The Symbolism of Heart Tattoos Explained
Have you ever wondered if a heart tattoo can represent more than love and passion? Read this article to find out more about the symbolism of heart tattoos.
For centuries, the heart has been a sign of love and companionship but this powerful symbol’s meaning varies between cultures. Heart tattoos are extremely popular and come in various different forms. From tattoos of realistic anatomical hearts to the basic symbol we have grown accustomed to, the opportunities are endless and their meaning is diverse.
Worn by both men and women to symbolize various different things depending on the beholder, the heart is a popular tattoo choice worldwide. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the symbolism behind a heart tattoo.
Meanings of Different Heart Tattoos
While the expression of love is one of the most common reasons people get a heart tattoo, the heart symbol has been around for centuries and different cultures and religions have given this image their own meaning. Let’s take a closer look:
The fact that love was an important symbol in the mystic doctrine of unity explains why the heart symbol was so closely linked to love. When we say “I love you with all of my heart”, we are often not referring to the physical heart that keeps us alive. Instead, we are referring to the heart as a soulful feeling.
Thanks to its physical centrality to our existence, there is no doubt of its correspondence to our emotions. Our heartbeat is measured by our feelings of desire, affection, and that of our vulnerabilities, for example, fear, and anger. As a result, the heart can represent more than love. It can be a sign of heartache, love lost, passion (often seen as a red heart), adoration, and the connection to a family member or friend.
In Ancient Egypt, during the mummification process, the heart was the only part of the viscera left in the mommy as it was seen as indispensable to the body in eternity. The Ancient Egyptians believed that all centers were symbols of eternity, making the heart the life force of all beings.
The True Seat of Intelligence
While we often associate the brain with intelligence, in ancient times, the heart was seen as the true seat of intellect, with the brain merely acting as an instrument. Similarly, the moon corresponded to the brain while the sun was more closely linked to the heart.
For alchemists, the heart was the symbol of the sun within human beings. While traditional civilizations made the heart the seat of feelings, it was actually seen as the center of intellect and intuition. The heart, like the sun, is the seat of power, the central source of life, strength, and courage, and many get a heart tattoo to represent just this.
The Kingdom of God
In Christianity, the heart is thought to contain The Kingdom of God. Many believed that the heart was the place where personality would return in its spiritual form, embodying the place of God’s instrumentality.
The Sacred Heart, another Christian symbol, is a heart wrapped in thorns with a flame. It means love and unity and represents Christ’s compassion. Similarly, in Islam, the heart is called the Throne of God, further enhancing its powerful religious meaning among various cultures. For many, getting a heart tattoo is a way for them to pay homage to their religious and cultural beliefs.
Female Principle of Female Manifestation
In many cultures, the heart represents the female principle and manifestation. For example, one of the chief symbols in Shakti in India, the female element of existence, is an inverted triangle. Additionally, the Ancient Romans and Greeks used the heart as a symbol of worship of the female form. Also used as a symbol of procreation, the lower half of the heart is an ancient symbol of creation, creativity, and the culmination of love that led to birth.
Union and Togetherness
Graphically speaking, the heart combines the symbol of Aries with that of unity and togetherness. Aries is the first fire sign in the zodiac, further cementing the link between the heart and the sun. In the Middle Ages, the top section of the heart symbol was thought to represent fire and flight.
Heart Tattoo Variations and What They Mean
The heart is a powerful piece across all timelines and cultures but, there are variations in the tattoo world that all hold their individual meanings. Some of the most common heart tattoo variations and their meanings include:
- Red heart - Represents passion and lust.
- Linked hearts - A demonstration of the connection one has with another person.
- A crying or bleeding heart - A symbol of sadness and love lost.
- Anatomical heart - Used to represent centralization and unity of life.
- Half heart - Perfect for best friends or siblings wanting to share a tattoo.
Heart tattoo variations are endless, however, the majority represent love, passion, love lost, or the unity of life. Many also opt to add a banner with a name in their heart tattoo, giving it a more personal touch.
Are you thinking of getting a heart tattoo but aren’t sure which variation to go for? If so, check out Tatteco temporary tattoos! All Tattecos are made using non-toxic materials and are 100% biodegradable.