Butterfly tattoos are preferably a women tattoo ideas, men rarely chose this image for their body drawings. However, there still are some examples of butterfly tattoo ideas for men in portfolios of well-known tattoo artists. They usually are parts of some Celtic drawings or butterfly wings can be made of some Celtic ornament. Another good variant of so-called “brutal” variant of butterfly tattoo is a steampunk one.
by Chris Veness
It is weird, but the tattoo of this soft and tender insect originally used to be a symbol of warriors in Mexico. Ancient Maya believed that souls of dead warriors become butterflies and flitting above battlefields.
Butterfly tattoo meanings in European culture represents the soul, rebirth, and new life. Such meaning is connected with a real life cycle of real insects. A not so attractive caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly impressing all the world with this amazing shapeshift. The same way all the tattoo designs of this unbelievable creature stand for the rebirth and the beginning of a new life. This is probably why butterflies are inked in the hardest moments of life, just before crucial moments of life.
Another common meaning of a butterfly tattoo is freedom and free spirit. These insects fly around freely and in the wilds, and such drawings give their owner a part of this unchained nature.
The way butterfly is drawn is also very important. Open wings are a symbol of a desire to take all the opportunities the world can give. Flying butterfly stands for freedom. Symmetrically located wings mean harmony.
There is also a Christian context of this image and it stands particularly for the immortality of the human soul. In some Medieval drawings of Jesus, he is depicted with butterflies on his hands (here comes the association with resurrection).
In Eastern cultures, butterfly tattoo is a symbol of feminity, joy, grace, and several butterflies flittering means family happiness. Butterfly tattoo with a plum flower is a symbol of a long living and beauty. And the insect combined with golden-daisy flower stands for beauty in passion. Noteworthy, that in Japan, a butterfly which had flown inside the house is considered to be the forerunner of death. So, this image in the tattoo art of the land of the rising Sun has a shade of mysticism in their meaning.
The style in which butterfly tattoo is made doesn’t matter – big or small, or full-sized butterflies; black and gray or colorful; ornamental drawing or realistic – all of them look awesome especially if the artist would make some 3D effect of his tattoo design.