Origin Of Feather Tattoos
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Birds are a popular theme in lots of Native American legends and tales, which is most likely why feathers have such an important meaning for them. Native American cultures have incorporated feathers as a prominent design, as evidenced by the jewels that they wear, the tools that they use, the weapons, the clothes, the headdresses, and, of course, the dreamcatcher.
Animism, or the belief that all animals and other living things in the universe have their own spirits, is something that a lot of Native American people believe in. Those who believe in Animism are certain that souls exist not just in all living creatures, like people, animals, or even plants – But also in inanimate things like rocks and stones. They’re aware of the fact that each element of nature is alive and possesses its own power, quality, virtue, and wisdom.
In Native American tradition, a feather falling down from the sky is a sign of receiving a gift from heaven. So when a feather falls down to the ground, Native Americans will think that it carries the entire energy of whoever first held that feather, which is either the sky, a bird, or the wind. Feathers were also considered as a gifts from the gods of thunder, air, and wind, and said to represent its true power. Tribal elders would put on headdresses with feathers on them during an important ceremony, which shows off their connections to the spiritual world. Brave warriors were also granted the same reward as a special gift when they have displayed plenty of courage during battle.
The same culture holds this belief that birds can act as a spirit guide, taking them throughout various stages of life – Providing them with protection, guidance, and teaching them life lessons. It is also said that eagle feathers are the ones with the highest ranking, and will hold a very strong significance if you wear them.
Feathers weren’t just significant in Native American cultures – Ancient Christians also considered them important as well, especially during the early years of their religion. A feather represents virtue, a trait which features in the Bible so many times, the most famous one appearing in the book of Psalms. A popular symbol in Christianity are three feathers curved into each other, forming a signet ring – Each feather symbolizes faith, hope, and charity.
Ancient Celts also thought that feathers played an important role in their own culture. They wore druids and robes covered in feathers from head to toe, especially during an important ceremony. Egyptians thought feathers belonged to the sky gods. The main point here is that a lot of religions and cultures did have their own special connection when it comes to feathers.
Types of Feather Tattoo Designs
- Peacock feather tattoos – Peacock feather tattoos are mostly worn by ladies instead of men. Peacocks are known to be a symbol of pride, elegance, and pure beauty, since the bird itself is a lovely animal to look at, thanks to its multicolored feathers. All of the stunning colors in a peacock’s feathers will make it visible among all of the other animals. The more you stare at a peacock’s feathers, the more in awe you will feel. So when you decide to acquire this tattoo, it’ll surely further enhance your body’s beauty. And it doesn’t matter where you decide to put the tattoo on – It’ll make you feel and look flawless and elegant.
- Eagle feather tattoo – An eagle is as a symbol of honor and bravery. Native American warriors received eagle feathers as gifts with when they perform a particular act of bravery. This is probably the reason why a lot of military men also sport feather tattoos on their bodies. Certain cultures have mentioned that if you see a feather fall right across your path, it means that somebody has just died with their soul flying straight into heaven. Meanwhile, feathers were also considered to be just as important in other cultures’ own ceremonies and rituals. Early Christians, for example, associated the feather with plenty of positive virtues, which is evident in plenty of tattoo designs. Feathers were also commonly depicted on signet rings, with every feather symbolizing something specific.
- Owl feather tattoos – Similar to ravens and crows, the owl is a bird that is an emblem of wisdom and knowledge. Owls are nocturnal creatures, meaning that they only hunt for prey during the nighttime. The owl has huge unblinking eyes, fixed onto its own sockets. This is the reason why they are able to tun their heads around so they can see who’s lurking behind them or standing near them. Sometimes people get frightened by owls because they can spin their heads around, which is quite unusual for a bird. An owl’s rounded eyes are the main reason why it’s considered to be a symbol of wisdom and knowledge – Back then, people had the belief that the owl’s uncanny ability to spin its head around gave it the power to see everything, which is similar to having wisdom.
Feather Tattoo Meaning
Feather tattoos are simply gorgeous, and are well-liked by those who enjoy body art, as well as people of Native American descent or fascinated by Native American traditions. In most cultures, a feather tattoo can carry a deep and thoughtful meaning to any person who wears it, no matter if it’s a man or a woman donning it. Feather tattoos symbolizes spirituality or something that can represent ancient heritage and a person’s own beliefs.
