Wings Tattoo Meaning
The Wings are almost entirely exclusive to western and Middle Eastern representations of divinities and supernatural beings. Far Eastern and Indian divine or supernatural beings, except for the Garuda, Cosmic Horse and Winged Dragon, do not share in wing symbolism. Wings are solar and depict divinity, spiritual nature, the moving, the power to transcend the mundane world, the ubiquitous, the air, wind, spontaneous movement, the flight of time, the flight of thought, volition, mind, freedom, victory and swiftness.
Wings are attributes of swift messenger gods and denote the power of communication between gods and men. Outspread wings are divine protection, or the shrouding of the heavens from the fierce heat of the sun. The ‘shadow of wings’ is protection and trust. The winged sun, or DISC (q.v.), is the untiring journey of the sun across the firmament; the triumph of light over darkness; power from heaven; divinity. Winged deities are sun gods or gods of the Empyrean; but they are ambivalent as there are winged powers of evil and winged devils. Winged cap, sandals and caduceus indicate a messenger of the gods. The winged horse is solar and is ridden by heroes, or it is the Cosmic Horse.
- Alchemic. Absence of wings denotes the ”firm” nature of sulfur, wings depicts the ‘volatile’ nature of quicksilver.
- Buddhist.Two wings represent wisdom and method.
- Chinese. The winged dragon is the celestial power, or vital spirit. ‘(the Cosmic Horse is winged and yang. Two birds together with only one wing, each depict indissoluble unity, fidelity and a pair of lovers.
- Christian. Angels are winged as divine messengers or as having divine qualities. The Devil is often portrayed as having bat’s wings.
- Egyptian. Neith is sometimes winged, but wings are rare in Egyptian iconography.
- Graeco-Roman. The four wings of Cronos, as the flight of time, are depicted as two spreads and two resting, symbolizing perpetual movement and vigilance: ‘rest in flight and flying while at rest’. Wings are also an attribute of Hypnos, who fanned people to sleep with his dark wings. Hermes/Mercury has the winged cap, sandals and caduceus of the messenger of the gods. Iris has wings as a messenger of Hera/Juno. The Roman Victory is winged.
- Hebrew. Archangels and angels, seraphim and cherubim, are winged.
- Hindu. The Garuda is winged. Iranian: The winged disc is a symbol of Ahura Mazda or Ormuzdas light.
- Islamic. Eight angels support the throne that encompasses the world. Mithraic: The four winds and four seasons are represented by wings.
- Shamanistic. The winged horse is a psychopomp. Birds’ wings, or feathered robes, symbolize communion between this world and the spirit world.
- Sumero-Semitic. The winged disc is a symbol, or direct representation, of the solar gods Shamash and Asshur. Four wings denote the four winds and seasons. The Semitic El has six wings or four wings, two at rest and two flying, having the same symbolism of vigilance and ‘flying while resting and resting while flying’ as Cronos.
Symbolism: FREEDOM – VICTORY – PROTECTION