Swallow tattoos are considered to be a very old-school and traditional design, since they have been around for so many years and remain a pretty unisex choice! The tattoos having the swallow in the center of the design usually include many other elements – both from nature and the imagination – making them unique from one another. Like any other creature of nature, swallow tattoos are attributed with the qualities usually associated with birds but in a more dainty and elegant manner. However, depending on the size and the design, swallow tattoos can present a much different appeal.
We will tell you some of the tales and beliefs that are attached to swallows as well as the symbolism behind this tattoo design. All these details should enable you to make the right decision with regard to your own tattoo design.
From a historical standpoint, you will find that sailors often preferred to get the swallow tattoos in combination with many other nautical symbols. This is because these are the first birds that you get to see when you reach firm land and thereby deemed by the sailors as a good omen. The swallow is also known to fly alongside vessels in the sea and land on the ship when tired. A popular place that you will see swallow tattoos are on the chest and with sailors, a number is usually found around the wings representing the distance they have traveled. Other sailors would only get a swallow tattoo when they accomplished traveling across the Seven Seas.
Among the Greeks and Romans, the swallow was linked with Aphrodite, the beautiful goddess of love. The Greeks believed that the swallows could carry the souls of those who passed away onto the underworld. Among Christians, it was believed that swallows symbolized the rebirth of the old souls – making them a popular memorial tattoo today. To many individuals, both religious and non-religious – swallows signify a new beginning.
Are you starting over from a difficult time in your life? Maybe creating a fresh start from a toxic relationship? Swallow tattoos can often symbolize the rebirth of life itself – not just from death but from living. Among many oriental cultures, the swallow is a significant symbol. The Chinese believe that swallows show danger and change towards the better as well as loyalty. The Japanese believe that swallows represent familial and maternal connection. This is because the swallow is known to have the same mate for life.
Among Egyptians the swallow again represented motherhood. If you look through the course of history you will find that swallows represented many things and had high symbolic value. For this reason, many individuals opt for swallow tattoos to symbolize their life status – whether it may be an achievement, a new platform of success or a form of independence that they have never before reached.
The colors of swallow tattoos are often chosen with as much consideration as the position and design of the bird itself. When used to symbolize the triumph of a disease, you may often see the color of the bird depicted as the color of the disease awareness. For example, breast cancer survivors often choose a pink swallow while lymphoma survivors will often choose shades of green.
A swallow tattoo on the fist indicates power and the ability to fight. This is one of the most popular positions of this type of tattoo that you will see amongst women – more often than not domestic violence victims. However, when two swallows are incorporated into the same design, it usually symbolizes strength and loyalty – due to the nature of the bird itself.
Often the meaning and symbolism of the swallow tattoo will vary depending on the way the design is portrayed in the tattoo. Done with a flower in the beak it could mean the coming of spring. The tattoo of a swallow in flight could mean good luck and noble intentions. Sometimes the color of the tattoo indicates different things. Like a blue swallow means the positive and the red one depicts the negative. Some will even put a halo on the swallow tattoo for positive vibes and horns for negative.
Shown with different symbols and elements of nature, a swallow tattoo can be personalized based on the way you feel.