Arrows have always thrived in humanity’s realms of art and symbolism, making them appealing to an extensive crowd of cultures with varying tastes. They can represent flight, penetration, direction, power (to the carrier), love (piercing the heart), phallic masculine power, hunting, war, swiftness, the rays of the sun, knowledge, and paired with a skeleton – death. The tattoos presented to you here will clue you in on various styles of arrows, creative places to locate arrows on your body, and inspire you to design your own arrow tattoo that represents the meaning that you’re looking to display.
1. Fleeting Flight of Freedom
Pairing an arrow with a feather is not uncommon, most often representing the power that flight has, giving the wearer a presentation of high respect for freedom. The design is simple, large, and eye-catching, especially perfect for any of us that wish to portray a heritage or love of a culture that values freedom or hunting.
2. Twin, Double-Shaded Arrows
Placing tattoos on the top of the foot is ideal for either men or women that wish to keep their ink concealed, for the most part, to the public. Double arrows can have a variety of meanings, depending on the direction they’re facing and if their colors or shading is opposite of one another. Here we see the arrowheads are two different shades to give them added depth.
3. Warrior’s Final Strike
This arrow is unique in that it’s been used as a cover up for another tattoo that was previously a mistake! That’s why there is extra décor surrounding the arrow head and darker shading used on the feathers. However, it’s given this arrow a magnificent look – an arrow a warrior might possess.
4. Hunting for Pleasure
This guy’s style is obvious, loving the great outdoors and staying warm to ensure a good hunt isn’t soured down by bleak cold. Often, those of us that enjoy hunting using a modern bow get arrows tatted to show our love of the hunt.
6. Powerful Dreams
Native Americans have been known to both use arrows extensively and use them in their art as well as body art. Here we have a representation of an arrow mixed with another symbol of the Native American – a dream catcher. It can also be interpreted as a compass, pointing north, south, east, and west. You can choose either/or when designing your own tattoo to give it a beautiful and personalized twist.
7. Love of Nature & the Hunt
Greek and Roman mythology both have goddesses of the hunt and goddesses associated with nature. Pairing an arrow with flowers is a common decision amongst those of us that treasure these myths and want to display feminine power and knowledge with us forever.
8. A Shaman’s Power
Placing a feather at the tip of the arrow head often symbolizes that the arrow is not meant for flight or penetration, but rather, a simple symbol of power. Some shamans had decorative arrows used in their rituals specifically to symbolize power, direction, flight, war, or the hunt. The fact this arrow looks like it was made from a branch gives it a more natural effect and personalized feel.
9. War’s Bloody Effect
Here we can see that this body art is meant to symbolize the more violent aspects of the arrow. Done with red ink representing blood, a design like this is meant for those of us with a darker side of expression. The hole symbolizes a puncture; a target successfully struck.
11. The Direction of Beauty
Arrows can be so much more when added geometric shapes are placed on the stem of them. This tattoo features an arrow pointing down with a feathered end that looks quite similar to the arrow head. However, upon closer observation, you can see it is in fact a tail.
12. Piercing Love Goddess
Here is a great example of an arrow that leans more towards representing love rather than war or power. It is placed at the point where south would be featured, the compass behind the rose apparent but personalized.
13. Love’s Penetrating Vision
Here we have another rose, this time paired with added flowers and double arrows. Each arrow can symbolize a partner in a romance, their paths crossing and forever fleeting with one another.
14. The Direction of the Heart
Ever feel as if your heart is leading you places you’d never dreamed of going? Perhaps your heart has in fact taken you directly where you wish it to go, to your soul mate? Either way, replacing the arrow head with a heart would be a great way of symbolizing either/or depending on your romantic lifestyle.
15. Tribal Markings
Many times arrows can be seen as tattoos without their stems or tails. In these cases, the wearer only wishes to portray a direction rather than have it be symbolic of anything else. Here we see decorative arrows pointing downward, relevant only to the wearer.
16. Gorgeous Effect of Freedom’s Flight
A lovely and decorative arrow indeed! The beauty of an arrow can be as elaborate as you wish. The one seen above is beautiful and symbolic of striking love’s target or perhaps finding the knowledge or beauty needed in life. Feathers can be placed anywhere on the arrow to give it a more appealing look.
17. Broken Warrior
Colored but broken! Not many arrow tattoos are inked as broken, but depending on what you’d like your arrow to represent, perhaps its exactly what you’ve been looking for. This arrow points towards the head – where thought derives and is processed. Perhaps this man was attempting to say that no one will be able to strike and change his personal realm of thought! He’s impenetrable!
18. A Universal Truth
Arrows these days can be mixed with other symbolism and mythology to create the story you wish to portray. Here we have an arrow on one arm, a geometric shape on the other, giving this person a more space or intergalactic show in ink.
19. Mysterious White Power
Arrows can be associated with power, and if you’re looking for a power boost but don’t want a big black arrow symbolizing this to stand out too much on your skin, try getting the tattoo done in white ink. It looks wonderful on darker skin and is barely noticeable on pale skin.
