Peacock Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning
Peacocks are bold, territorial, and confident birds that show off their vibrant, colorful tails to attract mating partners and scare off predators; it’s no wonder they’re a sought after subject for ink. The bird’s tail feathers are covered in distinctive bright circles that look like eyes and are easily the most prominent feature in these tattoos.
While male peacocks are the ones with the beautiful trains, women are more likely to adorn themselves with these beautiful tats than men. The tattoos are often as colorful, or even more vivid, than the birds themselves and take a prominent place on the body, begging to be seen.
While most people choose peacock tattoos for their beauty and showiness, their rich history full of meaning can enhance your ink and give it even more meaning.
Metaphorically speaking, the peacock needs to be at the center of attention, to be the main attraction. Consequently, it’s very popular with the ‘life of the party’ types.
This bird is also associated with openness and tolerance. They make for great tattoo symbols when you want to illustrate that you embrace and celebrate diversity.
The Peacock’s Eyes
The eye-like circles on the peacock’s tail often have their own history. To the Greeks and Romans, they were associated with Hera, the mother goddess and legendary creator of this distinctive bird. The eyes on their tails represented the eyes of the stars watching down on all that represents life on the globe.
This eye symbolism is often emphasized with tattoos. A colorful peacock feather tat with the eye spot replaced by a real eye adds a unique touch to your body art and can help to make it stand out even further.
The peacock’s feather grows back after the bird has molted, and this has become subject to spiritual interpretation. Early Christians saw them as a representation of the resurrection and rebirth. For spiritual tattoos, the white species, due to the color’s connection with purity, is the most common subject.
In Hinduism, the peacock symbolizes success, and it was believed the bird walked with the Goddess of good fortune, Lakshmi. The Eastern parts of the world, such as in Asia, Kuan Yin, the Goddess of compassion, is believed to have created the distinctive tail. She created the bird to stand in her place so that it could guard the planet and protect nature and all life.
These Eastern interpretations offer another level of meaning for your peacock tattoo, one that can easily be combined with other symbols and ideas. A feather representing the third eye can be added to illustrations to symbolize protection or a wish for good fortune.
Peacock Tattoo Designs and Colors
With the striking beauty of the peacock and the wealth of symbolism and deep meaning, there are endless design options for your tattoo, some incorporating the entire bird, while others use only the feather.
Known for their intricate patterns and thick, bold curved lines, tribal tattoos are always a popular choice. A tribal tat takes the art back to its ancient origin, where they marked rites of passage and status in society. With their popularity, adding a tribal peacock illustration can add the allure of the design.
Most tribal tattoos use only black ink, making them seem like an odd choice for some given the peacock’s vibrant coloring. In truth, there’s no reason any color can’t be added to a tribal style. And, like the bird’s plumage, it can help you stand out from the rest.
Instead of having a whole bird on your body, some people opt for just the feathers, since they’re what hold most of the peacock’s beauty and meaning. Although most of these birds are either green or blue, that in no way limits the type of coloring for your tattoo—any color with personal or symbolic meaning is fair game.
For the literary-minded, a tattoo of a peacock feather quill might be the perfect way to show off your academic side. The feathers might have never been used as writing quills, but they’ll certainly make a showy statement as part of a tat.
Choosing colors important to you or even to match your other tattoos can give the feather a more unique and personal look. The distinctive eye of the peacock feather is ripe for a little splash of extra color or stylized as the all-seeing eye of a guardian angel.
Peacock feathers are long, often taking up as much as 20 percent of the bird’s weight, and that length allows for a lot of interesting placements. These tattoos can wind up and around arms, legs, or other parts of the body.
For such a colorful bird, a tattoo of a white peacock might seem like an odd choice, but they exist in nature and have a rich symbolism. In most cultures, the color white signifies purity and innocence.
White is one of the most difficult and rarest of tattoo colors, adding to the uniqueness of the tat. For some, using the color white to shade in your peacock ink will announce your belief in religion. Others love the striking look of a white tat and the heads it turns.
Although the tail of this bird gets all the hype, some people choose to display the peacock’s head on their body for a unique look. The blue/green coloring extends to the head, and they have a crown-like crest above their head in the same color, giving tattoos of their head the same striking look its tail is well known for.
Tattoos of peacock heads often give the crest a lot of prominence, sometimes adding the distinctive tail eyes to the design. While tats of feathers or whole birds can take up a lot of space on the body, their heads are a great option for smaller ink.
Common Peacock Tattoo Placements
Peacocks aren’t subtle birds, and many tattoos featuring these beautiful creatures are as grand and striking as when one unfurls its full plumage to court a mate. Not all tats of these majestic birds have to be so large, though. There are options for smaller and more subtle body art.
Legs and Arms
The bird’s long and colorful tail feathers can be displayed up your arm or leg, either straight up and down or wrapped around to draw the eye better. On the arms, one of the most common placements is on the inside of the forearm with the eye of the feather over the wrist.
The full bird or the head are other options for the arms and legs. A full peacock on the upper arm can have plumage reaching over the shoulder to extend the look and help to draw the eye to your cleavage.
As the biggest single canvas on the body, the back can be used for large peacock displays, featuring their full plumage splayed over the shoulder blades.
A smaller bird with its plumage creeping up the back of your neck offers a more subtle display.
Lower back tattoos featuring abstract feathers are another option when you want people to look a little lower.
Chest and Stomach
As showy birds, peacocks can help you show off your assets. A tattoo above the breasts can more than draw the eyes with its color and beauty.
One of their feathers peeking out above your waistband will have others wondering how far down they go.