Symbolism of a Feather Tattoo: 70+ Designs and Meanings

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By Anna Marikar

Feathers have been a symbol of deep meaning and significance in various cultures throughout history. As a tattoo design, feather tattoos can hold different meanings and represent personal beliefs and values.

From Native American headdresses and Egyptian headpieces, to a small white feather found in an unexpected place, feathers have held many powerful meanings and deep significance, just as much today as in ancient times

In this blog post, we’ll explore the symbolism and meaning of the feather tattoo, different feather designs, and ideas for feather tattoo designs.

symbolism of a feather tattoo designs and meanings

We’ll also delve into the symbolism of different feather tattoos and what they can represent. Whether you’re looking for a feather tattoo that symbolizes strength and courage, or one that represents peace and harmony, this post will give you plenty of inspiration and ideas to create a unique and meaningful feather tattoo.

We will share 55 gorgeous and breathtaking feather tattoo ideas in different styles, as well as dive into the feather symbolism and it’s deeper meaning that can change depending on the color, style of depiction, or type of bird feather you choose.

feather tattoo designs

Table of Contents

feather tattoo design line art

Some Common Feather Tattoo Designs and Their Meanings

You may want to go with a simple feather, or a single feather. This beautiful and minimalist feather tattoo idea is absolutely beautiful.

Or, maybe you want to combine the feather design with another powerful symbol to create a powerful compound meaning that’s a very personal meaning to you.

Combing multiple elements is a great way to build a unique meaning, and the feather works well as a unique unisex tattoo element in all kinds of tattoo designs.

different designs for feather tattoo

Some combination feather tattoo designs and their meanings include:

Feather Quill Tattoo: Creativity, intelligence, and knowledge. Linked to the roll of a feather as a writing instrument

quill feather tattoo

Angel Feather Tattoo: Divine intervention and protection.

This can also be combined with symbols such as a cross for a memorial tattoo.

memorial angel feather tattoo

Feather and Birds Tattoo: Freedom, hope, and faith.

Feather and Infinity Symbol Tattoo: Eternal love and connection.

feather infinity symbol tattoo
feather infinity symbol tattoo design unique

Feather and Arrow Tattoo: Focus, determination, and direction.

feather arrow tattoo design

Feather and Compass Tattoo: Guidance, exploration, and adventure.

feather and compass tattoo design
feather and compass tattoo

Feather and Heart Tattoo: Love, passion, and emotion.

feather heart tattoo design

Feather and Tree Tattoo: Growth, strength, and connection to nature.

feather tree tattoo idea
tree feather tattoo idea

Feather and Music Note Tattoo: Creativity, passion, and love for music.

tattoo of feather and music note

Feather and Lotus Flower Tattoo: Enlightenment, purity, and spiritual growth.

Feather and Butterfly Tattoo: Transformation, freedom, and beauty.

butterfly and feather tattoo
different ways to draw a feather

What Do Different Color Feather Tattoos Mean?

Different colors of feather tattoo can change the meaning and symbolism of your design. If you’re looking for a full color ink tattoo for your feather tattoo design, consider the symbolism behind each of these color feathers.

A white feather is one of the most spiritually significant feather colors, so we will start off and dive a little deeper into this one before we go into the symbolism of different color feather tattoos.

White Feather Tattoo

white feather tattoo

A white feather tattoo can hold deep spiritual meaning and symbolize a connection to the divine or spiritual realm. It can represent purity, innocence, enlightenment, and spiritual connection.

For those who have lost a loved one, a white feather tattoo can serve as a reminder that the departed is watching over them and sending messages of love and support.

Alternatively, it can represent the presence of an angel, offering comfort and guidance during difficult times.

In addition to its spiritual symbolism, a white feather tattoo can also symbolize peace and harmony. It can serve as a powerful reminder to stay grounded and balanced amidst chaos and strife.

The simplicity of a white feather tattoo can also make it a versatile and timeless design. It can be incorporated into a larger tattoo or stand alone as a small and subtle reminder of one’s beliefs and values.

Overall, a white feather tattoo can hold great significance and serve as a meaningful expression of one’s spirituality, beliefs, and personal journey.

Red Feather Tattoo

In Native American culture, red feathers are associated with the East direction and represent the element of fire. They can symbolize passion, love, and strength.

A red feather tattoo also symbolises courage, and the strength of a warrior. This color tattoo can be used as a memorial for those lost in battle.

Blue Feather Tattoo

Blue feathers are associated with peace, tranquility, and harmony. They are often used to represent freedom, and universal or angelic guardianship and divine protection.

You can read more here about the deep spiritual meaning of the color blue

Green Feather Tattoo

Green feathers are a symbol of good luck, good fortune and abundance.

Yellow Feather Tattoo

Yellow feathers can symbolize intellect, clarity, and communication, as well as spiritual enlightenment. They can also represent optimism and positivity.

Purple Feather Tattoo

Purple feathers are associated with royalty, luxury, and creativity. They can also symbolize spiritual awareness and enlightenment.

Lavender as a color is also associated with the gay community.

Rainbow Feather Tattoo

rainbow feather tattoo

A rainbow feather tattoo can symbolize LGBTQ pride, diversity, and inclusion. It can also represent hope, positivity, and the beauty of a vibrant, colorful life.

Orange Feather Tattoo

Orange feathers are associated with enthusiasm, vitality, and energy. They can also represent creativity and success.

