Feather tattoos are most commonly seen featuring Native American designs or in the form of wings. However, these symbols of ascension, truth and a freedom of spirit can have many different styles. Most of these styles carry a significance of their own.
Feather tattoos can be quite simple and feature a large quill spread along the back, or up the side of a leg or arm. Celtic Druids often wore heavy robes covered in feathers. Each color had its own meaning; orange meant energy, purple meant power, red means passion and courage, while yellow means intellect and eloquence. In Christianity, the image of three feathers attached at the bottom represent the ‘virtues’ — charity, hope and faith — joined together. These were often shown as heavy silver signets. The gorgeous eye-like design on a peacock’s tail feathers has been said as both good and bad luck. Some people have associated it with the dreaded ‘evil eye,’ while others feel that it is a symbol of protection, as these eyes ‘watch out’ for them. Any of these feather tattoos could be used as a single feather, or a fan. Either the magnificent peacock, or the lesser acknowledged, but equally brilliant turkey tail feathers could be spread across the base of the back to create an intricate look.
Feather tattoos may feature many other symbols as well. The feather may be placed with flowers, with a pearl necklace wrapped around it (to represent delicacy), or even set to writing a meaningful poem. They are often placed amongst dream catchers, in armbands, or formed into the shape of hearts or stars. It may be interesting, as well, to place feathers in the eyelashes and hair of an exotic-looking female figure, or create the entire image of a person out of these billowy objects.
Many feather tattoos are meant to express a feeling of freedom, or even a particular pride in heritage; all unto themselves, however, they can create either a simple, yet meaningful image, or a broad and sweeping design that is certain to grab attention.