The world was not always the neon orb it is today, illuminated around the clock by electricity; similarly, our paths are not always clear or well-lit.
Just as candles once guided the soldier, scholar and elderly beggar alike through the night, they have now come represent the sacred and fragile light we each carry within us.
The question is, do you wish to seek the light or be the source of it?
Whether inked in Dickensian black-and-white or accompanied by colorful flourishes ranging from skulls to flower garlands, a candle tattoo is poignantly unique to the wearer. Does your light come from the love of your children, your soul mate, or the spirit of a departed friend? Or does the candle represent your own unwavering flame in the dark, a light you seek not only in times of uncertainly but provide to those who need a guide?
Many choose to incorporate religious symbolism into their traditional candle tattoo design: the burning heart, thorns, or image of a beloved saint in the flame itself. Others may opt for a stylishly gothic nod to all things Edgar Allan Poe inspired–a candlestick balanced precariously on a pile of old books or skull, while a raven stands watch. And sometimes the most powerful rendering is the simplest one, a single, unadorned candle flickering on your forearm or over your beating heart.