Black Feather Tattoo

Black feathers are associated with mystery, power, and protection. They can symbolize strength and resilience, as well as a connection to the spiritual realm.

They may also symbolise grief or loss.

black feather tattoo

Feather Tattoo Symbolism for each type of bird

Feathers have been a symbol of special meaning in many cultures throughout history.

Each bird’s feather has its own unique character and symbolism that can vary depending on the culture and individual interpretation.

From the majestic eagle to the mystical owl, bird feathers have been used in tattoo designs to represent different qualities and traits.

In this section, we’ll explore the symbolic meanings behind different bird feather tattoos and what they can represent for the wearer, for feathers of specific birds.

collarbone feather tattoo

Dove feathers tattoo

Dove feathers are associated with peace, love, and hope. They can symbolize purity, innocence, and a connection to the divine.

Peacock feather tattoo

Peacock feathers are associated with beauty, elegance, and pride. So peacock feather tattoo designs symbolize self-confidence, creativity, and a love for the finer things in life.

peacock feather tattoo
peacock feather tattoo

Ostrich feathers tattoo

Ostrich feathers are associated with strength, endurance, and perseverance. They can symbolize resilience, determination, and the ability to overcome obstacles.

Owl feather tattoo

Owl feathers are associated with wisdom, intuition, and mystery. They can symbolize insight, knowledge, and the ability to see beyond the surface.

owl chest tattoo

Raven feather tattoo

Raven feathers are associated with magic, transformation, and mystery. They can symbolize the ability to adapt to change and to see through illusion.

Phoenix feather tattoos

Phoenix feathers are associated with resurrection, rebirth, and transformation. They can symbolize the ability to rise from the ashes and start anew.

Eagle feather tattoos

Eagle feathers are associated with strength, courage, and freedom. They can symbolize power, leadership, and the ability to soar to new heights.

Angel Wings Back Tattoo

A popular tattoo design featuring feathers is the angel wings tattoo – For a more bold feather tattoo design, you can use feathers to create your own wings.

angel wings back tattoo

This design typically features large wings with intricate feather details, placed on the back of the wearer.

The feathers in these designs can symbolize the divine guidance and protection that angels are believed to offer.

They can also represent freedom, spirituality, and the ability to rise above challenges and obstacles. This tattoo is a powerful visual representation of your own strength.

The feather details in angel wings tattoos are often highly detailed and realistic, creating a stunning and visually striking design.

Whether you choose a simple or complex design, an angel wings tattoo with feather details on your back can be a powerful expression of your spirituality, beliefs, and personal journey.

feathers full back tattoo

You do not have to limit yourself to your back for your angel wings feather tattoo, if you prefer to make it smaller try the shoulder or the rib cage.

angel wings shoulder tattoo

Feather Tattoo Friendship Meaning

Feather tattoos can be a powerful symbol of friendship, representing a deep connection and bond between individuals.

feathers friendship tattoo design

Matching feather tattoos can serve as a constant reminder of the special bond between friends, and can symbolize that you will always be there for each other.

It’s a powerful way to express and celebrate a friendship that is meaningful and enduring.

matching best friends tattoo feathers

Dream Catcher Tattoo With Feathers

A dreamcatcher tattoo with feathers is a powerful symbol of protection, guidance, and spirituality.

dream catcher tattoo on back

In Native American culture, dream catchers were traditionally used to filter out bad dreams and negative energy, allowing only good dreams to pass through. Feathers were added to the dreamcatcher to help guide good dreams to the sleeper.

When incorporated into a tattoo design, feathers in a dreamcatcher can symbolize spiritual guidance and protection.

colorful dream catcher tattoo on back

However, it’s important to be respectful of the cultural significance of the dreamcatcher and avoid cultural appropriation.

If you are not of Native American descent, it’s important to do your research and understand the cultural context of the dreamcatcher before getting a dreamcatcher tattoo. Consider consulting with a Native American artist or seeking permission from a tribal elder to ensure that your tattoo design is respectful and culturally appropriate, before going to your tattoo artist with this one.

Native American dream catcher tattoo on back

This also applies to symbols such as totem poles that have a rich history and significance in Native American traditons.

dream catcher arm tattoo

Feather Tattoo Meanings in Different Cultures

Feathers have been a symbol of many things in different cultures around the world. In this blog post, we will explore the symbolism of feather tattoos and their meanings in various cultures.

full color feathers

Native American Culture

In Native American culture, feathers represent communication with the spirit world. Feathers were often used in headdresses worn by warriors and spiritual leaders. Different types of feathers also held different meanings, such as eagle feathers representing strength, courage, and wisdom, while owl feathers represented intuition and wisdom.

full body tattoos Native American

Egyptian Culture

In ancient Egypt, feathers were associated with the goddess Ma’at, who represented truth, justice, and balance. Feathers were often depicted on the headpiece of Ma’at or were used in the decoration of the pharaoh’s crowns.

Celtic Culture

In Celtic culture, feathers were associated with the goddess Epona, who represented fertility, prosperity, and protection. Feathers were also used in the decoration of Celtic artwork and jewelry.

Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, feathers were associated with the phoenix, which represented immortality, resurrection, and transformation. The phoenix was often depicted with colorful feathers, and its feathers were believed to have healing properties.

Christian Culture

In Christian culture, feathers were associated with angels and the Holy Spirit. Feathers were often used in religious artwork and were a symbol of divine intervention and protection.

Feather tattoos can hold different meanings depending on the culture and the type of feather used.

More Meaningful Tattoo Designs

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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