For longer than recorded history, the notion of ‘infinity’ has perplexed us. A sequence that contains an infinite amount of numbers, an infinity can nonetheless be smaller than another infinity. In example, an infinity containing both positive and negative numbers will be twice as big as an infinity with only positive numbers. Does your head hurt yet? Alright, let’s leave the real definition to mathematicians. In today’s article, let’s talk about the infinity sign we are more familiar with—a sideways, curved eight that has no beginning or end. Here are some of the most beautiful Infinity Tattoo Designs.
Philosophy and religion assigned completely new meanings to this mathematical principle that resonates with normal people like us. This gallery of infinity tattoo designs for men and women takes a symbol and gives it new meaning. I’ll lay out the origins of this tattoo symbol, its modern meaning, different types of infinity symbols, symbols that couple well with it in tattoo designs, and more in our in-depth article! Artists combining it with hearts, paw prints, names, birds, feathers, and more take these tattoos to a whole new level. Ready to be amazed? Let’s get started!
What Does the Infinity Symbol Mean?
The meaning behind the infinity symbol dates back to before written history. Back then, the symbol usually looked like a circle, with one end of a serpent biting the other end. This symbol was called the ouroboros. The symbol appears to originate in ancient Egypt, but it also appeared as far away as South America! Captive snakes have a tendency to bite their own tail, so this might be why the symbol appears in so many places.
This universal symbol represents both the beginning and end of time, and many cultures believed that a serpent surrounded the world disc and held the sea in place. Jormungandr is the most famous of these world snakes, and he’s the son of the even-more-popular Loki in Norse mythology. Before it had its mathematical meaning, alchemists and magicians used it in their studies. It represents a universal life energy. Alchemists strove for eternal life, and breaking the cycle of the ouroboros was key to their goals. On the other hand, scholars in India used the ouroboros as a symbol of samsara. Samsara describes the cycle of life, death, and reincarnation in religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.
Eventually, mathematicians discussed the concept of ‘infinity’ as a reality, and the symbol carried over into math. The first true infinity symbol appears as late as 1655. Since Greek letters resembling ‘O’ already filled the literature, a more unique symbol was created. This one combined the Roman numerals for 1,000, the Greek letter omega, and the ouroboros to create the infinity symbol we know today. This small symbol packed with huge meaning makes for a perfect tattoo design!
Double Infinity Tattoo Meaning
A double infinity tattoo represents intertwining lives. This new symbol has a normal-sized infinity symbol with a wider infinity symbol overlaid on top. The two lives can be family, friends, or lovers. You could even stretch it and say that it represents a concept—in example, you and hiking go hand in hand for eternity! Similarly, the new double heart infinity symbol means two lives intertwined by love for all eternity.
Unlike a normal infinity sign, the double infinity sign represents a lasting relationship. A single infinity sign represents a single point of time, where you formed a bond or pact or marriage with someone else. A double infinity represents two points in time, widely spaced, that shows you and the other person lived together harmoniously for a long period of time. In a way, it’s even more powerful than a single infinity sign, because this tattoo design validates the single infinity sign’s meaning and adds more to it. I highly recommend reserving this design for a relationship or friendship of at least five years—that way, the symbol keeps its meaning. You could always start with just a single infinity sign and ink on the second one later, when your relationship becomes validated.
Celtic Infinity Knot
The Celtic infinity knot combines the ouroboros symbol with the triquetra symbol. The triquetra is an infinite knot with three points in a triangle shape. It represents the three stages of life—youth, adulthood, and old age. It also represents past, present, and future; Body, Mind, and Soul; Creation, Destruction, and Sustainability—the list goes on, but you probably get the point. It looks as infinity not as a duality where the end and beginning blend, but as a natural part of the infinite course of time. Pretty cool, huh?
The infinity love knot looks a bit different and carries a different meaning. You can mainly see them in wedding bands, but a cool tribal armband might also depict the infinity love knot. The symbol looks like two cords connected seamlessly and intertwined with one another. The knot can look drastically different from one design to the next, since it represents a unique and personal connection. Sometimes a heart appears in the design, but it’s not at all required.
Infinity Tattoos with Names
Now that we have the meaning and symbolism out of the way, let’s focus on tattoo designs! Combining infinity signs with names and initials adds personal meaning to your tattoo. Combining it with the name of your husband shows that you will love him forever, combining it with the name of your friend shows they can depend on you for the rest of their lives, and combining it with a concept like ‘love’ tells others how much it means to you. Adding an image to the infinity sign, such as a feather or a heart, cements your relationship with the named person for all of eternity.
On top of honoring your relationships, you can use infinity tattoos to represent events or remember people fondly. Getting a tattoo of your anniversary date certainly keeps your significant other from forgetting! The birth and death date of a loved one makes your body an eternal testament to their life. You can expand infinity tattoos with kids’ names as much as you need to while the family grows by placing the text around the design, instead of within it!
Infinity Tattoos for Couples
Who says that getting a tattoo has to be a solo endeavor? Infinity tattoos might be small, but they fit a huge amount of meaning into that tiny design. Getting infinity tattoos as a couple or a group connects you together with your friends for a lifetime. Infinity ‘love’ tattoo designs make for a perfect couple tattoo. The design is unspecific enough to stand on its own, but when brought beside your friends’ tattoos, its true meaning shines.
The appropriate font for a tattoo name changes depending on your loved one’s personality—I trust you to choose correctly, but if you need help, we have a whole article dedicated to different types of tattoo fonts.
Infinity Tattoo with Birds
An infinity tattoo with a feather inside represents a break in the norm. An infinite cycle has its downsides, after all. Feeling stuck in the cycle of birth, life, and death puts some people down, and they strive to break free from the cycle in what ways they can. Living life with utmost freedom, with little care for our death or the memories we leave behind, represents the pinnacle of expression. An infinity tattoo broken up with the silhouettes of birds shows someone that has broken free of their past and lives each day to its fullest.
On the other hand, the break in an infinity sign can represent faith itself. Sometimes the route through life is hidden and you feel lost or out of control. As long as you have faith in this world and its people, you will find your flight guided right back on track. You just have to hang in there. Just as migrating birds follow their own path into the unknown and arrive home at different times, people like us move through life and find a home at our own pace. The birds of an infinity tattoo show individuality, freedom, and faith.
Infinity Tattoo with Paw Prints
Enough about people! What about those fleeting relationships we form? You know the ones I’m talking about—our relationships with our pets! What does a paw print tattoo mean? Unique dog paw print tattoos show that someone cared dearly for their pet dog, or dogs made a huge influence in their life. A cat paw print mixed into an infinity sign shows that the owner will remember their pet for the rest of their life…even if that pet’s life was cut short. Since relationships with pets rarely last more than 15 years, tattoos make for a good way to immortalize them in our hearts and memories.
In the end, an infinity tattoo helps us remember something important. It shows others what we value more than life itself, along with what we dedicate our lives to. The intangible nature of infinity inspires us to make the most of the time we have. We will never know what happens to us after we die, but we can at least control the tattoos we leave behind with our bodies. These tattoos show what matters most to us, regardless of how much time has passed.