Tattoos symbolize permanence, self expression, creativity, and transformation. As a result, when we dream of tattoos,
- We may be ready to make a greater commitment, with respect to a relationship, job, belief, or something else that is both personal and significant.
- We may need to express ourselves to others, show our skills, and share the fruits of our talent.
- We may yearn to explore our creative side, want to stand out, break from the pack, and step out beyond the bonds of cultural and societal norms.
- We may be looking for change and transformation, either in ourselves, in a relationship, or in some other important aspect of our life.
In the past, tattoos also served as marks to indicate a particular status or rank, membership to a particular group or religion, and an acknowledgement of certain skills or achievements. Today, this is similar to the function of badges, printed emblems on clothing, and printed cards. Tattoos were also used as talismans to protect us from harm.
In addition to the general symbolism of tattoos, the meaning of our dream will also be dependent on –
- The details of the tattoo including color, whether it is text or image, as well as subject matter.
- The location of the tattoo(s) on the body.
- Whether the tattoo appears on us or somebody else.
- Our interaction (if any) with the tattoo.
Visual Details of Our Dream Tattoos
One of the most popular subject matter of tattoos are pledges of love. For example, our dream tattoo may be the name of our spouse or partner. It could also be the name of our child, sibling, or friend. Other common love symbols include the apple, a rose, heart, dove, or cupid.
Love tattoos indicate that we are ready to commit ourselves to the person. There may also be a lack of communication in our relationship, which makes us want to better express our love and feelings.
There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.
~~[Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park]
Another popular group of tattoo symbols are of animals (real or fantasy). Many tattoo animals including the dragon, tiger, or lion are symbols of strength and power. Others may signify intellect (fox, owl, eagle), luck (rabbit, goose), or spirituality (unicorn, phoenix). Animal tattoos show a need to share or express our power, wisdom, good fortune, or faith, to others.
Finally, tribal tattoos also appear in many circumstances. Tribal tattoos were originally worn –
- As a form of camouflage,
- To indicate membership of a particular tribe, or
- To indicate rank or achievement.
When we dream of tribal tattoos, it may signal a hidden message, a need to belong, or a wish for greater status and success.
Finally, how our dream tattoo is rendered also contributes to its meaning.
- A colorful or visual dream tattoo indicates creativity, joy, and passion.
- A black or textual dream tattoo suggests simplicity, logical expression, as well as a more serious or focused purpose.
Body Location of Our Dream Tattoos
If our dream tattoo is on a part of the body that is often hidden by clothes, then we may have a secret that we are too shy or fearful to confess. For example, hiding a rose or heart tattoo in our dream, may signify that we have a secret relationship that we want to share, but are unable to.
The exact location of our dream tattoo also carries meaning-
- Hands and arms
We use our hands and arms to greet others, to protect, as well as to create great works of art, grow food, invent, and more.
Dream tattoos that are situated on our hands and arms are very powerful, because they relate to friendship, protection, and creation. For example, if we have a tattoo of our boyfriend’s name on our arm, it may mean that we want to protect him and keep him safe.
- Legs and feet
Our legs and feet carry us to new worlds, allow us to explore, as well as search for that which was lost. As such, leg dream tattoos are associated with travelling, journeys, and transformation. It may represent a physical journey or a spiritual journey.
For example, a dream rose tattoo on our leg may imply that we need to embark on a journey to find new love or recapture a love which was lost. It may be a physical journey, a transformation of our physical self (change of appearance), or a transformation of our spiritual self (change in thinking and belief).
Our head is where we think great thoughts, develop creative ideas, and refine our beliefs. As such, a head tattoo relates more to the emotional or spiritual, rather than to the physical and mundane.
The trunk of our body is where material utilization and absorption occurs. Our lungs process air, our stomach processes food, and our heart pumps these nutrients to the other parts of our body.
A body tattoo implies a material or physical relation. For example, a lion tattoo on our body may indicate physical strength and power, whereas if it is on our face or head, then it may indicate spiritual strength instead. A heart dream tattoo on the body may indicate lust, but one on the head may symbolize spiritual love or devotion.
Our next connects our head (spiritual plane) to our body (material plane), thus it is often associated with risk, balance and equilibrium. It also contains our voice box, so it is also a symbol of communication.
A neck dream tattoo may signal something that needs to be communicated with all haste, a risk that we need to take, or that there is a lack of equilibrium in certain aspects of our life.
Having many tattoos on our body implies a great need for self expression. In particular, we may have many repressed thoughts and emotions that have accumulated over a long period of time. We may also have trouble communicating our thoughts, and may need some help in this area.
If we dream of having a different tattoo design in the same location as a real-life tattoo, then we may be feeling like we are living a lie, or pretending to be somebody we are not.
Person Wearing Our Dream Tattoos
We should also pay close attention to who is wearing the tattoos.
If the tattoos are on our own body, then we are the ones who need to better express ourselves, to transform, be creative, or step outside our comfort zone.
If the tattoos are on somebody else, then –
- We may be missing or overlooking something in our relationship with that person. It can also mean that the person is trying to get our attention, or is feeling neglected.
- We may yearn to have what the other person has.
- We may need to help somebody else express their feelings, offer a shoulder to cry on, or offer support in a stressful time of change.
If in our dream, we are a tattooist, then we may be looking to have a greater impact on the lives of others. Perhaps we currently feel disconnected, and want to leave something of ourselves behind, in the people around us.
Being a dream tattooist could also express a need to experience something new, that is outside the bounds of societal norms.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
~~[Henry David Thoreau]
Our Interaction with the Dream Tattoos
Finally, we want to consider how we interact with the tattoos in our dream.
- If we are trying to remove the tattoo, then we may be having difficulties ending a bad relationship.
- If we are praising the tattoo or otherwise interacting with it in a positive way, then it may capture an attribute that we want to cultivate in ourselves.
- If we are drawing over the tattoo or trying to change it through other means, then we may be discontented with our current circumstances, and be seeking transformation.
- If we are trying to convince others to get our tattoo, then we may want to teach, share our wisdom, and perhaps guide the people around us.
Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time.
~~[Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]