The Meaning of The Vine Tattoos
Vine tattoo designs have become very popular over the last couple of decades because vines can be used to create a number of different designs. It is also a design that can be customized for either the female or the male body. Examples of vine tattoos include vine armbands, tribal designs done with vines and even animals composed entirely of vines.
Vine tattoos also have a very important symbolic meaning behind them. In most cultures, vines represent growth and personal unity with nature.
Aside from this symbolism, vines can also convey other meaning depending on the type of vine that is used in the tattoo. The grapevine is a type of vine that is very important as a religious symbol. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the grapevine is considered to be the symbol of the chosen people.
Another vine that is used extensively in vine tattoos is the ivy vine. This vine was important to the Ancient Greeks and Romans and symbolized immortality, love and friendship. It was also considered by these cultures to be feminine in nature and as a result is often seen as a symbol of fertility. The male counterpart to the ivy vine is the holly vine and was seen as a symbol of virility and power.
Vine tattoos generally have no set pattern, seen either as a solo image or clinging to another design, they sprout seductively from anywhere on the canvas. Emotion gleams heavy on a vine tattoo and there are literally thousands of species to decide from. Ivy probably being the most popular, symbols boldness and independence, and choosing to add thorns or a flower blossom will help distinguish more individual character. Going with poison ivy tells onlookers to watch out for the wearers underlying demeanor.
Along with design, color also plays into the portrayal of the personality, using purple or pink vines shows admiration and affection, while staying with the standard green is said to represent envy. With vines being able to describe so much, it’s easy to say that they will always have meaning and climb, creep, or crawl their way onto a woman’s body.
Vines in general are often perceived as symbolizing growth and harmony. Much of this comes from Judeo-Christian tradition, where the vine is often portrayed as a symbol of peace and plenty. Vines were cultivated by Noah before the flood, showing his devotion to the plant. In the New Testament, Jesus proclaims himself to be the vine, and his followers the branches (John 15:1). As such, vines make an appropriate accent to religious tattoos such as crosses, communion cups, and the like.
Grapevine: The grapevine is most used in religious symbolism. For Hebrews, it was the emblem of the Chosen People. The vine was often used to form crowns, and it conveys luck and strength. It is often paired symbolically with sheaves of wheat, to represent the body/bread and blood/wine of Christ. On the other hand, early Christian art also used grapevines to form the crown of Gluttony, when this one of the Seven Deadly Sins was depicted in human form. In Greek mythology, the grapevine is also a symbol for Dionysus, the god of wine.
Ivy: Similar to the grapevine, ivy is associated with crowns and laurel wreaths. It was used at ancient festivals as a symbol for Bacchus (the Roman version of Dionysus), to assure that no intoxication would take place.
Meanings associated with ivy include love, friendship, and immortality. Because of these positive associations, Greeks and Romans would gather the creeping plant and weave it into chaplets (garland worn around the head) for times of rejoicing. Variations of this headgear are still used at weddings and other celebrations today. The Ancient Greeks considered ivy to be feminine in nature, and associated it also with fertility and birth.
Holly: Holly is considered to be the male counterpart to the feminine ivy. It was held sacred to Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. Holly is also used as a symbol for Christ. The leaves are said to represent the thorns placed on Jesus’ head before his crucifixion, and the red berries represent his blood.