Tribal, floral, or as an accent, vine tattoos are versatile. They may stand alone or be part of a larger picture. Vines are also used to draw the eye in a particular direction, or may connect pieces of body art.
The Significance of Vines as Tattoos
Grapevines, ivy, and holly have carried special meanings for people of all faiths and cultures throughout history. You may decide to get a vine tattoo simply because you think it is beautiful, or you may wish for you vine tattoo to be representative of one of its historical meanings. Tattoo symbols with rich history often make for great conversation.
Early Christians rejected the grapevine and ivy as pagan symbols. A grapevine crown was considered the symbol of the deadly sin of gluttony. Many Christian artists felt the vine was representative of ascension and resurrection.
Despite the belief of some early Christians that vines were a pagan symbol, in the Bible, Jesus calls himself the vine and says his followers are his branches. In modern Christian culture, vines are considered to be symbols of bounty and peace.
Dionysus or Bacchus was the god of wine and revelry; he wore an evergreen Ivy crown as a symbol of immortality. Ancient Roman coins minted around 48 B.C. depict Bacchus wearing his Ivy crown. This god had a cult like following of wine connoisseurs who believed that wearing an Ivy crown enhanced the intoxication of the wine.Holly and Ivy were of special significance during Roman Saturnalia winter celebrations, which caused Holly and Ivy to become traditional Christmas plants.
The way ivy clings to and takes the life from even the sturdiest trees made it a part of pagan rituals as a symbol of strength, determination, everlasting life and sometimes death. Ivy has also been considered a representation of joy and rebirth. Irish poets favored wearing Ivy crowns as well.
Types of Vine Tattoos
Some vine tattoos are inked in their traditional plant form. They may wind around an ankle or cover a rib cage and disappear into a jeans waistband. Sometimes these types of vine tattoos are floral or leafy and may be delicate or bold depending on whether they are tropical or of the traditional English garden type.
Tribal vine tattoos may possess the same twisting, intrigue of traditional vines but without all the flora and foliage. Some tribal vine tattoos serve as backgrounds for a single brightly colored flower or as a thorn vine to support a rose. Many of the simple black tribal scroll and filigree vines make for some of the most elegant body art.
Vines are also beautiful when used to accent religious or spiritual tattoos as well as a great background for floral pieces.
Vine tattoos can look great almost anywhere on the body if they are of good quality. This type of design is a good choice for a foot tattoo. You may wish to enhance your adorable belly button with a floral wreath, or maybe use vines as part of a large back piece. Vines that encircle the arms are also a popular placement choice. Discuss your body placement ideas with your tattoo artist. He or she will let you know how well the type of vine tattoo you have selected will work, and may have some ideas about how to enhance your vine tattoo with special touches.