Angel tattoos typically symbolize peace, faith, beauty, love, protection, spirituality and purity, and angel wing tattoos carry the same symbolism. However, the exact symbolism of the tattoo varies per individual.
Angels are often seen as the messengers between God and people. They are often protective forces that fight evil and carry out God's orders. Angel wings can also express the idea that the wearer is angelic. This is especially true when the wearer is female, according to Tattoo Me Now. Other times, people get such tattoos as a reminder that they are not alone. The tattoo symbolizes that there is always someone watching over them and ensuring their safety.
Angel or angel wing tattoos are also used to commemorate the death of a loved one. Some people include images of loved ones or scriptures on or beneath the angel wings. Other people simply want to indicate their appreciation of angels. Angel wing tattoos are also associated with the Gothic subculture, usually indicating an irony about religion or, perhaps, a relationship with religious horror, according to Free Tattoo Designs.
Angel wings are often tattooed onto the back, especially between the shoulders where actual wings would be located. They can be quite large, taking up the entire back.