The weeping willow is an ancient tree, wait- all trees are ancient right? I mean when have we ever heard that there is a new tree that has just been introduced to our local flora? They call the weeping willow the Babylon willow sometimes, which was an ancient city. So I guess we’re not that far off. I look at the weeping willow and immediately want to go sit under its shade. It has this calming presence about it, in fact, after I’m done writing this post, I’m gonna look for the nearest willow I can find, probably several hundred miles away and see about taking a trip down there.
Naturally, weeping willow artworks are a great tattoo idea and are quite popular yet sufficiently non-mainstream so you can seriously consider getting one if their meaning and vibe resonate with you.
Meaning of Weeping Willow Tattoo Designs
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The weeping willow is a species of willow native to dry areas of northern China, but cultivated for millennia elsewhere in Asia, being traded along the Silk Road to southwest Asia and Europe. It has made several appearances in religious texts over the ages.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.”
-From the King James Version of The Bible (English, 1611).
A weeping willow tattoo symbolizes strength and a nurturing nature.
Ideas For Weeping Willow Tattoo Designs
Since the tree is basically just a thick trunk and a nest of drooping leaves and branches, the number of options available is a bit limited. Let’s look at some willow art that might give us an idea or two.
Weeping Willow, by Claude Monet (1918)
An expressive rendition of the weeping willow where the willow actually is weeping. I like this painting.
A cute illustration of the willow done digitally. Take note of the leaf shape. Speaking of the shape of the leaves, here’s a close-up drawing of a willow branch-
The leaves are beautiful! I’m really dialed in right now, Tangerine Dream’s 1983 Poland concert is playing and at about 15 minutes in, it’s the perfect soundtrack to be looking at weeping willow trees and thinking about them.
Where Should You Get Weeping Willow Tattoo Designs
The willow has a very central vibe, so places like the back and chest are good options but some people have had some pretty enchanting tattoos on other parts of the body. Here are some company-ordered suggestions-
- Finger Spaces (too small though)
- Behind the Ears ( yeah, I don’t think a willow will fit behind the ears)
- Biceps (the bicep that nurtures? hmmm… Interesting)
List of Weeping Willow Tattoo Designs & Meanings
- The Windswept Willow
Had to start this list off strong. This weeping willow with its branches blowing in the wind and the curvy trunk is absolutely beautiful. A very neat idea for a shoulder tattoo.
- The Renaissance-ey Willow
An artful take on the weeping willow. The leaves and roots are made of curling lines similar to those of handrails and furniture items from times gone by. Three birds can also be seen to the top right of the willow.
- The Willow and The Circle
An almost haunting weeping willow and what I can only assume to be The Circle of Life. Not sure if I would get this tattoo on my back but I’m sure it holds a lot of meaning to the wearer here.
- The Ancient Willow
The thick trunk, the vast roots, and the drooping leaves make this willow look very accurate. The sheer amount of roots tell us this willow has been around a long time. Here’s an interesting fact though- weeping willows only really have a lifespan of about 60 years. They do look and feel ancient and sage though.
- The Scary Willow
A darker take on the weeping willow, This side-torso and back piece is intense. The moon has been made to look like a skull and a dark cloud hovers. Meanwhile, the music has changed to John Carpenter’s greatest movie soundtrack hits from the 80s.
- The Simple Willow
A small and simple weeping willow. The lines used to draw this are thin and the tattoo itself is lightly shaded and almost understated. Don’t know if I would get this though.
- Mop-Head Willow
The leaves here are almost like strands of hair. This weeping willow is rather creepy, I’ve gotta say. I mean, I wouldn’t wanna come across this at night.
- The Pagan Willow
The roots take up almost the exact same space as the leaves and branches. There is something about this tattoo that just reminds me of paganism. Y’all remember the pagan tattoo article, don’t you? This tattoo is done on the outer thigh. Not a bad place for this tattoo.
- A Willow Branch
The leaves of one willow branch inside a rectangular box. This tattoo seems like it has a very personal meaning to its wearer and quite possibly only the wearer can tell us what that is.
- The Leg Branch
Just the leaves of the weeping willow are drawn life-size and in great detail. A good tattoo and its placement work too.
- Is It A Woman!? Is It A Willow!?
It’s both! This tattoo is far out. The leaves are colored in several different shades and it looks like the trunk-woman has raised her branch hands as if to bring them down in some sort of cleansing swish. This tattoo symbolizes some of the strength and nurturing nature that we discussed earlier.
- The Lone Leaf
This back-of-the-neck tattoo is perfect. Clean, minimal, and beautiful. It is adding to the aesthetic appeal of the wearer.
- Shoulder branch
A realistic rendition of a weeping willow branch on the shoulder. This tattoo looks good. Weeping willow tattoos seem to be very popular with women. Hopefully, we run into some guys wearing this tattoo at some point.
- The Lush Willow
Weeping willow with leaves colored anything but green. A girl swings to and fro on a branch. This is another side-torso piece that isn’t too shabby.
- The Pretty Willow
This monochrome weeping willow on the lower back looks amazing and I’m not just saying that because I’m a dude. Okay, maybe a little. But it is kinda cool, right?
- The Arm Branch
The leaves of the willow here are done in painstaking detail. A great arm tattoo.
- Another Shoulder Tattoo
Another shoulder tattoo. A simple weeping willow, done in monochrome and two shades of black.
- The Green Meanie
This greened-out willow looks mad creepy, not sure If I’d get it as a tattoo but it does have a certain dark appeal that some people might enjoy.
- The Diagonal Branch
A beautifully done weeping willow branch is drawn diagonally along the entire back. Now, this is a great tattoo! It uses the space perfectly.
- The Cute Branch
A willow branch on the wrist. So artful! You can see a couple of leaves have left the branch and that gives a sense of movement to the tattoo.
- The Stylized Willow
A very beautiful take on the weeping willow. I love the curvy lines and the way it twirls. The caption is very inspiring and is a great reminder to have on your wrist.
- Side-Torso Ancient Willow
Another realistic weeping willow done on the side torso. A lot of willows have swings hanging from them. Oh, what fun must it be to swing from it.
- The Leg Branch (2)
A singular weeping willow branch is drawn on the entire outer leg. The two colors used here are a calming treat to the eyes. The tattoo looks good because it has a lot of space to breathe and be visible clearly.
- The Trippy Willow
This tree has a lot of colors used subtly and is a great choice for a shin tattoo.
- The Whomping Willow
The whomping willow from Harry Potter, the one that beats up their Ford Anglia (The flying car) when they crash into it. Pretty much the first time I learned of the existence of willow trees.
- The Ankle Willow
We haven’t seen as many ankle tattoos lately and this one is one of the good ones. The roots of the willow drawn on the foot are appropriate and the entire tattoo makes sense.
- The Full Commitment Willow
An entire back piece. The willow is drawn in great detail. The branches are thick and sinewy and emanate a lot of strength. The wearer is an equal legend for having the patience to sit through hours upon hours of pain to get this tattoo and I must say it has paid off magnificently.
And there you have it, folks! 25+ beautiful weeping willow tattoo designs and ideas. Some of these were really pretty and some were more adventurous than others but I had fun looking at them, talking about them, and hopefully giving you some ideas about what to get. As always, stay creative!