There’s a lot to love about dragonfly tattoos. They work as a mini tattoo on the wrist, can be worked into sleeve designs, and can hold its own as a large tattoo. Artists can incorporate colors into the design and give the tattoo a 3D effect, or you can stick with minimalist tattoo lines.
Other than the amazing choices that come with getting a dragonfly tattoo, the symbolism behind these insects is also something to be inspired by.
A dragonfly isn’t just born with wings – it goes through a process. It’s first an egg, then develops into larva before going through the molt stage; only after these phases does the actual dragonfly emerge with wings and eye-catching colors.
So, it’s little wonder that dragonflies, like butterflies, symbolize transformation. A dragonfly tattoo can represent persevering through the challenges and not-so-pretty stages of life to emerge transformed.
Dragonflies In Native American Cultures
Native American cultures are vast, and different groups have attributed different characteristics and meanings to dragonflies.
According to Native Languages, the Hopi and Pueblo tribes saw dragonflies as a symbol of healing, while the people of the Plains used a dragonfly symbol for dangerous situations,
“In the Hopi and Pueblo tribes, the dragonfly was considered a medicine animal, associated with healing and transformation, whose spirit was often called upon by medicine men and women… In Plains Indian traditions, dragonflies are symbols of protection or even invincibility, and pictures of dragonflies were often painted on war shirts and tepee covers to ward off danger and injury.”
A Dragonfly’s Role In Feng Shui
Feng shui, a practice that comes from ancient China, focuses on using energy to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.
“Feng shui says that we are interconnected with everyone and everything is alive, that there can be magic in making your bed every morning, gazing out the window, or walking through a doorway,”Mind Body Green
As such, doing things in a certain way in your home and different symbols can have positive energies associated with it. When it comes to dragonflies in the home, according to Feng Shui, they can drive away bad luck.
“This is in part of the insect’s predatory nature of hunting down annoying pests like mosquitoes as prey,”Feng Shuied
“As such, the appearance of one at home is a sign that negative energy presiding in the premises would be chased out of the house.”Feng Shuied
An ancient name for Japan was Akitsushima, meaning Dragonfly Island.
In Japan, these winged insects can symbolize courage, strength, and power, and they often appear in art and literature, such as haiku (traditional Japanese poems).
Dragonflies have also been featured in Japanese armor, as explained by The Dragonfly Website,
“In the 17th century, high raking Japanese lords used dragonfly shaped helmets so they could be easily identified on the battlefield. The dragonfly image was often emblazoned on the hilts of swords, breastplates and arrow quivers. Because dragonflies were thought to be fearless, swift and courageous, they were believed to bring soldiers strength and protection.”
These insects have flown their way into spirituality beyond cultural meanings. If you see them in your dreams, they might come with a meaning.
Dragonflies In Dreams
“Dragonflies are born in and live by the water, so they are deeply connected with the element and all that corresponds with it; this means dragonflies are associated with dreams, emotions, intuition, the deep subconscious, and psychic senses,”What Is My Spirit Animal
As this insect can represent your intuition, one showing up in your dreams may be a sign to start paying attention to your intuition in daily life.
A dragonfly making an appearance in your dream can also symbolize a change in your life, because of the animal being representative of transformation.
“Change or transformation takes place once we accept that our old ways are becoming outdated. We must go on to bigger and better aspects of our life. In order to get to that place, you must address your fear of the unknown. Dreaming about a dragonfly can mean that it’s time for you to try new things,”Your Tango
The spiritual symbolism and cultural meaning behind dragonflies gives you a lot to be inspired by for your next tattoo. There are also different tattoo styles you can choose from for this insect depiction.
Dragonfly Tattoo Style Inspiration
Artistic, Detailed Designs
Dragonfly wings are extremely detailed – there are many different lines that make up this complex design. This insect presents a great opportunity to go very detailed in your tattoo. You could even let realism take a backseat, and fill out the wings with intricate lace detailing.
Adding color to your tattoo can definitely help it stand out more compared to a black and gray design, however, it’s important to be aware that colorful pigments in your skin fade faster than black.
So, you might need to touch up colorful ink more frequently compared to a standard black ink tattoo. To enhance the longevity of your tattoo, always protect it from the sun.
Different colors can have different meanings. If you choose a blue dragonfly, this shade can represent wisdom and truth, while red can mean passion and love.
3D Dragonfly Tattoos
If you want a hyper realistic tattoo, a 3D design is the way to go. Through skilled shading, your dragonfly can look like it’s ready to take off from your skin.
“Whether you choose a colorful dragonfly or keep it black with shading, [a] 3D tattoo is attention-getting. You can also keep it simple but very detailed by focusing on the veins that run through the dragonfly wings,”Next Luxury
Once you’ve picked a tattoo style, do your research and find a tattooer who is well-versed in this style. Don’t rush – go through artists’ portfolios.
There are many different routes to take when it comes to getting a dragonfly tattoo. It’s important to settle on a meaning and design that you love and will be happy with for years to come.