The olive branch has been a powerful symbol of peace throughout history. It is also a popular tattoo design that can be inked on various body parts such as the shoulder, back and hip, but it’s most commonly done as a head piece to denote peacefulness.
The olive branch often represents harmony and balance between male and female energy within a person and can symbolize a variety of things including:
- The coming together after a difficult time or disagreement To signify growth and change
A unique olive branch design that specifically combines the elements of water, fire, earth and air as well as different styles such as the abstract, tribal and blackwork tattoos is extremely popular.
Olive branch tattoo meaning throughout history
The Ancient Greek Goddess of Peace
The Greek Goddess Eirene was often depicted holding an olive branch in one hand and a horn of plenty or scepter in her other hand. The olive branch sometimes appeared alongside three other objects representing four elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air.
Eirene was associated with the olive branch because she created an equilibrium between conflicting forces, strife and hostility, ensuring peace throughout the world. She was known as the Goddess of Peace, Democracy and Concord in Greece, Rome and Egypt.
The Ancient Roman goddess Pax is believed to have been another deity personifying peace who carried a scepter or an olive branch. During the Pax Romana, a long period of peace and minimal government influence in Rome from 27 BC – 180 AD, she was often depicted with a scepter and a branch.
In Jewish culture olive leaves have been used as decorations during the holiday of Sukkot for centuries due to their plentiful supply, which symbolizes abundance.
Olive branch tattoo designs
As mentioned, an olive branch is a universal symbol of peace. The stylized representation of the olive branch as a tattoo design can have many different meanings depending on the context and style of its presentation. Some people get the tattoo to signify their desire to live in harmony with others while others may simply want to commemorate an important time or event in their lives when they were at peace.
One popular design feature of the olive branch tattoo is the incorporation of a variety of elements such as flowers, vines, leaves and arrows to add symbolic meaning to the tattoo. Here are some examples:
An abstract olive branch tattoo that appears to be bursting from the skin.
An olive branch tattoo combined with a water droplet to symbolize peace and love.
A blackwork abstract style olive branch tattoo to convey feelings of growth, healing and change.
An olive branch design created as part of a blackwork sleeve.