Do you have vine tattoos? If you do and you’re like most people, chances are you don’t now much about the history and symbolism behind them. This is a pity because vine tattoos are actually replete with meaning.
Back in the day, vines were not worn casually. They carried special meaning for the wearer. Some wore them to assert their cultural heritage. Others wore them to express their beliefs in a lifestyle or a religious mantra.
Early Christians looked upon the ivy and the grapevine as pagan symbols. Accordingly, a grapevine crown was seen as the symbol of gluttony. Fortunately, modern Christian perception of vines have long since undergone a dramatic change. Today, the vine is seen as a symbol of peace and bounty. It appears just as frequently on stationeries as it does around people’s arms and ankles.
The Celts valued the vine as a symbol of determination and strength. In pagan rituals, the vine is glorified because it symbolizes everlasting life, death, and tenacity. This symbolism is quite apt considering that when an ivy clings to a tree, it can kill even the sturdiest of trees.
You may not know much about Roman myths but surely you’ve seen how ivy-oriented the Romans are. They honored the ivy as a symbol of immortality. Ancient Roman coins usually have vines snaking around the edges. The god of wine, Bacchus (also known as Dionysus), wore a crown of evergreen Ivy. During the winter celebrations of the Roman Saturnalia, the ivy and the holly are considered “the” Christmas plants.
Vine tattoos are attractive symbols to wear on the skin. They can be worn as an accent or as the main statement. They can be floral or tribal. Most importantly, they can be as huge or as tiny as you want. So go ahead, get inked with the hollies today!