The swan carries a wide range of meanings over different cultures for thousands of years. Its first appearance has been traced back to the olden days. In Greek mythology, the chariot of the goddess Apollo was steered by this large peaceful bird, and it was a sacred creature for the oracular god. In Celtic culture, there were also records that documented two swans carried a Sun Chariot.
Since the ancient times, the swan totem has made its appearance on many items such as on coins and jewelries. The long neck waterfowl represented the sun rays, and it was a representation of sun to people living in North Europe for many centuries. The Native American also held high regard for the bird. It signified grace, strong bonds, innocence, elegance, transformation and serenity.
In Christianity, it was believed that Virgin Mary was compared to swan of its perfect beauty. Its grace defeated by the evil spirit, and hiding behind all those white feathers were the ugly side of its personality and truth. Nevertheless, it was the most favored bird of many deities, kings, and knights.
In general, the swan tattoo is a representation of grace, music, poetry, beauty, and love. It also signifies serenity, purity, inner strength, transformation, and perfection. For the females, it represents the moon, and for men, it is an emblem of the sun. It has the perfect balance of masculine and feminine attributes. The bird starts its life as an ugly duckling, and later transforms itself to a beautiful swan that depicts the transition of one’s life.
It is a perfect emblem for those who sacrifice themselves a lot and have deep devotion to their family. This is because the bird keeps the same mate for its entire life and will do anything to protect the young. They possess great strength, especially the arctic swans that migrate and fly more than 4,000 miles every year.
Dreaming of a white swan signifies a positive connotation for a relationship or partnership while it may signifies potential obstacle in business if a black one appeared in the dream.
The black swan is quite rare, but it is significant to the Australian traditions. The graceful creatures are notable by their red and white beak, and black feathers and they are mostly found in Australia. Black swan tattoo can be used as a patriotic design to show the respect and loyalty to the country they live in. The symbol is depicted on both the coat of arms and flags in Western Australia. They are also used in logos, mascots, coins, and being the name of many popular sport teams. The black swan tattoo also signifies a dream to be achieved. It motivates and reminds the bearer to continually strive for that vision.
While the tattoo has myriads of positive connotations, the variety of the available design styles has made it one of the popular designs. Being a symbol of love, some people may choose to ink a pair of the loving birds and intertwine them with a heart symbol.
The tattoo can be of any size and located anywhere on the body. It is mostly created in landscape design with water for a larger artwork. It can also be portrayed in a variety of styles including tribal design. For men, the tattoo is often placed on the chest and shoulder whereas for women it is usually placed on the shoulder, stomach, upper back, lower back and ankle.