42 Eagle Tattoos - Meanings, Photos, Designs for men and women


Images of birds occupy a separate place in the tattoo art. They are related to the culture and mythology of different countries, which influenced the meaning and symbolism of these creatures in the modern world. In this article we will find out the meaning of the eagle tattoo, learn about the legends and traditions associated with the proud and powerful bird.

Eagle in the culture and traditions of the people of the world

Place in world culture

This majestic predator with confidence can be called the most common in various myths, legends and parables to animals, to which the divine powers and abilities were attributed. The eagle is a kind of collective image of all daytime birds of prey, such as a hawk, falcon or griffon. In some cultures, whole cults were devoted to the winged conqueror of the air element, as evidenced by the idols and totems found.

Legends of ancient Sumerians

The Sumerians had a legend about how a young warrior, having risen on the world tree, decided to ruin and destroy the eagle’s nest, in which the chicks were placed. When the young man’s hand touched the cubs, the eagle decided to enter into negotiations with the man, offering him a peaceful solution to the situation in return — a recipe for the extraction of fire. Similar legends were also present in the culture of the ethnos of ancient Mesopotamia, America and among the peoples inhabiting the territory of Siberia. When this story spreads, the world began to get used to the belief that the eagles command fire, and keep its secrets.


Mythical Aztec bird

The Aztecs also revered and bowed before the power and greatness of the eagles. Personifying the heavenly expanses, they opposed the forces of the firmament of the earth, which were depicted in the form of terrestrial inhabitants — snakes, sometimes lions, bulls, deer or jaguars. In this eternal confrontation both the struggle and unity of the two opposites-heaven and earth-were reflected. By the way, the mythical eagle of the Aztecs became a very popular talisman, bringing good news and hope, giving motivation and strong vitality.

The Explorer to the Kingdom of the Gods

There was a rite of “deification” of the deceased emperor in the Roman Empire. Burning the remains of the ruler, the priests released the eagle into the sky, which acted as the conductor of the deified soul into the Kingdom of the Gods. Since then, the winged predator has become a symbol of the purification of the human spirit, its liberation from worldly consciousness and return to the gods.

Myths of Ancient Greece

It is possible that the contribution to the designation of the eagle tattoo was made by the work of Homer the «Iliada», which reveals the image of this animal as the most majestic, powerful, fast and strong bird. In addition, according to Greek myths, the god Zeus could become an eagle or use a predator as an assistant and messenger.

Indian Traditions

The image of this bird became an indispensable attribute of the great leaders and warriors in the history of the Indians of North America. The most respected inhabitants decorated their headdresses with the eagle feathers, because it was believed that they were capable of bringing good luck in battle, increasing the strength, courage and will of defenders of the tribe.


Images of this proud and free bird are most often found on the bodies of men, but girls also sometimes choose such drawings in order to emphasize their individuality or demonstrate certain traits. The meaning of the eagle tattoo depends on what kind of person became its owner, and what meaning he decided to insert in it.

In most cases, a tattoo in the form of an eagle has a positive meaning and serves as an expression of important and valuable human qualities in the modern world:

  • Courage, determination, fearlessness, protection. The male tattoo of the eagle on the shoulder will be very good for the representative of the stronger sex, inside of which the soul of the true defender and warrior is blazing with a bright fire.
  • Power, strength, pride. The tattoo of an eagle located on the chest means that its owner is ambitious and powerful. This picture can become a talisman for those who do not stop until they reach the top, reach the highest mark, the limit of their possibilities, declaring themselves the king of heaven.
  • Elan, perseverance, confidence. The picture, in which the eagle’s wings are predatory and upwardly directed, and its sharp claws are ready to attack, will suit people who are ready to defend their opinion, rights and priorities even in fierce struggle, and will never give up their worldview or their own ideas.
  • Freedom, independence, inspiration. A floating eagle will be the ideal tattoo for a person who values personal space, freedom of thought and action, self-sufficient and independent. After all, we often come up with limitations and obstacles for ourselves, but there are no barriers to flying in the sky, a free bird.
  • Aspiration, perfection, skill. The image of an eagle on the back means that its owner is a purposeful person, he is ready to improve himself, to identify and eliminate his shortcomings, and if he is to undertake any business, he will not only finish it, but strive for the ideal result of his work.


An unusual, interesting idea can be an illustration of the struggle of an eagle with a jaguar or a panther in the oriental style. You can scale, with the help of this style in bright colors, to display on the human body an eternal duel of the heavenly and earthly origin, which these animals became the personification of. Two predators, merged in deadly embraces, is a picture that will cause delight and admiration for everyone who will stop to look at it. Oriental tattoos are distinguished by their rather large sizes and intricate patterns, which not only serve as a background, but create a unique atmosphere and energy of the drawing.

Realism can be called a traditional style for depicting animals. Nobody can resist the incredibly realistic, sharp, investigating eagle eye. Wherever the tattoo is placed, on the arm or on the leg, a professional master working in this direction, using the most modern artistic techniques, will be able to convey the entire texture, halftone and shadow, all the glare of the light and the overflow in the eyes of a wise and powerful bird.

New school often depicts eagles in combination with the American flag, anchors, inscriptions and other paraphernalia. Clear fat contours and saturated colors make it possible to do a tattoo visible even from afar. Every passing person can understand everything that you wanted to say by choosing such a drawing without special efforts.

A very original and bold decision will be an illustration of an eagle in watercolor. Negligence of lines and smears, spontaneous chaotic splashes, mixing of shades and halftones give the picture lightness, serenity, and gives to the beholder a sense of freedom and ease.

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