What is one of the most popular images of all time? There are quite a few that have been tattooed for years. Many of the tattoos of the Sailor Jerry variety are on this list but we think the heart tattoo is probably one of, if not the most popular tattoo ever.
The heart tattoo has long been a symbol of love and companionship. We get the heart tattoo with “mom” in the middle to show respect for our mothers. We might get the name of our significant other in the heart. Most likely, the plain heart tattoo is a symbol of love. However, there are many variations of the heart tattoo that will add different meanings. From anatomical hearts to sacred hearts, these images all carry a variation of the meaning of a heart.
In this post, we will go over the meaning of the heart tattoo and also talk about what it might symbolize for the person with the tattoo. We will also share some variations of the heart tattoo and talk about what those variations mean. By the end of this post, we hope you feel better about getting your heart tattoo.
Heart Tattoo Meaning
Heart tattoos are usually used to convey love and friendship. They also symbolize unity and the centralization of life.
The heart can also represent procreation. This is believed because the lower half of the heart makes a triangle which is an ancient symbol of creativity, creation and the birth of something from the culmination of love.
Heart tattoos can also symbolize spiritual love. Ancient Greeks and Egyptian cultures believed that the heart was the center of all intellectual, emotional and spiritual life for humankind. They also believed that specialized thought came from the heart and not the brain.
Buddhists associate the heart with the Dharmacakra or Wheel of Law. This would show the heart as a representation of mindfulness, compassion and the perfection of the universe.
In Christianity, the heart means love and unity. The Sacred Heart; a heart with a flame and wrapped in horns, is a symbol of Christ’s compassion.
The heart can also stand for luck, life, honor, vitality, friendship and acceptance.
Some styles to consider are:
Broken Heart Tattoo
This signifies heartbreak or a lost loved one. We have all gone through times in our lives when we loved or thought we loved someone. Over time, these relationships sometimes fall apart. Whatever the reason is for your split from your friend or significant other, the broken heart literally feels like your heart is breaking. It is an awful feeling that nobody wants to deal with. However, sometimes it makes it easier to get through when you talk about it and in this case, get a tattoo of a broken heart.
Black Heart Tattoo
The black heart tattoo is a symbol of pain. Many times, the heart is portrayed as black to represent death. These tattoos represent loss or mourning or can be used in memorials. They are often pictured with wings. In this case, the black heart tattoo symbolizes the pain of loss. We all lose people in our lives and some hurt more than others. Getting this black heart tattoo is a way to let everyone know you are dealing with a certain amount of pain. When the pain passes, you have a tattoo that represents someone lost and by having this tattoo, you will never forget them.
Winged Heart Tattoo
A heart symbol with wings can symbolize freedom and a free spirit. I think we would all love to consider ourselves free spirits, however, we often get caught up in the rat race. We become a “prisoner” of society and forget to do the things we love or to let our hearts be free.
Many use this as a symbol of overcoming some kind of adversity or addiction. Either we have experienced it or heard about it, but we know addiction can really mess your life up. Addiction is like having a ball and chain linked to your body and you can’t free yourself. If you are one of the lucky ones who are able to get over your addiction, you deserve this tattoo. To be free of an addiction is essentially a new lease on life.
Sacred Heart Tattoo
The sacred heart tattoo is one with a great deal of relevance to Christianity. This image is a visual example of the love that Jesus Christ has for all humans. The heart has flames, pierced with a knife or sword, wrapped in a crown of thorns and many times has a cross attached in some way.
The crown and wound are representative of what Jesus went through as he was crucified. He did this for everyone and the sacred heart tattoo is a symbol of this moment. The suffering that was endured by Christ is represented in the image of the sacred heart tattoo with its wounds and blood. This is a key part of Christianity and Catholicism.
Lock and Heart Tattoo
These tattoos are used to show that only one person can hold the key that unlocks their heart. What a great way to express your love for another. The person holding the key is the only one with access to your heart. Sometimes we will see this tattoo in a way where one person has the locked heart tattooed on their body while the other person has the key tattooed on their body. No matter how you choose to have this tattoo displayed, it is a symbol of strong love.
Stitched Heart Tattoo
A stitched heart is symbolic of a broken heart that has been pieced and sewn back together and is now whole. This one coincides with the broken heart tattoo. Sometimes we end up back with the person who broke our heart, or we end up with someone new who makes us forget about our broken heart. In this case, we have seen the broken heart tattoo fixed to add stitches to it. Time heals all wounds, but another lover can make this happen a lot sooner.
As you can see, there are several versions of this tattoo that will work well with whatever you are shooting for. If it is a big love you are trying to express or the pain of heartbreak, the heart tattoo is a great way to express the way you are feeling at the time.
Take your time in finding an artist. Have a consultation with them and sit down. You can also take a look at their portfolio to make sure they have done tattoos in the way that you were looking to get yours. If they haven’t, move on. If you need help finding an artist, please reach out because we’d love to help.