Your body is your temple, and tattoos make for the perfect decorations!
If like many others, you are looking to get something meaningful for your next piece of art then you have definitely come to the right article!
We will be talking about various meaningful tattoos that you can add to your list.
Let’s get started!
What makes a meaningful tattoo?
Let’s start simple: what makes a tattoo qualify as “meaningful,” anyways?
Here’s the easiest way to look at this; if something has meaning to you, then it makes it a meaningful tattoo!
Just because one person doesn’t understand what your tattoo means to you doesn’t mean that it’s any less important in your mind.
However, if you are looking for universally meaningful tattoo ideas then there are definitely options out there.
You can look up tattoo symbols that represent whatever it is you are trying to show the world, and many of them actually overlap with various meanings.
Symbology makes for some great tattoos, so now we’ll chat about some of these.
What tattoo symbolizes change and new beginnings?
Change is something that happens to all of us and getting a tattoo to symbolize change and new beginnings can be a wonderful way to commemorate that.
- Phoenix tattoos are a perfect example of a symbol of change. The phoenix is a mythical creature that catches fire and is then reborn from the ashes, symbolizing rebirth and change. If you feel like someone who has gone through a transformation, a phoenix could be your perfect tattoo idea.
- Moon tattoos represent constant change. The moon changes every night in cycles and has its own beginning each month. Each phase of the moon has its own specific meaning regarding change (waning = letting go, waxing = manifestation, new = fresh start, etc.), so you have options depending on what type of change you are feeling.
- Birch trees are known to many cultures as symbols of new beginnings and given their natural coloring they can make for beautiful tattoos as a reminder of this.
What symbolizes overcoming struggle and strength?
We all have struggles, big and small, and getting a tattoo to show that you have found your strength is a beautiful sentiment.
- Lotus flower tattoos are a great example of something that symbolizes overcoming struggles. Did you know that lotuses can survive almost any circumstance? If they can, then you can too. That is what makes them a good idea for when you have found the strength to survive whatever you have gone through. They are also symbols of growth and energy.
- Koi fish are well-known symbols of overcoming adversity and struggle. Koi can survive in many different environments, and they also are known to swim upstream and fight to make it through. These koi fish tattoos also happen to make for gorgeous pieces of body art.
- The cactus tattoo can be an excellent choice for symbolizing strength, as cactuses grow in the harshest conditions and thrive there.
Which tattoos symbolize courage?
When you want to have a reminder on your body that you are brave and courageous, here are some great tattoo ideas:
- Lion tattoos are the quintessential symbol of strength and courage. The king of the jungle fears nothing and answers to no one. They will fight for their family and themselves, and they represent fearlessness across many different cultures.
- Wolf tattoos, like lions, are noted in many cultures as symbols of fearlessness and bravery. Wolves survive in the wild, and you can survive too when you are brave and courageous.
- An eagle tattoo is representative of strength and courage in many cultures, as well, especially Native American ones.
What tattoos symbolize growth?
Growth is an inevitable part of life and finding something to represent that and remind yourself of it is a great tattoo idea.
- Seeds or acorns are perfect for representing growth. They start off as such small things, but they can grow to immense sizes. You can get one of these tattoos to remind yourself that you, too, can grow and change into something more than you are now.
- Cherry blossom tattoos are a pretty way to symbolize growth. They grow quickly in the spring, blossoming from little buds into beautiful flowers, showing that you too can bloom quickly into what you wish to become.
- For a complex growth tattoo, the Magician tarot card tattoo is one that symbolizes growth, determination, travel, desire, and dexterity.
What tattoos symbolize living life to the fullest?
Being alive is good, but truly living your life to the fullest is what it’s really all meant to be about.
Finding a tattoo that can symbolize that for you can be a solid reminder to do so.
- An hourglass tattoo can be a representation of the fact that our time on this earth is fleeting, so we need to live it to the max, but also remain balanced while doing so.
- Clock tattoos are another way to show this same idea, that time is passing so make the most of it.
- Memento mori tattoos are an old Roman idea that we need a reminder that all must die. Things like skulls and bones are typical ways to symbolize this idea.
What is the tattoo symbol that represents life?
Life and living are fantastic things to immortalize on your skin.
Here are some great ideas on what to use.
- Triskelion tattoos are perfect for representing life. This ancient Celtic symbol represents continuous movement, life and death, and rebirth. The three connected spirals each have their own meanings, as well: mind-body-spirit or past-present-future. This Celtic tattoo symbol can be done as simply or complexly as you want.
- Sunflowers are perfectly representative of life and happiness. The sunflower tattoo represents vitality, as its long stem and big bright petals take in so much light and life.
- The Egyptian ankh is a symbol of life, an ancient one that is more complex than just “life” alone. The Ankh tattoo is a symbol of life after death, the divine strength of man and woman, and so much more.
What symbolizes rebirth and growth?
Rebirth and growth are a natural part of life, so finding a way to show that in a tattoo is very common.
- Moth tattoos and butterfly tattoos are the epitomes of growth and rebirth. These beauties start out as crawling caterpillars, then form a cocoon and transform into literal goo before transforming once more into pretty flying creatures. You can create these in so many different tattoo styles, colors, etc. to create whatever story you are looking to share.
- Ouroboros is an old symbol that represents the endless cycle of life. It is a design made of a snake eating its own tail, representing life, death, and rebirth all in one. The Ouroboros tattoo can be drawn as simple or complex, depending on your view of life.
