A burning heart tattoo can symbolize many different things. To me, a burning heart is the manifestation of an internal flame that never goes out. It’s similar to having a raging inferno within you, yet it stays contained within your chest. My first ink was done on my ribs so I could see it every time I look down or in the mirror. It was an incredibly personal and significant symbol to me, and it still is to this day.
For others, a burning heart tattoo may symbolize passion, love, or even anger. It can be seen as a sign of intensity and power, or even recklessness. No matter what your interpretation may be, it’s a beautiful unifying image that can be assigned many meanings.
There is a certain level of beauty associated with the image of a burning heart, so I wanted to explore what it means through a series of articles. In this first installment, we’ll be discussing the roots and origins of the imagery itself, as well as some examples from history.
Where did the idea for burning hearts come from?
The motif of the burning heart is one that has been around for thousands of years. The earliest known depictions are from Ancient Greece, where it was closely associated with their god of love, Eros.
It’s believed that the image represents “divine passion” and love; two concepts that were commonly intertwined with the Greek culture.
Eros, god of love- Ancient Greece
The Greeks weren’t the only civilization to include this idea in their artwork either. The Egyptians often used gold hearts for funerary purposes because they believed it would ensure the deceased’s entrance into the afterlife.
The motif continued to be popular throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it was often used in religious artwork. It typically symbolized either divine love or martyrdom.
One of the most famous examples is perhaps Sandro Botticelli’s painting, “The Birth of Venus.” The painting features the goddess Venus being born from a seashell, and her heart is depicted as burning with passion.
The Birth of Venus- Sandro Botticelli
In more modern times, the image has been used by various musicians and artists to represent different aspects of love. For example, the band The Cure released a song called “Burning Heart” in 1985, which represents the anger felt by an abused woman.
Whoa, hold on there. Did you just say “abused woman” ?
Yes I did! The song came out in 1985, after all, so it doesn’t exactly fit into the context of our current series.
However , this is a clear example that illustrates how the imagery of a burning heart can be adopted by other folks to represent something completely different. In this case, it’s anger and resentment toward an abusive relationship.
It also goes to show how a simple image can have a host of different interpretations, depending on the context in which it’s being used .
Here are some examples from history that illustrate the power of the motif:
One common interpretation is that a burning heart is an image of love in its purest form. The most famous example of this comes from Dante Alighieri’s epic poem “Inferno.” In it, he depicts Beatrice Portinari , his childhood crush, descending from heaven to bring him into the afterlife. As she approaches, he envisions her being surrounded by a radiant light.
Beatrice Portinari – Dante’s Inferno
This image is clearly meant to be seen as an example of divine love , and it makes for one of the most iconic scenes in “Inferno.”
Another common interpretation is that a burning heart symbolizes passion, yearning, or desire. This interpretation is used heavily in the context of romance stories, especially in anime.
One very popular example is “Romeo x Juliet,” where the main characters are often depicted with hearts spewing fire around them while they’re together .
What Wearing a burning heart Tattoo May Tell about You ?
As you can see, the idea of a burning heart has been around for thousands of years. It’s just one of those images that will likely continue to be around for as long as love exists .
If you’re planning on getting this motif tattooed on your body , it’s important to understand what message you want to send with it. No matter how simple it may look, a burning heart has the power to convey different messages depending on the context in which it’s used.
One of these messages is romance , or love in its purest form. If you’re planning on getting this tattooed, make sure you understand what message you want to send!
If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, you could always go with the interpretation of passion or desire. This option is great if you want to represent your love for someone without going too overboard.
Finally, if you’re feeling angry or resentful, you could always go with the interpretation of a burning heart as an image of anger or resentment.
Where to Get a burning heart Symbol Tattooed ?
As with any other tattoo, the best place to get a burning heart symbol tattooed is somewhere that’s personal to you. Think about where you would want to see it and what message you want to send with it.
If you’re looking for a romantic tattoo, the chest or rib might be a good place to go. If you want to represent passion or desire, then the arms or hands might be a better option.
If you’re looking for something subtle, then maybe the ankle would do well.