Arrow tattoos possess a lot of inherent worth. The customization aspect goes beyond the physical parts of your design; Tattoos began as a way to permanently memorialize personal elements of one’s life with meaningful symbols, and the arrow has become a popular design choice. The possibilities for creating an arrow tattoo unique are limitless.
An arrow tattoo will create a powerful and meaningful comment—whether it exists personal meaning for you or not, expressing everything from friendship to war,
Arrow Tattoos Origin
As the arrow belongs to several cultures, there are many different places that the arrow tattoo could have originated from. However, the most common association with an arrow is its use as a tool for hunting and protection. In addition, it was generally considered a tool of war due to its state as a weapon. However, the arrow was also a symbol of peace and other philosophical ideas.
Specific designs even correspond to distinct tribal traditions. A bunch of arrows, for example, originally signified one of the five founding tribes of the Canadian Iroquois League—and along with its strength and unity. In some distinct cultures, a downward arrow may also signify peace.
Another influential contender for the popularizer behind arrow tattoos is the American Conventional fashion, which relies on solid symbols—and one of its most well-known ideas is the heart with an arrow through it. Sailors and military service members would get arrow-and-heart designs to keep loved ones close when travelling far for deployment.
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Arrow Tattoos Meaning
- Struggle and Triumph: Arrow tattoos typically describe the ideas of struggle and triumph thanks to their use as a tool and weapon. For example, a scheme that features an arrow being pulled back on a bow describes tension, conflict, or life struggle. Conversely, an arrow halting on a bow may instead signify the attainment of peace and calm. Another design idea that expresses struggle is two arrows pointing away from each other, rendering war or conflict. Ultimately, an arrow tattoo with a feather symbolizes triumph over that life struggle or conflict, as well as freedom and independence. Thus, whether poised or relaxed, arrow tattoos often express the idea of conflict and victory.
- Moving Forward: Because an arrow can only go forward when shot, the design usually represents moving ahead, either bodily or from something. An arrow being discharged from a bow, for example, is literally “moving” forward, but it also persists for positive life transitions. A compass arrow tattoo symbolizes going forward in a new direction or starting a new chapter in life. Another common design choice is a diamond arrow, which indicates having the strength to move on thanks to the gem’s reputation as one of the most rigid materials in the world.
- Relationships: Any design that highlights more than one arrow is typically understood to signify something relationship-based, considering two people in a conventional relationship. If the arrows are crossed in the tattoo design, it could express two very contrasting ideas: confused lovers or friendship. However, a cupid arrow symbolizes romance and desire, as being hit with Cupid’s arrow means you’ve fallen in love.
- Peace: In contrast to arrows being a tool of war, they are also a symbol of peace. A broken arrow represents the idea of burying the hatchet or putting aside a quarrel for the greater good—whether that be the self or an external element. A single arrow also stands for protection against harm or peace, though more in an individual, personal sense.
Notwithstanding what your faith may be for getting an arrow tattoo, it’s promised to be loaded with meaning—both individual and historical. So if you’re not sure what sort of arrow tattoo would best represent you, here are a few ideas to inspire you.