Halo - A symbol of enlightened or saintly beings. Depicted as a ring of light around the person's head or surrounding the entire person. As tattoos the halo can adorn any symbol such as a crown or sacred heart but it is also used on top of a portrait of a person or pet that has deceased thus suggesting that they are still with them in spirit.
Hammer and Sickle - A symbol of Russian communists. It can be depicted as black work or against the backdrop of a red flag. Like the symbol of Che Guevara it has been adopted by westerners with no interest in communist ideology although many American tattoo artists will refuse to tattoo the Hammer and Sickle for patriotic reasons.
Han - Otherwise known as the hand chop. It is a signature seal carved onto a block of wood serving as a stamp or seal. It is a popular form of tattoo in the Japanese and Chinese tradition.
Harley Davidson - The Harley Davidson motorcycle has become an icon of American freedom. They are a hugely popular design among Harley riders the world over. It can be depicted as the Harley Davidson logo on its own or complete with an American Eagle and flag in the background.
Harp - Harps are usually associated with the Irish. Before the changeover to EU currency it was displayed on all Irish coins and is used by the Irish Government as an official seal. It is a common tattoo amongst those of Irish extraction as a symbol or resistance and national pride. It is also a lucky tattoo to many.
Heart - As a tattoo it is associated with the bio-mechanical form of tattoos. It is usually placed in the actual spot where the real heart is. It is also popular amongst people who have been through heart operations to remind them of their successful heart surgery and recovery.
Heart Symbol - Possible one of the most popular form of tattoos. The symbol of the heart is etched deeply in the human psyche across nearly all cultures. It can appear in many different forms such as the Sacred Heart or the Pierced Heart. In old school tattoos it is sometimes shown with a banner going across with a persons name written on it. In the new school tradition of tattooing it can be represented with a crown above it or surrounded by flames.
Heart with Dagger - This is an old school form of tattoo common amongst servicemen but has become popular once again. It can symbolize hurt in love and also jealousy.
Heart with Flames - This is a form of tattoo that can express passion for a particular person. Fire has long been associated with lust and passion and the heart is a symbol of love.
Hobbits - Popular tattoos in the fantasy tattoo tradition. They are small human-like beings that live in 'Middle Earth' from the epic tale 'The Lord of the Rings' created by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Homeward Bound - A popular maritime tattoo in the old school tradition. It is usually depicted as a clipper ship with full sails with a banner which displays 'homeward bound' although sometimes it can depict an anchor.
Horse - Horses can mean many different things such as strength, sexuality, desire and also nobility. In history, people mounted on horses are seen as being powerful.
Horseshoe - This is a well known symbol of good luck and has been adopted by the neo traditional school of tattoos. The idea was that the horseshoe pointing upwards protected the house and kept all the good luck in.
Horus - An Egyptian symbol depicted as a falcon headed god. In the myth Horus' eye was ripped out but was reconstructed.
Hula Girl - A once popular form of tattoo amongst sailors, it usually meant that the sailor had been to Hawaii. The Hula Girl is depicted as a pin up style girl wearing the traditional Hawaiian hula skirt and garland.
Icarus - Icarus was a Greek god who flew too close to the sun. He had wax wings which melted causing him to fall into the sea and drown. He is seen to represent the impetuous and uncontrolled nature of youth.
Iguana - Iguanas are brightly colored lizards and as a result look great as tattoos. They can be tattooed to full size on the back or smaller on the calf of a leg or shoulder. Iguanas were considered to be sacred animals by the Mayan.
Infinity - The infinity symbol looks like a number eight lying on its side as is an ancient Arabic symbol. Many people get this as a tattoo to represent the eternal nature of the soul.
In Memoriam - These are constant reminders of a deceased person that are popular tattoos for those who want to remember loved ones who have passed on. They are usually tattooed with a portrait of the person who has passed.
Isis - Is an ancient Egyptian goddess and a popular choice for a tattoo. She is generally shown holding a staff to represent her control.
Here are the meaning and symbolism of many common tattoo motifs used all over the world. But please note that the meaning and symbolism of tattoo motifs will change over time and it may not be the same in different countries, cultures etc. Everybody is highly advise to double confirm the meaning and symbolism of their tattoo motifs with other reference materials before getting them tattooed.
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