- Sunrise tattoos symbolize the rebirth of each new day, of a fresh start, making them a perfect example of this meaning.
What tattoos symbolize truth?
The truth is something that we all seek, in ourselves and in the world.
Finding a symbol for this to place on your body as a reminder is a good way to encourage you to continue looking for that elusive truth.
- Mirrors have long been symbols of showing the truth, especially the truth about oneself. A mirror can’t lie, so having one as a tattoo is a great way to remind you to do the same.
- Dharma wheels represent the truth in Buddhist philosophy. In fact, the Sanskrit word “dharma” means “truth.”
- Ostrich feathers are a symbol of truth in relation to the Egyptian goddess Ma’at and the journey into the afterlife. It represented truth, order, and justice in Egypt.
What tattoos symbolize hope?
Hope is what keeps humanity going, so finding something to symbolize that in a tattoo is a perfect reminder.
- Infinity tattoos are universally known symbols with many meanings, one of which is hope. The idea that everything keeps going, always, is the epitome of what hope is.
- Lighthouse tattoos are a symbol of hope and safety, meant to guide you to where you are meant to be. They can also be calming to watch.
- Rainbow tattoos have long been symbolic of hope. The biblical story of the rainbow, the fact that seeing rainbows brighten your day, the fact that they seem to appear out of thin air (like hope), etc.
What tattoos symbolize friendship?
A close bond with someone that you were not born connected to is something to treasure, so getting a tattoo to memorialize that bond is always nice.
- Yellow daisy tattoos represent friendship and happiness, so why not get your girls together and get a matching set?
- Celtic Infinity Knot tattoos are a great symbol to represent a forever friendship. Another good Celtic knot to show friendship is the triquetra tattoo. This symbol represents the platonic bonding of souls and the harmony between them.
- Puzzle pieces can also be great for a pair/group of friends, as they are good for representing odd things that fit together to become whole.
What tattoos symbolize family?
To many of us, family is incredibly important.
Getting a tattoo to symbolize our love of family is a good way to show and honor that.
- Elephants are highly loyal and family-based animals. Did you know that elephants travel in family groups and hold each other’s trunks as they go? You can do a little parade of elephant tattoos to represent each family member.
- Family portrait tattoos are a very clear way to represent your love for your family. This can easily be done by a talented tattoo artist using one of your favorite family photos.
- Tree tattoos can symbolize the connectedness of family and can be done in a variety of ways. The branches can represent each family member if you want a single tree, or you could do multiple trees for each member with connected roots.
What are the tattoos for protection?
Who wouldn’t want a permanent mark on their body that is meant to protect them?
- Many runes tattoos, such as the Helm of Awe, symbolize protection on the battlefield. This ancient Norse symbol is referenced in various lore as making the bearer invincible, and each of the arms and pieces of the Helm has deeper, more complex meanings. You could also choose the Celtic Algiz rune, which is their ultimate symbol of protection, especially one that is from the divine.
- Hamsa tattoos are also an old symbol that represents protection from evil and bad luck. This symbol is recognized across several faiths, each with its own slightly different meaning, so we recommend having a certain level of respect for those faiths if you choose this design. Facing upright is the way to get this particular symbol if you want it to represent protection.
- For a more unique protection tattoo, Medusa could be your coolest option. The Medusa tattoo represents protection from those that may harm you, both by mythology’s statements of what she was used for and also by being able to protect herself as a woman would have meant in those times.
Meaningful Lettering Tattoos
This is the most straightforward way to show off something meaningful to you.
Getting the tattoo of the word that you want to be represented (i.e.: courage, strength, family names, hope, etc.) is the clearest way to put that onto your body.
You can make the text tattoo as simple or as ornate as you would like, depending on your style and level of flair.
If you want to get a word tattooed on your body but you don’t just want basic English letters, you can always opt for doing it in another language!
If there is a language that is somehow important to you, such as a first or second language…or even just one that resonates with you, you can translate your word/words into that language and make it gorgeous.
Some great tattoo examples of this are things like hieroglyphics, Latin, Kanji, etc.
If you have a quote that truly resonates with you, that can often make a very meaningful tattoo.
Be sure to work closely with your artist to decide on the size, font, and any other design elements to make sure that what you are trying to portray with your lettering tattoo is what will make you happy!
Where is the most meaningful place to get a tattoo?
This is definitely something that will vary depending on why you are getting this tattoo and what the meaning will be to you.
Let’s look at the historical meanings of tattoo locations!
- The forearm represents a person’s inner being or self. The tattoo that is placed there will usually have a direct relation to how you see yourself.
- A tattoo behind the ear will usually show a love of privacy.
- A chest tattoo will often portray something that is close to a person’s heart, emotionally speaking. If something is near and dear to you, a chest tattoo may be the right choice.
- Wrists are a perfect placement for tattoos that are meant to remind you of a certain meaning or memory.
- The torso is an area that is great if you are more of an introvert. Chances are that a tattoo on this spot will not be seen unless you want it to.
Now, these are just a small handful of options that make for ideal and meaningful tattoos.
When it comes to choosing what you want on your body for the rest of your life, finding something that holds meaning to you personally is extremely important.
After reading through this article, we hope you’ve got a better understanding of meaningful tattoos and finding the right one for you.
Come back and see us soon for any more tattoo-related curiosities!