Out of all the tattoo designs in the tattoo industry, the most beautiful might be angel tattoos. The word “angel” is derived from the Latin word “Angelus”. This means “messenger of the God”. Angel tattoos are also known as symbols of protection.
Various religions also have angels. However, they are prevalent in Christian religion. Then again, angels are also well-known heavenly creatures for Islamic, Jewish and other religious belief systems.
Brief History of Angels
- 1 Brief History of Angels
- 2 Deeper Meaning of Angel Tattoos
- 3 Fallen Angels
- 4 Cupid – Angels for Love
- 5 Getting an Archangel Tattoo
- 6 Guardian Angel Tattoos
- 7 Angel of Death Tattoos
- 8 Other Variations of Angel Tattoos and What they Mean
- 9 Realistic or Not?
- 10 Tattoo Placement Suggestion
- 11 Finding your Tattoo Artist
Apart from Latin, the word “angel” was also derived from several languages. These are the Greek word “angelos”, Hebrew word “Malakh” and the Persian word “angaros”. All these words coincidentally mean “messenger” and “courier”.
Angels serve as messengers of the gods, giving truth to the word’s meaning. They are supernatural beings that act as mediators between humans and god. Their origin is quite complicated to truly trace back. Angels have been known to appear in various parts of the world and even in various belief systems.
Angels might be called different names, nonetheless these supernatural beings are often linked to each other. They may be called avatars, daimons, devas, and more. But each of these creatures are associated with higher beings and help humankind.
Deeper Meaning of Angel Tattoos
There is no surprise angel tattoos have a deeper meaning. Tattoo enthusiasts choose certain designs that can be associated with their personality, their beliefs, or their stories.
Angel tattoos have a few meanings. Being a messenger is the most popular interpretation tattoo enthusiasts give. Angels act as messenger from the gods. Apart from that, these tattoo designs are also known as a sign of protection. This is from the term guardian angel. Many believers believe that each of us has an angel that protects us. They often create a tattoo design that will remind them of that.
However, angel tattoos could also be a form of dedication. It could be as a way to honor the people they see as their protectors. They also use angels to give honor to the people that have helped them and who they see as their angels.
Nonetheless, angels are particularly used to honor someone who has died. Cherubs or little angels are mainly as a dedication to a lost child or a young soul who died.
Here are also some of the general meanings associated with an angel tattoo:
- Hope and Faith
- Rebirth and Renewal
- Death and Mortality
There are also the stories about fallen angels. These are angels that have fallen down to earth and unable to enter heaven. They may have lived a sinful life, unable to express humbleness, or went against God. Perhaps the most known fallen angel is Lucifer or who is now known as Satan or the King of Hell. Apparently, he believed he is greater than God and would not serve humankind. He was banished from heaven.
Fallen angels are also subject to many tattoo designs. What they mean could differ from one person to another. But as most tattoo meanings are derived from their characteristics or tale, some believe fallen angel tattoos represent falling down. This could mean the wearer has been through a great ordeal and have lost their faith.
These designs could also represent having free will. Fallen angels are also said to have gained free will; something they do not possess.
Usually though, tattoo enthusiasts choose this design when they feel they have been at their lowest. They often make the design with the angels looking up, as if wanting to return to heaven. This could signify the wearer’s own desire to rise from where he has fallen. It could be a good design to motivate you to never stop reaching you goal and to always hold your head high even when you are down.
Cupid – Angels for Love
Cupids are actually cherubs or little angels – but with a more specific job. They are depicted with little wings and with a bow and arrow with the arrow often having a heart as the tip. That being said, they are angels with a job to spread love.
You might have definitely heard of them and even saw a few tattoo designs. They are really popular, especially among couples. Designs include a cupid with an aimed arrow at a heart with the couples’ names written. Sometimes they are seen with their chins on their hands and smiling at a ribbon above their heads with the couples’ names.
Suffice to say, this kind of angel tattoo represents innocence and love.
Getting an Archangel Tattoo
Angels also have a form of ranking as they are also known as God’s army. Leading them are archangels or the “chief angels”. They are known to hold more power than a typical angel and getting one as a tattoo can definitely represent strength and greater protection.
There are seven archangels and the most popular one is Michael. He is known as the greatest soldier of God and is often depicted defeating demons.
Other archangels are also associated with different jobs. They are often seen as the patron of people who work on these areas. For example, Raphael is most known for being the healer. His image can often be seen at Catholic hospitals. He is known to heal people emotionally and physically.
Another well-known angel and often depicted as female is Archangel Gabriel. She is among the only archangels specifically mentioned in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible. Believers know her as the messenger who personally approached the Virgin Mary to announce her pregnancy with Jesus Christ. For that, she is known as the patron of communication and messengers.