20. Love Struck Forever
Here, the feathers on the ends of the double arrows look similar to the budding flowers surrounding the elaborate rose. Roses are associated with love, causing these arrows to feel as if they’ve been drawn by cupid.
21. The Direction of Enlightenment
Instead of drawing a compass with normal lines and placing N, S, E, and W for the directions, you can replace the lines with arrows, pointing in the directions that are important to you. You can choose either for two arrows to separate the directions, such as the one seen here, or have double-sided arrows.
22. The Décor of Heritage
The forearm is quite a popular place for tattoos, but the one seen here is closer to the inner elbow and makes a perfect spot in case you’re trying to hide them for professional instances. If you’ve any culture in your ancestral blood that valued hunting with a bow an arrow, having a few tatted on your body would be a wonderful display of your love for your past.
23. Pointing at Secrets
It can be fun to create a little game of hide and seek on your body with tats! Inside your fingers, you can place an arrow secretly pointing to another tattoo (or even a scar) to give onlookers a clue.
24. Carrying the Power of the Hunt
Another arrow that could have many differing meanings. Simple and elegant, an arrow placed on the ribcage facing forward is great to have, carrying around that which can bring power and help you find and strike your targets in life.
25. Directing Energy Above
Placing an arrow between the breasts pointing up carries powerful meaning, either relating to love or to power of the mind and body reaching goals together. It can also be a fun teaser to anyone that looks down at your breasts – a reminder that your face is up!
26. When Time Began to Move Forward
Here we can see an arrow paired with “est. ’94” meaning “established in 1994” – a great way to show commitment to yourself by tattooing the year you were born on your body! The arrow here represents progress and moving forward in life from the day you were brought to the this Earth.
27. A Resting Power
We’ve seen so many arrows placed on arms – here is a truly unique place to put an arrow. It faces outward instead of up or down, and can be paired with a similar arrow on the other shoulder.
28. We Belong Together
If you’ve fallen in love and know that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with that one significant other, matching tattoos of arrows are just right for anyone considering the proposition. get matching arrows that point to one another when placed together for a romantic tattoo that will last a lifetime. This is perfect for girls and guys – especially the machismo guys that are concerned matching tats would be “too girly”!
30. Parallel Power
Two matching arrows that point both up and down, separately. Arrows like this have far different meaning than a single arrow that is double sided. While both directions are important, the wearer here notes the secularism in both.
31. Searching for Truth
Placed on the inner arm, this arrow looks especially good when the arm is up, looking as if it is exiting from the head – great for anyone that likes to attend concerts or any activities (sports) that involve using the arms.
32. Triple Symbolism
Triple arrow heads have been seen throughout history and in various differing cultures. Depending on what you want each arrow head to mean, you can have as many as you like placed on your arrow.
33. Centering Ourselves
This arrow draws energy in, centering it, and is placed perfectly on the side/hip to further this symbolism. Getting a tattoo to represent pulling in energy is best when paired with a similar work on the opposite side of the body.
35. The Spine’s Projection
Because the length of an arrow can be as long as you wish it to be, arrows are extremely popular. You can have a shorter one here, with a fish attached to it representing fishing, or you can have a long one that travels all the way down your back – with anything you wish attached to it.
37. Targeting the Future
Place your arrow where you will easily recognize its existence and power as it directs you towards your future and your goals. If you prefer it only be seen while wearing your swimsuit, place it on your ribcage like the one seen here. It’s both sexy and chic!
40. Aiming for Serendipity
If you have a goal or want to achieve any aspect of enlightenment, attaching a word to your arrow can help bring whatever you’re searching for towards you in a positive manner.
42. Celtic Knot
It’s rare to see a Celtic knot on the end of an arrow – acting as the arrow head! Personalize your arrow with extras that mean something specifically to you. You’re bound to catch the attention of onlookers and in this instance, have them second-guessing what your tat means!
43. Targeting a Forward Path
You can make your arrow as simple as you want, as big as you want, and as dark as you want! This one is bound to grab attention, taking up a large piece of skin – perfect for summer weather when sporting a bikini!
44. Sharing a Targeted Future
Instead of having perfectly matching tattoos with your partner, one can choose to get white ink instead of black. You’ll both be unique yet have “matching” tattoos that point towards each other symbolizing the love you will forever have for one another.
46. Presenting Personalized Direction
Instead of the normal compass and arrow, this tatted wearer decided to add some Roman numerals and a shell for personalization that can only have meaning to the wearer!
48. Shooting for the Stars
Give your arrow a modern feel by pairing it with a constellation or stars. It can remind you that shooting for the moon is overrated when you can always shoot for the stars!
50. A Champion Warrior
This arrow is very similar to the real deal – especially that of a Native American arrow head. Celebrate your heritage with an arrow that represents what your ancestors once knew.
56. Covering Each Direction
Lastly, here are double-sided arrows paired with elaborate yet simple decorations extending gently down the back. You can make a design like this as long or as short as you like.