Pigeon, Dove Tattoo – Meaning, Symbolism, Designs and Ideas

Pigeons and doves are considered a good sign in most of the cultures. They are thought of as blessings and the white ones are especially appreciated. White has always been a symbol of love and peace so these animals are considered to be a sign of good luck and intimacy.

Pigeons are usually the symbols of love and hope. Other meanings include revival and harmony. The personal meaning that this animal may have is different for every human, but it is very rarely something negative or disturbing: only if a man has a phobia.

Pigeons are very humble birds and although they look gray from up far, you must look them closely to see they are not that simple. They have a pearly shine which gives them quite a different aura. That’s why, throughout history, they had a special place in people’s hearts and in religious temples. It is common to see a pigeon engraved in marble or stone in a building related to faith.

The colors of the feathers go from gray, green, blue to even purple. White is also a very common pigeon color. Their diversity is quite big and it is one of the things that makes them special.

The pigeons have a great sense of loyalty to each other. Once they enter a monogamous relationship they never leave it, staying together till death. It is something that animals rarely do because they have natural instincts, but pigeons are pretty special when it comes to these things.

The pigeon is considered to be a bird who cherishes freedom and a bird who symbolizes peace. On many occasions you can see pigeons in cartoons, possibly carrying a flower or some herb in their mouth. It always means that something good happened or is about to happen.

Birds were always very treasured because of their ability to fly at great higths. It is something not all animals can do and therefore they are considered to be special, even a bit above others.

The dove was always special and carried her gentle and kind character even through battles. This bird symbolizes kind-heartedness and gentleness although they are not really like that in the real life. It is mostly their innocent, untouched looks that makes them appear as the perfect animal, but you have to get to know the species in order to talk about them.

The dove is considered to be a positive animal, unlike the pigeon who is sometimes attacked because of his greedy manners. There is a difference between them, obviously, so different kinds of people get tattoos of them.

In old Egypt, a dove was always a part of their frescs. The dove was a symbol of  pure nature. It was something that the people back in the day didn’t understand. They couldn’t imagine an animal being so pure and simple, it was unnatural for them.

Ancient Greeks thought of pigeons as Aphrodite messengers because of their faithful character, once they enter a relationship. They thought that the goddess wanted people to live similar to pigeons, who are pretty faithful.

The Greeks believed that the dove is the kindest creature on Earth. Their opinion came mainly from the fact they discovered that pigeons have no gall bladder and this organ was considered to be a cause of bad character in all living beings. This was just an ancient thought they had, obviously isn’t really the most correct.

Pigeon, Dove Tattoo - Meaning, Symbolism, Designs and Ideas

Doves are herbivores and they consume some plants which were considered as healing plants so people used her blood to treat illnesses of various kinds. That’s how they also became a symbol of treating illness and bad things.

These are some symbols connected to pigeons and doves:

Longevity – is connected with their long life and ability to overcome all bad factors, from bad weather to wars. They lived through the ages without ever failing to become more numerous.

Happy marriage – pigeons and doves always symbolized good partnership and marriage since they live in monogamous relationships and stay together until they die. It’s something that is very ineresting since it is not the most common thing ever for animals to be faithful. More about this comes later.

End of war – Japanese drawings of a dove on the sword meant the end of the war or a battle. It was something that many people remember, especially those who lived through the era of war.

Purity – The Bible has many stories in which doves are mentioned. They were considered as one of the purest animal and were sacrified to God every time a child was born. Because of its colour and distinctive look, the dove was considered to be the purest animal of them all.

The dove was considered as an incarnation of the Holy Spirit in the Christian religion. If you know the story about Noah’s Ark then you probably know about the dove with the olive branch. It is a a huge symbol for those who are into faith.

Faith – Dove is one of the strongest Christian signs and that is why it is considered as a sign of faith too. But it is not only the Christian people that found symbols in it, the dove is also important for Islam.  It is well known that this specific animal was on the arm of Propher Muhammad. That’s why it shows the connection between God and people.

Peace – Picasso is one of the most famous artists in the world and he decided to make a drawing with a dove and an olive branch in her mouth. You have probably seen the picture. Since then, the dove was a sign of peace and this combination of words was used a lot during WWII.

Spirituality – Pigeons can be a symbol of the soul wanting to fly higher, to be above the body.This means that if you want to get this tattoo, you are already on a path to become a better person. You are trying to be kind and involved in situations, loving the people around you and wishing them all the best. Usually these tattoos include a dove with a symbol of faith: cross, moon, yin-yang or a lotus.

Freedom – like all birds, pigeons have a specific wish to be free and to fly around no matter what happens and therefore they are a sign of free spirit and a healthy wish to grow. The man who gets a flying dove on his body wants to be free, not to be kept by any of the things that bound other people.

