People have been getting tattooed for thousands of years. As people get tattooed and times change, the meaning of tattoos also changes.
Whether the meaning of tattoos is negative or positive, one thing is certain – tattoos are here to stay.
When people get tattoos, it’s best to do your research before committing to a piece of art that will be etched on your skin forever.
One of the best art pieces many people choose to get tattooed on their bodies is the spade, more specifically, the ace of spades.
If you’re thinking about getting a spade tattooed, you should understand the meaning behind it.
A spade represents luck, wealth, and power. It can also mean death in some cultures, and it can also be associated with the ace of swords, which carries its own meaning associated with tarot card readings, including new beginnings.
If you look at a deck of playing cards, you might notice that there are various cards that stand out among the rest. These are the:
- Ace of spades
In most card games, the ace of spades represents the highest suit in the deck. This means that it is given the highest value of any card, such as 13.
This value will vary depending on the game played. As such, the ace of spades is associated with power and for many people, this is a suitable card to get tattooed to represent wealth and power.
Aces of spades are also synonymous with English and American traditions.
In fact, the ace of spades itself was the only card in the deck that had to be printed with a royal insignia during the 18th century in Europe.
This insignia meant that taxes had been paid on the printed playing cards. However, illegal printing of the insignia led to the death and hanging of some fraudulent printers, solidifying the ace of spades as a card associated with death.
Nevertheless, the ace of spades has also been associated with good luck during games.
Imagine being in a rut playing a card game and finding out you have an ace in your hand, or as some say, “ace in your pocket.”
This is a good luck symbol, which is why the ace of spades can be used to represent both death and good fortune.
The ace of spades is synonymous with playing cards.
But did you also know it has had a long history within the U.S. military and European military also?
Below are some of the many meanings of the ace of spades that might influence your decision to get this symbol tattooed.
During World War I, the 12th Eastern Division was formed by British volunteer troops.
As such, the ace of spade can represent British military pride or even the duty to serve your country.
In addition, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the famous 101st Airborne Division was also tied to the ace of spades during World War II.
The ace of spades was painted onto the side of their helmets as they glided into the battlefield due its good luck in card games.
It’s easy to see why soldiers chose to continue to paint ace of spades symbols onto their helmets.
Even after World War II, the ace of spades had an unfortunate connotation during the Vietnam War.
For some reason, American soldiers and Marines believed that the Vietnamese viewed the ace of spades as a symbol of death.
In reality, this belief was never proven, but it was used to the dismay of many Vietnamese, known as Vietcong, who fought against American troops.
Upon being killed, American soldiers would place ace of spades cards on the bodies of these troops or even in their mouths.
This is a gruesome fact, but it is one that needs to be considered if you plan on tattooing an ace of spades onto your body.
During the Iraq war, soldiers and Marines deployed in the Middle East received a deck of playing cards with “Iraq’s most wanted” on them.
These cards displayed the most wanted criminals in the Middle East.
Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq then, was placed on the ace of spades card, showing the importance of the ace of spades in regard to both military and American culture.
Knowing all of these meanings for the ace of spades, both positive and negative, can help you make the decision to tattoo an ace of spades onto your body or even answer questions about it later on.
The ace of spades is also equivalent to the tarot card the ace of swords.
The ace of swords has a generally positive connotation when it comes to health, new projects, and new beginnings.
The ace of swords can have other meanings including:
- Mental clarity
- Newfound motivation
- New plans
For those that regularly look to tarot cards to help identify certain aspects in their life, as well as be more informed on their current life situation, the ace of swords can provide a wealth of information and be seen as a positive sign.
As such, getting an ace of spade tattooed can be synonymous with the ace of swords, and therefore, new beginnings.
Now you know that ace of spades is generally associated with:
- New beginnings
- New journeys
You can now start deciding which of these meanings are more important to your life, and how to decide on a design for your new tattoo.
For starters, consider how your ace of spades tattoo can be designed to represent power and wealth.
You can combine your ace of spades with other elements of power, such as cash, gold bars, jewelry, lightning, or any other things you personally associate with power.
If you want to get an ace of spades tattooed to represent the military, consider choosing to put the ace of spades in context.
A tattooed helmet with an ace of spades is perhaps the easiest way to include a military theme, along with military insignia such as:
- American flags
- American traditional style of tattoo
- Dog tags
Using these visual elements can help the viewer understand the meaning behind your tattoo and that it is associated with the military.
For gambling and for the love of the card game, get creative with your designs.
You can include throwing dice, a blackjack table, other cards in a deck, and even symbols of certain gambling hot spots such as Las Vegas.
If you want other people to understand the specific meaning behind your ace of spades tattoo, it’s important to incorporate other designs into your tattoo.
In general, the ace of spades tattoo is black and white, since the ace of spades on a deck of cards is black.
However, you can get creative with your tattoo and incorporate other colors such as:
However, it might be a bit confusing to make your ace of spades tattoo red since red is already included in other types of playing cards, such as the red diamonds and red hearts.
Nevertheless, if you truly want your ace of spades to be red, talk to your tattoo artist about what types of designs will work best to incorporate red into your tattoo.
Women can absolutely get ace of spades tattooed on their bodies.
Talk to your tattoo artist about how to make your tattoo more “feminine,” such as lightening the shades of black on your tattoo, or incorporating other types of designs such as flowers, geometric patterns, or animals into your tattoo.
Although many tattoos are gender-neutral, talk to your artist about your preferences and design beforehand.
For any type of tattoo, it’s important to do your research before committing to the design.
By looking at the tattoo meanings listed above, you can decide whether or not you want to get your ace of spades tattooed and incorporate other designs.
You should always listen to the advice of your tattoo artist when it comes to:
- Cleaning advice
- Hygiene to prevent infections
- After-care, such as not exposing your tattoo to the sun
Unfortunately, tattoos still hold a stigma that is quite negative, especially if you’re interested in joining law enforcement or even the military!
Keep in mind that when joining these groups, all of your tattoos will be photographed and logged for record-keeping.
There are certain previous gangs known as Ace of Spades, and, unlike a flower tattoo, ace of spades tattoos might be a bit more difficult to explain away if they are suspected of being gang-related!
This is a hard truth to swallow, so it’s best to truly consider what the meaning of the ace of spades is to you and how others will view it.
Finally, there’s the personal meaning of your own ace of spades tattoo. Did you used to play card games with a friend and want to get a tattoo to remember them?
Is your own nickname Ace, or is someone you know’s nickname Ace?
These are all valid and beautiful reasons to get an ace of spade tattooed, and their personal meanings are close to you.
In the end, if you have a personal meaning for the ace of spades tattoo, feel free to keep it to yourself and design a tattoo that truly encompasses all of these meanings.
The ace of spades has long been associated with power, wealth, and even good fortune. There’s no better card to have during a game than an ace of spades.
However, there is also good history and bad history that accompanies this specific symbol.
From being used in the military during World War I up until even today’s Middle Eastern conflict, the ace of spades carries with it lots of bold meanings.
In addition, the ace of spades is also synonymous with unique tarot card meanings which can be of interest to you if you regularly get tarot card readings.
For any tattoo, not just an ace of spades tattoo, think hard about what type of designs you want to incorporate with your tattoo, any other symbols you will want to include, and the ace of spades’ personal meaning to you.
Doing your research on all of these things will help you make a decision and prevent you from regretting this powerful symbol!