Butterflies represent freedom, fantasy, and flight; change and transformation. A caterpillar surrounds himself in a self-made cocoon only to emerge as a beautiful butterfly free to fly wherever his heart takes him. Archangels are our ultimate protectors, watching over us from heaven.
Some may become earthbound every now and again to guard and guide us along our individual paths, others are loved ones that have passed on but gaze down at us from above or visit us in dreams to let us know we are not now, and will never be, alone. Fairies (also spelled faeries) are mythological wee folk (or supernatural beings, depending on who you ask) with magical powers who live in the woods and hide from our desperately seeking eyes. They are ethereal creatures, representing romance and enchantment.
It is no wonder that so many people wish to have winged creatures tattooed on their skin. An angel to protect, a butterfly to set you free. Often the meaning behind the images we choose for tattoos goes far beyond, and way deeper than, their simple face value. Butterflies have always been popular selections, especially among women, and especially as a first tattoo. They are small and simple, and easy to find a place for. There has been no shortage of fairy tattoos, either. You can walk into any tattoo parlor in America and see dozens of images of fairies lined up on the poster walls, waiting to be transformed from paper to skin. But the past ten years or so has seen the development of a trend never before experienced: the desire for human beings to get tattoos of the wings by themselves, affixed onto the back where real wings would sprout had we the power to make it happen. Angel wings and butterfly wings are undeniably the most popular selections, but fairy wings make their appearances as well, along with a slew of intricate, abstract designs that can only be described as wings but cannot in any way be classified.