Feathers are powerful symbols in multiple cultures across the world, representing freedom and our connection to nature. But feathers have a special place in North America. Native Americans believed that all parts of nature had unique spirits, and so animals were thought to have their own as well. They believed that a bird’s feathers carried the spirit of the bird that they fell from, and so feathers were often granted to successful warriors, to honour their bravery in battle. Below, we’ve put together a feather tattoo dictionary, elaborating on all of the meanings behind each of these tattoo designs. Read on, and learn about all sorts of feather symbols!
Feather Tattoo Dictionary
Birds of a Feather: a tattoo design of the quote ‘birds of a feather’ represents a friendship or bond between two kindred spirits. The expression means that the two individuals are ‘of the same kind.’
Blue Bird Feathers: with soft blue feathers, these birds’ coats have come to represent contentment in life. When blue birds are around, they bring levity and peace. Hence, they have become symbols of calmness, freedom, and connection to nature.
Crow Feathers: as birds that are symbolically connected to ‘the occult,’ crow feathers represent breaking free from tradition. They’re also a powerful symbol of death in many cultures.
Dove Feathers: in the Christian church, doves are symbols of the Holy Spirit. As such, they have come to represent Christian values, like love, gentleness, and kindness.
Eagle Feathers: as the patriotic bird of the United States, eagle feathers have come to represent national pride, strength, and leadership.
Hawk Feathers: known for their farsightedness, hawk feathers have become symbols of guardianship and strength.
Hummingbird Feathers: known as spirit messengers in Native American culture, hummingbirds were thought to have the power to stop time with their exceptionally fast wing flapping. Hummingbird feathers are also symbols of love, beauty, and intelligence.
Peacock Feathers: since peacocks regrow their feathers on an annual basis, their feathers have come to represent rebirth and immortality. Since peacocks were kept as pets in royal courtyards, their feathers are also symbolic of royalty and wealth.
Raven Feathers: as one of the most intelligent bird species, raven feathers are symbols of knowledge and truth.
Birds’ feathers are associated with various symbols across cultures, representing various aspects of human life. Whether you feel deeply connected to nature or you’re an avid bird watcher, there’s a feather tattoo for every kind! If you know of other interesting bird tattoo meanings, let us know about them in the comment section below!
Interested in learning about more tattoo design meanings? We’ve got the ultimate list of tattoo design meanings.