You can also use a feather tattoo to honor the memory of a loved one who has passed on. There is a belief in several cultures which states that if a feather falls on your path, this means that someone you love has died and their soul will now travel to the afterlife. It can also mean that the spirit of the deceased is attempting to communicate with you.
Dreaming of a feather can also be highly symbolic. This makes plenty of sense, given the importance of dreamcatchers in Native American culture. A white feather means innocence, while other colors like red represent love and passion. Orange and yellow feathers symbolizes high intelligence.
Singular feathers are the most common designs in these tattoos, but there are still some others which have two designs in one go. Meanwhile, others prefer giant back pieces like angel wings or bird wings with loads of feathers on them. Perhaps the true meaning of the amount of feathers in the design will all depend on the wearer.
Believe it or not, the type of feather used in these tattoos will also matter. The most popular ones are ostriches, egrets, peacocks, eagles, turkeys, and swallows. Once again, the meaning behind your chosen feather will all depend solely on you. Some people will go for angel feathers instead of birds. The only interpretation here is that they want to be protection and guidance by a higher being.
Others may choose to get a tattoo solely because they love the way it looks. A feather in itself, or a cluster of feathers grouped together, look beautiful as a tattoo. You can find loads of designs, types, and meanings for your feather tattoo design. You’ll never run out of options and choices for sure. Feathers are completely symbolic and every meaning will be different.
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Ideal Placement Of Feather Tattoos
The perfect positioning of your feather tattoo will all depend on so many factors as well. Since the human body has plenty of nerves, all containing sensitivity receptors, some of them will feel twice as sensitive especially in comparison to other parts of the body. And placing a tattoo on these sensitive areas will actually be more expensive in comparison to the rest of the body. The aforementioned sensitive parts include the neck, the sternum, the feet, and the hands. The butt, the outer thighs, and the shoulder blades, meanwhile, are the least sensitive places for tattoos and won’t hurt as much.
No matter if this is your first tattoo, or if your feather tattoo is a fifth venture, you might still be thinking about where to place it. There are so many things you have to consider when it comes to getting a tattoo done, with an absolute understanding about which part of the body your tattoo will look the best on. This can make the placement choice seem much easier than before. Certain areas of the body can also be much more painful to put a tattoo on, and understandably, this can be worrisome for certain people.
Feather Tattoo Preparation Tips
Bring a small snack with you in case you get hungry, or something to drink like a bottle of water. This snack has to be light and quick enough to eat. This allows you to consume it quickly when you get a moment of downtime, but still eat it in a couple of bites that you won’t keep the artist waiting for you when they’re finished with their own break.
And when it comes to your choice of snacks, do not bring anything messy. Remember a tattoo shop has to be fully sanitized and clean, so don’t bring anything with sauces in it, or something that can leave stains on the floor, spill easily, or produces crumbs.
Put on a comfortable outfit before you head over to your tattooing session. First off, you’re going to be spending hours lying down or sitting on a tattoo chair, while a tattoo gun injects ink into your body. The last thing you would want to wear is something that is either too tight, too itchy, or too loose to the point where you have to readjust the cloth’s positioning.
Are Feather Tattoos Painful?
To prepare yourself for an upcoming tattoo session, tell yourself that there will inevitably be blood and needles involved in the process. The modern tattoo gun features a tiny group of needles which will go in and out of your skin as fast as possible, depositing bits of ink each time they do so. You can compare it to the effect of creating plenty of tiny cuts surrounding the area where your tattoo will feature. Practically every person who gets a tattoo will end up bleeding since a tattoo is technically an open wound. And if the sight of blood makes you feel faint or uncomfortable, then don’t look.
Never hesitate to talk about your problems to your artist or the shop’s staff. Professional artists are more than happy to assist you in getting through your woes without making you feel awkward about telling them.
Calm down before the session starts. It could be difficult to feel at ease before the artist can officially start your session. However, if you can do exactly that and relax a bit, the whole thing will be much easier to handle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Feather Tattoos
1.) Should I talk to a doctor first if I want to get a tattoo ?
- Yes, you should, especially if you have a recurring medical condition. Your doctor will tell you if it’s safe to get a tattoo or not. Do not book an appointment with your artist before first consulting with a health professional.
2.) What kind of medicines can be harmful for those who want tattoos?
