Feather tattoo ideas are often centered around a Native American themed, but not always. In most tribal wisdom, feather meanings deal with the power of birds. Native Americans used feathers in ritual because they knew the spirit of the bird was represented by the feather. Bird spirits are extremely powerful in purifying the spirit and cleansing the energetic environment. Waving a feather over a sacred fire with pure intent is a way of uplifting the soul and expressing gratitude to bird spirits.
Native American wisdom relates to the feather as an embodiment of bird spirit. For example, eagle feathers had special meaning and were given to warriors as a tremendous honor of bravery and courage. It indicated nobility of the heart and allowed the recipient to take flight easily on journeying (both in a spiritual sense and a life-journey sense).
Feathers in Native American minds as well as many other cultures deals with communication. Feathers are often viewed as messages from the spirit world, and feather tattoos will convey powerful ideals about holy exchange. Indeed, many schools of thought believe seeing feathers on our path is a direct message from a loved one who has transitioned into the spirit side of life.