Eagle tattoos are a typically maleÂ tattoo designÂ that crosses over a significant number of tattoo genres, and the influence ofÂ the eagleÂ inÂ American tattooingÂ cannot be underestimated. A significant number of military and patriotic service tattoos prominently feature eagles.
The eagleÂ is a very ancient symbol, generally regarded as solar. For the Greeks and PersiansÂ the eagleÂ was sacred to the Sun; withÂ the Egyptians, under the name of Ah, to Horus, and the Kopts worshippedÂ the eagleÂ under the name of Ahom. It was regarded asÂ the sacred emblem of Zeus by the Greeks, and as that of the highest god by the Druids.
In myth and legend,Â the EagleÂ was the Sun God, symbolizing light and power, with fire and water as its elements. It was the symbol of spiritual power and courage, fearless in thunder and lightning, but when shown in imagery with the snake, it symbolized conflict.
As the lion is lord of the land, soÂ the EagleÂ is supreme in the air. It’s one of the favourite symbols of leaders, warriors, and emperors, not only on earth but in the spiritual realms, as well. And little wonder, forÂ the EagleÂ is the epitome of speed, light, alertness, and power. It represented all that was majestic and noble. Kings and emperors have long included it on their coat of arms as the symbol of supreme strength. But, there are monarchs and gods who may have conveniently overlooked one ofÂ the Eagle’s most unique traits — it mates for life.
In Norse legend,Â the EagleÂ was the bird associated with the god, Odin, and represented wisdom and light. The Greeks and Persians consecratedÂ the EagleÂ to the Sun. To the ancient Egyptians,Â the EagleÂ wasÂ the sacredÂ bird known as ‘Ah’, and to the Copts as ‘Ahom’. For the Druids in Europe,Â the EagleÂ was the symbol of The Almighty watching from the highest realms. Aztec warriors drew strength from the most powerful bird in the heavens, while their emperor dressed himself in its feathers. In old Mexico,Â the EagleÂ was the god of vegetation.
In Native American culture,Â the eagleÂ is the Thunderbird, and its feathers are believed to carry prayers to Father Sun. It is the woman who gives to her man an eagle feather as a symbol of security, pride, and friendship in their relationship.
The EagleÂ has a military history spanning thousands of years. As an emblem, it flew over battle grounds throughout Europe. Roman legions marched under the banner of theÂ Silver Eaglewith outstretched wings. In the 9th Century, the emperor Charlemagne made the double-headed Eagle his emblem, one head facing to the German Empire, the other facing to the Holy Roman Empire. Unity under Christian rule!Â The EagleÂ was the symbol of John the Evangelist, a metaphor for vigilance and alertness, and therefore adopted by the Crusaders as a Christian symbol of the victory of light over darkness. In more recent European wars, the Teutonic Eagle was fearful emblem of Nazi Germany.