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