It's easy to see understand why angel tattoos are popular. After all, most societies and cultures have archetypes of guardians and supernatural beings that transcend above normal existence. Whether you're from sub-Saharan Africa, Midwest North America or aborigine Australia, almost everyone recognizes angelic forms as positive and protective forces that guide the human race.
While angels have universal positivity, different faiths and cultures have varying agreements on what angels look like. Some cultures also have more specific ideals of what angels specifically do. Even for atheists, angels represent the ethereal supernatural forces that give humanity a higher calling. Whether you're in the West or East, anyone can recognize the benevolent context of angels and angel tattoos.
Angel tattoos are popular reminders of good verses evil, powerful verses weak. Angel tattoos are also powerful symbols of faith, hope and love in a world that's lost to war, financial distress and crime. With such universal context, where did the idea of angels begin?
The most complex religion known to mankind began in ancient Egypt, where gods and demi-gods vied for heavenly power. Some of the demi-gods were the first archetypes for angels. These demi-gods didn't have the omniscience of a full god, but they still had great power for good. The Egyptian demi-gods gave ancient Egyptians a sense of connectedness to the greater gods they worshipped.
Angels of ancient Egypt are usually portrayed as animals. A fun angel tattoo could be an Egyptian cat or dog, with hieroglyphics and Egyptian styling. This angel tattoo could also have a lot of tribal elements to simplify the message. Egyptian angel tattoos are very unique and are strong symbols for single qualities. They're not complicated like the angels of Christianity or more modern religions.
The most well known angel concept is rooted in Judaism and Christianity. Angels of Judaism and Christianity are divine messengers that interact between God and humanity. They are also divine agents of God's will that help shape humanity into what God wants. Angels of Judaic and Christian tradition lack free will, but have strong personalities and traits. For example, in an ancient Biblical story, an angel stopped a man from killing his only son because it would drastically alter the path of Biblical history. Angel tattoos rooted in Judaic or Christian tradition represent following one's destiny and having the faith to follow the voice of God. Angel tattoos of this tradition also represent guardianship and protective forces.
In Zoroastrianism, angels are animals that are sent to protect the vitality and life of creation. Angel tattoos rooted in Zoroastrianism represent a strong connection to the Earth, and a strong hope in the future. Angel tattoos of Zoroastrianism have strong roots in destiny. Another ancient religion of the Etruscans believed that angels were winged guardians sent to protect humans. An Etruscan inspired design would look Roman, and would represent that you have someone looking after you!
Hinduism believes there are different classes and ranks of angels. Angels are worshiped for their good deeds and protection of mankind. As a result, there can be hundreds of angels watching over a single person to guide them through their Karma. Hindu angels are beings surrounded by light. Hindu angel tattoos represent hope, thankfulness, and the acknowledgment of a guardian. Hindu angel tattoos also represent a belief in reincarnation and fate.
Angels are used in so many different religions that you're certain to find a design that inspires you. Angel tattoos offer hope and a reminder in things greater than ourselves.
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