Arrow Tattoo Meanings
The arrow tattoo has different meanings depending on the culture, style, and type of design.
The arrow points in one direction and can show that we are heading somewhere in life.
Depending on where you are on your journey or with what you are struggling you may choose a different type of arrow tattoo.
Generally, an arrow tattoo means:
- Life’s Journeys
- A New Start
The arrow tattoo ultimately represents one of life’s journeys, whether it be a terrible experience that you survived or an awesome experience you will always want to remember.
Courage means facing fear with confidence.
An arrow tattoo possesses this quality because arrows remind us of when they were used in war and for hunting.
It takes courage to face an enemy.
Arrow tattoos can represent starting over; they mean a fresh start and a new direction in life that they are pointing towards.
Triumph is part of the arrow’s symbolism because of its associations with the military.
An arrow tattoo means that you have won a significant battle.
Arrow Tattoo Meanings Across Cultures
From modern-day phenomena such as Bohemianism and Avicii music listeners to the rich cultures of the Aztec and Native Americans, arrow tattoos are strikingly meaningful tattoos.
Let’s take a look at what those meanings are:
- Chevron Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The chevron is a type of arrow tattoo with arrows stacked on top of each other all pointing in one direction.
Chevrons are used to represent varying ranks in the military.
The amount of chevrons arrows indicates that you are a sergeant, E-4 specialist, etc.
This tattoo also can simply mean loyalty and working hard for your country.
- Indian Arrow Tattoo Meaning
Arrow tattoos with dream catchers or arrowheads can be symbols of Native American culture.
Arrows were vastly important to Native Americans during their past tribal lives.
These arrow tattoos symbolize what the arrowhead meant to Native Americans— protection and dominance in warfare.
- Boho Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The Bohemian, or Boho tattoo is modern and cool, and so are arrow tattoos in this style.
It often has a more general meaning such as positivism or protection.
- Aztec Arrow Tattoo Meaning
Like the Native Americans, the Aztec arrow tattoo is one of the more meaningful tattoos.
It represents masculinity because of its relation to hunting and protection.
- Avicii Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The Avicii arrow tattoo is a minimalist tattoo of two thick arrows side by side.
Its symbolism lies in the song Wake Me Up, which describes struggling through darkness and starting fresh and new.
The Meanings of Arrow Tattoo Styles
It is important to remember that different styles of arrow tattoos can affect their meanings.
Here are some of the most popular styles of arrow tattoos:
- Minimalist Arrow Tattoo Meaning
Minimalist arrow tattoos are some of the trendiest tattoos out there.
However, they aren’t to be written off as a fad.
These tattoos will last decades because they are meaningful tattoos.
They represent the courage to move on and face your battles even when they seem impossible.
- Polynesian Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The Polynesian style arrow tattoo is often a black inked band wrapping around someone’s arm or a shape filled with tribal arrow patterns.
These unique tattoos mean courage and emphasize the inner strength of a person.
- Traditional Arrow Tattoo Meaning
American traditional tattoos are often bold.
The arrow tattoo, done in an American traditional style, often relates itself back to the Native Americans; these tattoos are commonly arrowheads.
These arrowheads sometimes even have teepees depicted inside.
This meaningful tattoo resembles extreme courage and pride in one’s heritage.
Meanings of Different Arrow Tattoo Designs
An arrow is a very simple symbol that can be added to other symbols to create a new meaning.
The arrow tattoo’s meaning is also defined by how many arrows are added to the tattoo, as we’ve discussed with military arrow tattoos.
We have compiled some great examples of meaningful tattoos using the arrow in their design:
- Single Arrow Tattoo Meaning
Single arrow tattoos are meaningful tattoos representing independence, courage, and fortitude.
Typically a small tattoo behind the neck or on the upper arm, this tattoo means you have the power to defend yourself as well as your loved ones around you.
- Two Arrow Tattoo Meaning
One common design of two arrows in a tattoo is one where they point away from each other.
This means war, or battling in life against something.
The two arrow tattoo is an aggressive tattoo meant to refer to either actual combat or another hostile event in your life.
- Three Arrows Tattoo Meaning
The three arrows tattoo design can be formed into many arrangements.
When it is designed as a bundle of arrows, it means strength because many arrows together are stronger than one.
Three arrows pointing together are often designed with Native American flare and can point towards one’s own Native American heritage.
- Infinity Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The infinity symbol represents never giving up, and when added to the arrow, this tattoo means you are unstoppable.
Right when someone knocks you down, you get right up.
Alternatively, this tattoo can refer to the reincarnation of one’s spirit going in one direction, the direction of the infinity symbol.
For those who are Buddhist, this could be a great symbol of your faith in the eternal life of the soul.
- Crossed Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The tattoo of two arrows crossing each other is a common symbol for friendship and close ties to one another.
The arrows symbolize togetherness where they meet as if they are linked in the same path.
- Bow & Arrow Tattoo Meaning
When the arrow is pulled back on the bow on a tattoo, it leads to the feeling of some tension you have in life.
Maybe you had sibling rivalry through your childhood that has affected your adult life.
On the other hand, if the arrow is released, it means an epiphany has happened and your mind has been released.
For example, you realized you needed to get out of an abusive relationship and after you left you were finally at peace.
- Feather Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The feather arrow tattoo can vary in meaning depending on which feather you choose.
Native American feathers are defined by eternal wisdom while Egyptian feathers are symbols of the gods.
A Christian feather represents hope.
Altogether, the feather arrow tattoo usually means triumph over a battle and independence as a result of it.
- Heart with Arrow Tattoo Meaning
One common tattoo design is an arrow drawn back on a bow and pointed at a heart.
This tattoo means that you haven’t had much luck in love, and perhaps you’ve had your heart broken over and over again.
- Broken Arrow Tattoo Meaning
If you have a broken arrow tattoo, it means you have left something in the past that was important to you.
There are times in life where we have to make tough decisions to move on, and this represents that feeling.
- Anchor & Arrow Tattoo Meaning
It is easy to visually see the meaning of an anchor and arrow tattoo– that’s how incredible its tattoo meanings are.
This tattoo represents the decision that you are anchored in your chosen path, and no one or nothing could stop you.
This is a powerful meaning for a tattoo because it means you have made a huge decision in life and never want to even look back.
For example, a former alcoholic may get this tattoo after deciding to get better and starting a new life of sobriety.
- Compass & Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The arrow and compass tattoo is another highly visual tattoo that means God or some higher power, if you happen to be religious or spiritual, is guiding you in the right direction.
You don’t need to worry, your beliefs will lead you on the correct path.
- Green Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The color green can stand for progress and even rebirth.
The green arrow tattoo means that you are making progress along your journey.
It is a symbol of moving on, letting go of the past, and learning from it.
- Diamond & Arrow Tattoo Meaning
When an arrow tattoo is in the shape of a diamond it symbolizes toughness and masculinity, since diamonds are hard gemstones.
This tattoo can also represent courage in the face of disaster.
- Mountain & Arrow Tattoo Meaning
This tattoo is yet another arrow tattoo design that means you are attaining progress on your journey.
The mountain symbolizes strength and perseverance, while the arrow shows that you have direction.
Just as if your climbing up a steep mountain, the arrow leads you forward to keep going even if it is a tough climb.
- Heart Shape Arrow Tattoo Meaning
The heart-shaped arrow tattoo means you are in the direction of love.
The love of your life is on your path, and you are determined to find him or her.
This can be a hopeful tattoo that you will find a partner one-day.
Arrow tattoos naturally point in one direction.
Therefore, they represent that you are on a path that you will need courage for, on which you may need to find a new start and one you will ultimately triumph over.