Matchstick tattoo meaning and symbolism

Tattoos are little works of art. This is especially true if it is an empty matchstick tattoo design.

A well-done, unique and interesting piece of art often has deep meaning for the person who wears it. The best tattoos not only look good to others but also evoke emotions in the wearer himself. For some, these symbols are even more important than the tattoo itself.

Credit Instagram

The matchstick tattoo is just one of these tattoos with deep meanings. The image of a single, long stick reminds us of flames, light and warmth. It can also refer to fire which is often associated with passion, life and energy.

Other meanings may have to do with darkness and coldness. In the symbolism of some cultures, a single matchstick resembles a candle that gives off light in dark places.

We all remember from our childhood fairy tales about matches that help people find their way out of deep forests or caves, right?

The matchstick tattoo meaning also has to do with creation and destruction.

A wooden matchstick has a whole lifecycle of its own from the time it is made from wood to being stained, dried and soaked in sulfur before being lit. The light gives warmth for a moment but burns quickly and creates fire which eventually destroys the stick itself.

However, this destruction brings new life. The fire that burns the matchstick creates smoke that rises into the air which can develop into heavy clouds that produce rain.

The matchstick tattoo can therefore symbolize the circle of life, death and rebirth. It’s an image of fire which is one of the main symbols in religions like Hinduism, Zoroastrianism or Paganism. Fire represents energy, light and power that comes from within us all. The stick itself reflects the long journey of our lives, from the moment we are born to our death and then to a new beginning.

The symbolism of this tattoo can be related to relationships too. In essence, a single matchstick refers to a person who is alone or feels lonely. It also implies the desire to find happiness with someone else.

Matchstick tattoo ideas

There are different ways of doing these tattoos but it’s usually done in black and grey style which makes it look similar to a pencil drawing.

Credit Instagram

In order to not make your tattoo design overly complicated, stick to very few details in your design. Usually, only one matchstick is drawn on the skin but if you are looking for something more sophisticated you can also make a whole bunch of them to create a fire drawing.