various other additions which you can add to the image of a heart to make it unique and also customize it according to the meaning you want it to reflect. Take your time before you decide on the design. Remember, it is going to be a permanent mark, so choose wisely.