A butterfly tattoo is predominantly feminine, men rarely choose this pattern.
However, in the portfolio of eminent tattoo artists there are “male” sketches of butterflies - they are “woven” in Celtic patterns, for example, the second option: a Celtic pattern decorates the wings of a butterfly tattoo. Another brutal variation: steampunk butterfly tattoos.
Surprising as it may seem, a tattoo depicting this light-winged creature was a symbol of militancy in Mexico. The Mayans had a belief: the souls of warriors who died on the battlefield turn into butterflies and then flutter over the battlefields.
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The meaning of a butterfly tattoo in European culture is a symbol of the soul, rebirth, new life.
This semantic load is inextricably linked with real butterflies. An unsightly caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, surprising the world with his reincarnation. So, the sketches of tattoos depicting a butterfly they are a symbol of rebirth, the beginning of a new life. This is probably why butterfly tattoos are applied at critical moments in life, on the eve of decisive events.
Other meaning generally accepted of a butterfly tattoo is freedom, free spirit. In nature, butterflies flutter easily and freely, their image, applied to the body, gives the owner a particle of freedom and lightness.
What matters is how the butterfly is represented.
Spread your wings - a symbol of openness to the world. A fluttering butterfly is freedom. Symmetrically located butterfly wings - harmony.
The Christian subtext of the butterfly tattoo is interpreted as a symbol of the resurrection and immortality of the human soul. In some medieval engravings, Jesus Christ is represented with butterflies in his hands (hence the association with the resurrection).
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A butterfly tattoo in the east symbolizes femininity, joy, grace, and several fluttering butterflies are a symbol of family happiness.
A butterfly tattoo along with a plum blossom – This tattoo is read to mean “longevity and beauty”; the butterfly, along with the chrysanthemum, personifies "beauty in old age." It is noteworthy that in Japan a butterfly that has flown into a house is considered a harbinger of death, therefore butterfly tattoos in the Land of the Rising Sun carry the meaning of mysticism.
The style of execution does not affect the meaning of a butterfly tattoo: a large image or a small life-size butterfly; monochrome or color tattoo; stylized drawing or repeated natural ornament on the wings of a butterfly.