I am often asked about symbolic meanings for the purpose of tattoos. One such request came last month from a gentleman who wanted symbolic suggestions for remembrance tattoos to honor loved ones who have passed. I respond:
My gut tells me to encourage you to recall those outstanding features your loved ones exude, and incorporate this into a personal symbol of your own.
It is the uniqueness in humanity that provides the most beautiful and profound symbolism.
When we wish to remember those we love, often it is the little things – a favorite song, favorite color, a beloved book – those things stand out to allow us to make a symbol of them for us to more clearly remember those we love.
But, you’ve asked me for a straight-forward, textbook symbol for a remembrance tattoo. Here are some suggestions:
Fire: A symbol of fire brings about the energy of ignition, creativity, and passion – it is among the four elements that increases its expanse by our attention to it. What do I mean by this? In the world of symbolism, each element represents a human trait.
- Air represents thought,
- Fire represents spirit,
- Water represents emotion,
- and Earth represents physicality.
When we apply Air (thought/remembrance/honor) to Fire (the passion/essence/spirit of a person) it is a symbolic action to honor a loved one.
Pansy (flower): Pansies are flowers of remembrance of our loved ones – I’ve written a bit about this here (7th flower down): Symbolic Flowers and Their Meanings
Zodiac: Astrology is infinite in its uses and wisdom. Perhaps you may use your loved one’s astrological sign as a symbol of remembrance. You’re not limited to Western/Greek astrology either – you may use Native American, Celtic, Burmese, Chinese…here is a link to my zodiac signs: Astrology Signs and Meanings
Horse: The horse is a totem of remembrance, honor, love and is often portrayed in mythology as a vehicle for souls who have moved to another dimension of existence. I’ve written about the horse here: Symbolic Meanings of the Horse
Trees: The Celtic Ogham provides exquisite symbolic poetry. Specific trees that are worshipped for their ability to honor our loved ones are the fir and apple. You may read about them here:Symbolic Meaning of the Fir Tree and Symbolic Meaning of Apple Tree
I trust this information will be helpful to you on your journey to capture your desire to remember those you love in a meaningful, profound way.
With light and blessings to you,