Symbolic Meaning of Arrow
Like all other tattoo designs, the arrow tattoo too has its own symbolic meaning, which needs to be understood before one opts for this tattoo. In the Native American culture, the arrow is considered as the weapon of protection and hunting, which has been used to safeguard one’s family as well as sustain them by making provision of food for them.
In this culture, two crossed arrows also depict friendship, which is the reason why this symbol is a popular tattoo design for a friend.
Though different kinds of arrow tattoo designs stand for different things, the basic meaning of an arrow tattoo is positivity as arrow stands for moving ahead despite being constrained by the bow.
The bow, which stands for struggle in life, pulls one back but the arrow gets itself released from the bow to propel forward and seek better things in life.
In other words, an arrow stands for achievements of one’s goals in life by overcoming all hardships. In the zodiac, a bow and an arrow stand for the astrological sign of Sagittarius. Another meaning associated with the arrow is that it stands for love as in Cupid’s arrow, which made people get attracted towards each other and fall in love.
It is also considered as the symbol of masculinity, strength, power, and sense of direction. It is about moving in only one direction, which is forward, without looking back in life.
Placement of Arrow Design
An arrow tattoo is formed by simple lines done mostly in black, though colors may be used in some cases depending upon the choice of the bearer. Basically, it is the size of the tattoo which determines its placement. A small sized arrow tattoo can be inked on the wrist, ankle or finger, while a medium to bigger one can be done on the side, back, shoulder, chest, arm, thigh or leg. The prolonged shape of this kind of tattoo also makes it ideal to be placed along the spine.
Popular Arrow Tattoo Designs
Arrow tattoos come in different designs, out of which one can choose a design. According to its deeper symbolic meaning as well it’s aesthetic value. Here are some popular arrow tattoo designs:
- Single Arrow – One of the most widely used arrow tattoo designs is the solitary arrow. Which as in its common symbolism, points towards a direction. Another meaning of a single arrow is protection from the evil and negative forces.
- Two Arrows – As explained earlier, two arrows which cross each other stand for friendship as per the Native American culture. They can be used as a matching tattoo with one’s best friend. On the other hand, two arrows which point away from each other depict war.
- Broken Arrow – In contract to arrow depicting war and protection, a broken arrow represents making peace.
- A Bundle of Arrows – A common arrow tattoo design shows a bundle of multiple arrows, usually five in number. These arrows bundled together to stand for unity and strength, as a single arrow can be broken easily. While it is hard to break a bundle of them.
Some other tattoo designs in arrow tattoos incorporate these arrows with elements.
Like feathers, dreamcatcher, anchor, flowers, diamonds, and hearts, each one having its own meaning, an arrow passing through a heart is a commonly seen design which shows broken heart and pain in love. On the other hand, an arrow passing through a diamond signifies courage and positivity.
which takes a person on the path of success in life.
An arrow can also be done along with a compass or Nautical Star for representing direction. Another popular arrow tattoo design feature a bow with an arrow strung on it, ready to be shot.
Arrow tattoos were originally based on Native American tribal life, hundreds of years ago.
The arrow represented an essential tool in hunter-gatherer communities, serving as a weapon in hunting and in war. Though a simple design, this symbol is extremely popular because of the powerful, positive meanings associated with it.