Birds are symbols of soul freedom and the flight of the imagination. Tattoos of bird's feathers indicate honor, victory and shamanic powers. Birds' feathers are still used for various magical purposes such as conducting energy and decorating spiritual devices such as dreamcatchers. Tattoos of birds are found in just about every culture.
Here is a brief, but by no means comprehensive list of the symbolism represented by birds that often appear as tattoo motifs.
♦ Bluebird - represent happiness, safe journeys, a classic "sailor" tattoo
♦ Crane - a Chinese symbol of health, fidelity and marriage
♦ Crow - a Celtic and Roman messenger of death, a Native American Indian Spirit Guide, a Chinese symbol of occult wisdom
♦ Cuckoo - a pagan symbol of weddings, second sight and transformation
♦ Dove - a universal symbol of peace and love, a symbol of Christ Consciousness in Christian religions
♦ Eagles - a biker and patriotic symbol, a Native American symbol of strength, a Greek and Roman symbol of a leader, an Egyptian and Celtic symbol of the "carrier of souls" past death
♦ Geese - a symbol of Canada, a symbol of new beginnings
♦ Hawk - a symbol of divine intervention and second sight in many cultures
♦ Hummingbirds - a love charm in Celtic and African Voodoo traditions
♦ Magpie - an American Southwest symbol for wealth and protection
♦ Owl - a symbol of wisdom and wisdom from the Gods in all cultures
♦ Peacock - a symbol of immortality, dignity and authority in most cultures
♦ Ravens - a Celtic symbol for victory in battle, a pagan symbol for messages from the dead
♦ Robin - an ancient symbol for compassion and fertility
♦ Sparrow - a Christian symbol for faith
♦ Storks - traditionally announce the arrival of a baby, a universal symbol of fertility, a guardian of the elderly (North American Indian), a symbol of justice (Greece)
♦ Swans - a traditional love symbol, a messenger of the communication God Apollo (Greek), a symbol of the moon (Celtic and Pagan)
♦ Wren - a charm against drowning (Sailor), magic or occult powers (Wiccan and Pagan)
A traditional color work by Tim Hanlan http://www.artfultattoo.dyns.net
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