- There are actually quite a handful which can cause some issues for people who want a tattoo. Painkillers such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen are blood thinners. Taking one pill right before your session begins will cause you to bleed twice as much, making things difficult (and dangerous) for both your artist and yourself. The ink and pigments injected into your skin can also seep out along with the blood and will result in poor shading and missing lines. A badly-made tattoo caused by drinking painkillers will take a while to heal. The same is is similar for antibiotics. Antibiotics cannot differentiate between a bug and a foreign substance placed into their skin and will try to fight both. They could react negatively to the tattoo ink, also resulting in scars or patches around your freshly-made tattoo.
3.) What are the important things when it comes to acquiring a top-quality tattoo?
- Three things: A skilled artist, a stunning design (Doesn’t matter if it’s pre-made Flash art or an original creation) and the materials and machines used to create it. A well-sanitized shop, a professional artist and staff will ensure you that you are about to experience some good clean tattooing fun.
4.) How Do I know if the shop of my choice is well-sanitized?
- The most important rule when owning a tattoo shop is that everything should be clean and hygienic. Step inside your chosen shop and take a look around. Do you like what you’re seeing? Always trust your instincts here. And if you’re having any doubts about the hygienic practices of the artists and staff in your shop, then go find a second or third option. As the old saying goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry! Don’t be afraid to ask the staff if they have an autoclave inside the shop. If they do, ask them if they perform spore tests on their equipment. If they answer ‘yes’ to both questions, they must be able to show you proof. A professional artist must only use disposable single-use tools and will change gloves each time there’s a new client. You should not come with Pets, smoke, inside the shop.
5.) Should I leave a tip for my artist?
- Yes, tips are a good thing but most artists won’t even expect you to give them one. Tattooing is a type of service industry standard that goes at five up to twenty-five percent.
6.) How does an artist assign a price for their tattoo?
- The industry standard can cost roughly up to $150 every hour, with a minimum of $70.
Average Cost Of A Feather Tattoo
As an artist, perhaps one of the questions you would most likely get is ‘how much does a tattoo cost?’ The final cost of a tattoo will all depend on so many factors. These include the colors used, how big or small the tattoo is, the placement, as well as the location of your choosen shop (for instance, a New York-based tattoo artist versus a Bangkok-based tattoo artist), your artist’s experience, as well as how complex the design really is.
You shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed about all of this, though – In this day and age, tattooing has transformed itself into a symbol of identifying one’s own self, as evidenced by so many entertainers who have worn it. There’s a high possibility that each tattoo an entertainer has worn on their body will carry a personal meaning in their own life. Perhaps the cost of your tattoo is one of the biggest factors when it comes to picking the design.
And then there’s the artist’s skills. The final price of your tattoo all depends on the level of experience of your artist. An experienced tattoo artist will charge their clients per hour. If this happens, then you can be certain that your tattoo will come out looking fabulous. The standard cost of a tattoo could go for up to 300 dollars per hour. And depending on how big or small it is, you could end up having to shell out thousands of dollars after the session. Meanwhile, for customized tattoos, the price can go from a minimum of fifty dollars, to a maximum of 300 dollars.
Tattoos that are done in different shades will also be more pricey in comparison to one done in black ink, or even white ink. Colored tattoos will require a bit more detailing, and a highly-detailed tattoo does take plenty of time to finish up. Because the average charge for a tattoo will go by the hour, perhaps those who aren’t too excited about spending so much cash for ink might opt for a black ink tattoo with simple linework instead.
Feather Tattoo Maintenance Tips
Plenty of suntan lotions include strong ingredients and chemicals which could damage your new tattoo. Do not apply them onto your body while it’s still healing up. The least you can do is to simply keep your new ink out of direct sunlight for up to a month.
One more thing you should avoid doing while taking care of a brand new tattoo is to submerge it in a river, a lake, a pool, or even a hot tub or a bath. Bodies of water contain loads of bacteria and germs, which can certainly do damage to your tattoo’s structure. Pools usually contain chlorine, which dries out your tattoo’s ink and can cause severe irritation and burning.
If you must clean yourself up, take a shower instead – And wait until your tattoo is over forming scabs, and when these scabs have already peeled off (this will take up to three weeks to a month).
And after the long, grueling process is over and your tattoo looks all healed up… It’s now time to enjoy it! Hopefully by the end of four weeks, you will now be sporting a gorgeous piece of body art which you can cherish and love for as long as you live. Feel free to show it off. You deserve something great since you managed to follow all of your artist’s aftercare rules.