The heart is the most important part of the human body and it is basically what keeps us up and running. However, there is more to the heart than just being an essential organ to humans. Like rose tattoo designs, as well as for many other tattoos, heart tattoos are a symbol of love, courage and many more. The simplistic shape of the heart has captivated many tattoo artists alike too. They have made it the star of many tattoos and the design has since been a prominent piece around cultures worldwide.
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Meanings and Origin of Heart Tattoos
The heart design is deep and it branches out into other styles too. There are ink fans who would prefer having a literal human heart design etched into their skin. There are others who would prefer the more common heart symbol which also stands as a representation of love and passion. The latter has drawn more fans throughout history.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart is a seat of the soul which makes it responsible for thoughts, intentions, and emotions. The belief has since evolved into what it is today. However, at its core, the heart is a symbolism for life, love, and passion. Since it has such a broad meaning, there are many different heart styles to choose from.
Different Designs of Heart Tattoos and their Meanings
Sacred Heart Tattoos
Of all the heart tattoo variants, one that holds the distinction as the most meaningful is the sacred heart tattoo. Originating in 17th century France, sacred heart tattoos are commonly surrounded by thorns, angles, a crown, and a sword. In some cases, the heart itself is burning. The tattoo represents the Catholic symbol and is dedicated to Jesus Christ. It can help symbolize one’s strong faith in Christianity while the burning variant represents a person’s burning passion for God.
One of the different types of sacred heart tattoos with an image of Mary
A flaming sacred heart tattoos with thorns and swords piercing through
A sacred heart sternum tattoo adorned with a chain of flowers and swords piercing through
A face tattoo of a sacred heart with thorns and a cross
A realistic sacred heart tattoo with thorns inked on the nape
A sacred heart tattoo with an image of Jesus Christ
Another realistic sacred heart tattoo along with other symbols covering the entire chest area
Heart Tattoos with Wings
The most common variation of the heart tattoos are those that have wings at each side. Like symbols that have wings such as a sparrow tattoo, winged heart tattoos symbolize a person’s freedom and free spirit. For others, the winged heart will symbolize their recovery from bad habits like substance and alcohol abuse. It can also represent the passing of a loved one if a person adds a name atop the design.
A colored winged heart tattoo with a halo and banner
A combination of birds, wings, rose, thorns, and heart tattoos on the chest
A unique heart tattoo adorned with a pair of bat wings
A combination of a rosary and winged heart tattoos placed on the back area
A chest piece featuring wings, crown, and elegantly designed heart tattoos
A heart tattoo with angel wings tattooed on the chest
A heart tattoo with wings and an inspirational quote written below
Celtic Heart Tattoos
On the other hand, the not so common style is the Celtic heart tattoos. People usually use it to show their strong connection to their Celtic heritage. But there is more to it than that. Apparently, Celtic heart tattoos also represent strength and unity much like the Celtic cross tattoo. Like other Celtic designs, these hearts are formed with knots, crosses, or spirals.
A heart tattoo made with Celtic knots drawn on the arm
A minimalist Celtic heart tattoo solely made with black ink
A purple heart tattoo made with Celtic knots with names
A heart made with red ink overlapping a black ink Celtic knot
A literal image of a heart encircled by Celtic knots
A chain of green heart tattoos resembling Celtic knots placed on the forearm
A Celtic heart tattoo made in black and reddish brown ink
Two heart tattoos made with Celtic knots placed just below the nape
Couple Heart Tattoos
Couples can also use heart tattoos to profess their strong love for one another. The lock and heart tattoo is the best variation if couples want to use it as a symbol of love. It basically means that only one particular person holds the key to the lock in their heart. In most cases, both the man and the woman get the tattoo to further strengthen their bond.
Cute heart tattoos on the forearm drawn using the watercolor technique
Another couple heart tattoos on the forearm inspired by Star Wars
Matching heart tattoos resembling a jigsaw puzzle piece on the forearm
Highly detailed heart tattoos made with fingerprints placed on the ankles
Matching small minimalist heart emoticon tattoos in black ink on the wrist
A minimalist outline of heart tattoos on the side of the wrist
Another outline heart tattoos on the wrist but with initials
Flaming Heart Tattoos
On the topic of love, the flaming heart is not one to be outdone as well. As with most flaming tattoo designs, the fire is meant to signify a strong longing or passion. The intensity of the fire represents deep emotions embedded in a simple but deep design.
A thorned heart tattoo on the neck drawn as if it’s set on fire
A blue heart that resembles a bottle with fire on top
An outline of a flaming heart tattoo in silver placed on the chest
Heart tattoos are not just meant to represent positivity and good emotions. In some cases, you can use heart tattoos to signify pain and sadness too.
Broken Heart Tattoos
A common variation of the heart tattoo is reserved for those who are grieving or for those that want to cement a certain painful memory to serve as a reminder and a lesson. The broken heart tattoo may not have a good meaning behind it but it does give people the identity they need. On the positive side, broken heart tattoos can also symbolize long distance relationships.
A broken heart tattoo with a hammer that says, “I am broken.”
A broken heart tattoo in black ink placed over a red splat
A minimalist outline of a broken heart tattoo in red ink
A combination of quote and broken heart tattoos that will remind you to continue to love
A broken heart tattoo in blood red ink placed behind the ear
A tattoo made with red ink splattered resembling a broken heart
A combination of a flaming arrow, roses, and broken heart tattoos
Stitched Heart Tattoos
The stitched heart tattoo is also a common design. Its meaning will depend on the person. It can represent the heart of a person who fell out of love. On the contrary, it can also represent a heart that has already healed and moved on. It will all depend on how the person sees the symbol as.
A traditional image of a stitched heart tattoo with patches
A heart tattoo with stitches, patches, and a needle placed at the back
A stitched heart with a needle piercing through inked on the inner wrist
A stitched broken heart with green ink accent adorned with purple ink wings
A stitched heart with adhesive bandages and an arrow piercing through
A stitched up heart tattoo with a nice shade work
A tattoo behind the ear featuring a stitching of a heart
Black Heart Tattoos
Another variation that delves deep into a tattoo wearer’s darkest times is the black heart tattoo. The black heart tattoo holds distinction in a sense that it is typically used to symbolize a specific event like the 9-11. People even have a name on the black heart to commemorate a relative that has passed on. Unlike the broken heart tattoo, the black heart tattoo typically has no positive meaning.
A plain black heart tattoo on the rib cage area
A black heart tattoo in 3D placed on the left side of the chest
A black heart adorned with chains of different colored flowers
A black heart tattoo with red ink accent on the forearm
A small and simple black heart tattooed on the inner side of the ankle
Another small and minimalist black heart tattoo placed on the left heel
The heart tattoo is the most versatile design to have on our body. It can be used to truly differentiate ourselves from others. Its versatility also allows individuals to find a design that best defines their experiences, life and so much more. Since it is also a common design, people getting tattoos for the first time have a great choice ahead of them.