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Amazing Hourglass Tattoo Design Ideas

Cheryl Mascarenhas
Considered to be a universal symbol of time taken out from the pages of history, an hourglass can be a wonderful way to depict frozen or immortal time. We bring to you some amazing hourglass tattoo design ideas that seem to have literally frozen time.
"The sand in the hourglass runs from one compartment to the other, marking the passage of moments with something constant and tangible. If you watch the flowing sand, you might see time itself riding the granules. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not an old white-haired man, but a laughing child. And time sings."
―Vera Nazarian
(The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Considering the fact that life is considered to be a privilege rather than a gift, many of us take the time we have in hand for granted. However it cannot be denied that life in essential, is a gift of time that we have to prove ourselves.

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All of us are aware of how every minute is different from the previous. Just like an hourglass, our time on this Earth is constantly running out. And what better way to express the value of time than getting an hourglass inked on oneself.
Apart from portraying the importance of time, an hourglass is also symbolic of the passage of time. Besides, it is a perfect example of time not waiting for just about anyone. An hourglass tattoo could signify anything from balance of energies in the universe to acceptance of inevitable change.

Hourglass Tattoo Designs

A twist on the birds held captive in an hourglass comes with the presence of the shooting scarecrow.
The tree of life sheds its leaves very much like a tree in real life, making it apt to portray the frailty of time.
Father time makes us wise, don't you think? An owl best represents wisdom, hence the motif for a tattoo.
Had a near-death experience? You just beat the Grim Reaper and won some more time.
Feeling too tied up? An hourglass that is caged is perfect to describe your want of freedom.

Hourglass Tattoo Sketches

Flying Birds

Let's move away from the ordinary, birds enclosed in the hourglass are symbolic of man's inherent need to escape his situation, and seek solace in freedom. Flying birds could also be seen as the flight of dreams waiting to unfold a new story.

Bleeding Heart

Only a heart that has been torn apart will know the pain that comes from being broke. An hourglass tattoo with drops of blood, instead of sand, is even more symbolic of how frivolous life really is.

Wise Time

Don't we all grow wise with time? An owl with an hourglass symbolizes wisdom coming only with the passage of time.

Withering Tree

With autumn comes the withering of trees, yet it holds with it the promise of spring. It is symbolic of the perfect balance that life brings with it―that of loss and gain―which is measurable only in time.

Spider Web

Memories are like spiders, who weave their webs in places that are accessible but ignored. Even though the events behind memories have long been forgotten, they remain nevertheless untouched, unnerved, and definitely not disturbed akin to a spider's web. A tattoo with a spider web encased in an hourglass is just reminiscent of those unforgotten memories.

Raging Tornado

Don't we all encounter a raging storm in our lives? One could be smitten by the raging power of love, or worst, plagued by the storms of life. A tattoo of a raging tornado in an hourglass is symbolic of this very storm.

Hourglass with Wings

Time flies! Just about anyone who values life knows the value of every passing moment of each day. Although the falling sand signifies the passage of time, an hourglass with wings further enhances the point.

Horizontal hourglass

Although time never really stands still, a tattoo where time has simply frozen could mean a zillion things. One among them is the prevalent theme of decadence. It could also be used to freeze a cherished memory of someone very close to the heart.

In a Birdcage

What do you picture when you see a birdcage? Depending on whether the cage is open or closed, it could be seen as a sign of freedom or that of captivity. Add to it, an hourglass with wings, and you have a unique idea for a tattoo.

Melting Candle

The best part about getting inked is that you can manipulate the design to suit your requirements. A melting candle, for that matter, is akin to slipping sand, and when placed in an hourglass, takes on a whole new meaning.

Grim Reaper

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of visualizing the end of our time here on Earth. Although the grim reaper brings forth disdain and sadness, a tattoo with this theme could be a reminder to live life to the fullest before it is taken away from one's control.
An hourglass tattoo can convey the eternal dance between polarities that is between yin and yang, light and dark, creation and destruction. However, the most important significance of an hourglass tattoo is the passage between life and death.