The dove tattoo has become one of the more popular bird tattoos in recent years thanks to its unique look and its many great meanings. The dove tattoo is a fantastic tat for both men and women since the meanings can be used by absolutely anyone and the fact that the bird doesn’t have an overly feminine or masculine look to it.
Keep reading to find out why the dove is such a popular bird tattoo and all of the great dove tattoo meanings that people like to use.
The dove is first and foremost a symbol of peace. There aren’t too many people who would look at a dove and imagine it attacking them, and there’s a reason for that. The dove is the type of bird that almost seems in its own world no matter what goes on around it.
They also seem to be at peace at all times, almost giving others a sense of peace. This is absolutely one of the top tattoos that you can get if you want a design that says you either are a peaceful person or you want peace in the world.
If you are known for your calmness, then the dove tattoo might just be the best bird tattoo for you. The dove is both patient and calm seemingly at all times, so it’s a great animal tattoo if you share those qualities.
As far as design goes for this dove tattoo meaning, it is probably best to have it perched rather than flying since it will easily convey a very calm bird. Of course, you can also have the dove sleeping in a tree to really make the meaning hit home.
While the white dove is one of the most popular, globally there are hundreds of different species of doves and pigeons (who are species within the same Family) all of which are variously colored.
The color of your dove won’t necessarily change the meaning of your tattoo, but it can have an effect on the surrounding designs, should you include any. It’s a good idea to take a look at as many dove species as you can before setting on a color so you don’t regret your choice later on. You can even come up with your own colors as long as the image still resembles a dove.
The white dove is famous throughout history and serves as a symbol in literature and historical contexts, mostly those of the Christian faith but other cultures as well. For centuries, the Christian dove has been shown holding an olive branch to represent human harmony. This might actually be the best way to show that your dove symbolizes peace, though people outside of the Christian faith might prefer to use another dove design.
In the Christian biblical chapter Genesis, Noah sends a dove out from the mythological Ark to search for land. The dove returns to Noah with an olive branch, indicating that God’s wrath has subsided and dry land can be found. From this, the white dove has become the ultimate sign of peace and calm, often depicted with an olive branch in its beak.
Further on in the bible, the dove is used as an anthropomorphized symbol of God who comes to Earth during the baptism of Jesus Christ. This makes these dove tattoos highly spiritual, which is exactly what some people are looking for. You can get this dove tattoo design by itself, or mix in a few other religious tattoo images to make the meaning clearer to those who do not know this story.
Turtle doves are also a well-known symbol is Christianity as they are found in the Song of Songs, a book of the Old Testament that describes love and lovers. The dove in this sense is a symbol of eternal bonding and devotion within relationships and love because doves naturally chose one mate for life. It is this strong pair bond that also emphasizes their representation of peace and love.
The dove is also seen as a messenger, both inside of and outside of the Christian faith. Back in the day the dove was used to carry messages for people, and it was also the bird that was known to carry messages from God. Whether you are a religious person or not, this “messenger” meaning might work well for you if you are the type of person who finds joy in spreading your message. Again, this could be used as a religious dove tattoo meaning or just simply as a “messenger” meaning.
Rock doves, closely related to homing pigeons, are used as a symbol of stealthy communication within the Royal Air Force as they were used to send messages across long distances and return to where it was sent from. They have been relied on by humans for centuries for this purpose. There are plenty of people who would love to use this dove tattoo meaning.
Those in the Air Force might get a dove tattoo to show their pride in their military branch, while others might get it to represent their willingness to go long distances to share their messages.
Because of their association with tranquility, doves are often portrayed in flight to convey their freedom and ease as they sail through the sky. Many bird tattoos can represent freedom, but the dove tattoo is a good one to get if even one of the other dove tattoo meanings mentioned on this page works for you.
The dove is a larger bird, so it can look fantastic as a chest or back piece with its wings spread as wide as possible. Those who use the “freedom” meaning will often use other designs to make that meaning clearer, such as their country’s flag or even a tree, which works well with the dove.
A sun and clouds or some point of bright light are often added as well to illuminate the benevolent qualities of the bird. If people have always told you that you are a kind and thoughtful person and you take pride in that, then you might want to consider getting a dove tattoo with some light surrounding it. These tats are generally a bit larger so they can fit a large dove flying with the sun in the background, though they definitely can be smaller tattoos as well. It all depends on how much detail you want in the design.
To create a more religious image, the dove can be placed along with a rosary, crucifix, banner with a biblical passage, or any other Christian iconography. This takes quite a bit more planning since you want to make sure that the piece isn’t too busy or distracting. You’ll want to work with an artist who can make all of these different images pop while not taking attention away from the dove.
Again, these do not have to be very large tattoos, but most people will get them a bit bigger so none of the other images are “lost” in the piece.
Regardless of religious or non-religious intention, the dove is a clear symbol of tranquility, calmness and peace. And that’s important to keep in mind since some of the other dove meanings might not be that important to you. No matter what type of dove tattoo you get, it’s pretty important that peace and tranquility are meanings that you’re happy with. If you just happen to like the look of the dove, you might want to make it a secondary image in your design since most people know its primary meanings.
Once you have come up with one or more dove tattoo meanings that you like, then it’s time to come up with the actual design. Do you want the dove with no other designs around it? Or do you want a larger peace with many different symbols representing one or more of those meanings? Regardless, you’ll want to work with your tattooist or an outside artist so you can be sure that it will fit where you want it and look good for years to come.
If you take your time with coming up with dove tattoo meanings you like and a design you’re happy with, chances are you will be very proud of this tattoo.