Throw another log in the campfire and watch the smoke drift upwards into the sky. The symbolism behind smoke goes far beyond classic pipes and fine cigars.
Just about every man knows what smoke is when it comes down to the science: A suspension of carbon particles ascending in the air. Yet that still doesn’t stop us from being drawn to the awe-inspiring beauty of a good roaring bonfire.
When it comes to smoke, many have said it’s a symbolism of matter transitioning into spirit. During ascension it vanishes leaving behind ash, similar to how the invisible soul leaves behind a mortal body.
It’s a good reason why the Vikings placed the dead on boats, allowing them to drift away before setting them ablaze. Even the Navajo burned the dead, including their houses too. While mourning, they believed the smoke from the fire would cleanse their bodies and minds of death’s energy.
While it may seem a bit bizarre, the truth is even the King of Persia could be found burning sandalwood to protect himself from disease and evil. For others, like those in Christian religions, a sweet-smelling incense is burned to represent prayers rising up to God in the heavens.
However, what’s interesting is some cultures believe different herbs symbolize different meanings. For instance, burning rose meant strengthen courage and producing vivid dreams. While sage was deemed for protection against evil and clove for eliminating gossip, gab and rumors.
Aside from historical beliefs, smoke has long had a more realistic purpose: To send messages and communicate. From tribe to community or just to person, smoke signals were a simple way to send a scared message across the sky.
With that said, I’ve put together the top 50 best smoke tattoos for men featuring all sorts of masculine design ideas. From smoke with skulls to incredible sleeves that are sure to ignite about inspiration.