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Wing Tattoo Meanings and Photos: Angel, Fairy, and Tribal

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Jaymz has held numerous jobs in several states, but no matter where he lives, he always has a job as a tattoo artist.

Whimsical, realistic, religious, or tribal, wings make a beautiful tattoo to represent your unique personality.

Whimsical, realistic, religious, or tribal, wings make a beautiful tattoo to represent your unique personality.

Wings are beautiful on birds, insects, and mythological characters. Wings can be drawn in many different styles, depending upon the artist.

When it comes to wing tattoos, there are a few particularly popular styles. Below, you'll find photo galleries for these major wing types:

  1. Angel
  2. Fairy and Mythological Creature
  3. Tribal

What Do Wing Tattoos Symbolize?

Wing tattoo designs often have inspirational or spiritual symbolism for the wearer. In many myths, for example, wings have to be earned. In nature, wings allow birds and insects to fly. Symbolically, they can represent:

  • Speed
  • Elevation
  • Freedom
  • Aspiration

Where Are These Tattoos Placed on the Body?

These tattoos often appear on the back, since that is where wings are located on the creatures that have them. Most traditional feathered wings will take up the width of the shoulders. Aside from those pictured here, I have also seen wings tattooed on neck napes and hips, as well as arms and backs.

1. Angel Wings

Traditional, feathered angel wings are probably the most popular wing tattoo design. They tend to be inked only in black and tattooed on the back of the recipient.

Wings associated with angels tend to symbolize:

  • Spirituality
  • Enlightenment
  • Guidance
  • Protection
  • Inspiration

Some of the tattoos shown above include other items, such as a halo, a complete angel, or a cross.

2. Fairy and Mythological Creature Wings

Mythological creatures that are commonly shown with wings include:

  • Fairies
  • Dragons
  • Pegasus
  • Griffons
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Wings that depict a mythological creature can symbolize:

  • Alchemy
  • Magic
  • Transformation
  • The Elements (Earth, Sky, Wind, and Fire)

3. Tribal Wings

Another popular style is to draw the wing shape in black tribal style and fill it in with symbols from myth, legend, or Native culture. Depicted this way, a wing tattoo can symbolize warriors in myth or reality.


Karen Goad on August 12, 2018:

what does a SINGLE angel wing mean??

mnms on May 10, 2017:

Im sorry, but some of these tattoos are just so badly done, like issues with shading and line work..

nhelly bhoy on November 10, 2011:

i love angel wings tattoo

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 21, 2010:

wow...I'm in love with that black and white tribal one!

Tracy F on February 07, 2010:

You could go to Photobucket & enter 'angel wing tattoos' into the search engine...they may have some pictures.

Empress Viaa on September 18, 2009:

I am actually thinking of getting a tattoo of a wing on my left hand (between wrist and elbow) - my b/f is gonna put the same on his right hand - so it looks like we each have a wing on opposite hands.

fifi on June 12, 2009:

i have a tat..a cross tat..and im planning to have a wings tat. connected to my cross.

malachi on March 04, 2009:

i am thinking about getting a tattoo on my leg of wings but i cant find any pics where the bottom of the wings are overlapping any suggestions on where i should look?

sad eyes on September 24, 2008:

i love the pic i really want 2 get a tattoo but i don't know if i shoiuld get angelwings or stars

starrkissed from Arizona on July 28, 2008:

i'm glad i came across this hub. i've been thinking of getting wings for my big tattoo on my back.. but have been unsure. great pictures!

Raven King from Cabin Fever on January 31, 2008:

The tatoo are real living art. The photos are beautiful.

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