Feather can mean a great deal to people with different background. It is not just about plumages that dropped off from the body of a bird and picked up by someone to embellish his or her body.
To the Native American, it is a symbol of trust, respect, divine power, wisdom, strength, etc. The chiefs of the tribes wear them to signify the extraterrestrial intelligence and spiritual power. For those granted with plumages are the prominent guys in the tribe especially when they are honored with those from the bald eagle. It is by far the most respectable reward that a person can ever receive. It is for the recognition of a brave act when a person has defeated his rival, or force away a fierce animal such as a bear.
The Native Americans have very high regard on eagle because they think that the bird can fly high and see very far, and it is also the king of all birds. After receiving the feather, it must be put out on the body, or hanged up at home so that everybody can notice it. Therefore, the eagle feather tattoo is often a popular choice for the descendents of the American Indian.
In the Egyptian cultures, the plumage is a representation of Horus, the god of sky, who possessed great wisdom. Also, it is believed that when a person passed on, his or her heart will be weighed and compared against a feather to judge the worthiness of the soul by Maat who is the goddess of justice.
To the Christians, the plumage signifies virtues. By intertwining three of them in a signet ring, each of these plumages symbolizes hope, faith and charity.
In the tradition of the Celts, the robes of the Druids were made out of ornate feathers so they could evoke and connect with the sky god during rituals and ceremonies letting them to enter into ethereal plane.
In general, feather tattoo designs symbolize the love of freedom, hope, truth, journey, lightness, speed and limitlessness. When dreaming of a plumage, it signifies the freedom to move around freely, or innocence whereas a fallen feather can be a symbol of luck, loss, and birth. So before picking any of those designs, it is good to understand the meanings behind the plumage of different birds.
Eagle feather stands for courage, respect and freedom. It is a popular choice in USA especially to the Native Americans.
Peacock feather tattoos represent immortality and resurrection to the Christian. The colorful and good-looking bird represents glory, pride and saintliness.
Owl is a bird of mystery and intelligence while its plumage is an emblem of death. The Native Americans believe that the bird can protect them from any evil spirit.
The feathers of phoenix carry a positive connotation that represents eternal life while the plumages of the seagull are for those who have great passion in the ocean.