The image of an angel is found in almost all world religions. The word “angel” is of Greek origin. It is translated as “messenger”. It is believed that these winged heavenly creatures are messengers of God on the Earth who are able to transmit God’s will to people. Nowadays, tattoos of angels with wings are extremely popular among fans of decorating their bodies with bizarre patterns. Depending on how an angel is depicted on a sketch of a tattoo, you can determine what message such a work has. After all, there are heavenly angels, actually, messengers of God, and there are also fallen ones — servants of the devil. But at first, let’s try to figure out the history of this ancient symbol.
Angels as messengers of God are mentioned in the cultures of almost all the peoples of the world. For example, ancient Greek philosophers (Plato, Socrates) believed that a guardian was assigned to each person by higher powers. It doesn’t have a body, but its ethereal voice constantly whispers reasonable decisions to its ward, setting on the right path.
Philosophers of India believed that the entire universe was divided into 7 main levels, which were inhabited by various angelic and demonic creatures. All these creatures, in one way or another, served the Supreme Law — Karma.
According to Islam, belief in angels is one of the main pillars of the faith of any Muslim. However, unlike Christianity, where winged messengers of God are created to be free and have the right to choose (whether they should live in good or evil), angels in Islam don’t differ from each other. They are deprived of the right to choose and resignedly fulfill certain obligations that Allah has entrusted to them. Moreover, in Islam, it’s much easier for heaven’s messengers to have a sinless lifestyle, because they don’t feel the desires that are inherent in human nature. In turn, a Muslim has to refrain from sin constantly.
Angels in Islam have the following names:
Angels in Christianity, as well as in other world religions and cultures, are messengers of God and direct executors of his will. But unlike the Islamic interpretation of angelic nature, the ministers of the Christian God are free to choose. Therefore, they can choose voluntarily, whom to join in the future: God or Devil. In addition, angels can sin, they can be tempted like ordinary people. Lucifer, the angel of light, is a striking example of this. Once he was deceived by fame and pride. He wanted to be higher than God himself. Because of this, he was expelled from the ranks of the heavenly army. He has been considered a fallen angel, the servant of Satan, since that time. Satan himself often takes his image.
There are the following angels in Christianity:
This “eight” includes the chief ministers of God that rise above the rest of the heavenly army. Often God himself takes the image of one of them.
The following fallen angels serve the devil:
The image of the divine messenger on the body will look good both on guys’ and girls’ bodies. However, angels are different. Accordingly, the tattoo in the form of an angel will have a different meaning, depending on what you want to express with it. For example, the Devil’s servant Lucifer that is inked on the body can be a symbol of the soul, which rushes between light and darkness, but can’t take any particular side.
In turn, cherubic Cupid (cherub) can become a symbol of the amorous and featherbrained nature of its owner. After all, as we know, this golden-haired prankster can bring both great joy (mutual love) and horrific sorrow (punish with unrequited love) to a person. We offer several interesting options for you to choose the most suitable tattoo style with an angel.
Perhaps, one of the most unusual styles of tattoo, as the pattern is somewhat reminiscent of medieval engraving on coins, armor, weapons. This technique is characterized by clear black lines, which form a complete picture. Such works are specially performed “in semi-antique” style to emphasize the relationship of the image with the culture of the Middle Ages. Tattoo of the guardian angel will look good in this style. It can be an angel with a sword, which seems to protect you from insidious intentions of your ill-wishers. It was believed that close relatives became the guardian angels, who, after death, protected a close person from various misfortunes.
Initially, this style was considered a characteristic feature of sailors. Researchers of tattoo art claim that works in old school style occurred in the 19th century among seafarers, harsh but very devout, if not superstitious, people. Giving their lives to the almighty God every time there was another dangerous voyage, sailors believed that a tattoo depicting the loved ones would save their lives, because they had someone to live for, it meant that they had to fight to the end.
A characteristic feature of old school style is bright colors with almost no shades. Sometimes such a work resembles a child’s painting. In the modern world, when the observance of canons is not necessary, tattoo artists resort to old school technique not only for inking anchors, mermaids and naked women. Images of angels in old school technique look very nice and innocent. Usually these are cherubs, which since the Middle Ages have been depicted in the form of chubby little boys, emphasizing their childlike innocence and frankness.
It’s no surprise that the black and white technique is considered to be a separate style, because it’s real art — depicting a person, an animal, or a beautiful flower only in black, completely depicting the play of shades and shadows. The style is characterized by a complex performance, having a relatively poor color palette. Nevertheless, such works often turn out to be sensual and impressive. Tattoo of a fallen angel in a hood is often depicted in a similar style.
The owner of such a picture often expresses his/her sorrow over the loss of a loved one (sometimes through his/her own fault). There seems to be a parallel between the confession of the fallen Lucifer and the owner of the tattoo. Tattoos of angels and demons are very symbolic in black and white palette. Sometimes they are depicted in militant poses, and sometimes they embrace or hold hands. With such a pattern, the owner of such a work shows either harmony of his soul (the unity of the guardian angel and demon tempter), or, on the contrary, the struggle between good and evil.
In modern tattoo art, innovation and desire to break outdated canons are welcome, because it is known that love of tattoos is the lot of rebels. That’s why, angels on sketches of tattoos rarely appear to be some kind of divine beings. Often the masters and their clients assign to them very human traits. It can be sadness, remorse, lust, etc. Some men portray attractive female angels from behind. A sword with wings can mean a warlike spirit and at the same time freedom.
Such a tattoo will look harmonious both on the guy’s and on the girl’s body. In addition, tattoo fans of any gender will look good with the image of the guardian angel on arm: such a picture can become a mascot in a difficult period of life, as if recalling that help is always there. And fans of piquancy can be delighted with the tattoo of an elegant girl with horns and angel wings.
In world religions, God is called in different ways, but philosophers claim that however he is called he lives in the heart of each of us. The unity of world religions can be observed in the interpretation of the angelic essence. The difference between the mentality of inhabitants of the East and the West is manifested only in the strictness of canons. Thus, angels in Islam don’t have the right to choose between good and evil, while Christian messengers are free to choose their own path. It’s up to you to decide which interpretation is better. Nevertheless, the image of the angel in each of them is the bearer of all the virtues of a human being, which each of us wants to meet.
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