Olive branch tattoos can be a beautiful addition to any artistic body modifications that you are planning. With their gorgeous simplicity and rich, meaningful significance, an olive branch can make for a great design that most people will love. There are many ways an olive branch can bring deep meaning to your body art. Whether you are searching for a great addition to your existing tattoos or thinking about getting your very first one, olive branch designs really have a lot to offer.

Why the Olive?

Olives are a delicious fruit most prized for their rich-tasting oil. When it comes to olive branch tattoos, their deeper meaning is just as important as their aesthetic attraction. There are many ways to interpret the significance of an olive branch tattoo, dating all the way back to before biblical times. Make sure you keep the cultural and personal meanings of this classic tattoo in mind when coming up with your design.

There are many different species of olives, which means you can design your tattoo in many different ways. Whether that is a simple branch with narrow leaves and a couple of olives, a single olive coming off of a twig, or even an entire olive tree, you will have a design that can be uniquely yours. The meaning behind the olive branch design you choose can be as unique as the tattoo itself.

What is the Biblical Symbolism Behind the Olive Branch?

The olive branch was a common symbol in biblical times. In the story of Noah, the great flood sent him and two of each animal on an ark for 300 days. On the 301st day, Noah sent a dove to see if the great flood had ended. The dove returned with an olive branch in its beak. This signified that the flood had ended, and the olive tree had been able to withstand the torrential conditions.

In a biblical sense, the olive branch was proof that the floodwaters had receded enough for an olive tree to grow. The Bible could have specified any type of branch, or even no specific kind at all, but the olive was a central part of the regional culture at that time. Based on this story and other passages in the Bible, an olive branch can represent strength, endurance, faith, resilience, and much more.

What is the Greek History Behind the Olive Branch?

Ancient Greeks believed that the olive branch represents peace, purity, and victory. Ancient Greek brides would even wear crowns of olive branches to symbolize their purity. There are plenty of Greek mythological stories about the symbolism behind the olive branch.

For example, the city of Athens is believed to have been given an olive tree from the Greek goddess Athena, the goddess after which the city is named. Hercules, the king of the gods, was known to kill mythical creatures with a wooden stake made from an olive tree. Based on these and other stories from Greek mythology, anyone with a Greek heritage would have a strong connection to this type of tattoo. Even without this genealogy, the deeper meaning of peace, purity, and victory make this a popular tattoo design.

Does the Olive Branch Symbolize Peace?

Of course, the most common thing that the olive branch symbolizes in modern times is peace.  The phrase “extending the olive branch” is used whenever someone wants to offer peace to another person or group. Those who value peace in their life above all else will definitely love having an olive branch tattoo as a constant reminder to themselves and others. In fact, for those in the US and other western countries, this is almost certainly going to be what most people think about when they see it. So, even if you have other symbolism in mind, make sure to remember that this is what people will first think about.

What Other Meanings Could the Olive Branch Tattoo Hold?

The olive and the olive branch have been used symbolically in many ways throughout many cultures for a very long time. As was mentioned above, it is also used in many iconic religious texts, historical stories, books, and movies. Because of this, an olive branch tattoo can have many different meanings to each person. Some examples of what this type of tattoo may mean include:

  • Longevity or Growth – Greek olive trees are known for living hundreds or even thousands of years. There are olive trees in southern Greece that are known for being up to 3,000 years old. For this reason, they are often seen to symbolize longevity and growth.
  • Overcoming Adversity – Olive trees can survive in even the harshest weather conditions. They are a very sturdy tree, making them a great symbol for overcoming adversity.
  • Clarity – For many people, an olive branch tattoo means clarity. Those who think in a calm and rational way may choose to add this design to their body art collection.
  • Personal Meaning – As with any tattoo, the olive branch design can have a personal meaning that is all your own. If you have a special story or experience involving an olive branch that has a lot of meaning to you, that can make this type of tattoo very special.

Where Are the Most Common Places to Get an Olive Branch Tattooed?

While the choice is yours as to where you would want your olive branch tattoo, there are a couple of common spots to get it done. Since it tends to be a long, flowing type of design, a spot on an arm or leg is quite popular. Some people have also gotten the tattoo on their collarbones, if that is something you are comfortable with. Due to the natural flow of the olive branch, this type of tattoo will complement the natural curves of many areas on the body. The best thing to do is to consult with a trusted tattoo design artist to discuss your desires. Together, you can come up with the best place on your body for this unique tattoo.

Do Olive Branches Make Good Matching Tattoos?

Yes, olive branch designs can make very meaningful matching tattoo between two or more people. Since the olive tree symbolizes strength and perseverance, a matching tattoo will show a strong bond that cannot be broken. For friendship or a romantic relationship, matching olive branch tattoos are a unique way to show just how important that person is to you. Make sure the artist uses the same lines on each of you so that the branches are identical.

Olive branch tattoos can have as much significance as you choose. In the end, only you should be able to determine whether or not an olive branch tattoo is right for you. If you decide that it is, your interpretation is completely up to you as well. A person with an olive branch tattoo can take pride in the beautiful design on its own, as well as whatever meaning or significance it has in their life.