Love – Doves are often tattoed with hearts and roses, especially on women’s body. It is a sign of a healthy look on love and therefore this is something that many newly wed people tend to get.

Family – If you paid attention to their lives, you could see that doves and pigeons have the habit of being around the youngets members of the family. They have family values and they take care of their loved ones. It is often seen that the sick ones are being taken care of by the rest.

Myth – Aphrodite was riding in a vehicle powered by doves and her daughters used to be reffered to as doves too. Aztec people useed to think that the doves are the mother of humans, the first thing that breeds the others. Native Americans think that people who pass away usually let their spirit turn into doves and then they fly around their friends and family.

The messengers – it is not rare to hear about doves being God’s messengers. In myths, legends and even faith, you can see this example switching up.

New beginning – They are white and light as a feather, therefore they are representing something just born. You have to forget about the past to move on and fly away from the bad energy you live in.

Victory – Olive branches usually are a sign of happy things, you probably remember them being brought into Jerusalem when Jesus came, or them being put on the clothes of Roman emperors coming back from the war. Doves are related to olive branches by associations. They can, for you, be a fresh start or a victory at a new job, in a new relationship, after a certain change.

Doves and pigeons are interpreted differently nowadays. You don’t have to be of certain age, sex or faith to have this tattoo. You either have to have a certain connection with the doves or their symbolism. It can be one of the things named above, but it can also be something else that you find interesting personally. 

With tattoos of these motives, it is a regular thing to get a monochrome work. Small strokes and patterns usually look good on these drawing too, but it depends on you. More artistic people love to get watercolor designs that look alive, modern, artsy and happy.

Dove and pigeon tattoos

Doves and pigeons with ribbons

It is not rare to see doves and pigeons being tattooed on someone and to see a little cute ribbon around them. Mostly people get other people’s names on the ribbons and they want to honor the people whose names are there so they create a permanent sign.

Religious tattoos

Some people tattoo these animals with a cross, a moon or a yin-yang. Bible-related or Quran-related motives are also something that often shows up and is usually a sign of the person being very religious.

Love doves and pigeons

Hearts, diamonds and flowers often get tattooed along with these lovely creatures in order to emphasize their beauty and the fact that you are getting this tattoo to show love and affection to those who may not understand.

Two doves

Those who are fresh in a marriage usually get this one and they can make it as small as possible so it fits on an ankle! It is two doves with their heads leaning onto each other. We have previously mentioned that these are a sign of good luck and affection, so it is not rare to see these inks on people that want to cherish love and present it to the world.

Peace dove tattoo

It is often that those who are involved into many organizations for peace and uplifting humanity have these on. They are a simple sign of creativity, love and affection. Peace is something that not a lot of people can get to by changing, so if you can, you must be truly exceptional.

Praying hands with a dove or a pigeon

Those who have a lot of hope or want to be reminded daily that they should not lose it, should surely get this tattoo. It is a simple sign of two hands being bonded together in prayed and a dove usually above. This means that you are a person who does not judge, but rather believes in change and wants to believe in new beginnings.

Promise dove tattoo

God’s promise to Noah that he would safely bring him to the shore became obvious when he returned Noah the dove with the olive branch. This is the origin of this symbol. If you are someone who is very close to their family or you just want to keep a permanent, eternal bond to someone else, don’t be afraid to get this tattoo. It is often something that not a lot of people have the nerves to do. It’s because once you do it, the promise (or you breaking it) will be here forever, for you to be reminded of it.

Angel and doves

Angels are really similar to doves in some things. They both have a white aura around them and are usually a sign of the right path you are taking. It’s also pretty common to see people put names above the angels for every angel protects a certain thing. If you are religious, this is also something you may want to do.

Coloured in pigeons and doves

If you are someone whose life has been marked with art, you should surely think about getting this tattoo. It’s a simple, straight-forward tattoo which differs from the regular pigeon or dove tattoo just because of the colors. You can get them colored in by someone who is an expert in patterns too, so you can put in a flag if you want to show that you love your country.

A dove with a nest

Those who have  a strong bond with their home or their country, maybe even their family, usually get this tattoo so they are reminded of the place they first lived at, their origins. It is a great tattoo to keep the person humble and the bearer shows others, by having this inked on him, that he never changed much and is still the man/child he was before.

A dove with a rosary

Again, since symbols of birds with faith motives are very popular, this is something that gets tattooed pretty often. If you wish, you can always color in the rosary, but be prepared to have a few sessions since artists like to be precise when making small shapes like those. It is all up to you to decide what relation will be between the two: above, under, wrapped around.

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