Hawk Tattoo Meaning

Hawk tattoos can be samples of impressive tattoo artwork. They may be black etchings or highly colored tattoos. The hawk may have its wings outstretched or folded while the bird perches on a branch. Hawks are often paired with sun images for tattoos. Tattoos usually have a deep symbolic meaning for the person, and hawks have a rich mythological history and meaning.

Hawk tattoos have varying meanings. They may mean that the person has prophetic abilities or clear vision to see through deceit and find the truth. They can also indicate physical and emotional healing. Flying hawks represent freedom, and those with outstretched talons show ruthlessness.   

Tattoos have unique meanings for the person who chose that particular image. Hawks are often large tattoos and make a bold statement.

What do Hawk Tattoos Mean?

Hawk tattoos can have a wide range of connotations. They are linked to different symbolism in different cultures.

  1. Hawk tattoos can indicate prophecy and healing.
  2. Black and red-tailed hawks represent the regularity and stability of life.
  3. Hawk tattoos may show self-worth.
  4. Honesty and clear vision are indicated by hawk tattoos.

They can indicate ruthlessness and revenge.

Hawk Tattoos – Prophecy And Healing

In Polynesian mythology, hawks were associated with prophecy. This connection reflected the incredible eyesight of hawks, but the Polynesians believed the clear vision penetrated the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms.

Seers or those with the gift of prophecy often had hawk tattoos to identify them. Similarly, modern people who carry the ability to foresee the future or have insight into the human psyche may choose to have a hawk tattoo. 

In Polynesian legends, hawks were a symbol of healing. Seeing a hawk or having one roost at your home indicated that the sick person would recover. Carrying a hawk feather was believed to protect people from disease. Polynesian traditional healers marked themselves with hawk tattoos.

In today’s society, people that have overcome diseases such as cancer or recovered from traumatic injuries may choose to tattoo a hawk on their bodies. Some choose the site of injury, and others choose a prominent body site to show the world they have overcome a physical condition.

Hawk tattoos may also symbolize psychological and emotional healing. For many people watching a hawk soaring above the earth represents their ability to rise out from their problems. They can learn to fly emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. These people usually choose a hawk in flight for their tattoos.

What Does A Hawk Tattoo Mean Based On Egyptian Mythology?

In Egyptian mythology, hawks represented the Sky god, Horus. Black hawks symbolized the night, and hawks with red tails showed the rising sun. The presence of the two hawks meant that night and day always followed each other. They indicated that life was predictable, and the Ancient Egyptians took comfort from this stability.

Hawk tattoos that include both a black and red-tailed hawk show that even though life may be hard and dark, the light of day will eventually come, and life will improve.

Hawks also symbolized royalty in Ancient Egyptian culture. Pharaohs had many hawk carvings in their homes and headdresses with engraved hawks attached.

People who choose this meaning for hawk tattoos today may do so to remind themselves of their worth. Abusive relationships, learning disabilities, or physical deformities may make people feel inferior, with poor self-images.

Therapy works to improve personal value, and the individual may choose a hawk tattoo to remind themselves they are important, have a significant contribution to make to the world, and are worthy of life. 

A hawk tattoo is a wonderful tattoo for someone who has survived a suicide attempt. It indicates healing and that the person’s life is valuable.

Hawk Tattoos Show Honesty And Clear Vision

In Native American culture, a hawk was considered a guardian of truth. Red-tailed hawks have sharp, clear whistles. They reminded people to clear their minds, look deeply into situations, and discover the truth.

The truth could be related to themselves, their motivations, and their emotions. The truth could also be needed for an outside situation where discernment is necessary so that the person is not harmed or tricked into losing finances or belongings.

Hawk tattoos that symbolize clear vision and the ability to see the truth may be combined with the image of an eye.

People may choose hawk tattoos displayed on their forearms or hands to remind themselves to use the truth as their plumbline. They will employ the hawk tattoo as a memory trigger to limit impulsiveness, pay attention to detail and consider the motivations of all players in an interaction. 

Some people may use a prominently displayed hawk tattoo to show they are honest people that treasure the truth in others.

What Does A Flying Hawk Tattoo Mean?

In many cultures, a flying hawk is a symbol of freedom. The hawk is not bound to the earth and goes where it wants. People who value freedom and travel often sport a tattoo of a hawk in flight.

Hawks generally fly alone, which may also be another aspect of freedom. Some people view a hawk tattoo as symbolizing an independent, self-motivated survivor.

Criminals or gang members with hawk tattoos usually choose an image where the hawk’s talons and sharp beak are a dominant aspect. This depiction indicates a ruthless person who will show no compassion. It may also indicate someone looking for revenge.

The Meaning Of Hawk Tattoos Combined With Other Images

Hawks combined with other images change or enhance the symbolism.

A tattoo of a hawk sitting on an arrow shows that the person is brave, fierce, protective, and fights for truth. Superstitious people believe that this image protects them from harm.

A hawk perched on a skull shows someone who has overcome adversity and does not fear death.

Hawk tattoos with a background of trees or nature images symbolize the balance found in the natural world. This peace is carried over into the person’s life, and they strive for the same harmony and stability.

Hawk head tattoos with a single feather in the foreground are thought to bring good luck.

Hawk tattoos with a sun emphasize the ability to rise above problems. They show a new day has dawned, and the individual will be successful.


Hawk tattoos are impressive body art and are rich with symbolism. They mean various things in different cultures, but the wearer ultimately chooses the meaning. 

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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