In the Old Testament, the Tanakh, and the Quran, angels are the servants of God. They exist to worship Him, often acting as messengers between Heaven and Earth. Traditionally, angels are usually thought of as man-like, with wings to move between God and humans and a halo indicating their divinity. Sometimes they are depicted with long hair, white robes, and holding harps or trumpets.
Other times, specific angels known as cherubs are portrayed as pudgy, robust, and glowing children, clothed only in diapers or nothing at all. Winged messengers, however, appear in more religions than these, including ancient mythology, and are found in cultures throughout the world. In fact, the term “angel” is even derived from the Greek word for “messenger.” However, angels are usually associated with the Christian religion and are often used in overtly religious tattoo designs.
Angel tattoos can be symbolic of protection and safety, and are often shown holding infants or sheltering children. Because of this, angels are frequently used in memorial and commemoration tattoos, particularly for children. Sometimes, a deceased child will be depicted as an angel, showing that they were innocent and are now at peace in the afterlife. Angel tattoos can be used to protect the wearer through illness or suffering, as their messages are joyful tidings to those who remain faithful to God. Angels are seen as safe, peaceful, calm, and beautiful. They represent a connection with Heaven and God, the ultimate resting place and paradise.
Furthermore, angels tattoos can be worn as a protection against physical harm or accidents and danger. These angels are often depicted as ferocious and warlike, carrying swords, rather than peaceful, soothing harps, and preparing to do battle with evil. The idea of a guardian angel, or a single angel whose sole purpose is to protect you from harm, has existed for a long time and continues to be a comforting idea to many people. People will get tattoos of these angels in order to protect themselves from temptation or demonic forces, and to keep them safe from the harms of the world.
Angels are also one of the symbols in Tarot. Once again, they serve as messengers between realms. In Tarot, they represent messages, awareness of the divine, higher thinking, clarity, and understanding. These angels do not protect, only inform. It is up to the person to decipher and apply the message correctly to their own life, so the appearance of an angel encourages the person to delve deeper into thinking and the Tarot reading. Although the messages Tarot angels bring are divine or offer higher consciousness, they are not necessary good messages, but can also be warnings.
Angels are often said to be symbols of joyful news and peaceful tidings, so they make good tattoos for ambassadors, travelers, diplomats, and missionaries. Traditionally, they are tattooed on arms, as one would extend the hand of friendship or offer a welcoming embrace. A person bearing an angel would come in peace and friendship, and they would be a trustworthy and honorable guest. Armed angels are symbolic of protection or devotion and are warriors for God. These are appropriate tattoos for someone in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation, or anyone who feels 'at war' with the world. Because angels worship and serve a higher power, they can represent devotion or faithfulness, religious dignity, or spiritual honor. Angel tattoos can serve as a reminder to the wearer to remain faithful, pure, and pious, living only for God and not themselves.
Contrastingly, a fallen angel is a divine being who has left or been thrown out of Heaven and God's presence. Initially associated with Hell and Satan, fallen angels have also evolved to represent things contrary to Christianity, or organized religion in general, including the choice to separate oneself from those things voluntarily. Someone who has left the church might get a fallen angel tattoo to symbolize their self-banishment from the church. They are often associated with devil tattoo designs.
People often view this act as a sort of anti-spiritual awakening. It is a life-changing realization for many, just like those who find God feel the need to commemorate their own spiritual revelation. In addition, angels represent heavenly understanding, so fallen angels represent worldly understanding. They symbolize a lack of faith and a knowledge that Heaven will not be their eternal resting place. Furthermore, many people feel that fallen angels represent a breaking with the oppressive traditions of the church and an escape from an overbearing religious experience.