Dagger tattoos generally have a deep meaning of sacrifice; this is understandable as the dagger was used for both human and animal sacrifices. It is also used by many Military people who sacrifice themselves for the good of their cause. The dagger can also be seen as a symbol of protection and a certain amount of toughness. The general feeling of being armed and dangerous lends to the potency of this particular emblem.
Most dagger tattoos feature the blade piercing another important symbol, such as a heart, flower, skull and occasionally even fruit. The dagger through the heart combination is one of the more recognizable variations, and it often thought to be an expression of pain for a love lost, or betrayal. It may also be thought of as a rejection of all things romantic, and has even been considered a unique derivative of the sacred heart. Some interesting modifications to this design would be to create an anatomical heart, with an intricate and portrait style dagger. In ancient China, the cherry was considered a symbol of immortality. A dagger pressing through the hard pit of a cherry may represent the contrast between eternal life, and imminent death.
Dagger tattoos almost invariably feature a variety of other symbols. Today, the symbol of caduceus is commonly used by medical professionals. However, caduceus — a dagger entwined with two snakes and a massive set of wings — was once considered a talisman of peace. Some people like to create a variation of this, and use a single serpentine dragon in place of two snakes, or even a large and flowering vine wrapped around the blade. Flames, feathers and occasionally even pin up models wrapped around the weapon are also common symbols.
Some dagger tattoos are shown all by themself. They are either cutting seamlessly through, creating a jagged rip in, or simply sitting atop the wearer’s skin. Daggers are carefully, and often intricately designed, and can make for an exquisite tattoo. The blade itself may have an interesting scroll work pattern along the edges. It may be straight, curved or wavy. The pommel is generally the most detailed aspect and may feature engraved patterns, jewels and may even be shaped into the form of a scorpion tail.
Dagger tattoos tend express a certain amount of raw aggression. However, these beautifully designed weapons are masterfully created, and when transferred into ink, can make for an extraordinary piece of art.
Credits: John McAtee of Ascension Tattoo