Oftentimes, getting a tattoo of any of these archangels can denote your job. As they are also patron for specific titles and position, it is possible to get their image tatted on you to serve as guide and protector.
Guardian Angel Tattoos
Guardian angels are also very popular theme for angel tattoos. They are much different than a typical angel as they are typically donned in a warrior’s dress. As they are the ones who protect mankind from all evil things, they have to be ready to fight. Hence their wardrobe. This is also one way to know whether your tattoo is a simple angel or your guardian angel.
Nonetheless, the Biblical representation of a guardian angel is actually a cherub. However, soldier angels became more popular among tattoo and art enthusiasts. These angels, especially archangels, often induce more fear and strength,
But not all guardian angels are soldiers. Another popular variation is an angel holding a baby. This is typically used to represent motherhood. The angel represents mothers who do their best to protect their children. You can even put the face of your mom on the angel to make it a bit more personal.
Angel of Death Tattoos
For those who like darker undertones and Gothic designs, fallen angels and the Angel of Death are perfect subjects.
The Angel of Death (or the Angel of Destruction) is well-known even in various belief systems and culture around the world. There are often other names called for these beings. But they are all associated with Fear and Death.
Usually, the appearance of an Angel of Death could serve as a warning of impending doom and death. It could be that of many people or the one who saw the angel.
In tattoos, the Angel of Death is usually to symbolize Fear and Death. Nonetheless, the specific meaning could be different depending on the wearer. For some, it represents their acceptance of death as a part of the life cycle. They are not afraid of death when it comes. For some, they use the image to strike fear and helps warn others that they are not afraid of anything.
Other Variations of Angel Tattoos and What they Mean
When we say angel tattoos, we often have just one image that comes to mind: a typical angel. However, there are also several other design ideas that have grown popular. Here they are and what one means:
- Angel wings – You do not need to have a full angel just to depict these heavenly beings. An angel wing or wings on your shoulders, back, hands, or any part of your body would be enough. This design has grown popular because of its elegance. Angel wings are known to represent freedom and protection. However, a version depicts broken wings which could signify someone’s struggle with keeping their faith.
- Celtic angel – This design is pretty much the same with a typical angel. However, they are depicted holding a Celtic cross. This could represent the wearer’s strong ties to the Catholic church and Celtic roots.
- Flying angels – When you create an angel tattoo with the angel flying, it usually means rebirth and resurrection. These kinds of designs are also more connected to the Christian faith. It also denote Christ’s ascension to heaven after his resurrection.
- Praying angels – Perhaps another of the most popular angel tattoos. It shows an angel with his head slightly bowing, hands together, and very calm. This design symbolizes a connection with God as prayers are known as a way to communicate with Him. Apart from that, a praying angel can also denote protection, guidance, and divine intervention.
Realistic or Not?
When choosing some designs, you can’t help but think whether a realistic design is much better than the traditional styles. For angel tattoos, a more photo-realistic and 3D design is indeed the better choice.
Besides getting a tattoo for its meaning, many choose to get one for the aesthetics. That being said, they want their tattoo to look good and help improve their overall vibe. An angel tattoo is not just an awe-inspiring design. It’s also elegant and divine and would look totally great in 3D. It would be like having a picture of one of those angels in Vatican City on your body.
Designs usually include angels that look more statue-esque than human. If you want that kind of design, a 3D style would also help. It can help define the details and make the tattoo look more like a statue. It would also help if you bring a photo of the design you want.
If you are also planning on making a portrait of your special someone mashed with your angel design, a photo realistic approach is also great.
Tattoo Placement Suggestion
Think of your body as a blank canvas. You can totally fill every space with tattoo. Or you can just choose a specific place that you think will highlight the tattoo. Nonetheless, tattoo placement is actually dependent on the design and the size. While you can put any tattoo anywhere you like, you can boost its aesthetic more with the right placement.
For example, angel wings would look perfect at the back, right where wings would actually be. This is to make it look like a part of your body. This placement is also perfect if you have large tattoos.
The chest is also a good place for bigger tattoos. There is more space to work. You can even extend the design to your shoulders down to your arm or to your back. Again, it would depend on the design you have.
Full and half arm sleeves are also popular, especially among men. This is a great place for any sort of angel of tattoos as it has enough area for the subject and a bit for the background.
Minimalist tattoos call for smaller space, since it could drown in bigger areas. Perfect places include the wrist, fingers, forearm, ankles.
Finding your Tattoo Artist
Apart from the design, finding a great tattoo artist helps create an amazing tattoo. If you want to have the best tattoo, you have to find a reliable artist and studio. Recommendations from people you personally know will greatly help your search. But if you are looking online, it is always best to read reviews. Once you come for a visit, don’t be afraid to ask to look at their portfolios as that will give you an idea about their past works.